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

Beginner-friendly way to get that effortless “it-girl” style

Out of all the makeup styles that have been circulating the internet lately, one seems to stand out: the “clean girl” look. So why does the internet love this look so much? For one, it seems to be the antithesis of circa-2016 makeup that was defined by sharp brows, full coverage foundation, sharp eyeliner, and false lashes. The clean girl look embodies effortless beauty, and is almost comparable to a “no-makeup makeup look”. The focus is on thick but wispy brows, minimal coverage concealer, cream blush and bronzer, smoky but natural eyes and glossy lips. Those who have posted videos using these tips often get comments saying “you look so clean” or “expensive”, which is how the “clean girl” look came about, and has been sought after by countless makeup users since. As a frequent makeup user myself, I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at recreating this look, and rather effortlessly. This is a trend I truly believe anyone, can participate in, and I have compiled a list of essential steps to getting the clean girl look! 

Step 1: Light Coverage Base

The first part of any good makeup routine is a flawless base to work on. For the clean girl look, this doesn’t mean covering every imperfection with heavy foundation. Instead, if you’re really foundation-inclined, it’s best to use a tinted moisturizer or primer that has a slightly dewy finish. My personal preference is to use a medium-coverage concealer and place it in both corners of my under eye to brighten and lift my face without adding too much product. If you have oily areas or want to prevent creasing, I recommend placing a translucent loose powder in select spots. 

Recommended products: Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Finish Primer, Maybelline Fit-Me Concealer, Nars Radiant and Creamy Concealer

Step 2: Cream Blush, Bronzer & Highlighter

After you have some coverage, cream face products are a must because they give the same dewy finish and can be easily blended with fingers, a brush, or sponge. Bronzer/contour is optional, but if preferred, place this right on your cheekbones for a more lifted look, and on the temples and nose if wanted. Next is cream blush, which is essential to the clean girl look! Using whatever shade compliments your skin tone, place the blush on the high points of your cheekbones, and I love putting a little on the bridge of my nose for that “sunkissed” look. Depending on the finish of the cream blush and personal preference, a cream highlighter can illuminate the face on the highest points of the cheeks and nose.

Recommended products: Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wands, Glossier Cloud Paint, Rare Beauty Cream Blush, Maybelline Cheek Heat, Fenty Beauty Counter Sticks 

Step 3: Wispy Brows

The brows for this look are the easiest part! If your natural brows are too sparse for your liking, lightly fill in with hair-like strokes for a natural but full-looking brow using a pencil or pen. Then the most important part: brush them up! This can be done using clear brow gel, tinted gel, a bar of soap, or anything you’d like.

Recommended products: Elf Clear Brow Gel, Benefit Gimme Brow Gel, Anastasia Brow Wiz, Maybelline Ultra Slim Pencil, Pears Transparent Soap

Step 4: Smoky but Natural Eyes

The eye makeup for this look is one of the least important steps and can be altered however you prefer. My favorite way is to create a smoky liner that defines my eyes but still keeps a soft look. In my opinion, the easiest way to do this is either by stamping on a light wing with an angled brush and any dark brown or black eyeshadow, or by smudging gel/pencil eyeliner on the corners of your eye to form a wing. This is something that takes a bit more practice but doesn’t have to be perfect! The look is also great with no liner or with adding eyeshadow to smoke the liner out even more. Whatever your preferred eyeshadow/liner happens to be, pair it with a light coat of mascara to pull the eye look together.

Recommended products: Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Gel Pencil, Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette, L’oreal Lash Paradise or Telescopic Mascara, Maybelline Sky High Mascara

Step 5: Glossy Lips

The final step for this look is a glossy lip! This can be done with clear or tinted lip gloss or just lip balm. For a fuller look, use a muted lip liner on just the top and bottom of your lips.

Recommended products: Elf Clear Lip Gloss, Glossier Lip Gloss (clear or sheer red), Dior Lip Oil, Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick, Nyx Lip Liner in “Natural”

And that’s it! This look is surprisingly simple and very easy to master, and it works well with countless different preferences. I highly recommend trying it out and finding what version you love the most. Good luck, and remember to have fun with it!

Angie Bloechl

Wisconsin '25

Angie is a junior at UW-Madison this year studying economics. She love listening to podcasts, reading & painting!