If you haven’t heard of the “clean girl aesthetic,” you’re sure to soon. The trend has been sweeping social media since early 2022, making it one of the longest-standing trends of the year. This aesthetic is all about looking effortlessly put together.
Maryland native Sophia Burtnick is a junior at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Burtnick traces the roots of the clean girl aesthetic to the Covid-19 pandemic. “People didn’t really have anywhere to go so we pretty much spent our time in loungewear,” Burtnick says, “I think since we got comfortable, focus shifted to a classy, more dressed-up version of the loungewear we got used to.”
Sophomore public health sciences major Leana Kash is a fan of the clean girl aesthetic. “I really like it because it’s just simple and easy to do,” Kash said. When Kash thinks of the clean girl aesthetic, she thinks of “the staple gold earrings, slick-back hair, and just basic black, white, and nude-colored outfits.”
Though the premise of the clean girl aesthetic is a “just hopped out of the shower” look, it takes quite a bit of work to achieve. Glowing skin, a perfect manicure and flawless, glossy hair don’t just happen overnight.
Here’s our list of some sure-to-please products and gifts to surprise the clean girl in your life this holiday season:
Fresh, glowy skin is key to achieving the clean girl look. Why not wash your face in style with a super cute microfiber headband? Buy four super soft headbands for $14.99 on Amazon.
A fresh manicure is essential to the clean girl look, but who has the time (or money) for a new manicure every week? This nude, quick-dry nail polish from Essie is perfect for getting that salon look at a fraction of the price. $10 on the Essie website.
The Rose Balm Dotcom lip balm from Glossier softens lips while providing a sheer pink tint perfect for that sought-after “no-makeup makeup” look. $12 on the Glossier website.
Set the vibe for those iconic clean girl self-care nights with this relaxing Sunset Lamp. Freshman public health sciences major Josie Scherer loves her sunset lamp. “It creates a nice mellow, chill atmosphere,” Scherer said, “sometimes the overhead lights in the dorm are way too much for when you want to just relax.” Instant ambiance for just $12.99 on Amazon.
Gold jewelry is a necessity for the clean girl look. These twisted gold hoops from Etsy are the perfect accessory. $17.39 from Memorycreated on Etsy.
The slicked-back updo is a staple in the clean girl aesthetic. Keep your hair healthy and stylish with this Olaplex hair oil. Available at Ulta for $30.
Everyone knows that clean girls are known for their self-care and healthy skin. Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese practice of massaging the skin to improve blood flow. Using this Gua Sha Tool along with some Rosehip Seed Oil on the face can reduce puffiness and promote circulation. The rosehip oil is available for $9.80 at Ulta and the Gua Sha tool for $18.99 at Gua Sha Beauty.
Freshman business major Lottie Owen says she thinks of “cute but comfy clothes” when she thinks of the clean girl aesthetic. “I think it’s sometimes a way to feel like you’re looking cute without having to try too hard or wear uncomfortable clothing,” Owen said.
All in all, remember there is no right or wrong way to embody the clean girl aesthetic. Looking and feeling perfect all the time is impossible. At the core of the clean girl aesthetic is the value of self-care. Whether or not you consider this aesthetic to match your personal vibe, this is our reminder to take care of yourself this holiday season.