Aug 20, 2015 Diana Crisan Spotlight

Back to (Beauty) School: 15 Beauty Terms Explained

Every day there’s a new beauty trend popping up on the Internet, and we know how hard it can be to keep up — especially when they’re named something as silly as “strobing.” (Although, we must admit, we do love it!) Though some words may come in and out of the spotlight, and others are impossible to pronounce, it’s important for us beauty addicts to at least try to make sense of it all. Let us help!

Makeup Baking

1. Baking

While chocolate chip cookies may come to mind (we don’t blame you!), this is actually the process of setting your translucent powder by allowing it to sit or “cook” on your face for upwards of 10 minutes. This allows the heat of your skin to set your foundation and concealer. You then dust off the powder for a flawless and crease-free finish.

RELATED: How to Make Your Makeup Outlast Your All-Night Date

Balayage Hair

2. Balayage

A freehand technique in which color is applied in painting or sweeping motions, without the use of foil, in order to achieve sun-kissed, natural highlights.  

Contouring Makeup

3. Contour

A technique used to enhance or create the illusion of shape to one’s facial structure through the use of dark (bronzer, foundation) and light (highlighter) makeup.  For example, creating the appearance of higher cheekbones, a smaller forehead or a slimmer nose and chin.

We know that contouring ain’t easy to master, so we’ve gathered our best tips!

Cut Crease Eye Shadow

4. Cut Crease

A technique in which the crease above your eyelid is “cut” sharply with a contrasting shadow in order to add depth to the look and enhance the eye shape. Sounds cool, right? And we know just how to do it!


5. Décolletage

Also known as the décolleté, comes from the French word meaning the low-cut top of a woman’s dress. It’s referenced often as the neck, collarbone and chest area in the skincare world and must be treated with as much care as you do your face.

Kabuki Brush

6. Kabuki Brush

A makeup brush with a short stem and dense bristles. Most often used to apply loose, powdered products like foundation, blush, bronzer or setting powder.

Lob Haircut

7. Lob

A longer version of the popular and trendy “bob” hairstyle. It’s basically ALL over the place right now!

If you’re considering the chop, we’ve got 4 ways on how to rock it the right way! And if you’re afraid of commitment, then try a faux bob for the day!

Facial Multimasking

8. Multimasking

The beauty phenomena of applying different facial masks to certain areas of the face (based on specific concerns) versus using one all over. For example, using a deep pore-cleansing mask on the T-zone, a moisturizing mask on your chin and an oil-absorbing mask on your forehead — all at once!

Ombre Hair

9. Ombré

A French-termed hairstyle featuring darker hues at the roots and gradual lightening toward the ends. An ideal hairstyle for someone who doesn’t want to make a trip to the salon every 8–12 weeks for touch-ups!

Overline Lips

10. Overline

The act of using lip liner to draw the outline of one’s lips slightly outside the natural lip border in order to easily create the appearance of a fuller pout.

Go overboard and it could mean disaster! Prevent the fish lips and try our tutorial on faking fuller lips.

Root Stamping Lashes

11. Root Stamping

The technique of using your mascara wand to gently press or “stamp” the root of your lashes. Stamping at the root flares the lashes upward and makes them look thicker and fuller at the base.

Try this technique to land the clumpy lash trend everyone is talking about!  

Stippling Makeup

12. Stippling

Applying liquid foundation to your face in a dotting motion. This technique disguises discoloration, bumps and scars, and leaves skin looking airbrushed. Just be sure to grab your stippling brush — you know, that blunt-topped, two-toned one! Here’s how to do it!

Strobing Makeup 

13. Strobing

Dig out all of your illuminating products because strobing focuses on highlighting areas where light would naturally hit your face — like your cheekbones, brown bone, down your nose and the center of your forehead.

You KNOW we had to give this a try because strobing is the new contouring!

Tightline Makeup

14. Tightline

To fill in the base of your lashes with eyeliner in order to define your lash line and make your eyes look brighter. It’s one of those “no-makeup makeup” looks we love!

While tightlining can be hard to do (without blinding yourself!), we’ve got some tips for you here!

Waterline Makeup

15. Waterline

The lower part of your inner eyelid that is “wet” and leads to the tear duct. To add definition to any makeup look, this area is commonly lined with dark eyeliner. To make eyes appear bigger and more awake, use a white or flesh-toned eyeliner on your waterline!

RELATED: Tricks for Lining Your Waterline

Put your newfound knowledge of these terms to good use and try some of the makeup tips and tutorials!



    About the Author:Diana creates on-trend beauty content for readers. She stays up-to-date on the latest beauty news and product launches and tests every makeup item that comes through the door. As an employee of L’Oréal, Diana writes stories about beauty products across the entire brand portfolio.