5 Makeup Ideas for Beauty Minimalists
Love the “clean girl” aesthetic? Expand your minimalist beauty arsenal with these equally stunning makeup ideas.
Have you heard of the “clean girl” look? It's essentially “ makeup” for the TikTok generation. It first blew up on the platform in 2021, prompting women everywhere to search for minimalistic makeup ideas. However, some critics have noted its exclusionary nature – after all, it favors glowing, poreless (usually white) skin with zero texture, blemishes, or discoloration.
The name itself also suggests that there's a “dirty girl” look that one should avoid. With that logic, it's easy to think that “looking clean” isn't achievable if you have , hyperpigmentation, or a darker skin tone. But obviously, that isn't true. Say it with us: there should be no negative correlation between these qualities and “cleanliness.”
Instead, think of it this way. At its core, the “clean girl” aesthetic is just another offshoot of beauty minimalism: a concept that focuses on achieving your desired look with as little effort and as few products as possible. It calls on you to simplify your routine without requiring you to neglect your personal style.
Sounds more relatable, right? Give it a whirl! Try these five pared-down makeup ideas for current and aspiring beauty minimalists. Spoiler alert: they all offer a major glow and a superior lift (like the “clean girl” aesthetic!) while giving you enough room to do you.
Idea #1: Beach Babe
This glowing makeup look simulates dewy, sunkissed skin, like that of Nadine Lustre. The goal is to look like you've just returned from a beach trip. It starts with fresh, clean skin, prepped with the POND'S NEW YORK Bright Brilliance Day Serum Essence Vitamin C PRO for that healthy, lit-from-within finish. After that, all you need is a lightweight base (tinted moisturizer works great!), lots of bronzer for color, and a highlighter. Want to be a little bit extra? Speckle on some realistic-looking faux with a blendable eyebrow pencil!
Idea #2: Flirty Flush
Are you all in on blushing makeup? You're not alone. There are endless sources of inspiration, including viral techniques (like the douyin-style and W-shaped applications) and pots in bold hues (purple blush, anyone?). Take your pick! For something more low-key yet still trendy, hop on the mid-tone blushing bandwagon. You'll want to combine two blush: your regular shade for your cheeks, then a slightly lighter (but complementary!) shade for under your eyes. Once blended, you'll have a natural, MUA-approved flush.
Idea #3: Kitten Eyes
The classic cat eye can be sharp and dramatic – if that's what you're going for, more power to you! But if you want something subtler that “snatches” your features, try the kitten eye. It's like the daintier version of the , hence its name. It still bears the signature flick, just on a smaller scale. Plus, it pairs perfectly with light makeup, but you can also wear it by itself to really highlight your eyes.
Idea #4:Shimmery Pastels
Euphoria's enduring popularity and the recent have made all things bold, dreamy, and glittery a bonafide phenomenon. Think blue eyeshadow, shimmery glosses, and matte pastels. At first glance, these trends may seem antithetical to minimalism, but they can totally work with the right execution. That's precisely the appeal of soft spring makeup: it's far from over-the-top, but still lets you play with color. Perfect for anyone who can't live without it!
Take inspiration from Olivia Rodrigo: here, she rocks a soft peachy shadow on her eyes and pairs it with juicy tangerine lips. Lean into the Y2K inspo further in your recreation by adding a warm wash of gold on your lid. But remember to after – only an oil cleanser can banish gilded pigments. Follow it up with the Dove Facial Cleansing Mousse Brightening Care to wash away all residue. Bonus perk: your skin will look baby-smooth, just like Olivia’s!
Idea #5:Soft Glam
Speaking of gold makeup looks– has soft glam been on your radar? It first had its moment sometime in 2018, but it appears to be staging its comeback. Think of it as the perfect middle-ground between a full beat and everyday, barely-there makeup. It's the aesthetic equivalent of being an ambivert: a little bit out there, but not quite rave-ready.
For this one, you'll want to focus on your eyes and skin: go for a satin base (neither too matte, nor too dewy!), keep the contouring to a minimum, and swipe on a nude-ish lip. Then, bring the glam, but keep it on the DL with a golden and glossy eyeshadow!
Who says the "clean girl" aesthetic is the only minimalist makeup look worth copping? If it's not working for you, try something new – starting with these simple yet stunning makeup ideas.