Make-Up Jargon – What Does it all Mean?

We speak to London-based make-up artist KSAVI to demystify some of the key words and phrases that may leave you in a beauty haze.

Ever watched a makeup YouTube video or sat in the chair and been blown away by all the makeup jargon? We speak to London-based make-up artist KSAVI to demystify some of the key words and phrases that may leave you in a beauty haze.

As with every industry or specialism, the world of makeup comes with a whole roster of jargon that those outside the field may struggle to grasp, but knowing those phrases no doubt helps to ensure you always get the look you want. Therefore, it could be worth taking some time to learn the lingo.

  1. Contouring – This is the practice where you use makeup to help shape or cut the different angles in the face. For example, bringing out the cheekbones, making the face look slender.

  1. Highlighting – Illuminating the points of your face where the natural light hits it, to illuminate for that all-important selfie.
  1. Shading – If highlighting is to bring out features of your face, then shading is to hide those problem areas. For example, a large nose that you want to look slim, a smaller forehead, or to hide a double chin.
  1. Blending – The art of making your makeup look seamless and a subtle transition of colour.
  1. Baking – Layering translucent powder over your concealer and foundation, allowing the heat from your skin to set it, and dusting off the excess.

  1. Strobing – Instead of contouring, use extra highlighting for a shimmering, ‘dewy’ look.
  1. On-point – When the makeup is perfectly applied.
  1. Double cleanse – This is a two-step cleansing routine; the first step is to use a cleansing oil or micellar water to break down the pigment in the makeup, and a second step to use a water-based cleansing routine.
  1. Cut crease – A technique to make your eyes look bigger.

  1. Foiling – To give your eyeshadow a deeper pigment, try foiling. It gives it a deeper and denser look. To apply, simply use fixing spray on the shadow and take a flat brush to wipe over for full lids.
  1. Lipstick feathering – When your lipstick smudges out of the desired areas. The best way to prevent this is seal the lips with foundation and use a colourless lip liner before lipstick application.
  1. Multi-masking – Using a range of masks for different parts of the face all at the same time. A hyaluronic acid mask is great for the forehead and cheeks to help with the hydration.
  1. Chroming – Highlighting using a lipstick. The best type of lipstick is those with a sheen to them, which helps to illuminate the highlighted areas.
  1. Fleet – Another way of saying it’s ‘on-point’.
  1. Slay – When the makeup looks lush or, to some, sexy!

KSAVI is a London-based makeup artist and expert specialising in women’s and men’s beauty for celebrity, editorial, and catalogue.

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