Sure, Generation Z already has a ton of accolades behind them (embracing body positivity, making informal email signing a thing, and taking a stand for mental health), but if this generation does one thing, it will turn it all into an aesthetic. From coastal granny to secondary character energy summer, and now, TikTok’s clean-looking beauty trend: style connoisseurs in their late teens and early twenties know a niche when they see one.
While I’m in favor of letting go of the main character’s energy and Diane Keaton has a way to make any cardigan a highly sought after purchase, it’s that last cultural moment, the so-called “clean look,” that gives me pause. It’s a salient trend that has the ability to evolve from a simple hashtag to an entire personality trait, and it’s one of the newest aesthetics to find success outside of TikTok and start a new wave of beauty and makeup.
Featured image by Teal Thomsen.
What’s the beauty trend of TikTok’s clean look?
In short, it’s a natural makeup featuring glowing skin and straight hair. But it’s not just for Gen Z. This trend is my latest beauty obsession for effortless maximum safety.
And while “you look so clean” might seem like an odd compliment, as someone dedicating an inordinate amount of time and energy to my skincare routine, TikTok’s clean-looking beauty trend has a certain appeal. My blemish-prone skin will no longer be prone to contour and foundation layers.
Instead, this skin-first approach supports your natural and unique beauty and inspires you to work with what you have to highlight your favorite features.
Is the clean look easy to recreate?
The appeal of this aesthetic is its reachability. As a girl who calls herself skincare, makeup is not my forte. I prefer to play on my strengths and time limits. For me, TikTok #CleanLook inspires me to improve my look, without completely changing it. It’s more extravagant than my minimal approach to beauty. And if you want to check out the farmer’s market, or are tired of your side dish palette and are looking for a low maintenance routine, there is a Clean girl in all of us.
While you can probably create a version of this look with products already in your closet, the rise of bright, skin-first routines means there’s a cornucopia of clean-looking products just waiting for you to explore. Here are the details of TikTok’s clean look beauty trend and all the products that will help you achieve it.
Breaking down the beauty trend of TikTok Clean Look
#CleanLook or #CleanGirl on TikTok is the latest version of the no makeup makeup. Instead of the highly contoured (re: complicated) look of yesteryear, Clean Look celebrates your natural beauty.
Like most things on TikTok, the trend is a fusion of a few previous trends: the archetype “That Girl” and her smooth bun; TikTok’s emphasis on crowdsourced skin care routines that actually work; and our collective and constant desire for glowing summer skin.
Makeup tutorials from TikTok XO users Lizah and Eva Rankin were the first to go viral. So, users started adopting this aesthetic to show just how universal it can be. Famous makeup makers like @ radhika.p18, @laurynwill_ and @mylifeaseva went viral by showing the look on different skin tones and hair types. Soon, it went from an ephemeral trend to a full-blown aesthetic. And here I am, obsessed.
What does it mean to look “clean”?
Of course, anyone can look “clean”. The accessibility of TikTok’s clean look beauty trend is what makes it attractive. It’s easy to imitate and works on everyone. It’s a way to highlight your natural features, instead of trying to look like everyone else.
Unsurprisingly, the clean look places a great deal of emphasis on skin care. Even more than most makeup-free makeup routines, this trend prioritizes skin in reality looks like skin (abandoning the idea that you need a full coverage foundation).
Is the clean trend the same as clean beauty?
It makes sense that a generation raised on Glossier pioneered TikTok’s clean look beauty trend. It’s filled with makeup that doubles as skin care, products you can dab with your fingers, and an emphasis on the dewy and glowing look.
But don’t be fooled. Clean look has nothing to do with clean beauty. However, many of the hero’s products Do use natural, clean ingredients to promote skin health.
Getting a clean look won’t get you shelling out for expensive products either. While some creators sport their Chanel Glow Highlighting Fluid or Dior Lip Oil, other creators like @_keeees_ bring the look to life with Ponds Face Cream and drugstore makeup.
More than anything else, clean girl makeup is simple, breathable, and easy to use. They are multipurpose products in abundance. It is a light cover. And trust me, it’s about to become your new routine.