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Three Beauty Brands Leading the “Clean Girl Aesthetic” Trend

Makeup brushes

It’s no secret that influencers are making over the beauty industry, and are at the root of pretty much every new viral trend. The latest “vibe” taking over consumer social media feeds? Introducing the “Clean Girl Aesthetic.” 

When it comes to successfully channeling TikTok’s favorite look, less is truly more: think slicked-back bun, light makeup, simple jewelry, and easy-to-wear basics. Not to be confused with clean beauty—which refers to non-toxic cosmetics and skincare—“clean girl” makeup focuses on enhancing one’s natural beauty by ditching the exhausting, product-heavy routine and sticking with a handful of reliable basics for a fresh, effortless look. Widely recognized as the go-to aesthetic for celebrity it-girls like Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, and Bella Hadid, the trend gained additional traction on social media earlier this year thanks to Gen Z’s creator community. To date, #CleanGirlAesthetic and #CleanGirlMakeup have garnered an incredible 955M and 295M views on TikTok, respectively. 

With only a limited number of products required to nail this minimalist aesthetic, and endless options to choose from in an overly-saturated market, more and more consumers are turning to their favorite creators for guidance on must-have, splurge-worthy beauty essentials.

Let’s take a look at the beauty brands and products leading one of 2022’s top trends, and the influencer marketing strategies that helped these brands secure highly-coveted spots in Gen Z’s everyday makeup routine.  

Screen Shot 2023-04-03 at 4.00.50 PM

Rare Beauty: Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

Social media darling Rare Beauty flourished from January to June 2022, collecting $144.6M Earned Media Value (EMV)thanks to its viral Soft Pinch Liquid Blush—a 67% EMV increase from the previous six months. Generating major online buzz for its dewy finish and pigment range, the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush is currently the brand’s No. 1 product for 2022, generating $24.9M EMV in H1 alone—an astronomical 142% boost from H2 2021. Leveraging pre-existing hype, Rare Beauty rolled out the #BlushHacks and #RareRoutine series, which highlighted tips for pairing existing products, such as the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush and the Positive Light Liquid Luminizer, as a next-level glow “hack.” 

By inviting creators to share their favorite Rare Beauty combinations, the campaign renewed interest in established formulas, fueling an impressive 44% expansion of the brand’s creator community for H1 2022. In all, Rare Beauty wrapped H1 2022 with 45.9k posts, a significant 60% improvement from H2 2021. By showcasing how its multi-purpose offerings can be combined to achieve various looks, Rare Beauty was able to position itself as a go-to brand for the “clean girl” beauty routine. 

Rare Beauty blush is a crowd favorite

Kosas: Revealer Concealer 

Botanical beauty brand Kosas enjoyed considerable growth in H1 2022, securing $46.6M EMV, a 54% surge in comparison to H2 2021. The brand’s beloved Revealer Concealer raced ahead of competitor offerings, becoming a staple among beauty creators and cementing its status as the brand’s primary EMV-driver: the product collected $6.0M in H1, a notable 48% increase from the previous six months. The concealer-meets-eye cream formula received additional attention earlier this year thanks to Kosas’ key partnerships with “clean girl” creators like Hailey Beiber and Veronique Leysen, which all showcased how the Revealer Concealer complements their daily makeup routines. 

As a result, Kosas’ average potency swelled to $11.2k EMV per creator, a sizable 17% spike from H2 2021. By establishing strategic collaborations with trend-leading creators, Kosas successfully set up its Revealer Concealer as a makeup must-have for consumers aiming to recreate similar fresh-faced looks.

Makeup brush dipping into pomade marketing

Dior Beauty: Lip Glow Oil

Dior Beauty enjoyed a prosperous 2022, raking in a whopping $166.6M EMV in H1. Leading the 30% increase from H2 2021 was the brand’s viral Lip Glow Oil, which collected $6.6M EMV in the first half of the year—a 143% boost from the previous six months. Although the nourishing gloss first made waves on social media in 2021, longtime Dior ambassador Bella Hadid sparked a frenzy when she featured the Lip Glow Oil in a “day in the life” TikTok video this January. The formula officially reached cult status when it received glowing write-ups from trusted beauty sources like VOGUE and Elle Magazines. Simultaneously, powerhouse creators such as Dominique Allison and Jourdan Sloane took to TikTok to share their own reviews for the Lip Glow Oil: to date, #DiorLipOil has accumulated a massive 250.3M views on the platform. Ultimately, Dior was able to further build on organic online momentum by placing the Lip Glow Oil in the hands of celebrities, creators, and editors to ensure that their offerings were part of the ongoing “clean girl” aesthetic conversation. 

Dior beauty lip gloss Clean Girl Aesthetic

The creator economy has drastically reshaped an industry once dominated by mass-market brands, and will undoubtedly continue to influence beauty trends for years to come. The most successful brands recognize social media’s role as a driving force behind consumer purchasing behavior, as well as the power of tapping into creator networks to stay ahead in the highly-competitive race for consumer attention.  

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