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The origin – chronologically speaking – is not clear. Probably, this new trend known as ‘soft girl makeup’ (or rather ‘soft girl aesthetic,’ as it encompasses fashion, lifestyle, and beauty simultaneously) roots back to the iconic ’90s when minimalism was the keyword in the wardrobe.

In reality, it is only in recent years that this desire for simplicity and minimalism has taken precedence.

Soft Girl Beauty Era, AKA a More Relaxed Life Vision

Some, like journalist and activist Evie Muir on the BBC website, considering the broader concept of #softlife, find that this more relaxed vision of ourselves and life, contrasting a rule-filled routine, where we can be who we want, is also the response to some social issues faced by minorities.

“Softness is ultimately rooted in self-care, and is how I experience empowerment,” writes Muir: self-care as self-affirmation.

Soft Girl Makeup: Characteristics

Based on this premise, the #softgirlbeautyera takes on very specific features that go beyond some distinguishing characteristics: eyelids colored in pastel hues, cheeks enlivened with pink blush, the use of highlighter to create a soft and glowing base, freckles (real or fake), hydrated lips, and a light coat of mascara on the lashes.

While the result is a look that oscillates between nude and no-makeup makeup, the underlying desire (and mood) is summed up in one word: the search for minimalism.

Forget about defined and bold makeup, such as Kardashian-style contouring.

The Role of Celebrities

On the other hand, the endorsement of a trend that has gone from micro to global, aka mainstream (without betraying the initial intent that identifies the soft aesthetic as a more complete and culturally complex evolution of the well-known quiet quitting), comes from the world’s most famous socialites.

Confirming this are the Instagram shots at the beginning of the year featuring Kendall and Kylie Jenner abandoning bold makeup in favor of a beauty look in nude pink and beige tones. Also, Hailey Bieber, Bella Hadid, and Nicola Anne Peltz Beckham, just to name a few super-social celebs.

Hair Looks

In terms of hairstyle, soft girl makeup translates to soft hair, soft braids with a fluffy finish, and a romantic touch, which we also find in another trend that characterized 2023: ‘cottage core’.

The most ‘storybook’ element, in short, marks a sort of common thread between trends united by the need for understated looks, characterized by simplicity – not insignificantly, children of a historical period that shies away from the excesses of consumerism.

Some Examples of Beauty Looks

Whatever reason draws you to this new ‘era’ (as defined by Instagram and TikTok, the ‘places’ where this trend finds its maximum expression), here are some looks you can be inspired by (even just to experiment).

Embracing the Clean Girl Aesthetic

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This article first appeared on – Author: Michela Marra

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