There’s a beauty phenomenon currently sweeping Tiktok—a trend that has been showing absolutely no signs of slowing down ever since it became popular in 2022—and it’s the ‘clean girl aesthetic’.
If you think the clean girl style is merely about literal cleanliness, you’re mistaken there. While the aesthetic simply means a minimalist and fresh approach to beauty and fashion, the clean girl trend is a whole lifestyle. You got it—merely hopping into the shower won’t get you on the aesthetic clean girl bandwagon.
What’s all the hype about, after all? In this blog post, we crack the code and shed light on what the clean girl aesthetic actually is—and why it’s problematic! So, let’s get started.
What Exactly is the Clean Girl Aesthetic?
The clean girl aesthetic is about looking fresh and natural. It calls for you to look your best from head to toe while appearing effortless. That is, one must appear very natural—as if the look took no time to put together—even if you spent hours on end looking that way. The clean girl aesthetic does have a few qualities that are commonly found in the trend:
The clean girl’s hairstyles are low maintenance and easy to put together. The actual effort goes into maintaining the hair—so it can look beautiful even when put up in a simple bun. That means investing time and money in keeping your hair healthy and glossy. This can be regular trims, treatments, and more. The clean girl opts for natural hair colors, sometimes adding a subtle balayage. A slicked-back bun and high ponytail are two hairstyles loved in the clean girl trend—if the hair is worn down, it should appear smooth and glossy.
Ever came across the no-makeup makeup look floating on social media? That’s what the clean girl style is about! A natural and minimalistic approach to makeup, leading to a flawless complexion with a glowing finish, is the goal. To achieve the clean aesthetic girl look, brands like The Ordinary and Glossier are crowd favorites to encourage a ‘glow from within’.
The clean girl trend is all about putting together an outfit that is chic yet understated, stylish but modern. (Think an off-duty model). However, make sure it doesn’t appear as if you took too long putting the pieces together; looking effortless is key! And the best way to achieve this is with well-fitting basics. Brands like Zara and Skims are famous for such pieces.
Beyond looks, the clean girl follows a particular lifestyle. She prioritizes cleanliness, simplicity, and organization in all aspects of life. The clean girl opts for non-toxic products for everyday use and nourishes her body with nutritious foods. She also engages in regular exercise (think pilates and yoga instead of something high-intensity), stays hydrated, and is mindful of her environment.
How to Achieve the Clean Girl Aesthetic
If you’re looking to achieve the clean girl aesthetic, there are quite a few lifestyle changes to commit to—even if you thought it was as effortless as that Tiktoker portrayed.
Clean Girl Makeup
Use lightweight, sheer foundation to set the base. You can also use a tinted moisturizer to even out the skin tone. Leverage concealers to hide any acne scars and blemishes, followed by a subtle blush on the cheeks to add a healthy glow. Mascara should generally suffice for the eyes, but the average clean girl look in social media trends also uses neutral eyeshadows for the eyes. Keep your eyebrows groomed—but make sure they appear natural. Use a highlighter for a shiny finish and a transparent gloss for the lips. The end goal is to achieve a radiant and naturally beautiful look that doesn’t look overly done.
Clean Girl Clothes
Put together a clean girl outfit with well-fitting staples while keeping comfort and practicality in mind. Your go-tos can be loungewear and co-ord sets in neutral hues, such as beige, white, and black. Accessorize the look with subtle jewelry, but don’t go overboard. Remember, minimalism is key for the clean girl aesthetic.
Clean Girl Lifestyle
To achieve the clean girl style, declutter your home—keeping it simple yet aesthetic. Neutral-hued home decor, clean lines and simple shapes shall dominate your home. Engage regularly in fitness regimes to look after your body. Fuel yourself with healthy meals and go big on your water intake. Additionally, keep a close eye on the products you use, making sure they’re non-toxic and friendly to the environment.
Why the Clean Girl Aesthetic is Problematic
The clean girl aesthetic seems perfect—and that’s where the problem starts. Being realistic, it is unattainable for most of us.
The clean girl style focuses on a clean home, without even a speck of dirt. And if you’re someone who commutes to work, spends a large chunk of their day earning bread, or cares for a child, you know a home as flawless as the trend encourages is not possible to maintain. The products and brands used by the clean girl are high-end and expensive—not something everyone can afford.
Clean girls are always incredibly fit, which means a ‘clean fat girl’ doesn’t exist. Clean girls of color are also very limited, making it a racist trend. Additionally, the idea of looking youthful eliminates those over 40 (maybe even 30) from the trend.
In a nutshell, the perfectionist needs of the clean girl aesthetic are not very practical to achieve—making it a problematic trend.
What are the rules for the clean girl aesthetic?
The rules for the clean girl aesthetic are a simple, stylish, and effortless look—often achieved with feathered eyebrows, minimal makeup, and pulled-back hair. It also encompasses a clean home and a fit body fueled by nutritious meals, as well as a regular workout routine.
What is the clean girl aesthetic about?
The clean girl aesthetic is about clean beauty, minimalism, and sustainable living. By adopting eco-friendly practices and upgrading to a minimalist wardrobe, the clean girl strives to achieve a balanced lifestyle—that looks oh-so-effortless.
Many trends pass on social media, but the clean girl aesthetic looks like it is here to stay. Many young girls are hopping onto the aesthetic clean bandwagon and aiming for the perfection they’ve seen in #cleangirl TikToks. While everyone has their own preferences, one thing is for sure: do what makes you FEEL good—even if it means achieving only a part of the clean girl style.