The Easiest Way To Look Expensive AF: TikTok's Clean Look


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Over the last few years, we’ve seen the no-makeup makeup look recreated and renamed more times than we can count. Let’s think: we had the classic natural makeup look, donut skin, dolphin skin, cloud skin, yoga skin, literally, we could go on and on.

Now, the same minimalist makeup look is resurfacing on TikTok with a new label: clean look. Oh, and it’s already accumulated over 14 million views. While the formula of the look remains very much the same as no-makeup makeup – rosy dewy skin, feathered brows, a light lip tint, and wispy lashes – as you’d expect, Gen Z has added their own spin on the classic makeup look. They insist that this simple makeup + hair + jewelry equation will make anyone look expensive AF, and TBH, they make a point. As skeptical as we were, after watching countless TikTok tutorials, we can confirm, the ‘clean look’ elevates the simple no-makeup makeup look with a luxe edge, and honestly, we’re into it. Here’s everything you need to know.

The Clean Look

@mylifeaseva Mastering the “Clean Look” for my mixed/POC friends! 🤎🤍🌹 #cleanlook #makeup #richlook #expensive ♬ Manhattan – ELLA FITZGERALD

After watching tons of clean look tutorials, we can confirm the basic recipe starts with a hydrating skincare routine, followed by glow-getting SPF (which we obviously support), minimal makeup, blush, feathered brows, and rosy lip color. However, the vibe doesn’t just require makeup. Oh no, the #cleanlook requires the added depth of a slicked-back Bella Hadid bun and gold jewelry – of course! Sure, it sounds simple enough, but somehow this basic af combo really does deliver Zendaya levels of glow-up. Clearly, after more than a year spent in quarantine, a good glow-up doesn’t take much!

What we really love about this look? It’s kinda perfect for any occasion, whether you’re getting brunch with your boo, dancing with your gal pals or date night.

How to Get The Clean Look

Step 1: Skincare Prep

With a look as minimal as the clean look, skincare prep is non-negotiable. The key focus? Exfoliation followed by hydration, hydration, hydration to ensure your skin looks bouncy and dewy. The WISHFUL Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub, $39, is our fave exfoliator for smoothing, evening, and giving your skin that natural glow. Follow with a hyaluronic acid serum – TikTok users love The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum, $8. We’re also obsessed with the Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Brightening Survival Serum, $59, as it contains a unique pearl base that illuminates your skin, giving it an ethereal glow that looks natural yet so pretty. Lock in the hydration with your go-to plumping moisturizer and never forget SPF. TikTokers have been favoring the Supergoop Glowscreen SPF 40, $20, which we also love.

@evarankiinReply to @yoodaddydre how to achieve the ✨clean✨ look ib: @millieleer #cleanmakeup♬ Manhattan – ELLA FITZGERALD

Step 2: Dewy Glow

Finding the right foundation is a make-or-break moment with any no-makeup makeup vibe. The aim is to have a luminous, natural, dewy skin finish. A tinted moisturizer is ideal for this look, and it doesn’t get much glowier than our GloWish MultiDew Skin Tint, $37, which gives the most beautiful glow, blurs skin, and is packed with skin-saving ingredients. When it comes to concealer, it’s time for another TikTok fave: tactical highlighting. Simply apply your concealer on the inner corner of your under-eye and then just underneath the outer corner and blend upwards with a damp makeup sponge. This will instantly lift and snatch the eye.

Step 3: Cheeks and Lips

When it comes to your cheeks, the main focus is blush – the ultimate Gen Z staple. If you love a cream formula, the Freck Cheek Slime, $22, is our tried and true formula as it’s super pigmented, easy to blend, and lasts all day long. We’re also obsessed with the e.l.f Putty Cream Blush, $6, as it has a unique texture that melts into the skin. However, our go-to right now is the GloWish Cheek Vegan Blush Powder, $21, as it delivers the most stunning soft wash of color that’s easily buildable and lasts all day. You can also add a light dusting of bronzer or cream contour to sculpt further, but stay clear of heavy contour.

For your lips, you want that just-bitten berry kinda tint. The Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, $20, AKA TikTok’s current obsession is perfect. The Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm, $7, is another great more affordable option as it leaves your lips looking rosy and soft.

@shakkarwarriorJust a reminder: skin and hair texture are “clean” too, this look is universal 💕💕 #cleanlook #cleanmakeup #skincare♬ Lazy Sunday – Official Sound Studio

We also recently tried Benefit’s new Playtint Cheek & Lip Tint, $18, a bright pink version of their cult-fave Benetint formula, and we have to say, the pink flush is a new fave for us! It looks gorg on all skin tones and doubles for lips, so it’s super easy for achieving an effortless #cleanlook.

Step 4: Brows and Lashes

Now it’s time to create the ultimate feathered brow. The quickest way to achieve a lion brow is by using a tinted or clear brow gel like the Benefit Cosmetic 24-HR Brow Setter Shaping & Setting Gel, $24. The super-strong formula sets brows in place all day without flaking or leaving a greasy residue. Once you’ve created the shape, fill in any sparse areas with your fave pencil. Our go-to is the Huda Beauty #BOMBBROWS Microshade Brow Pencil, $17, as it has the thinnest tip possible for a brow pencil, which allows you to create tiny little brush hairs that look SO believable.

As for your lashes, keep things minimal with a few coats of brown or black mascara. You don’t want your lashes to be too thick or clumpy, so opt for a lengthening mascara like the Maybelline Lash Sensation Sky High Mascara, $13, to lift and accentuate your lashes.

Step 4: Hair

The clean look doesn’t just include makeup – the hairstyle is equally as important. The preferred style? A chic and super sleek bun with the Gen Z middle parting, a la Bella Hadid. To create the perfect bun, first, separate two small pieces on either side of your middle parting. Next, secure the rest of your hair into a bun and then take the two front sections and join them together. Finish by combing some gel through your tresses for a sleek, snatched look. If you have baby hairs, complete your look by laying your edges with soft swoops.

@laurynwill_getting the “clean look”, POC edition ✨🤍 #cleanlook #naturalhair #richlook #expensive♬ Manhattan – ELLA FITZGERALD

Step 5: Jewelry

The ultimate finishing touch to this look is a simple gold chain necklace and some cute hoops. We love the jewelry brand Missoma, as they stock so many great options.

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