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Clean Girl Aesthetic On A College Student Budget

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

By Halle Grant

JUMOKE AJIBOYE / @jumok3 on Pinterest

Almost everyone is familiar with the “clean girl aesthetic” or “model off duty” look. It consists of dewy makeup, a slick back hairstyle, and gold accessories. The goal being to look put together without looking like you tried to put yourself together.

In college, this is the perfect way to dress comfortably to class, while still looking stylish and presentable. However, it’s hard to give off that perfect “clean girl” vibe, not only because it takes effort to look put together, but also given the price tag that comes with it.

There are few cheat codes when it comes to easily achieving and affording this certain aesthetic.

Invest in quality non-tarnish gold jewelry

Everyone needs a staple pair of gold hoops and an everyday necklace to add to their daily look. Pairing these gold pieces with an outfit can transform the whole look. The right pieces can last you years and not break the bank either.

Refine your skincare and makeup routine

You don’t need to buy name brand makeup and skincare products to achieve that dewy and glowy skin. You also don’t need a 15-step routine. Sometimes, less is more, hence the point of the “no makeup” makeup look.

Drugstore brands never fail, especially when it comes to face wash, moisturizer, concealer and mascara. If you have money left to spend after those necessary products, there’s no shame in splurging on a good tinted moisturizer, lip gloss or oil or even the Charlotte Tilbury cheek kit!

BLOVES BEAUTY / @blovesbeauty on

Matching sweat sets

The “model off-duty” look is usually achieved with more stylish clothing. But in college, that usually isn’t the vibe we want to give off if we’re just going to class. Since matching sets seem to never go out of style and comfy clothes are practically the college uniform, investing in a few quality sets in neutral colors is a no-brainer.

Comfy sweatshirts and sweatpants that match are a trendy and cute way to stay comfortable all day when running around to class. Feel no shame wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants to class everyday, as the dewy makeup and gold jewelry will make you look put together!

You don’t have to buy Aritizia’s collection to stay up on the trends. You can find cute sets at places like Target or Amazon. Even if you do gravitate towards Aritzia, you can justify buying from them since almost everything is a staple piece and you’ll wear it practically every week.

Slick back hairstyles on wash days

A slick back bun or pony will completely disguise greasy hair and can arguably make you look even more put together for the day ahead. All you need is a little hair gel and a boar bristle hair brush that you can get on Amazon for under $10.

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