Clean Girl 101: A guide to becoming ‘that girl’
Chances are you know her, and your clients do too. You know who I mean – the one with her nails always freshly manicured and skin that’s glowy without being borderline reflective. The girl that doesn’t have a single hair out of place, with blush placed perfectly mimic skin that’s been caught just enough by the sun.
We all know that girl. The girl TikTok and Instagram have dubbed the “clean girl”. But how can you help your clients become her?
Hailey Bieber nails
Did Hailey Bieber “invent” the clean girl mani? We’re not sure – but we do know she’s the reason for its rise in popularity.
Zola Ganzorigt, aka the woman behind the mani, shared the process behind Bieber’s go-to nail look.
“We first did this nail for Met Gala in May. Hailey was wearing stunning Yves Saint Laurent white satin dress and we wanted something to match her dress.” shares Ganzorigt.
“Originally, we were going to do just thin layer of off-white colour and after we put on the colour, I asked her if she wanted to try chrome on top to match her dress and we fell in love with how it came out. That’s how we found glazed donut nails.”
The nail look is now being recreated across the world, with more and more clients requesting the clean girl mani.
However, the chrome finish on Bieber’s look is an elevated version of a more traditional alternative.
“It’s minimalist and the same time super glowy. It’s different from traditional neutral nails. The pearlescent shiny effects make the nails so fun and eye-catching,” adds Ganzorigt.
The look can even be upgraded for more outgoing clients – try a coloured base or chrome for a more maximalist effect.
“The good thing about glazed nails is that you can choose any colour you like. The most important thing is making the colour sheer by mixing with a clear top (for normal polish) or base (for gel) coat,” says Ganzorigt.
For client who wants an even more understated or natural finish, skip the chrome.
“The key to this aesthetic is chic, minimalistic looks, presented immaculately and with the illusion of them being effortless.” advises Lou Stokes, nail tech and Orly ambassador. “As well as being an extension of the nude nail trend, it also allows clients to show off more natural nail care and embrace natural beauty and elegance.”
Rawr’s Hadis Saleh agrees and says, “Clients are wanting to keep their nails natural and enhance what they have without extensions. The clean girl mani does just that.
“For a classic clean girl mani look, we would recommend a neutral tone or French manicure. As for shape, look at your clients’ natural nail shape, length and contour of their nail bed.”
For Stokes, the key to this trend goes beyond polish colour and shaping.
“Although it is meant to look effortless, preparation is key to this look. Clean girl manicures place a huge emphasis on hand care. Hands and cuticles need to be exfoliated and moisturised and cuticles are groomed to perfection and conditioned without a hangnail in sight.”
Clean girl skin
You might be asking what is clean girl skin – surely, it’s just clear skin?
Shane Cooper, founder of Shane Cooper UK, believes clean girl skin, sometimes referred to as “glazed donut” skin, “is all about a natural glowing dewy look. Healthy skin with a beautiful glaze,” explaining where the alternative names come from.
Clean girl skin is something Cooper has been asked for a lot, even though clients may not realise that’s the term to describe their desired look, as he adds “I definitely feel the majority of my clients love this look.”
Award-winning aesthetic practitioner Dr Arti Singh agrees that the term refers to a natural glowy look.
“One of the main features of a clean girl aesthetic is flawless, clear, hydrated, dewy skin. The type of skin that glows from within and looks naturally radiant,” she explains.
But how can you help your clients achieve this look, and what treatments should you be recommending?
Cooper explains that the process and products are different for each client, as it is dependent on skin type.
“I feel a good deep cleanse, radiofrequency, hydration work, lymphatic drainage and LED can help achieve this instant glow.”
“Depending on your skin type this can change. However, I find ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, lactic and glycolic acid,” he says, adding, “Retinol is also good, however I don’t personally use this on my skin as I have sensitive skin.”
As for in-clinic treatments, Dr Singh shares that, “Skin-boosters are one of the most popular treatments at my clinics. My patients embrace their wonderful effects to help enhance their natural glow and achieve the clean girl aesthetic.”
Even though your clients will have skin so glowy they don’t need it, skincare is the first step to great make-up application.
“Having a healthy skin base before make up is super important. Good facials and skincare will definitely improve the appearance of how the make-up sits,” explains Cooper, adding “I’d always advise sealing the skin with an SPF.”
Glow getter make-up
The clean girl trend is set to take over in the coming months, with leading session make-up artist and PB London’s Make-up Competition organiser Lan Nguyen-Grealis pegging the trend as one to watch this autumn-winter – a trend she predict would rise through S/S earlier this year.
In the words of Ciaté London founder Charlotte Knight, clean girl make-up is “essentially 2022’s answer to no-make-up make-up”.
Knight believes the pandemic is part of the reason the trend took off, as she says, “Many of us were used to not wearing much make up at all, or, if any, only a very small amount throughout the pandemic and this has been embraced and continued.”
If you’re clients are asking for a clean girl look, Nguyen-Grealis recommends reaching for natural tones: “Skin should be flawless and minimal with hints of barely-there contour colours in taupe and browns.”
As for Nguyen-Grealis’ top tip for achieving the look, she shares that, “The no-make-up make-up look is actually harder to create, so opt to place your product and then blend off to soften until it’s barely there so you get depth.”
When it comes to textures and finishes, go for the glow. “It’s all about the fresh, dewy simple look on the skin.” shares Knight.
“I would absolutely recommend prepping the skin with a primer packed full of hydrating ingredients. You then want to use a complexion product that has light reflecting properties. This gives a little bit of coverage where needed but otherwise super fresh and light. Liquid blush would also be the way to go – something to give your client a sheer flush of colour.”
For the rest of the look, less is more with groomed brows that aren’t overfilled and a natural lash look – think your brows and lashes but better.
Lips can be hard to get right, but Knight recommends one product above the rest.
“Oils, oils, oils! They’re perfect texture for the clean girl aesthetic – they give you that instant slick of a gorgeous wash of colour while keeping the look natural, fresh and minimalist.”
Have your clients been asking for a ‘clean girl’ look? Let us know in the comments…