A-Z Beauty Slangs & Their Meanings Every Girl Should Know | POPxo

Bronde, Bleeding, No Poo...101 Beauty Buzzwords Every Girl Should Know!

Bronde, Bleeding, No Poo...101 Beauty Buzzwords Every Girl Should Know!

A few months ago, my friend and I were having one of those weekends when we wanted to experiment with our hair colour and change the vibe of our already done and dusted look altogether. So, I asked my friend if she would be interested in trying color-melting on her hair? And her reaction was like “what did you just say to me?” I immediately realised that I am using a buzzword for a newly discovered hair colour technique and not everyone might be aware of it, especially someone who doesn’t stalk the beauty industry as much.

In the age of pollution and pimples, the beauty industry is growing by the day. Before you name your problem, the beauty industry is ready with a solution, which makes it one of the fastest growing industries in the world. With all that power, comes a lot of responsibility to widen the beauty glossary as more products and problems bring in more ingredients, more techniques and more beauty slangs and terms

Beauty Slangs For Beginners   
Beauty Buzzwords  
Skincare Slang 
Makeup Buzzwords  
Nail Art Slang  
Anti Aging Buzzwords 

Beauty Artists Contribution To The Beauty Glossary

2 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - makeup artist

To add to the list, makeup artists and hairstylists are always on a lookout for something new. TBH, they work so passionately and creatively and they love to invent new styling techniques, trends and terms.  

But to someone who is not a big makeup fan, these terms may seem alien. Even when you are interested in other areas from the beauty world such as skincare and haircare, you tend to skip a few slangs and terms. So here we are with a list of all the beauty industry buzzwords that should be a part of your glossary. And don’t worry, even if you’re not a beauty buff and have never heard about any of these before, we know that you are a learner, you’ll catch up fast. So, shall we start with the importance of knowing these words?! Let’s go on then.     

Importance Of Knowing Beauty Industry Terms

1 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - girl shopping for cosmetics

Imagine someone enters a Sephora store to purchase a tub of Hemp Face Protector by The Body Shop because they’ve heard the brand is cruelty-free and they automatically assume that all its products are also chemical-free and are only made of bio-ingredients. Now, without realising, this individual has brought home a product that has chemicals and fragrance because cruelty-free means the products are not tested on animals, which is completely different from being free of chemicals, being organic or ayurvedic. It’s not necessary for a cruelty-free product to be chemical-free, in fact, they often have PEGs, parabens and sulfate. But no biggie, these words can be confusing and we’re here to make life easy for you.

Beauty Glossary For Beginners & Their Meaning

From an outsider’s perspective, the beauty industry may seem a little whimsical with people who enjoy crawling snails on their face during a beauty treatment, weird glittery masks and an extensive variety of terms, all those never-ending, never-heard-before terms. They prefer not to learn or recall the meaning of a new beauty term over googling and remembering each one them. We understand the dilemma but adding some of them and their meaning to your vocabulary can make life easier for you. So we’ve compiled a few commonly used ones for you here.

1. Humectants

Humectants are the substance that absorbs moisture from the environment and helps retain them within. You will often hear the terms when looking at hydrating products. It’s mostly used in lotions and moisturisers.  

3 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - balayage

Image Source: Instagram

2. Balayage   

It’s a French hair-colouring technique from the 1970s. The technique allows the colourist to apply the colour with a freehand instead of foiling. It has become one of the most popular techniques as it looks more natural and demands less maintenance.  

3. Parabens

These are types of preservatives that are being added to cosmetics since the 1950s to prevent the bacterial growth. Unfortunately, parabens get deposited in the body over a period of time and can lead to the disruption of estrogen production. Hence, widespread production of paraben-free products can be seen.

4. Microblading

It’s a semi-permanent cosmetic tattooing technique used by trained professionals to reconstruct your eyebrows. The method includes taking a tiny needle and depositing pigment under the surface of your skin.

5. Occlusive Agents

Skincare ingredients like jojoba oil, mineral oil etc that are most commonly found in moisturisers are known as occlusive agents. Their purpose is to form a barrier on the skin which can prevent the water loss from the skin. They are highly effective for dry skin but may feel greasy to oily skin.

6. Multi-Masking

It’s a skincare technique in which you apply different masks on the face for each section, separately. This technique works well for combination skin as it targets the issue of both oily skin and dry skin as per the consumer.

7. Stippling

A good makeup artist will always ask you to stipple your foundation while applying. Stippling is basically a makeup technique in which a fibre stippling brush is used to dot and dab the pigment on the skin. It’s done in small motions so it gives a more natural look.

8. SLS

SLS aka Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is an emulsifier that creates lather and foam. It is added to many shampoos and soaps. During the process of manufacturing, SLS gets contaminated by toxic by-products and hence, it is linked to neurotoxicity and cancer.

9. Dusting

Dusting is a hairstyling technique that’s more minute than a trim. It only involves chopping the tips of the hair to remove the splits ends and damaged parts. It won’t cost you your hair length.  

10. Light-Reflecting Particles

It’s often found in shimmery makeup products like highlighters and eyeshadows. These are a minute ingredient in powder, creams and liquid formulas which act as a mirror and reflect back the light. That illuminating glow you get after applying a highlighter, Light-reflecting particles are responsible for it.   

11. SPF

SPF or Sun Protection Factor is a measure of how well a sunscreen can protect your skin from harmful UV rays. The radiations cause sunburn, damages skin, and can contribute to skin cancer.

Words To Describe Cosmetics

12. Vegan

Labelling a product as vegan and using the ingredients accordingly depends on a brand’s value so to check if a product is vegan or not, go through the ingredients and check for Vegan Society Logo which certifies that products do not contain any animal extracts and animal by-products in the ingredients while manufacturing.

13. Vegetarian

Much like vegan beauty products, a brand’s value governs the labelling of vegetarian beauty products as well. Check the ingredients. The products may contain animal by-products such s milk, honey wax etc. but will not have any animal parts.  

14. Organic

To be categorized as organic, a product needs to have a very small amount of organic ingredients. Yes, really. So the best way to look for an organic product in a true sense, look at the brand name and Soil Association Organic Logo. This logo certifies that the products are sourced and manufactured using organically-farmed and sustainable ingredients which are not tested on animals, are free from harsh chemicals, nano-particles, parabens, synthetic dyes and artificial fragrances.

15. Natural Products

Usually, brands that have mixed 1% of natural ingredients with synthetic ingredients in their products can also describe it to be a natural one but the only way to know how natural a product is to check its ingredients. They are often mentioned by their biological name and mostly, a natural product is expected to have a significantly shorter shelf life.   

4 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - cruelty-free logos

Image Source: crueltyfreekitty.com

16. Cruelty-Free

To identify cruelty-free products, look for Leaping Bunny or PETA logo. If a beauty product is labelled cruelty-free, it means the product or its ingredients have not been tested on animals and the product doesn’t have any animal by-product. It doesn’t mean that the product is chemical-free.  

17. Chemical-Free

The term chemical-free doesn’t really mean the product is free of all chemicals, that’s an impossible situation as water itself is a chemical made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. The label is often used to describe the products that are free of harmful chemicals like parabens, PEGs and sulfate.  

18. Fairtrade

Fairtrade is a logo used on products to indicate that the botanical extracts used in the product such as argan, apricot, coconut, brazil nut oil and shea butter, have been sourced at a fair price. This ensures a sustainable wage for small scale farmers and local businesses.

19. Clean

Clean products usually are free from sulfates, silicons, parabens, pesticides, artificial colouring, petroleum derivatives, synthetic fragrances and phthalates. As per the rules, the label must mention any ingredient that may cause allergic reactions. Hence, the brands mention these ingredients towards the end of the ingredients list in italics.

20. Fragrance-Free

This means no synthetic fragrance has been added to the product so you may get the scent of cocoa butter or any other ingredient but it’s completely natural.

21. Non-Comedogenic & Oil-Free

Ideally, the term means a product that doesn’t block skin pores and doesn’t allow the acne formation and oil-free products also fall in the same category. However, how your skin reacts to a particular ingredient is up to the skin. The brand may sell a product as non-comedogenic but it may or may not lead to a breakout or vice versa. For example, Hemp in itself is an oil but it works like a charm when it comes to combating acne.  

22. Alphabet Creams

Alphabet creams is a term used to describe the range of face creams and tinted moisturisers with different benefits. This includes all creams from BB, CC, DD range and so on.

23. Dermatologically Tested

The term dermatologically tested simply means the product has been seen and checked by a certified dermatologist, a doctor who specialises in skin, hair and nails. However, do keep in mind that the dermatologist is hired for the certification by the brand and hence, the chances are that the product will not receive a negative review. So, to know if it’s safe for you to use, consult your trusted doctor.

Beauty Buzzwords

Skincare Buzzwords

24. Konjac Sponge

It’s a pillow-soft sponge which has all natural ingredients including Konjac root. A Japanese ingredient which is used to exfoliate and cleanse the face. This product can exfoliate and cleanse the face without the use of any external product.

25. Sheet Mask

Ready to use face masks that come in a form of a sheet infused in oils and pigments are known as sheet masks. They are usually fuss-free and can directly be applied on the face. An average time to keep a sheet mask on is 15-20 minutes but it may vary person to person.

5 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - sugaring

26. Sugaring

The hair removal process that allows you to use sugar paste on skin instead of wax. It is removed from the skin ones the paste is dry. Much like wax, it takes the hair along with it. It’s better than waxing because all ingredients are natural and as the consistency of the paste is thick, it doesn’t require any strip or paper for the pulling process.

27. Ampoule

An ampoule is a stronger version of serum or an essence. It contains a high concentration of antioxidants. It’s very popular in K-beauty routines and is applied after the serum and before the cream as a booster.  

28. Cloudless Skin

The term comes straight from South Korea. It refers to the flawless skin that’s free of pigmentation, acne scars, dry patches and large pores. However, the terms glass skin and honey skin have similar meaning, cloudless skin focuses more on the health and nutrition quotient of the skin.

29. The Hydrafacial

A 30-minute skincare treatment that’s loved by celebrities and beauty editors. It involves sucking the gunk out of the skin pores using a skin-approved vacuum.

30. Adaptogen

The term refers to natural herbs and mushrooms like reiki, ashwagandha and so on. They help the skin to adapt to the stressors in the environment. They act as an additional agent to protect the skin from UV rays and pollution. Adaptogens have been there for centuries, they are just coming back in trend now, all thanks to herbal brands.

31. J-Beauty

You’ve heard of K-beauty, right? The masks and beauty routines from Korea are way too popular in the beauty industry to not notice but there’s another term being tossed around, J-beauty, which is simply used for beauty brands, tips and routines that come from Japan, so, it’s Japanese beauty.

32. DNA Skincare

It’s a science-driven skincare practice that involves taking your saliva, extracting DNA from it and testing it for potential diseases and resilience to the environmental factors. Ones your genetic make-up is in records, a report gets released which explains the characteristics of your skin and what your skin health may potentially look like.      

33. Inflammaging

The term is used to describe low-level Inflammation in the body. It affects the ageing cycle of skin and reflects on collagen and elastin breakdown.

34. Glycolic Peel

It’s a chemical peel best for adding the radiant glow to your skin as it exfoliates the outer layer of dead skin cells.

Haircare, Hair Styling & Hair Colouring Buzzwords

35. Colour-Melting

Have you ever seen a girl with two hair colours that perfectly suit her persona and the combination is quite a vision? The colours blend perfectly and it’s done so gorgeously that you almost forget that it’s a work of a hair colorist and not nature itself? That, my friend, is colour-melting.

36. Sombré

It’s basically a subtle version of ombré hair colour technique. While moving from dark to light, it shows more natural-looking gradation. It’s perfect for the girls who want their hair to look naturally kissed by the sun.

37. Lob

It’s a haircut also known as long bob. This hair length typically falls at or above the collarbone. It looks smart and is perfect for working women as it maintains the desired length and yet doesn’t demand too much of the maintenance.  

6 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms -  waterfall braids

Image Source: Instagram

38. Waterfall Braid

It’s a braiding technique, in which one strand is dropped with each weave while another strand is picked up. It creates a waterfall effect. To the untrained eyes, waterfall braid looks like a Disney princess braid that’s spread all over Pinterest.

39. No Poo

Oh yes, that’s a term, in fact, a very good one. The act of giving up all kinds of commercial shampoos in favour of cleansing hair with natural ingredients such as baking soda and so on is called No Poo. It can give you healthier and stronger hair.

40. Bronde

It’s a hair colour that’s a mix between golden blonde and brunette. It makes an ideal combination for someone who likes to mix and match the opposites and it makes one of the best hair colour. You could be a blonde who wants brunette or a brunette who wants blonde, the hair colour will suit you anyways.   

41. Glass Hair

When your 90s’ symmetrical bob look polished, it becomes glass hair. The cut gives you a sharp look, pint pointed tips and super glossy hair.

42. Strand Lighting

It’s like no-makeup makeup of hair. In this technique, you highlight very tiny portions of your hair. It blends in seamlessly and looks natural.  

43. Flamboyage

Flamboyage is another hair colouring technique that is a combination of ombre and balayage, which uses transparent strips to colour instead of a foil or freehand. It’s easy-to-maintain and fuss-free in a lot of ways.

44. Keratin

You must have heard a lot of time in a shampoo ad and other hair care brand advertisements. Keratin is a type of protein that adds smoothness and shine to hair and helps you get rid of the frizz. Keratin treatments can even work on the curliest hair.

45. Melanin

Melanin gives your skin and hair pigment. If you have a light skin tone, an increase in melanin may cause dark spots and tanning.

Makeup Buzzwords

46. Tightlining

It’s a method of using your eyeliner underneath the top lash line. It makes your eyes look larger and the makeup looks more natural with tightlining. The technique needs precision and takes some practice but it’s perfect for highlighting your eye makeup.

47. Floating Liner

When you apply the eyeliner higher up on the eyelid instead of the lash line, in the crease, the look is called floating liner. It was started on the runway in Fashion Week by brands like Michael Kors and Rag & Bone in a range of black to electric colours. The cool style soon caught on.

48. Reverse Cat Eye

A winged eyeliner style in which the cat eye flick comes to the inner corner of the eye instead of the outer corner. Cat eye has been in the picture for decades but this innovative style is simple and has only been around for a few years.

49. Blending The Crease

To use a blending eye makeup brush to blend eyeshadow into the crease of the eyelid in order to get a seamless finish is known as blending the crease. It doesn’t matter what kind of makeup you intend to apply, the secret to good makeup will always be blending, blending and blending, so hold on to this one.

7  beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - nude makeup

50. Nude

We are no more living in the days when neutral shade was limited to three. There have been ranges of 40-50 foundations in the market, one for each skin colour. All of them fall into the category of ‘nude’. Basically, any shade that is or close to your skin tone is a nude shade for you.

51. Draping

Draping means using different shades of blush to add dimensions to your face and sculpt the cheekbones without contouring.  

52. CC

Colour-correcting is a property commonly found in primers, foundation and concealers. Basically, all the makeup products you use to give an even tone to the skin.

Nail Art Buzzwords

53. Negative Space Nails

Nail art used to fill in the nude nail spaces into the manicure designs is addressed as negative space nails. Besides being one of the easiest looks to DIY, negative space nail art also looks cutting edge.

54. Dotting Tool

It’s a small metal thin-stick tool designed with a ball at its tip. Dotting tool is used by nail artist to create details in their nail art. It helps them make their styling more intricate and allows them to experiment more with geometric shapes and figures.

Anti Aging Buzzwords

55. Antioxidant

Antioxidant stops oxidation of other molecules, which stops free radicals from being produced. Free radicals are mainly responsible for premature ageing and other unwanted beauty effects.  

56. Hyaluronic Acid

You must have read the name written close to the product and brand’s name itself as it’s an important ingredient for hydrating heroes. It’s a water-based ingredient that pumps and hydrates the skin and it’s often found in facial serums.

57. Peptide

Explaining peptides can get a bit technical so, follow me and stay. Collagen, keratin and elastin are known proteins in our skin that are highly responsible for the look-factor. Now peptides are short chains of amino acids which build the blocks of protein. So peptides are the building blocks of collagen and other proteins. In simple words, it’s responsible for building and maintaining the protein in the skin.  

58. AHA / BHA

Also known as alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid are responsible for regenerating cells via chemical exfoliation. Our skin naturally sheds cells every day to make space for the regeneration of new cells. This process slows down with age due to sun damage and so on. Exfoliation is the key to keep the skin cell cycle balanced and there are two ways to exfoliate - physical and chemical. Physical way includes scrubbing using mechanical ingredients like apricots, sugar and so on. While chemical exfoliation works differently. AHA works on the surface of the skin and gently dissolves the bond between dead cells and makes the surface smoother and softer. BHA, on the other hand, is oil-soluble and can penetrate beneath the skin’s surface. It cleans the excess sebum from the pores and reduces greasiness.

59. Retinol

It’s a derivative of Vitamin A which works on DNA to promote healthy skin cells and Vitamin A is an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals.

60. Quercetin

It’s an ingredient found in skincare and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It fights the main cause of ageing, free radicals and limits skin damage from sun-rays.

8 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - collagen

61. Collagen

Collagen is a type of protein that is highly important for your skin health. It keeps your skin firm. It’s found in foods like leafy greens, citrus fruits, oysters and so on.

62. Coenzyme Q10

Collagen keeps your skin firm and elastin provides the skin elasticity and flexibility but when collagen is absent, the wrinkles take over. In such case, Coenzyme Q10 aka CoQ10 acts as a strong antioxidant and prevents premature ageing.

63. Rhamnose

It’s a botanically-sourced sugar which had anti-inflammatory properties. Lectin, which is a receptor on the uppermost layer of the dermis can recognize Rhamnose as an active ingredient. Hence, it sucks it into the skin allowing nourishment to the cells which are susceptible to ageing. It helps our skin to maintain the youthfulness.

64. Ferulic Acid

It’s an antioxidant found in the cell walls of plants and seed of oranges and apples. It shows anti-ageing effects.

Other Beauty Slangs To Know

65. Baking

A word used to describe the technique of layering powder, foundation and concealer to bake into the skin that leaves it looking brighter and more alive.

66. Non-Touring

The concept of giving up contouring completely. It was mostly fancied and adapted by Kim Kardashian fans after she declared that she no longer contours.

67. Tan-Touring

The art of using self-tanner to contour by applying it in the places you would apply bronzer. If you do it carefully, it’s more natural-looking and it also lasts longer.

68. Strobing

It just means using highlighter, that’s all.

69. Cut Crease

When a sharp line is drawn across the eye crease to define or enhance it, it’s called a cut crease. It makes your eyes look lifted.

70. Squareletto

It’s an adjective for up-and-coming nail shape that’s long and looks like stilettos nails but is squared off at the tip.  

9 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - girl sleeping with her face mask on

71. Sleeping pack

This term literally means a mask you sleep in or an overnight mask.

72. The Beatdown or Beat Face

A makeup application that is done so well that it looks perfect from all angles is called beat face or the beatdown.

73. Ring Lights

It’s a beauty blogger and vlogger’s secret to bright lighting. It’s like a magnifying mirror but with lights attached around the rim and nothing in the centre. A flattering amount of glow is cast by Ring lights which are perfect for video recording as it eliminates the process of editing the brightness and lighting.  

74. De-pot

The technique of removing pans of makeup like eyeshadow and blush from their compacts with an intention of replacing them in a single magnetic palette.  

75. Lit

If your highlighter application skills are really good, your application will be called lit.

76. Hit Pan

It’s when you scrape the bottom of a makeup palette or compact and use it. Now you know it’s time to spend the bucks on a new palette.

77. Double Cleanse

It’s a skin cleansing method that’s popular in Korea. It involves using an oil-based cleanser first so the oil-soluble makeup like mascara can get dissolved and then using a foaming cleanser for thorough cleaning. TBH, this technique is certainly worth your time.  

78. HG

It’s a very personal term to say because HG aka Holy Grail is different for everyone. The word is used to describe your beauty ‘holy grail’, a beauty product that important to you and is part of all your beauty routines and it wouldn’t be acceptable for you to see that product being discontinued.

79. Haul

When you dump all the beauty products out of your bag and start a show-and-tell, it’s addressed as haul. While everyone does it for fun, some vloggers do it for their viewers.

80. Skin Positivity

A new buzzword that’s taken over the social media in the year 2018 is skin positivity. Much like body positivity, the term is used to demolish all skin colour barriers in the beauty industry. For the last five years, the industry and the customers are making an effort to make beauty world more diverse and all-inclusive. Many beauty brands like Fenty Beauty are changing the set notion of beauty in an incredible way. Now, that’s skin positivity!

81. Waterline

The inner part of your lower eyelid that is wet. This part can be lined for some major eye definition.

82. Virgin Hair

This term refers to hair that has not been coloured, permed or chemically treated in any way like with straightening or rebonding.

13 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - swatch

83. Swatch

The line you make on your wrist or back of the hand to test a lipstick or any other makeup product is called a swatch.

84. Salicylic Acid

An antiseptic ingredient found in many acne-fighting products, especially cleansers, to help unclog pores and reduce breakouts.

85. Overline

A technique of drawing outside your lip line to help make your lips look fuller a la Kylie Jenner.

86. Dry Shampoo

One of our fave products ever – dry shampoo is a product that is meant to be sprayed on the roots to soak up oiliness and leave your hair looking, feeling and smelling fresh when you don’t have time to wash it.

87. Dupe

A “dupe” is actually a good thing in the beauty world. It refers to a product that is the same or similar to another one from a different brand but with a more affordable price tag.

88. Creasing

You know that annoying habit of eye shadow or liner to gather in the crease of your eyelid? That’s called creasing. It’s pretty common when you have oily lids.

10 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - bleeding

89. Bleeding

When a lip colour spreads around or outside the lips. We’ve all experienced this problem, it’s time we knew the term.

90. Flyaways

Flyaway hairs are those pesky strands of hair that stick up thanks to frizziness and static.

91. Hair Contouring

A hair colouring technique that uses highlights and lowlights (light and dark shades) around the face to accentuate your best features and downplay others.

92. Ingrown Hair

Those little hairs that do not rise above the skin, but grow below the surface and can cause redness, inflammation and infections if aggravated. Here’s how you can deal with them.

93. C-T-M

This common beauty term stands for the all-essential cleanse, tone and moisturize routine that we sure hope you follow religiously.

11 beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - diffuser

94. Diffuser

A diffuser is a removable attachment for a hair dryer that spreads the hot air for a gentler drying process than a nozzle. It helps give better-defined waves and curls.

95. Age Spots

Dark pigmented patches that appear with age.

96. Allergen

A substance or substances that can cause allergic reactions.

97. BB Cream

BB stands for blemish balm. It’s an all-in-one product that can act as a foundation, moisturizer, primer and sunblock and has become a cult phenomenon. Find out some awesome ways to use BB cream here.

98. Benzoyl Peroxide

An anti-bacterial and drying ingredient used in common products to help fight acne effectively.

99. Feathering

It’s another word for bleeding. When your lipstick spreads, it’s also known as feathering.

100. Pigmentation

A condition where patches of skin turn darker because of excess melanin.

12. beauty industry buzz words and industry terms - girl applying perfume

101. Eau De Toilette

A less-concentrated and slightly milder version of a perfume.

Images Source: Shutterstock

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