Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > "Clean" makeup looks?

Makeup Artist

R Roberts

Posts: 78

Los Angeles, California, US

Ok, so I know it probably sounds like a dumb question, but I've been reading a lot of the posts lately and my own understanding previously has become a bit muddled about the definition of what a "Clean" makeup look is? Is it more of a natural look used more for commercial type work or is it in reference to clean execution and strong application?

Can anyone help to clarify this a bit? Would be appreciated knowledge for future agency submission worthy work and what to strive for. Thanks!

Oct 08 12 09:59 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Makeup Hair by Dani B

Posts: 746

Los Angeles, California, US

Clean makeup refers to makeup that looks like the model is wearing little to no makeup with the focus usually on amazing skin. Because so many use terms like "clean makeup" and "straight makeup" and "beauty makeup" interchangeably, it can be confusing. Unless I'm dealing with very experienced pros I usually confirm with reference photos if they or a story/mood board are not provided to ensure I produce the desired looks.

Oct 08 12 11:26 pm Link

Makeup Artist

R Roberts

Posts: 78

Los Angeles, California, US

Makeup by Dani B wrote:
Clean makeup refers to makeup that looks like the model is wearing little to no makeup with the focus usually on amazing skin. Because so many use terms like "clean makeup" and "straight makeup" and "beauty makeup" interchangeably, it can be confusing. Unless I'm dealing with very experienced pros I usually confirm with reference photos if they or a story/mood board are not provided to ensure I produce the desired looks.

Ok, so as long as the skin looks flawless, it's considered a "clean" look? Despite it being high fashion, avant garde, editorial, or commercial?

Oct 08 12 11:37 pm Link

Photographer

Paul Tirado Photography

Posts: 4252

New York, New York, US

Makeup by Dani B wrote:
Clean makeup refers to makeup that looks like the model is wearing little to no makeup with the focus usually on amazing skin. Because so many use terms like "clean makeup" and "straight makeup" and "beauty makeup" interchangeably, it can be confusing. Unless I'm dealing with very experienced pros I usually confirm with reference photos if they or a story/mood board are not provided to ensure I produce the desired looks.

PhoenixFX wrote:
Ok, so as long as the skin looks flawless, it's considered a "clean" look? Despite it being high fashion, avant garde, editorial, or commercial?

No. In the years of doing test for agencies, this was the most lauded makeup artist I worked with in terms of agencies loving his clean look.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is an example of one of his clean looks.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/080112/21/4789785fd753e_m.jpg

Oct 09 12 12:03 am Link

Makeup Artist

Makeup Hair by Dani B

Posts: 746

Los Angeles, California, US

I'd say that definition works across genres, but there may be subtle differences. I'd probably do a little more eye or lip for fashion-y shoots over commercial lifestyle stuff even if both were clean looks. Just depends on the client.

Bottom line: I still, 19 years in, ask lots of questions and confirm with photos. 5 different people can say "beauty makeup" and mean 5 different things. Asking questions doesn't make you look stupid or inexperienced; it makes you sound like you care about doing your job well.

Oct 09 12 12:06 am Link

Makeup Artist

KDM

Posts: 373

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

Paul Tirado Photography wrote:

Makeup by Dani B wrote:
Clean makeup refers to makeup that looks like the model is wearing little to no makeup with the focus usually on amazing skin. Because so many use terms like "clean makeup" and "straight makeup" and "beauty makeup" interchangeably, it can be confusing. Unless I'm dealing with very experienced pros I usually confirm with reference photos if they or a story/mood board are not provided to ensure I produce the desired looks.

No. In the years of doing test for agencies, this was the most lauded makeup artist I worked with in terms of agencies loving his clean look.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is an example of one of his clean looks.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/080112/21/4789785fd753e_m.jpg

Whose work is this?

Oct 09 12 04:53 pm Link

Photographer

Thomas Van Dyke

Posts: 1770

Washington, District of Columbia, US

KDM wrote:
Whose work is this?

MAKOTO

you'll see this image third over in the eleventh row of his splash page...
he's a gifted artist indeed...

Oct 09 12 05:29 pm Link

Photographer

Paul Tirado Photography

Posts: 4252

New York, New York, US

KDM wrote:

Whose work is this?

Clicking the picture takes you straight to his port.

Oct 09 12 06:09 pm Link

Makeup Artist

ColleenFowlerMUA

Posts: 107

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, US

PhoenixFX wrote:

Ok, so as long as the skin looks flawless, it's considered a "clean" look? Despite it being high fashion, avant garde, editorial, or commercial?

Kinda more like the first bit Dani B said, "like the model is wearing little to no makeup". Something crisp, something fresh, and something that isn't overpowering. Great skin is just really, really crucial to "clean makeup", because that's most often where most of the focus goes. You don't usually want heavy/too noticeable shadow or lips for clean makeup, so the focal point is usually skin.
But with terms, as always, you'll get into a "everyone has a different idea of what this means" problem. But, for the most part, it's like the makeup in that image someone posted up above: very subtle and, well, clean looking.

Oct 09 12 08:19 pm Link

Body Painter

Lisa Berczel

Posts: 3998

Corona, California, US

Moderator Note!
As productive as this conversation may be, we must be careful that the discussion does not become an unsolicited critique.

Oct 09 12 11:27 pm Link

Makeup Artist

R Roberts

Posts: 78

Los Angeles, California, US

ColleenFowlerMUA wrote:

Kinda more like the first bit Dani B said, "like the model is wearing little to no makeup". Something crisp, something fresh, and something that isn't overpowering. Great skin is just really, really crucial to "clean makeup", because that's most often where most of the focus goes. You don't usually want heavy/too noticeable shadow or lips for clean makeup, so the focal point is usually skin.
But with terms, as always, you'll get into a "everyone has a different idea of what this means" problem. But, for the most part, it's like the makeup in that image someone posted up above: very subtle and, well, clean looking.

hmm, and here i was thinking more along the lines that "clean" looks were talking more about technical application: perfecting lined lips, well blended shadows and blushes, correct contour and highlight placement, etc.

Oct 09 12 11:43 pm Link

Photographer

Neil Snape

Posts: 9473

Paris, Île-de-France, France

PhoenixFX wrote:
hmm, and here i was thinking more along the lines that "clean" looks were talking more about technical application: perfecting lined lips, well blended shadows and blushes, correct contour and highlight placement, etc.

Funny how two people asked about clean on the same time frame different posts.

Any make up including contouring, if it draws attention to the make up by saying it is beyond what could exist in light and natural form is no longer clean.

As soon as there is the idea that it is a made up* application it is no longer clean, and indeed a creative application.

I have some almost clean, but having problems getting to my page with 502 errors.

Oct 09 12 11:51 pm Link