"Clean Color" Is the Makeup Trend You Need to Try in 2020 — Here’s How
Look, I'm not particularly fond of labels, but when it comes to understanding whether my 1995 birth year makes me more Gen Z or millennial, I've struggled to find a clear answer. According to Google, I'm right in the middle — and my beauty preferences seem to confirm this. Like any upstanding Gen Z-er, I became a devoted fan of Euphoria and its vibrant beauty looks last year; similar to many of my millennial friends, I enjoy keeping things simple and familiar.
Lucky for me, one of 2020's biggest beauty trends fits perfectly in that in-between space: "clean color," where splashy hues are paired with simple or transparent-looking skin and lips. Coined by Dior international makeup artist Ricky Wilson, the trend is an easy compromise for those who are interested in playing with color but may not want to go full beat — or have pro-level skills. "I think this trend will be huge because people really love all of the beauty looks on Instagram showing colorful makeup," he said. "[However,] many people feel like there are too many steps or colors involved. This is totally doable even for a person who struggles with makeup."
The best part about clean color is that the look you create — the intensity, tones, areas you choose to emphasize — is completely up to you. From your upper or lower lash lines to your inner corners or even your cheeks, you get to call the shots. Keep scrolling for five looks to fuel your inspiration, including products to help you re-create them all.
The Look: Rainbow Eyes
Put the "color" in "clean color" with the help of a rainbow eye look. Whether you opt for pastels, neons, or anything in between, break out your most fun eye shadow palette and cover different sections of your lids and bottom lash lines in various tones. For the biggest impact, opt for bare, combed-through brows and a barely there blush.
The Look: Pastel Eyes
When deciding what colors to experiment with, Wilson recommends pinks, blues, lilacs, and oranges for their versatility. This pastel purple-blue look is a perfect example. For a monochromatic touch, swipe a holographic highlighter in a similar hue down the center of your nose, too.
The Look: Loud Inner Corners
There's no debating what the focal point of this look is; although it's incredibly simple, the neon inner corners pack a serious punch. Starting with an extremely subtle (or even au natural) base, use an intensely pigmented eye pencil in the inner corners of your eyes, smudging and smoking out the color with a small brush. Finish with a clear brow gel.
The Look: Lavender Eyes and Soft Lips
This isn't your average halo eye, cut crease, or negative space eyeliner. Somewhat of a combination of three popular looks, it's created by focusing a colorful shadow (we recommend cream-based for a similar "painted" effect) in the crease, paying special attention to your outer corners. Give your lips a low-key layer of color and shine with a nude, satin-finish pencil.
The Look: Neon Liner
It doesn't get much cleaner than this neon green eyeliner look. Paired with virtually bare skin — and perhaps your favorite clear gloss — swipe a creamy eyeliner on your top lash line. Skip the mascara and shadow too; any freckles or birth marks you have will be the only accessories you need.