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  • Farahban

An A-Z Glossary of Beauty Terms! (Part 1)

Today's edition of the quarantine blog is a layman's guide to beauty terminology. We're often confounded with all these new words & beauty terms in magazines, articles, youtube videos which more than often sound like gibberish and are not nearly as well explained as they ought to be! I was speaking to a friend yesterday about creating helpful and easy to navigate content (shoutout to my friend Saumya) and she jokingly suggested a beauty glossary and I thought to myself what a great idea! So here's what I have for you today! Section 1 of my A-Z Beauty Dictionary - a place where you can find beauty terms decoded!


Anti Ageing - Skincare products that fall under this tagline/category cater to individuals above 25, and products are typically aimed at reducing age signs such as dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines and saggy skin. While this has always been quite a large market for the beauty industry to tackle, with the increased availability & affordability of surgical fillers, topical treatments are not considered as effective as they once claimed to be! That said, a few companies like L'oreal & Estee Lauder are known for their Anti-Ageing skincare range!

Acne - Acne occurs when the pores of your skin are blocked with excess oil, bacteria or dead skin. It can appear in clusters (not just on your face) and can be painful to touch. Acne spots can also have pus and can leave scars if boils/pimples are forcefully removed. A great way to keep acne at bay is to use cleansing products that have tea-tree oil as the main ingredient as well as using clay masks that deep cleanse your pores!

Ampoules - These are a highly potent individual vials/shots/containers of any skincare serum such as hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, etc. They are a one-time use product as once the air tight seal has been broken, they have to be used instantly. A lot of Korean face masks come with ampoules, such as Dr.Jart+'s rubber masks (for firming/hydration) which I actually love using! They're a little on the costlier side (£10 for one) compared to other sheet masks (£6-8).


Baking - Baking is a technique that uses a translucent powder/tinted powder over concealer, foundation or BB/CC cream to ensure that the product stays in place longer and prevents creasing. Typically you bake areas that tend to crease/sweat more such as under eyes, t-zone, smile lines, etc. Leave the powder to set for 5-7 mins before dusting off the excess!

Brow Lamination - This is a brow lifting technique that originated in Russia, an artist uses a chemical solution or setting agent to lift and shape each hair (akin to a long lasting brow gel) to coerce unruly hairs into shape! This usually lasts 3-4 weeks at a time, and works well for people with brows that have noticeable gaps or are thin and over plucked. It normally costs about £40-50 pounds & upwards and the treatment takes 15-20 minutes depending on how experienced the artist is!

Bronzing - is a make up technique that is similar to Contouring but instead of giving you a very sharp symmetrical look, it helps to naturally enhance areas of your face/body where the sun would hit had you been outdoors. Bronzing does not necessarily only mean facial bronzers, and can also refer to a self-tanning kit/oil. Facial bronzers are usually applied to the areas just below one's cheekbones for the most flattering results!


Cut Crease - This is an eyeshadow technique that contours your eyelid, giving you a very defined crease and wider, more open eyes. Essentially, you go over the entire lid with concealer, then draw a line with eyeshadow just across the crease. To create the cut crease effect, then use concealer just below the line you've drawn and continue to fill the rest of your lid with shadow, once done, you can re-darken the line across the crease to accentuate the cut crease effect. While this sounds extremely complicated to do, it's a fun way to experiment with make up, and if you want some guidance, check out @dressyourface on instagram, she does magic with cut creases!

Contour - This is a make up technique that was popularised by Kim Kardashian. Contour helps you accentuate and sharpen certain features such as your nose, cheekbones and jawline using shades that are both relatively darker and lighter than your original skin tone simultaneously. Once blended, the desired effect is a slender nose, higher cheekbones, a smaller forehead and a sharp jawline. Contours can be both cream based or powder based.

Colour Correction - This is a make up technique that uses different base colours underneath your concealer/foundation (purple, peach, green, yellow, etc) to effectively disguise an area of concern or a skin imperfection and the result is flawless skin! Each colour is specific to a problem, such as green counteracts redness and blemishes, orange counteracts dark eye circles for medium-dark skin tones, and so forth. Check out my previous blog linked here: for more product details on easy colour correction!

Source: L'oreal


Derma-planning - using a small blade/razor to remove excess facial hair, peach fuzz and dead skin. Derma-planning can be done at home or professionally. The immediate benefits are younger, smoother looking skin. If you're having it done professionally, the cost can range between £65 and upwards till £200 per 30 minute session. If you're curious to try Derma-planning at home, check out my previous blog ( on Hair removal for more tips!

Dermabrasion - Often confused with Derma-planning but not the same! While they are both exfoliating treatments, dermabrasion uses a small rotating instrument to remove the outer layers of your facial skin. It can be used to treat acne scars, uneven skin tone, sun damage, etc. If you're having this done professionally, your dermatologist will use anaesthesia or a numbing cream on your face before carrying out the treatment, it takes about 3-4 weeks for your skin to heal completely. Treatments are usually within 1 hour and can cost upwards of £90, the most expensive up to a few thousand. (This is not the same as Microdermabrasion!)

Double cleansing - This is the holy grail of everyday make up removal techniques. Double cleansing is when you remove your make up using an oil based cleanser (such as a cleansing balm or baby oil) and then follow it up by using a water based cleanser such as a foam, gel or soap etc. Double cleansing ensures that your skin stays squeaky clean & prevents clogging up your pores.


Exfoliation - Involves removing the outer later of dead skin cells. Exfoliation can be both using physical pressure or elements such as a loofah, dry brush, face cleansing brush, exfoliation scrubs, peels. The other alternative is a chemical exfoliant which uses acids to get rid of built up layers of dead skin & relieve blocked pores. Examples of chemical exfoliants are any products containing AHA's (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) or BHA's (Beta Hydroxy Acids).

Epilation - This is a hair removal technique that uses a mechanical device to pluck several hair (body or facial) out together, it's similar to waxing as both techniques pull the hair out from the root. Epilators are usually devices that are corded, rechargeable or battery operated which make them convenient for at-home use. There can be several types: dry or wet (to use with a shaving gel/numbing cream), and can also be found for specific body part hair removal such as face or bikini. Braun is a very well known brand that has several affordable options to choose from.

Extensions - As the name suggests, this is a a method to add or enhance existing features. Extensions can be of several kinds (temporary, 1-2 days, semi-permanent, 3-4 weeks, permanent 3-6 months) and for various parts of your body (nails, hair, eyelashes). The most important thing to remember with extensions is that while they can be addictive and work wonders enhancing your appearance, in the long term, they can be damaging to your scalp, nail bed or lashes (even if done by a certified expert)


Facegym - This term was popularised by the brand of the same name. A face gym is essentially a 40 minute workout for your facial muscles to tone and tighten. It's a non-invasive technique that uses high intensity kneading and knuckle movements to boost collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and help minimise the appearance of pores. Treatments can cost anywhere between £60 to £400 depending on the procedure/technician. Currently they have studios in London, Manchester, LA & New York (with more to come according to the website, have a look here:

Facial oils - This product is an absolute FAD at the moment! There are vitamin, fruit, floral, scented, organic versions, and the list just goes on and on. The main reason one uses a facial oil is to maintain the PH & oil balance of your skin, it helps to lock in hydration and keep your skin looking healthy and glowing. Overusing an oil or using it incorrectly can give your skin a breakout or a rash so be very careful to identify the ingredients in the oil (for example: I tend to stay away from scented, floral oils & use 100% vitamin E or Josie Maran's Pure Argan Oil that I know are not heavily diluted with lots of other chemicals). The best time to use a facial oil is as the last step of your skincare routine (after you have moisturised).

Facial rollers - I have spoken about these before & facial rollers are great for giving yourself an at-home facial to boost blood flow and circulation especially when at times like these, our movements are restricted. Facial rollers are a device that have 2 sets of the same stone on either side, one slightly larger, for your entire face, and the second small one is meant for the under eye/eye area. They should be used in upwards motions to help reduce fine lines, wrinkles and saggy skin. They were invented in China and were originally an imperial beauty tool (used by Empress Dowager Cixi) and traditionally the stones used were jade, but today they're available in quartz, crystal and other such variations.

I hope you found this edition of my beauty dictionary helpful, stay tuned, G-Z is still to follow! Stay positive y'all xx Farah

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