The Vanilla Girl Aesthetic Will Dominate 2023
by BRENDA L. / JAN 12, 2023
Reading Time: 10 Minutes
Pay attention to the world around you: what do you see? From your bedroom’s furniture to your desk and even your wardrobe, you’re likely to be surrounded by items that communicate something to you. Your preferred colour palette, your taste in music, your favourite art pieces, your choices in interior design and even your preferred architectural style are all dominated by one thing: your sense of aesthetic.
Over time, aesthetics have become quite popular – some of them are very niche, whilst some others get exploited by the world of haute couture, art direction and other big creative media to appeal to a wider audience. A considerable amount of money gets invested in different aesthetics, every day, to produce products that meet the needs of everyone.
Growing up you may have had that goth schoolmate that liked wearing black clothes only, favoured eyeliner over lipstick, and had skull-themed accessories all over her bedroom; well, it’s safe to say she was a fan of goth aesthetic – and chances are you have your own aesthetic as well. Aesthetics grow over time, they evolve and sometimes – like in the case of the clean girl aesthetic in 2022, they become a popular trend. This year, the biggest aesthetic to be taking over seems to be the vanilla aesthetic. But what is it, and how is it different from its predecessor?
1. What Is The Vanilla Girl Aesthetic?
After experimenting with the “cold girl makeup” throughout the coldest months to look fashionably frostbitten in your selfies in the snow, it’s time to indulge in the cosy luxury of the vanilla girl aesthetic. The name kind of gives it away: this is the comfier version of the clean girl aesthetic, for those who are ready to enter their soft girl era (I’m not joking, soft girl era is a thing). Being vanilla means letting yourself go to the pleasures of life, loving yourself from the inside to the outside, exploring a world of opportunities to enjoy your own company and take care of yourself with sweetness, patience, understanding and more. Not too bad of a trend, if you ask me.
In order to get the peace of mind that this aesthetic suggests, you’ll find yourself involved in activities that are curated to give yourself some good old TLC – and potentially learn new skills whilst at it. That’s right, for starters: the vanilla girl bakes. And takes very aesthetically pleasing, eye-candy photos of her desserts. She lives in a spotless apartment where neutral tones and colours such as cream, beige, champagne and white are everywhere; she knows how to make a mouth-watering smoothie, and keeps a cute journal to stay inspired and keep a clear mind.
Last but not least, prepare yourself to be surrounded by scented candles, wear lacy bralettes, sleep on satin sheets and simply have your identity orbit around feminine minimalism that will make you fall in love with yourself. But how do you become a vanilla girl exactly?
2. How To Become A Vanilla Girl
The first thing to do is: have the right mindset. You shouldn’t dive in a trend just because it’s a trend itself – after all, there are many other aesthetics that might be more appealing to you, such as the Y2K renaissance or the clean girl aesthetic (you can read more about the latter here: Less Is More: The Clean Girl Aesthetic Guide). Keep in mind that a vanilla girl enjoys what she is and what she does, and romanticises any possible aspect of her day-to-day life. If you prefer hot pink to airy neutral tones, feel free to explore Barbiecore a bit more instead of this. If you’re a geeky person with a thing for everything edgy, perhaps you should be reading about the cyber girl aesthetic instead.
3. Vanilla Girl Makeup
Like the clean girl, vanilla girlies enjoy minimal, soft and feminine makeup that enhances their natural features and ditch heavy eyeliner for glass skin, natural tones and a curated assortment of natural concealer and cream blush. This aesthetic embraces the no-makeup makeup and natural nails; this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your precious manicure, but instead of neon or dark claws opt for a simple French manicure or glazed donut nails a la Hailey Bieber.
4. Vanilla Girl Hairstyles
This is an extremely important point to touch: there is no going vanilla without taking care of your mane. Soft, heatless curls, bouncy blowouts and curtain bangs dominate the scene in the vanilla girl aesthetic: let’s see which hairstyles you can play around with in order to become the ultimate trendy vanilla girl.
Claw Clip Hairstyles
When you’re at home, enjoying a cup of tea in front of your favourite film and surrounded by the dim light of scented candles, wearing your fuzzy pyjamas; when you’re out running errands, wrapped in a long white coat and your matching boots or sneakers; pretty much anywhere, you can wear your hair up in a trendy claw clip – even if you wear hair extensions. Since its raging comeback thanks to the 90s revival and Y2K resurgence, the claw clip has been an unmissable accessory to look cool whilst having your hair casually (yet fashionably) up. There are thousands of different models, varying in size, colour and shape: from golden butterflies to pearl-encrusted jumbo-sized ones, feel free to explore a range of possibilities with your favourite claw clips – and don’t forget to have them match your outfit.
I have talked about this hairstyle quite a lot lately, since everyone (vanilla girls and not) seems to be in love with this hairdo. Curtain bangs are a powerful weapon as they fit every face shape and work nicely with any hair colour; they are easy to upkeep and style, and make a great compromise for those who’d like to frame their face nicely but don’t feel like wearing blunt bangs. Even if you’re on a budget when it comes to getting a haircut (we’re all still recovering from the expenses of December, after all) you can still get your curtain bangs in the comfort of your own home (in true vanilla girl style). Still uncertain about grabbing a pair of shears? Feel free to experiment with clip in bangs and hair extensions wefts, so that you can easily switch things up whenever you feel like it. Check out how to get this look yourself in our dedicated blog: The Face Framing Bangs Everyone Is Talking About And How To Get Them.
Boho Chic Hairstyles
As the coquette influence on the vanilla girl aesthetic is quite strong, feel free to explore the cottagecore and dollette side of things with a selection of curated boho hairstyles to let your feminine side explode. Where the clean girl aesthetic favoured sleek and minimalistic hairstyles such as the model-off-duty bun and the tight ponytail a la Kim Kardashian, vanilla girls prefer to let things go in romantic, fluffy and voluminous dos. From elaborate half-up, half-down options to messy, thick braids for longer hair, you can easily recreate the hairdos of your dream by adding hair extensions to your tresses. Find your inspiration in our dedicated blog: 5 Boho Hairstyles For The Romantic Type/
It seems that the best way to make the most of your hair is to get them styled in a butterfly haircut. This hairstyle focuses on a deliciously crafted two-layers ‘do that can be arranged in many different ways and can be achieved on shorter lengths as well as trendy 90s midi length and longer, flowy tresses: from the voluminous blowout to soft, bouncy curls, and even poker-straight strands that are oh, so trendy and Y2K. Getting a butterfly haircut is fairly easy and given its versatility, it’s a choice I am highly recommending to my friends as of now. You can easily transform it into a big bouncy blowout for a special occasion with the aid of clip in hair extensions, too. Even Brad Mondo talked about the butterfly haircut on his Youtube channel! If you’d like to read more about this gorgeous hairstyle, check out our dedicated blog: 5 Reasons You Should Get A Butterfly Haircut.
As the vanilla girl aesthetic is all about being gentle and loving to yourself, ditch heat-based styling tools and explore a world of new techniques. You may want to know how to start air-drying your hair so that it will stay shiny and gloriously healthy when you’re at home (psst… you can read more about it on our blog: Let It Breathe: How To Air-Dry Your Hair Like A Pro), but what about those days when you want to pump the volume up in your tresses? Don’t worry, there’s a solution for that too – and no, it’s not about sleeping in plaited hair (although it’s a great way to protect your mane whilst sleeping). The latest revolution in heatless styling techniques doesn’t necessarily involve getting your hands on a Dyson Airwrap, but it’s much cheaper: the curling ribbon. This hair accessory allows you to air-dry your hair in soft, bouncy curls whilst you enjoy your daily activities and prepares your mane to achieve a dreamy, salon-worthy blowout for your night out. Alternatively, you can sleep in it and wake up with a flawless ‘do. Find out everything you need to know about it in our post: Heatless Hair: Curl Ribbons & Silk Everything Are The Latest Trend. Want to make it a little extra? Consider adding ultra volume hair extensions to steal Matilda Djerf’s big hair look.
5. Vanilla Girl Outfits
The vanilla girl is all about creamy colours, curated neutrals and flirty, feminine details here and there. Inspired by the cutesy coquette trend that has been all over TikTok last year and the modern, sleek and minimalistic vibe of the clean girl aesthetic, the vanilla girl trend takes the best of both worlds and merges delicate, feminine energy with hardcore self-care and a relaxed, take-it-easy overall feeling. So what are your options when it comes to vanilla girl outfits?
Vanilla Girl Outfits: Loungewear
If it’s time to get a new wardrobe, start from your loungewear. That old t-shirt starts to feel outdated, right? There’s no place like home after all, and your day-off outfits don’t necessarily need to be a mismatched set to fish out from the bottom of your closet. Invest in good loungewear: from fuzzy PJ sets to soft, relaxed co-ords and sateen tops, make the most of your at-home experience with the right loungewear sets.
Vanilla Girl Outfits: Outdoors
Favour long coats, big cosy scarves and (if you can) fingerless gloves. Mixes of wool and cashmere will keep you warm and fashionable without necessarily splashing out in pure merino-quality jumpers: the top choices for a true vanilla girl are beige, cream and white. Faux-fur and cable-knit everything are the ideal to look luxurious when venturing the outdoors in pure vanilla style.
Vanilla Girl Outfits: Accessories
Vanilla, yes, but without missing out on being stylish. Winter doesn’t mean that the sun doesn’t shine anymore (although yes, the days are shorter, I’ll give you that), so make sure you always have with you a pair of sunglasses at all times. Think of ecru micro bags and over-the-shoulder card holders are the perfect way to keep it minimal and bring with you only the essentials, such as your bank card, your phone and your headphones. Fuzzy socks and legwarmers for your stay-at-home days, and gold (or silver) accents in your jewellery will be the cherry on top.
Vanilla Girl Outfits: Shoes
As the cold season isn’t going anywhere any time soon, opt for tonal combat boots or white cargo boots; platform heels are still all the rage, so why not grab a pair of shiny go go boots for your nights out? Last but not least, let’s not forget how UGG boots are the best option, both for indoor cosy nights in and to run your errands.
This winter we’ve seen a rise in interest in goth fashion thanks to the outstanding success of Wednesday Addams and her personal show on Netflix, but if dark everything isn’t quite your vibe, let yourself go in the soft embrace of the vanilla girl aesthetic. Frills and lace will keep you cosy and romantic, whilst curated minimalism will keep it simple and incredibly elegant.