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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

You can say this trend looks angelic.

The clean girl aesthetic has long ruled over my TikTok For You Page with ‘Glowy Skin’ by its side. But has the beauty community finally staged a coup? Is the once-adored look of 2016 reclaiming its throne? 

Throwback to when ‘Matte Skin’—dominated by the ‘King Kylie Era’—had the beauty community endlessly baking and emptying their mattifying setting sprays. But this time it’s different. It’s evolved. Rather than reviving the sole matte appearance, makeup gurus have combined the 2016 craze with the previously glowy ruler of 2020 to formulate none other than a hybrid. Say hello to the soft matte look called “Cloud Skin.” 

It’s getting cloudy up in here.

Although cloud skin may prioritize a soft matte focus, it does not signify the end of glowy skin. For all my dewy skin girls (including myself), don’t be alarmed! Fortunately, this trend incorporates that youthful glow we all know and love. 

Coined by MUA Dominic Skinner, this trend is basically a modified version of the minimalistic look. Think about how the sun shines through all those clouds—well that’s cloud skin. You may be wondering, how do I do it? It’s actually pretty simple. Skinner states that it is all about combining distinct textures and restraining your power placement in specific areas (to be lit from within, duh).

Don’t let the look fool you. This technique isn’t new. In fact, this technique has been heavily used on the red carpet for ages. The restrained powder application along with the dollops of highlight marinate to prevent makeup mishaps (we all remember Flashback Mary). Enough of that, let’s get to the nitty gritty. 

Skin O’Clock 

To achieve cloud skin, it all starts with your base. Base preparation entails your go-to skincare routine (p.s it’s the secret to a flawless makeup base). Incorporating a serum and a moisturizer produces a plump, yet hydrated feel. Remember, the key is not to look dewy! Emphasizing skin prep ultimately eliminates any flakiness or dry patches that can be created from your foundation or concealer. 

Following your moisturizer, use a blurring primer in areas where you tend to be the shiniest like Glow Recipes Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Blur Drops. This step basically blurs your face while showcasing a velvety appearance. 

Up next, foundation. Your options include a skin tint or a lightweight foundation like ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation. Take your pick. The key is to avoid looking cakey, so try applying a small amount of the product onto the skin with either your hands or a fluffy brush. Make it as natural as possible. As for your concealer, simply micro-concealing will do the trick. 

Get ‘Cheeked Up’

Did you think I could forget about the holy trinity: bronzer, blush and highlight? Of course not! Try utilizing cream products only—no powder versions! Blending cream products eliminates harsh lines. This then enhances a natural finish while adding dimension, color and luminosity to the face.

As for highlighter, the goal is to look lit from within. Unfortunately, this trend calls for a concentrated application of highlighter. Apply your highlighter only to the high peaks of your face (sigh…). 

What about Powder? 

Let’s give a round of applause for the star of the show—powder. The application of powder will either make or break the look; therefore, precision is key! Although there are many powders on the market, a matte or blurring powder will do like Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Talc-Free Vegan Powder (hello… it has cloud in the name). But for my baddies on a budget, Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder is a great alternative. 

First, set your concealer in all the areas applied (especially under the eye). Then slowly set the rest of the face. As for tools, the sky is your limit. You can use a beauty blender, a powder puff or even a fluffy brush. It’s up to you. 

And just like that, you’re done! Will you be trying cloud skin? 

Ainhoa Merchan

Northeastern '22

Noah Merchan is a student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. You can catch her walking the streets of Boston, sipping a large cup of Dunkin coffee (the only correct answer!), or doing pilates! She enjoys journalism and psychology (Obvi!)