I'm a Beauty Editor With Problematic Skin — This Is My 5-Step No-Makeup Makeup Routine

This is my guide to the “clean girl” aesthetic.

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Minimal Makeup
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As much as the phrase "clean girl aesthetic" makes me cringe, I understand TikTok's obsession with a minimal makeup routine that highlights dewy skin, fluffy brows, rosy cheeks, and subtle, natural lips. My issue with the name, however, is that it implies that wearing visible makeup (often me) or having less than pristine skin (also me) somehow conversely makes you "dirty." But(!) like I said, I like having this general aesthetic in my beauty rotation and appreciate paring down my 10-product routine, especially lately when every day feels hotter than the day before.

That being said, my skin is not always… good. I test hundreds of products a month (some of which do not agree with me), I am prone to hormonal breakouts and the summer sweat is really doing a number on my pores. So my approach to the clean girl aesthetic (or otherwise called "no-makeup makeup") is based on enhancing my skin so that it "naturally" glows.

Here are five products that use to achieve this look.

Beauty Editor "Clean Girl" Makeup
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Rose Inc. Skin Enhance Luminous Skin Tint Serum Foundation

Beauty Editor "Clean Girl" Makeup
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Shop now: $49; sephora.com

Rose Inc. is one of the only celebrity beauty brands I fully stand behind, and this Skin Tint is a major reason why. It somehow has the perfect amount of coverage I need; my skin isn't "fixed" or picture perfect, but after adding just a single layer of this product my complexion is even, smooth, and glowing. The texture is so light, it feels like water, which is honestly one of the most important aspects given how much I'm sweating this summer.

Drunk Elephant O-Bloos Rosi Glow Drops

Beauty Editor "Clean Girl" Makeup
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Shop now: $36; ulta.com and sephora.com

I love wearing blush, but I find that it doesn't sit smoothly on anything other than foundation. And in this heat, it's particularly prone to melting, spreading, and getting patchy. The viscosity of most blushes can also block my pores and leave me with a rough skin texture. Luckily, none of that happens with Drunk Elephant's O-Bloos Rosi Glow Drops. The formula focuses on skincare first. It's the perfect consistency; it's a watery serum made with vitamin F to calm skin and improve texture, as well as virgin marula oil to nourish and rejuvenate skin. The somewhat-shimmery pink tint comes from a vegan bark extract. It adds a subtle flush to my face and brings back any dimension lost by the skin tint. O-Bloos Rosi Drops look natural and I don't experience any sweat-related issues when I wear it.

Wander Beauty Upgraded Lashes Treatment Mascara

Beauty Editor "Clean Girl" Makeup
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Shop now: $26; dermstore.com

Wander Beauty's Upgraded Lashes Mascara is also a growth serum, which to me is the "clean" trend epitomized. The formula is pitch black and silky, which makes it imperceptible. It gives you natural-looking lashes — just a bit more exaggerated.

Merit Brow 1980 Volumizing Pomade

Beauty Editor "Clean Girl" Makeup
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Shop now: $24; meritbeauty.com

My eyebrows are pretty naturally full as is, but I still like to use Merit's Brow 1980 to shape them. I use a light hand to brush the hairs up and slightly to the side, which fluffs them out while filling in sparse spots.

Rare Beauty Kind Words Lip Liner

Beauty Editor "Clean Girl" Makeup
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Shop now: $15; sephora.com

I didn't expect to take to the gym lips trend, but it's the perfect solution for adding volume and definition to your lips (without having to coat them in product). I have been reaching for Rare Beauty's Kind Words Lip Liner in the 'worthy' shade — but evidently, the new range is very popular and many shades have already sold out. My other go-to is Makeup by Mario's Ultra Suede Sculpting Lip Pencil in the shade 'Daniel.' Per the gym lips trend, I overline my cupid's bow and bottom lip at the center where it's the fullest. I then apply whatever lip gloss or balm I'm currently using, which recently is Undone Beauty's Lip Life in 'natural beige.'

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