From Balyage to Cut Crease: Your Beauty Buzz Word A – Z

The beauty world is full of changing trends and as a result, full of * constantly * changing slang. Certain beauty buzz words have only started cropping up in the past week/month/year, and it can admittedly be hard to keep track of  all the new words.

So, to help you get your beauty vocab on point, here’s our guide to some of the most asked about terms in the beauty biz right now.

Acrylic Nails

False nails created using acrylic gel. Praised for their hardiness, as colour is less likely to chip on these. Shape of nails vary, some examples are coffin, stiletto, round and square.


A technique for highlighting hair where the dye is painted on to create a natural, graduated effect. Think J-Lo and Khloe Kardashian!


Instagram: @khloekardashian

Beauty Blender

A multipurpose beauty tool used for the application and blending of makeup. Use it damp to apply cream and liquid products, and blend flawlessly into the skin.

Colour Correction (CC)

A makeup technique used to conceal complexion imperfections using the colour wheel to counteract and balance individual problems. Baby pink is used to conceal dark areas, and green to cover redness. Yellow will combat purple bags or veins and similarly, purple will neutralise yellow tinges.


A makeup technique which sculpts the face, created using bronzer and highlighter. Apply bronzer to the areas you want to bring in or slim, such as the hollows of your cheeks and sides of your nose. Then add highlighter to the higher points of your face such as your cheekbones and bridge of nose, to bring these areas forward. These steps in combination with each other will define and accentuate your face shape.

Cut Crease

An eyeshadow technique where a horizontal, defined line separates the crease from the lid. Best achieved using an angled brush.


Instagram: makeupwithjah


Very flawless. Usually used to describe hair or makeup. Eg “Babe, your liner is on fleek!” or “Your brows are looking fleeky.”

Jaclyn Hill

Her Royal Highness the Queen of makeup!


Instagram: @jaclynhill


Tattooing the eyebrows on using small, individual strokes to achieve a natural look.


Used as a base for makeup to provide a more even application. Apply after moisturising and before foundation.

Reverse Smoky Eye

A different take on the classic smoky eye makeup look. The dark colours are placed around the inner corner of the eye and smoke out to lighter colours.


An expression used when a makeup game is on point. Eg. “Your highlight is slaying me right now!” or “Yes girl, slay!”


Pioneered by Tyra Banks, it is a common pose used when taking selfies whereby you smile with your eyes and not your mouth. We recommend squinting your eyes and raising your brows slightly to show off your gorgeous eye makeup while executing.


Well sculpted. Eg. “Your nose contour is snatched!”


Applying light-reflecting products to the high points of your face in order to accentuate and flatter its shape. Synonymous with highlighting.


Instagram: @amrezy


A technique used to remove body hair using two thin threads to quickly pull the hairs out. It is especially popular for eyebrow shaping and grooming.

Winged Liner

A classic eye makeup look. Achieved by drawing a sharp wing extending past the outer corner of your eye using either liquid or gel eyeliner. Notoriously difficult, but a timeless classic.


Declaration of appreciation. Typically used in response to flawless makeup.

By Catherine Delves