Beauty Lingo


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Here is a list of basic beauty lingo for beginners–terms you will surely come across in your online explorations!

General Beauty Lingo

  • BB cream – beauty balm or blemish balm
  • BC – beauty consultant (also BA, beauty advisor)
  • Bleed (or bled) – usually referring to lip colors which slip or transfer outside of the intended area of application
  • BOGO – buy one, get one (usually free, sometimes at a discount))
  • color payoff – refers to the intensity of color of a given product when applied
  • DC – discontinued
  • de-pot – to remove a product, such as eyeshadow, from its main packaging
  • DS – drugstore
  • Makeup Falloutdupes – duplicates, knock-offs or comparable products, usually a cheaper version of a more expensive, discontinued, or highly popular item
  • fallout – when small particles of eyeshadow fall onto the cheeks or other unintended areas when applying
  • foiling – the process of mixing a shadow with water or another liquid for a more metallic/pigmented effect
  • FOTD – “face of the day”, usually a photo of a given makeup look someone is wearing that day
  • frosty – shiny or has a duo-chrome finish
  • guru – a vlogger, who makes beauty-related video tutorials, reviews etc. (also “beauty guru”)
  • GWP – gift with purchase
  • haul – your latest collection of purchases or acquisitions
  • HD – high definition, generally understood to refer to cosmetics which are ideal for photography
  • HE – high-end, usually referring premium products or companies
  • HG – holy grail, usually referring to the perfect product you have long been searching for
  • LE – limited edition, something made available for a short time only
  • matte – a makeup finish, the product is devoid of shimmer or glitter
  • metallic – a makeup finish, shiny but not glittery, much like metal
  • MMU – mineral makeup
  • MUA – makeup artist
  • Makeup Palettesnon-comedogenic – will not clog pores
  • palette – a container in which one keeps a selection of eyeshadows for easy storage, also a pre-selected collection of shadows or products offered by a company
  • parabens – types of chemicals used as preservatives in cosmetics and other products. There is concern that they have adverse health effects.
  • pearl/pearlescent –
  • pigments – in this context, usually refers to deeply colored loose powders, primarily used as an eyeshadow. Can be applied dry or wet (see “foiling”).
  • quad – a palette of four eyeshadows
  • satin – a makeup finish, not quite matte, has very light shimmer
  • shimmer – a makeup finish, subtle to intense light reflecting quality, but not glittery
  • swatch – distributing an amount of product onto the skin (often the back of the hand or arm) to gauge hue, pigmentation, and other characteristics of a given item
  • tightlining – lining the eye by distributing product right into the base of the lashes
  • vlog – video blog

Anatomy of the Face

  • hairline – the area where your hair begins/meets your face
  • brows – line of hair which frames the upper limit of the eye area
  • browbone – area under your eyebrow towards the outer eye.Face Map
  • T-zone – T shaped area across forehead and down the bridge of your nose
  • crease – the dip of your eyesocket
  • mobile lid – below the crease, the part that actually moves when you blink
  • lashline – the line from which your lashes grow, “upper” and “lower”
  • waterline – inner rim of the eye, directly above your lower lashline
  • cheekbone – the raised bone under the eye
  • apples – the fleshiest portion of the cheek at the front edge of the cheekbone under the eye
  • cupid’s bow- the dip in the middle of your upper lip
  • lips – duh
  • jaw line – the line following the jaw bone from the chin back to the ear

Beauty Company Abbreviations

  • BE – Bare Escentuals, maker of Bare Minerals
  • BM -Bare Minerals
  • CG – Covergirl
  • CS – Coastal Scents
  • EDM – Everyday Minerals.
  • ELF (also e.l.f.) is a brand that sells affordable makeup
  • MAC – a makeup brand, stands for Makeup Art Cosmetics
  • MG – Makeup Geek (also MUG)
  • MUFE – Makeup Forever
  • MUG – Makeup Geek (also MG)
  • NYX is a makeup brand as well
  • OPI is a nail polish brand, although it may seem like an abbreviation.
  • SH -Sally Hansen
  • SK – Sonia Kashuk
  • TF – Too Faced
  • UD – Urban Decay (UDPP – Urban Decay Primer Potion)
  • VS – Victorias Secret
  • YSL – Yves Saint Laurent

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