Clean Girl Aesthetic: How To Achieve This Elegant Look

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 24, 2024

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Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of aesthetic styles take over the internet. From the skater girl and boho chic trends of the mid-2010s to modern maximalism, these styles have captured our hearts. And today, a little something called the Clean Girl aesthetic is taking the world by storm.

You may have heard of the clean look before—probably on Instagram or TikTok these past few years. Maybe you’ve come across elegant, minimalist, fashionable photos by viral influencers and quintessential Clean Girls like Hailey Bieber. The typical visual elements are very common today, from slicked-back hair to monochromatic outfits.

But the Clean Girl lifestyle is way more than just looks. It’s about embracing authenticity and simplicity, too. Today, we’re delving into this pure yet sophisticated personal style, learning how to nail it, and learning tips to emulate it online. Keep reading to learn how to be a true blue-clean queen!

A close-up shot of a natural, bare-faced but pretty girl with brown eyes.

What Is the Clean Girl Aesthetic?

If you’re not caught up with Instagram trends, you’re probably wondering, “What is the clean girl aesthetic?” Put simply, the Clean-Girl aesthetic is characterized by a mix of sophistication and simplicity, all while remaining feminine. It’s a personal style that is sleek, polished, and well-groomed with little to no drama.

According to Seventeen Magazine, the key to a clean look is minimalism. Instead of caking your face with layers of foundation and an overwhelming number of colors, natural beauty prevails. Instead of ruffles, gaudy shades, and provocative cuts in clothes, clean silhouettes and monochromatic outfits. The cleaner, the more effortless your appearance is, the more it aligns with this trendy aesthetic.

The clean aesthetic isn’t limited to how a woman looks, either. It’s also a movement that embraces authenticity and not being over-the-top or dramatic, although there’s nothing wrong with those. Girls embodying this style will typically also emulate it in self-care practices, simple home interior design, clean food, and more.

A woman with a clean, simple makeup look looking over her shoulder at the camera.

The “Clean” Appearance: The Ultimate Guide To Looking the Part

Nailing a clean appearance and lifestyle is an art that only the most dedicated beauty and fashion lovers can achieve. Do you want to look like the ultimate clean queen? Here’s a fun checklist for emulating this elegant, effortless style in every aspect of your physical personal style.

1. Natural-Looking Clean Girl Makeup Look

The “clean” approach to beauty is all about enhancing your natural features, not dumping too much product on your face. The focus is your natural beauty.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t play around with cute, trendy makeup products. Clean queens love makeup, too! You just have to look for ones that allow your natural look to shine through. When hunting for Clean Girl makeup, the keywords are dewy, glowy, simple, and light. Here are examples of products you need in your roster if you’re going for this trendy makeup look:

  • Face makeup that makes skin look like skin. Instead of a heavy, matte, full-coverage foundation, opt for a high-quality BB cream or tinted moisturizer. These light products allow your real skin tone and texture to show through, adding to that natural vibe. Getting glowy products that give you dewy skin is a plus, too!
  • A glowy yet subtle highlight. Avoid those overly glittery, unnatural-looking highlighters. For the clean look, what you want is a subtle glaze. Look for natural highlighters that add just enough radiance and glow to your skin.
  • Feathered, bushy, or brushed-up eyebrows. While clean queens tend to go subtle for most of their makeup look, they go all out for brows. The bushier and thicker they look, the better. This creates a laidback and carefree touch to your makeup look without adding too much in the color department.
  • Glossy lips in nude and pink shades. A hot red lip might be perfect for glam nights. But if you’re gunning for a clean look daily, glossy, natural-looking lips are better. Lip glosses, balms, oils, and tints will be your best friend for achieving this look. Instead of bright colors, go for shades that are MLBB (my lips but better!), like pinks and nudes.

A woman with natural makeup putting black mascara on her lashes.

2. Stylish Yet Subtle, Clean Girl Aesthetic Clothes

Fashion is another major pillar of the clean style. Much like with makeup, Clean Girl’s aesthetic clothes are minimalist yet still sophisticated and stylish. It’s all about clean cuts, calm colors, and lots and lots of elegance. Fashion influencers who want to emulate this look should consider the following for their outfits:

  • Elegant basics over statement pieces. Women embodying the clean aesthetic usually gravitate to pure and simple fashion pieces. While it’s nice to have a glittery dress in your closet for special occasions, basics dominate any clean queen’s wardrobe. Think white button-downs, denim jeans, white sneakers, tank tops and more.
  • Simple silhouettes with little to no drama. You won’t find ruffles, shoulder pads, cuts, and overly tight skirts in a clean queen’s fashion dictionary. Her clothes’ silhouettes are all simple, clean and comfortable. From mini T-shirts to loose pants and A-line skirts, classic cuts are key.
  • Calm and neutral colors. Fill your closet with versatile, neutral tones, like whites and nudes. These pieces aren’t just timeless—they also are super easy to pair with other pieces. Some clean queens might also enjoy soft pops of color, like powder blues or baby pinks, in their outfits.
  • Capsule wardrobes. In the spirit of minimalism, you could also create a small-scale wardrobe with basic pieces only. Then, mix and match your outfits from those. It’s a stylish way to maintain your “clean” fashion style while taking a stand against overconsumption.

A young woman in a simple white and gray outfit that emulates the “clean” look.

3. Neat, Feminine, Clean Girl Hair

Another hallmark of someone who properly embodies the clean look is sleek, effortless hair. There are two approaches to Clean Girl hair.

First, you have a sleek and chic look. These are the hairstyles that are neat and keep strands away from your face. Think of sleek buns with a middle part or a sexy low ponytail. Some clean queens also love using hair clamps to keep their hair up and in place all day. To make your hair look extra shiny and sleek, use your favorite hair oil before styling.

The second approach is embracing your hair’s natural texture. Instead of straightening or curling it to perfection, leave your natural waves in with minimal styling. Not only does this preserve your hair’s health, but it makes you look more authentic and purer. If you must style your hair with heat, go for soft waves, not anything too glamorously curled or pin-straight.

4. Minimalist Clean Girl Aesthetic Nails

Lots of women love their long coffin nails in bright, gradient colors. But Clean Girl aesthetic nails are simpler and easier to maintain.

Classic, clean nail shapes like softly squared or rounded are perfect for this aesthetic. When it comes to colors, neutral is key. Go for nudes or pinks—colors that aren’t meant to be flashy but enhance your natural appearance. Keep nail art, stickers, and glitters to a minimum as well.

When getting a manicure, ask your technician for glossy finishes or perhaps a clean, timeless French tip. Subtle, understated elegance is key here.

A woman’s hand with a light pink manicure with glitter on just one nail.

How To Emulate the Clean Style on Social Media

For many clean queens, nailing the clean aesthetic doesn’t stop at how they present themselves in front of others. They also want to translate this personal style into their Instagram page. So, how do you bring forth this chic, effortless, girly aesthetic identity to let it shine on social media? Here are some tips and tricks to inject the “clean” style into your online branding.

1. Maintain a Minimalist Instagram Feed Design

A clean, minimalist feed design on Instagram screams a “clean” aesthetic. Curate your feed to maintain a cohesive, simple look that is a stunning, calming feast for the eyes.

Consistently post photos with monochromatic or neutral themes that still show off your personality. Think snaps from your home’s Scandinavian interior design, photos from coffee shops, and selfies showing off your dewy skin. Then, resist the temptation to break your minimalist style streak with flashy, brightly colored content.

Someone scrolling through an Instagram feed with a simple, minimalist theme.

2. Publish Candid, Authentic-Looking Photo Dumps

As we’ve been reiterating throughout this guide, the clean style isn’t just an aesthetic. It’s a movement to embrace all things authentic. And what’s more candid and authentic than a photo dump of special moments without the overly polished and curated look?

Photo dumps are a collection of your favorite moments published in one carousel post. When posting a photo dump as a clean queen, make sure every photo reflects your style. Show off mundane yet elegant corners of your home or your favorite “clean” outfits of the week. Make sure these moments look as real, genuine, and effortless as possible.

3. Post Photos With a Quiet Luxury Vibe

Quiet luxury is another trend blowing up on social media and the fashion world today. It’s an aesthetic centered on understated, unassuming elegance and sophistication. It’s about fine, high-quality leather bags from “if-you-know-you-know” brands instead of huge Louis Vuitton purses with logos plastered on them. Or expensive yet simple, innocent-looking cashmere sweaters over loud and gaudy mink coats.

It goes without saying that the quiet luxury trend completely aligns with the clean aesthetic. So, to embody the spirit of a clean queen, consider posting quiet luxury content instead of bragging about designer brands.

Think of posting subtle snaps of minimalist art and artisanal jewelry instead of selfies showing off material collections. Humility, simplicity, and authenticity are the keys here.

4. Create Self-Care and Wellness Content for Women

Women emulating the clean aesthetic aren’t just pretty girls or models posting photos of their personal style. They operate within specific hobbies and topics on Instagram, too. Most are fashion and beauty connoisseurs, while others focus on smaller, more niche topics, like eco-friendly lifestyles or art.

Creating content for a niche you’re passionate about is important for any creator on Instagram. If you’re maintaining a “clean” look, you might want to explore a niche related to that lifestyle. One such topic is self-care and wellness.

The clean aesthetic is all about embracing and honoring natural beauty and authenticity. So, why not create content to inspire other ladies to do just that? Aside from visually aesthetic “clean” content, share tips focused on self-love and self-care practices. This includes skincare recommendations, meditation techniques, mindfulness tips, and more. These encourage other women to live as their most authentic selves—a value of a bona fide clean queen.

A pink neon sign that says, “And breathe”, against a wall of lush greenery.

Nail the Clean Look for Your Instagram Followers To Admire

The “clean” look is the epitome of effortless elegance and nonchalant natural beauty. It’s so minimalist that one might assume it’s easy to nail. But it takes a lot of work to look this good. If you’re gunning for this sophisticated, simple, sleek look of the clean girl aesthetic, bookmark this guide for the future. It will be your secret weapon in mastering the art of this chic look.

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