Guide to Achieving a Clean Look

How to Achieve the ‘Clean Look’ with Makeup

Our step-by-step guide to this beauty trend.

The ‘clean look’ is taking the beauty world by storm, and it comes as no surprise – it’s the go-to for people who want to enhance their natural appearance. The best part? It takes almost no time to perfect. The Gaggler team has compiled this step-by-step guide to help you achieve your clean, natural makeup look.

Step 1: Start with the Skin

Clean makeup is all about the prep. Your pre-makeup application routine matters tremendously when it comes to creating the best canvas for your clean makeup look. Achieve this by building a simple skincare routine with products compatible with your skin type. First and foremost, search for the right cleanser. If you have particularly sensitive skin, opt for gentle cleansers free of potential irritants such as alcohol. For dry or combination skin, go for a hydrating cleanser that will keep you clean and fresh throughout the day.

Next, find a good moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated and ready for makeup application (incidentally, we tested out three options you might like). Last but not least, do not forget to apply sunscreen! This skincare step not only protects your skin from sun damage, but also aids in improving the appearance of blemishes on the skin, giving you a flawless base for your makeup. For added plumpness and dewiness, you can add serums and active ingredients to the mix. Just make sure not to overdo it and research the proper combination that won’t cause unnecessary irritation.

Step 2: Create a Natural-Looking Base

The clean look might mean having to use fewer products than you are typically used to, but creating a natural and glowy base remains a priority in achieving this trendy aesthetic. Start by applying a luminous primer that will keep your skin looking more awake through the day. Then, apply just the right amount of concealer to areas that need a little more love – areas of hyperpigmentation and dark undereye circles. Make sure not to apply too much and take time to properly blend until you get rid of harsh lines.

The next part is using your favourite foundation. For this look, opt for a product with lighter coverage. Remember, the clean look heavily relies on looking as natural as possible, so avoid piling on too much product, starting with your base. The goal is simply to even out the tones and keep it fresh – think glass skin.

Step 3: Opt for Cream Products

There’s no rule that says you can’t make use of your powder products, but reaching for a cream or a gel-based alternative will help keep the skin looking illuminated. The simplest trick to finding the right blush shade is choosing one with the same undertone as your skin. Apply this product by lightly dotting it into the high points and the apples of your cheeks and then blending it out in an upward motion.

If you’re a first-timer in applying cream makeup, you might want to apply and spread the product on the back of your hand instead of directly applying it onto your face, so you can control the amount applied onto the skin before using a brush or a beauty sponge to blend. Top it off with a bronzer or a contour shade for that snatched, lifted look. Again, keep it minimal and blend, blend, blend.

Step 4: Plump Lips Are the Way to Go

Once you’re done with your complexion products, all that’s left is your lip makeup. For this look, apply your favourite moisturising lip balm to prime and hydrate the lips before applying other products. Choose a shade closest to the natural colour of your lips. Then, top it off with a high-shine gloss to add more glow to the overall look. If you want to keep the products to the very minimum, you can opt for a lip balm or lip oil with a slight tint to add colour to the lips with half the preparation time.

Step 5: Don’t Hesitate to Add Some Flair

If we’re talking makeup, the one rule you should know is that there really are no rules! While it’s important to keep the makeup looking as natural as possible, there’s no harm in taking it up a notch. If you want an upgraded look that reflects your style and personality, you can go for colourful eyeliner or add a quick swipe of your favourite shimmer eye shadow on the lids for extra drama.


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Woman applying red lipstick

Red Pout 101: How to Find and Apply Your Perfect Match

Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the colour on our minds is red! Whether you have a date night planned or are celebrating your female friendships, a red lipstick is never the wrong choice – despite the challenge of choosing the right one. Rule #1? There are no rules. However, if you do need a little help, read on.

Choosing the Right Red

This is where many people don’t know where to begin. Should you go maroon, berry, or cherry red? Should you go light or dark? There are a few simple tips you can follow. Your skin tone is decided by whether you have a cool or warm complexion. For paler skin tones, note whether your skin has more of a pink undertone (cool) or an olive tone (warm).

For darker skins, determine if you have a golden undertone (warm) or more of a reddish/purple undertone (cool). A darker skin tone can definitely carry off much deeper shades, but if you have paler skin and want to be a little more daring, it’s always worth a try too. You never know, it might be your perfect shade! Once you have worked out your skin tone, refer to our product picks to find the shade right for you.

Cool Tones

Blue-based lipsticks suit those with cool tones. This MAC pick is perfect if you’re aiming for retro vibes.

Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo, MAC COSMETICS

MAC Cosmetics, How to Apply Red Lipstick

Prefer red-carpet feels? Charlotte Tilbury has just the shade.

Matte Revolution Lipstick – Red Carpet Red, CHARLOTTE TILBURY

Charlotte Tilbury

If you’re new to wearing reds and unsure of too much colour, why not try a gloss instead?

Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Glossy Cherry, SEPHORA


Warm Tones

People with warmer skin tones should opt for reds with more of an orange base. This one by Estée Lauder is our favourite for a fresh look. 

Pure Colour Envy in Impassioned, ESTÉE LAUDER


We love a lipstick worth flaunting in public. Case in point: this pick from Tom Ford Beauty.

Lip Color in Wild Ginger, TOM FORD BEAUTY


And again, if you’re not quite ready for red lipstick, this gloss is perfect for warm skin tones.

Crushed Oil-Infused Gloss in Hot Streak, BOBBI BROWN


Applying the Perfect Red

There are four main steps to ensure your lips look full and even, with your lipstick staying on for longer:

  1. Apply a lip primer, such as the MAC Prep + Prime Lip, all over the lips including over the lip line. This has so many benefits: conditioning the lip, creating a perfect base for lipstick to glide on (especially a dryer matte lipstick), helping the colour last longer, and preventing lipstick bleeding into fine lines around the lips.
  2. Apply lip liner in a colour close to the chosen lipstick. MAC does a great range of different lip liners to suit many shades. Line the lips and then colour in the lip slightly, too – this will also prolong the life of your lip colour.
  3. Apply the lipstick you have chosen using the above tips.
  4. Using your favourite concealer and a fine brush, tidy up any smudges or uneven lines to really perfect the shape. This will help make the lips look fuller, too.

Watch: How to Apply Red Lipstick

Don’t forget that the beauty advisors at the likes of Sephora are experts and will happily let you try different colours to find your right shade and finish, so use their knowledge! MAC, Estée Lauder, and many other brands also have a virtual try-on function on their websites so you can try before you buy online.

Other Red Pout Essentials

Prep + Prime Lip, MAC COSMETICS


Lip Pencil in Brick, MAC COSMETICS

Lip Pencil in Brick, MAC COSMETICS

Double Wear Stay-in-Place Concealer, ESTÉE LAUDER


For more makeup tips, follow @daniellejamesmakeup on Instagram.


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