The A to Z of beauty

Do you know your veil powder from your miscellar water? Our glossary of beauty terms will help you decipher the jargon

From contouring to micellar water, there are so many baffling terms in beauty that sometimes it’s hard to know what’s what. The beauty experts at have come up with the ultimate A to Z of beauty terms to explain the latest trends and decode the fads.

Some of the new trends defined include negative space manicures and oil pulling. Other terms from the beauty glossary include old faithfuls that are experiencing a revival like jojoba oil and winged eyeliner. Beauty expert Laura Meredith from said: ‘It’s not just products that people are hailing their beauty success down to – it’s superfoods and bizarre routines too. Some products, especially in make-up, can be daunting or seem too similar as their use isn’t really explained properly. Just because something is in fashion doesn’t mean it’s right for your skin type or look – it’s important to know what’s what to see if you need an illuminator or a highlighter.’

A – Artichokes
Last year it was kale, this year artichokes are set to be the new beauty superfood, due to their fantastic anti-aging properties.

B – BB cream
BB stands for blemish balm, which doesn’t mean it fights spots but instead provides light, even coverage – great for when you’re going on holiday.

C – Contouring
It’s the secret to Kim Kardashian’s famous Instagram selfies – but what actually is contouring? It’s a way of giving shape and enhancing your features through make-up by subtly defining shadows. Top tip, avoid shimmery products, and stick to a matte look.

D – Dry oil
A hot trend for fake tan right now, dry body oil is sprayable oil that spreads an even mist over your skin without a greasy finish.

E – Exfoliators
An essential part of any beauty regime, exfoliating helps shift dead skin cells and unclog dirt. Try and exfoliate once or twice a week depending on your skin type.

F- Feature nail
Having a feature nail is a great way to make a manicure pop. Paint all your nails one colour apart from your ring finger then have fun with it. Try using a glitter top coat or get creative with nail art.

G – Gel nails
Gel nails are a brilliant solution for holiday nails. The gel polish is hardened by curing under a UV or L.E.D light for a manicure that can last for weeks.

H – Highlighter
Highlighters are perfect for showing off your favourite features. Aim for a highlighter that looks like a slight sheen, not glittery and apply it to the top of your cheekbones, temple and centre of your chin.

I – Illuminator
Not to be confused with highlighters, illuminators are used to brighten your complexion and give a dewy glow. They are generally best used mixed with liquid foundation or moisturisers.

J – Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil has always been around – but with new oils becoming popular it’s important not to forget this natural beauty weapon. Jojoba oil is extremely versatile and can be used on your hair to tame flyaways and your skin to keep it from drying out.

K – Kohl
Everyone knows kohl is eyeliner – but what makes it different from regular pencils? Kohl eyeliner is a much more intense colour and easier to blend so it’s best for a smoky eye as opposed to winged eyeliner.

L – Light reflecting
When it comes to anti-aging products, you’re best looking for light-reflecting illuminating products. These high-tech products are designed to bounce light off your face like a prism to create a soft-focus illusion and an instant lift.

M – Micellar water
Micellar water isn’t something from chemistry class- it is the new miracle beauty product. Micellar water is a make-up removing cleanser that doesn’t involve washing off or harsh wipes. Even the most stubborn of make-up is removed with one sweep of a pad.

N – Negative space manicures
This nail art trend is hot off the runway and set to be big in 2015. It’s intricate work and involves leaving part of the nail blank with no base colour, like the crescent or a strip – think of it as the cutout dress of manicures.

O – Oil pulling
Beauty experts having been raving about the benefits of oil pulling and celebrity fans like Gwyneth Paltrow swear by it. It’s an ancient practise of swishing oil like mouthwash for teeth whitening and health benefits. Try it with coconut or sesame seed oil.

P – Primer
Whether you like light or heavy coverage, primer is essential for getting a smooth base to apply your foundation on. Not only will it combat shine it will keep your make up lasting longer.

Q – Quads
No, we’re not asking you to do squats to improve your quads. We’re talking about quad palettes, like eye shadows, bronzers and highlighters. A must for a well-blended, natural look.

R – Red lipstick
The latest beauty craze is putting red lipstick not on your lips, but under your eyes. The idea is that dark circles under your eyes are purplish in tone and these shades sit directly opposite reddy shades, which means the lipstick should help neutralise the colours. Coat the lippie around your eyes then blend with concealer as normal.

Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is probably one of the best beauty investments you can have. Whilst in the UK make sure you wear a foundation with some SPF but don’t rely on it when you’re on holiday. SPF needs to be reapplied in order to keep working so stick to the sunscreen on the beach.

T – Tint
Lip tints, or lip stains, are different from their lipstick cousins in that they aren’t waxy. If you want a more muted but long lasting colour then go for lip tints. Some can also double up and be used on your cheeks too for a rosy glow.

U – Up-lighting
Up-lighting has been used for years for flattering photos but in the era of the selfie, more and more celebrities are using up-lighting for their Instagrams.

V – Veil powder
Also know as invisible powder, veil powder may seem like a waste of money but if you have oily skin then it is a miracle worker.Veil powder has a lightweight formula to set make up and mattify the skin, providing an almost airbrushed finish.

W – Winged eyeliner
It was huge in the sixties and now it’s experiencing a revival. Top tip: try adding a tiny pop of pastel above your jet-black line for an update on the classic look.

Y – Youth enhancing
A beauty buzzword to be cautious of, youth enhancing products can offer a lot of false promises. You’re better off applying your make up well, drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep.

Z – Zinc
Best known for use in sunscreens, zinc is now stepping forward as the unsung hero in beauty. Other benefits include fighting acne, strengthening hair and improving cuticles.

tagged in Beauty glossary

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