4. Makeup Lingo: A Glossary

Every field has certain slangy technical terms or lingo. Here are some of the most popular in the makeup world:

  • Baking makeup technique where you leave your powder (or powders) over your foundation for a few minutes (5-10 usually) before dusting them off. The heat from your face sets it and melds them together.
  • Beat to Capacity You have reached perfection. No further improvement is possible.
  • Beat/The Beatdown This refers to flawless makeup application. See "Beating your face."
  • Beating your face The traditional term for this technique is 'stippling'. It's when you tap a sponge, or finger, or brush on your case to blend in foundation or color. It looks like you are 'beating' or 'hitting' yourself.
  • Crispy This is a term used to describe hair. When you just finish blowing out your wig and spray it like crazy, and it looks amazing: that's crispy.
  • Cut Crease This is the opposite of a smokey eye, where everything is blended. With this technique, you draw a super sharp line of shadow across the eye. It can be on your actual crease, or you can choose to 'move your crease' and draw it somewhere else. This style of makeup can make your eyes look bigger.
  • De-pot Removing pan makeups from their original containers to store in a palette. Some people find this more convenient. Pro makeup artists do this a lot.
  • Dime Piece A perfect 10 (a dime is 10 cents, get it?). You're a dime piece if you're a hot smoking piece of boss bimbo beauty.
  • Dupe A product which is close enough to substitute for a (usually) much more expensive product from another company.
  • Dusty This is not a compliment. It means your look/makeup/clothes are so last season. In other words, they have some dust on them. I don't pay attention to people who use this word. I wear what I think looks great, even if it is two seasons old. Or three. Or even more.
  • Fallout This is the powder that "falls out" of your brush while you are putting on makeup and lands where you don't want it, typically below your eyes. Eyeshadow and glitter are the usual culprits. The fallout from eyeshadow is much worse than radioactive fallout. Radioactive fallout will only kill you, while makeup fallout will make you look bad. Some products generate more fallout than others. To deal with it, you can put loose powder on your face to catch it (then brush it off) or do your foundation after your eyes which lets you wash it off. Fallout from glitter can be removed with sticky tape (like duck tape).
  • Fierce A bold, glamorous, unusual look. A fierce look takes chances, does something dramatic and unusual. It's a real compliment to be called fierce.
  • Fishy This is specifically for men who transform into a woman. If you look super feminine, you are 'fishy.' Being a 'fishy' girl is a compliment.
  • ...For The Gods This adds huge emphasis to a compliment. For example: "Beat for the Gods" "Snatched for the Gods." You have exceeded the praise of mere mortals, and now the gods are singing about your makeup. It's that good.
  • Gag/gagging This is a compliment. You want to have people gag when they look at you.
  • Giving Life The feelings you get when you see somebody with perfect makeup or amazing beauty. 'Rihanna is giving me life" "Dom de Luxury is giving me life!"
  • Giving face See Serving Face.
  • Gurl A cute way to refer to someone who is girlish. Typical usage: "Yas GURL!"
  • HG - Holy Grail Reserved for those special pieces of makeup that you know you will die if they are discontinued.
  • Haul You go to the makeup store and spend too much money. You come home with a 'haul'.
  • Hit Pan When you scrape the bottom of a piece of makeup, exposing the metal pan. This is a moment of sadness and misery, as well as time to spend more money to get more.
  • Laid A hair term. Usually used to describe straight hair when every strand is just in the right place.
  • Lit Awesomely awesome use of highlighter.
  • Naked Without makeup. Good luck with that look, because you'll need it.
  • On Fleek Originally and most commonly refers to eyebrows that are perfectly shaped and arched. It can refer to anything that is really well done. "Hey, those lips are on fleek".
  • Serving Face This is the face you make for a photographer that gets you the most attention in a photo-shoot.
  • Shook When you see someone whose makeup is "On Fleek for the Gods", or so totally awesome it is beyond any kind of human grasp, or is Giving You Life, you are shook. And you say it: "I'm shook". Young girls on instagram get shook a lot.
  • Sickening This is a super compliment. You want to be sickening. Being described as sickening is one of the highest compliments you can get.
  • Slay/Slaying/Slayed You win. You did it. You killed the competition. You are slaying everyone with your look. It's a huge compliment.
  • Smokey-eye A technique of makeup application which is incredibly blended across the eye, darker at the lower part of the eye, and lightening as you go up. It's a gorgeous look which can be done in any color.
  • Snatched This is most often used to describe a perfect nose contour, but it can refer to anything that looks physically perfect because of something you did. The difference between 'on fleek' and 'snatched' is subtle but important: snatched refers to something 'skeletal,' like your nose or the entire shape of your face. Fleek is for stuff you draw on your face, like your eyebrows or lips.
  • Strobing Strobing is just using highlighters. I love strobing my face.
  • Swatch Testing out makeup shades by making thick lines of them on your skin. Usually the inside of your forearm. You see this all the time in makeup stores.
  • Tightline Eyeliner/shadow placed as close to the eye as possible along your upper and lower water line. This is a tricky application that scares some people.
  • YAS You say this when something gives you life or otherwise makes you happy. "Yaaassssss!"

That's it for now. If you find a word you don't know (or that I missed) just