250+ Technical and General Makeup Terms

Are you interested in makeup and looking to better understand the terminology?

We’ve put together a list of ever-expanding definitions and technical makeup terms. We hope you find it useful.
Every industry has its own jargon and the world of makeup is no different. Thanks to social media some technical makeup terms are sneaking into the everyday language (like ‘MUA’) but there are still many unusual ones and some that can be a bit confusing (such as ‘media’). We’ve put together an A-Z of words and phrases used regularly by people across all the makeup artist roles in film, TV, stage and fashion.


Anatomical Analysis

An essential skill for makeup artists, anatomical analysis involves assessing facial structure and proportions to create a makeup look that best enhances a client’s unique features.

Application Techniques

Application techniques refer to the various methods and skills makeup artists use to apply makeup products effectively and efficiently, including blending, stippling, and building colour.

Airbrush Makeup

Airbrush makeup is a technique in which makeup is applied using an airbrush system, creating a flawless, even finish. This skill is often taught in professional makeup courses, as it is widely used in the film, television, and bridal industries.

Asymmetry Correction

Asymmetry correction involves using makeup to create the illusion of a more balanced, symmetrical face. Makeup artists use techniques such as contouring, highlighting, and strategic colour placement to achieve this effect.


In professional makeup courses, students typically learn about various adhesives used for attaching prosthetics, wigs, and false eyelashes. Proper application, removal, and storage of adhesives are crucial for maintaining the integrity of the materials and the client’s skin.

Age Progression and Regression

Makeup courses often cover age progression and regression techniques, which involve using makeup to make a subject appear older or younger. This skill is particularly useful in film, television, and theatrical makeup.

Avant-Garde Makeup

Avant-garde makeup refers to the creation of bold, experimental, or unconventional makeup looks often seen in high-fashion editorials or runway shows. This style pushes the boundaries of traditional beauty norms and challenges makeup artists to think outside the box.

Allergies and Sensitivities

A professional makeup course will teach makeup artists about common allergies and sensitivities related to makeup ingredients, as well as how to identify and prevent potential reactions in clients.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is a technique used by makeup artists to enhance the appearance of makeup under various lighting conditions. By understanding how different light sources affect the perception of colour and texture, makeup artists can create looks that appear flawless in any setting


A makeup setting spray that is designed to keep makeup in place for extended periods of time.

All-Over Colour

All-over colour is a makeup product or technique that can be used on multiple areas of the face, such as the eyes, cheeks, and lips, to create a cohesive and harmonious look.

Angled Brush

An angled brush is a makeup brush with slanted bristles, designed for precise application and blending of various makeup products, including eyeshadow, eyeliner, and brow pomades.


An applicator is a tool, such as a brush, sponge, or wand, used to apply makeup products to the face or body.


Astringent is a skincare product that helps to tighten and refine pores, often used before makeup application to create a smoother canvas and extend the longevity of the makeup.


In the context of makeup, asymmetrical refers to a makeup look or technique that features different designs or placements on each side of the face, resulting in a unique and eye-catching appearance.

Au Naturel

Au naturel is a term used to describe makeup looks that appear natural, with minimal or subtle makeup application, often intended to enhance the wearer’s features without being overly noticeable.


Bald Cap 

A bald cap is a special type of makeup appliance used to create the appearance of a bald head. It is typically made of latex or silicone and can be applied to the scalp using a special adhesive, such as spirit gum. Once in place, makeup can be applied over the bald cap to blend it seamlessly with the actor’s skin tone and to create a more realistic effect.

Bake / Baking

Baking is a makeup technique that involves applying a thick layer of translucent powder over foundation or concealer, allowing it to sit for several minutes before dusting it off. This process sets the makeup, providing a creaseless, flawless finish.


Base refers to the initial layer of makeup applied to create an even skin tone and smooth canvas for further makeup application. It includes primer, foundation, and concealer.

Bridal Makeup

A makeup style designed specifically for brides, often focusing on a natural, radiant look that enhances their features and complements their wedding dress and theme.

Body Paint

A type of makeup used to create elaborate designs or patterns on the skin is often used for theatrical or artistic purposes.


A hair colouring technique that involves painting highlights onto the hair using a freehand method, creating a natural-looking, sun-kissed effect.

BB Cream

BB Cream, or “beauty balm,” is a multi-tasking product that combines skincare and makeup benefits. It provides light coverage, moisturizes, and often includes SPF and other beneficial ingredients.

Beauty Blender

A Beauty Blender is an egg-shaped makeup sponge designed to blend liquid and cream makeup products seamlessly. It is best used damp for a flawless, streak-free finish.


Blend refers to the process of merging different makeup colours or products to create a smooth, seamless finish without any harsh lines.

Bring it back to life

What to do when make-up is looking dull or tired. (It’s important to be able to recognise immediately when a performer’s make-up needs your attention – rather than leave it to someone else to spot it.)


The process of creating the basic shape or outline of a character’s features using makeup.


The process of using brushes, sponges, or fingers to seamlessly blend different shades of makeup together.


Blush is a makeup product applied to the cheeks to give a healthy, flushed appearance. It comes in various shades and finishes, including powder, cream, and liquid.


Bronzer is a makeup product designed to give the skin a sun-kissed glow. It typically comes in shades of brown or tan and is applied to the areas where the sun would naturally hit the face, such as the forehead, cheekbones, and jawline.


Brows, or eyebrows, are the hair that frames the eyes and can be groomed, shaped, and filled in using various brow products such as gels, pencils, and pomades.

Brow Gel

Brow Gel is a product used to shape and hold eyebrows in place. It can be clear or tinted and is applied with a small spoolie brush

Brow Pencil

A Brow Pencil is a makeup tool used to fill in and define the eyebrows. It typically has a fine, precise tip to mimic the appearance of individual hairs.

Brow Pomade

Brow Pomade is a creamy, long-lasting makeup product used to fill in, shape, and define the eyebrows. It is applied with an angled brush for precision.


Makeup brushes are tools used to apply, blend, and perfect makeup products. They come in various shapes, sizes, and bristle types for different makeup application techniques.

Beauty blender

A type of makeup sponge that is used to blend liquid or cream makeup products.


Cream blush

A cream-based product used to add colour to the cheeks.

Cameras rolling

The technical term for shooting footage is particularly important when you are working in film and TV. And the implication is to keep out of the way so you don’t spoil the scene.


‘Carmens’ are heated rollers first dating back to the mid-60s. It’s an iconic brand associated with some of the most fashionable and trendsetting hairstyles over the decades.


Crossing is when anyone crosses in front of the camera when it’s rolling, or about to do so.


A technique of using darker and lighter shades of makeup to create the illusion of a more defined facial structure.

Colour correction

A technique of using specific colours to neutralize or cancel out other colours on the skin, such as green to neutralize redness.

CC Cream

CC Cream, or “colour correcting” cream, is a makeup and skincare hybrid that offers light coverage while addressing skin concerns like redness, dullness, and uneven skin tone. It often includes SPF and other beneficial ingredients.

Colour Correcting

Colour correcting is a makeup technique that uses different shades of concealer to neutralize unwanted colours on the skin, such as redness, dark circles, and discolouration.


Concealer is a makeup product used to cover imperfections, such as blemishes, dark circles, and discolouration. It is typically thicker and more pigmented than foundation.

Crease (Eye)

The eye crease is the natural fold in the eyelid where the eye meets the brow bone. It is a common area to apply eyeshadow for depth and definition.

Cupid’s Bow

The Cupid’s Bow is the curve on the upper lip that resembles the shape of a bow. It is often highlighted or accentuated with makeup for a fuller lip appearance.



A dailies make-up artist is brought in on a day-to-day basis usually to help on large crowd scenes. (In filmmaking, ‘dailies’ are the raw, unedited footage shot during the making of a motion picture.)

Direct applied

Relating to SFX make-up, this means creating a prosthetic as you apply it directly to the face or body rather than using something pre-made.


A finish that is not completely matte but also not shiny, with a subtle sheen.


Dewy refers to a makeup finish that gives the skin a healthy, radiant glow, as opposed to a matte finish, which is flatter and shine-free.

Dupe / Duplicate

A dupe, or duplicate, is a term used to describe a more affordable makeup product that has a similar colour, formula, or effect to a higher-priced or high-end product.

Daytime makeup

Makeup that is suitable for everyday wear and is typically more natural and subtle than an evening or special occasion makeup.

Duo fibre brush

A brush with a mix of synthetic and natural bristles that are often used to apply powder products.



‘Editorial’ make-up is for fashion shoots and shows. These are highly creative, camera-ready effects taught in courses such as the 7-Month Makeup and Hair course.

Eyeshadow primer

A product applied to the eyelids before eyeshadow to help it adhere better and prevent creasing.

Eyeliner stencil

A tool used to help create precise, symmetrical eyeliner shapes.


The process of removing dead skin cells from the face or body to create a smoother canvas for makeup application.


Exfoliate is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, typically using a scrub, brush, or chemical exfoliant. Exfoliating can help create a smoother canvas for makeup application.

Eyelash Curler

An eyelash curler is a tool used to curl the eyelashes, giving them a more lifted and open appearance. It is typically used before applying mascara.


Eyeliner is a makeup product used to define and enhance the shape of the eyes. It comes in various forms, such as pencil, liquid, and gel, and can be applied to the upper and lower lash lines as well as the waterline.


Eyeshadow is a makeup product that comes in various colors, finishes, and textures. It is used to add depth, dimension, and color to the eyelids.

Eyebrow pencil

A pencil used to fill in and define eyebrows.


Final checks

Final checks are the call that gives make-up, hair and wardrobe people the chance to do final tweaks and touch-ups before signalling they’re happy to go ahead and shoot.

Face chart

A sketch or diagram of a makeup look is often used by makeup artists to plan and document their work.


False eyelashes are applied to the natural lashes to create a fuller, more dramatic look.

Fake / False Lashes

Fake or false lashes are synthetic or natural hair lashes applied to the natural lash line to enhance the length, volume, and shape of the eyelashes.

Fake Makeup

Fake makeup refers to counterfeit or imitation beauty products, often made to resemble popular high-end brands. These products can be harmful to the skin and should be avoided.


A flashback occurs when the camera flash bounces off certain makeup products, such as silica-based powders, causing a white, ghostly appearance in photos.


Foundation is a makeup product that provides coverage and evens out the skin tone. It comes in various forms, including liquid, cream, and powder, and can range from sheer to full coverage.

Face powder

A powder product used to set makeup or reduce shine on the face.



A gradient effect in makeup involves blending two or more colours seamlessly to create a smooth transition between shades. This technique is commonly used in eyeshadow and lip colour applications.


A type of makeup product used to add shine and moisture to the lips often applied over lipstick.

Gel eyeliner

An eyeliner product with a gel-like consistency that is applied with a brush.

Gradient Lip

A popular Korean makeup trend involves blending two or more lip colours together to create a gradient effect.


The process of maintaining and shaping the hair, beard, or eyebrows to create a polished, well-groomed appearance.

Gel eyeliner

A type of eyeliner that comes in a pot or tube and is applied with a brush often used to create bold, defined lines.

Graduated haircut

A haircut where the length of the hair gradually increases or decreases is often used to create a more natural-looking effect.


A natural ingredient found in some makeup and skincare products, often used to moisturize and hydrate the skin.


A type of heavy, opaque makeup often used in theatrical productions to create bold, dramatic looks.

Glueless wig

A type of wig that is designed to be worn without adhesive or clips, often used for quick and easy styling.

Guide comb

A comb with graduated teeth that are used to cut hair to a specific length, is often used in haircutting and grooming.


Halo eye: An eye makeup technique where a lighter colour is applied to the centre of the eyelid, surrounded by darker shades, to create a halo effect.


A technique of using a lighter shade of makeup to bring attention to certain features of the face and create a glowing effect.

Half Cut Crease

A half-cut crease is a variation of the cut crease eyeshadow technique that involves defining only the inner or outer half of the eye crease for a more subtle, yet still-defined look.

HD makeup

Makeup that is specifically formulated to look flawless and natural in high-definition camera settings.


Products that are designed to moisturize and hydrate the skin, such as moisturizers or serums.

High fashion makeup

Makeup that is designed for use in runway shows and other high fashion events.

Hair extensions: Hairpieces that are used to add length, volume, or colour to the hair, often made from human or synthetic hair.

Hairpiece: A small section of hair that is attached to the scalp or existing hair to add volume or create a specific hairstyle.

Henna: A natural dye made from the leaves of the henna plant, often used to create temporary tattoos and hair colour.

Half-up hairstyle: A hairstyle where half of the hair is pulled up and secured, while the remaining hair is left down.


Heat styling: The process of using heat tools, such as curling irons and straighteners, to create a specific hairstyle.


A product used to add a subtle glow or shimmer to the skin often applied to the cheekbones or brow bone.

Inglot Freedom System

A modular makeup system that allows artists to customize and refill their palettes with individual shades.

Illuminating primer

A primer product that contains light-reflecting particles to create a radiant glow.

Illusion makeup: A type of makeup technique that is used to create optical illusions on the face, such as making the nose appear smaller or the eyes appear larger.

Intensity: The level of pigmentation or colour saturation in a makeup product, such as eyeshadow or lipstick.

Iridescence: A quality of certain makeup products that gives off a shimmering, rainbow-like effect in the light.

Inner corner highlights: A makeup technique where a highlighter is applied to the inner corners of the eyes to brighten and open up the eyes.

Invisible makeup: A type of makeup that is designed to look natural and blend seamlessly into the skin, without appearing visible or heavy.

Inverted triangle: A makeup technique where concealer is applied in the shape of an inverted triangle under the eyes to brighten and lift the face.

Individual lashes: False lashes that are applied individually, rather than in a strip, to create a more natural-looking lash line.

Iridescent eyeshadow: A type of eyeshadow that has a pearly or shimmery finish, often in a range of iridescent colours.

Impressionism: A type of makeup technique that uses small dots of colour to create a textured, painterly effect on the face.

Illuminating primer: A type of primer that is designed to add a subtle glow or radiance to the skin.

Infill: The process of adding new hairs or filling in gaps in eyebrow or eyelash extensions to maintain a full and natural look.


Jelly highlighter

A gel-like highlighter product that provides a wet, dewy effect.

Jumbo pencil

A large, chubby pencil used to apply and blend eyeshadow, lipstick, or other makeup products.

Jet lag mask: A type of hydrating face mask that is designed to combat the effects of jet lag on the skin, such as dryness and dullness.

Jawline contouring: A makeup technique that involves using contouring products to define and sculpt the jawline for a more chiselled look.

J-Lo glow: A makeup trend popularized by singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, characterized by a radiant, dewy complexion and highlighted features.

Jelly highlighter: A type of highlighter that has a gel-like texture, often with a dewy/wet, iridescent finish.

Japonesque: A makeup brand that offers a range of high-quality makeup brushes and tools.

Juicy lips: A makeup trend characterized by glossy, plump-looking lips, often achieved with the use of lip gloss or lip-plumping products.

Jumbo curler: A type of eyelash curler with a larger curling surface, designed for use on thicker or longer lashes.

Journaling: A process of documenting makeup looks, techniques, and product combinations for personal or professional use.

Jade roller: A facial tool made of jade, often used to massage the face and promote lymphatic drainage.


Kabuki brush

A dense, short-handled brush used for applying powder makeup products to the face, such as blush, bronzer, and setting powder.

Keratin: A protein that makes up the structure of hair, skin, and nails; often used as an ingredient in haircare and nail treatments to strengthen and protect.

Kickback: A term used to describe loose powder or eyeshadow fallout that occurs when using a makeup brush.


A traditional eyeliner ingredient made from soot or charcoal.

Kabuki brush

A dense, short-handled brush is used for applying powder products to the face, such as blush, bronzer, and setting powder.


A protein that makes up the structure of hair, skin, and nails; often used as an ingredient in haircare and nail treatments to strengthen and protect.

Keratin treatment

A hair treatment process that aims to smooth, straighten, and reduce frizz in hair by applying a keratin-based solution.

Key light

The primary light source in a photography setup creates the most noticeable highlights, shadows, and texture on the subject’s face.


The study of body movement and mechanics can be useful for makeup artists and hairstylists to understand facial structure and movement.

Kinky hair

A hair type with a tight, coiled curl pattern; typically requires specialized styling and care techniques.

Kohl eyeliner

A type of soft, powdery eyeliner made from crushed minerals that can be smudged easily for a smoky effect or used to create precise lines.


Laying on hair

This simply means applying directly facial hair such as beards, moustaches, side-burns, etc.

Lip liner

A pencil is used to outline and define the lips before applying lipstick or gloss.

Liquid lipstick

A lipstick formula that goes on as a liquid and dries down to a matte or glossy finish.

Lip balm

A moisturizing product used to soothe and hydrate the lips.

Lash curler

A tool used to curl the eyelashes for a more open, lifted appearance.

Lash extensions

Semi-permanent or temporary eyelash enhancements that add length, fullness, and volume to natural eyelashes.

Lash glue

The adhesive that is used to attach false eyelashes or lash extensions to the natural lash line.

Lash primer

A product applied before mascara to help condition, lengthen, and volumize the eyelashes.

Lash tint

A semi-permanent dye is applied to the eyelashes to darken and enhance their natural colour.


The process of applying multiple products or colours in a specific order to create a desired makeup effect.

Lip brush

A small, tapered brush designed for precise application of lipstick, lip gloss, or lip liner.

Lip gloss

A shiny or shimmery cosmetic product is applied to the lips for added shine or colour.

Lip liner

A pencil or crayon-like cosmetic which is used to outline and define the shape of the lips 

before applying lipstick or gloss.

Lip plumper 

A cosmetic product designed to temporarily increase the fullness of the lips 

using ingredients that stimulate blood flow or create a mild swelling effect.

Lip stain

A long-lasting, water-based or gel-based lip colour that provides a sheer, natural-looking tint.

Liquid eyeliner

A type of eyeliner that comes in a liquid form, often with a fine brush or felt-tip applicator for precise application.

Liquid foundation

A fluid makeup product that provides coverage and evens out the complexion; available in various finishes and coverage levels.

Locking spray

A finishing product used to set and prolong the wear of makeup, ensuring it stays in place throughout the day.


A hair colouring technique that involves adding darker strands or sections of colour to the hair to create depth and dimension.


The darker strands or sections of colour in the hair are created by the lowlighting technique.



As in ‘media make-up’ – generally used to mean TV, film, stage, fashion – rather than simply the world of ‘beauty’ and cosmetics.


To ‘muddy’ means to make someone look grubby – maybe dirtying down their fingernails. But it can also be a criticism – implying that the make-up looks unclean or not blended particularly well.


A finish that is completely free of shine or shimmer.

Mineral makeup

Makeup products that contain natural, mineral-based ingredients are often marketed as being better for the skin.

Mascara primer

A product applied to the lashes before mascara to enhance volume and length.

Matte lipstick

A lipstick formula that dries down to a completely matte finish.

Mascara: A cosmetic product applied to the eyelashes to darken, lengthen, and add volume.

Matte finish: A non-shiny, flat finish in makeup products, such as eyeshadows, lipsticks, or foundations.

Micellar water: A gentle cleansing product that uses micelles to attract and remove makeup, dirt, and oil from the skin without stripping or irritation.

Microblading: A semi-permanent makeup technique that uses a fine blade to create hair-like strokes to fill in and shape eyebrows.

Microdermabrasion: A skincare treatment that exfoliates and resurfaces the skin using a machine that sprays fine crystals or uses a diamond tip to gently abrade the outermost layer of the skin.

Mineral makeup: Cosmetics made from finely ground minerals that are free from common irritants, such as fragrance, talc, and synthetic dyes.

Moisturiser: A skincare product designed to hydrate and nourish the skin, often used as a base before makeup application.

Mousse foundation: A lightweight, airy foundation with a whipped texture that provides buildable coverage and a smooth finish.

Multi-tasking products: Makeup and skincare products that serve multiple purposes, such as a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen or a lip and cheek tint.

Makeup artist (MUA): A professional who applies makeup and hairstyling techniques to create a desired look for clients, models, or performers.

Makeup brushes: Tools made from synthetic or natural fibres used to apply, blend, and shape makeup products on the face and body.

Makeup remover: A product designed to dissolve and remove makeup from the skin, often available in various forms such as liquids, wipes, or balms.

Makeup sponge: A soft, porous tool used to apply and blend liquid or cream makeup products for a seamless, airbrushed finish.

Makeup station: A designated area where a makeup artist sets up their tools and products to apply makeup on clients or performers.

Makeup tester: A sample of a makeup product is provided for customers to try before purchasing the full-sized product.

Makeup wipes: Disposable, pre-moistened towelettes designed to remove makeup, dirt, and oil from the skin.

Mannequin head: A realistic, often human hair-covered model used for practising makeup and hairstyling techniques.

Masterclass: An advanced educational course or workshop led by an expert in the makeup and hair industry, often focusing on specific techniques or trends.

Mink lashes: False eyelashes made from mink fur, known for their lightweight, natural appearance and luxurious feel.



The process of using makeup to counteract or balance out certain colours on the skin, such as redness or discolouration.

Nude makeup

Makeup that is designed to look natural and enhance the wearer’s features without being too noticeable.

Nude lipstick

A lip colour that closely matches the wearer’s natural lip colour or skin tone, is often used to create a subtle or natural makeup look.

Natural makeup

Makeup that is designed to look like the wearer is not wearing any makeup at all, often using neutral colours and sheer formulas.

Natural bristles: Makeup brush fibres made from animal hair, often considered superior for blending powder products, but not ideal for those seeking cruelty-free or vegan options.

Natural hair: Hair that has not been chemically altered, such as by perming, straightening, or colouring.

Natural makeup: A makeup style that enhances the wearer’s features while maintaining a minimal, unassuming appearance.

Neutral shades: Colors that do not have a strong undertone and work well for various skin tones and types, such as beige, taupe, and brown.

Non-comedogenic: A term used to describe skincare and makeup products that do not clog pores or cause acne.

Nose contouring: The practice of using makeup to reshape or define the nose, typically involving the application of contour and highlight shades.

No-heat styling: Hairstyling techniques that do not use heat from tools such as curling irons, flat irons, or blow dryers, are often employed to reduce damage and maintain hair health.

Nourishing treatments: Skincare or haircare products and treatments that provide essential nutrients and hydration to improve the overall health and appearance of the skin or hair.


Out of your kit

Meaning to use whatever you have brought with you – maybe to sort a last minute request to create a bruise or scratch. Having a well-stocked kit is therefore really important for every MUA.

Oil-free makeup

Makeup products that are free from oils and are designed to be lightweight and non-greasy.

Organic makeup

Makeup products that are made with organic and/or natural ingredients.


Putting on a wash

No, this isn’t base make-up. It’s using a washing machine – you’ve no idea how many towels and cloths MUAs get through in a day!


The colour or tint of a makeup product.

Primer water

A lightweight, hydrating product that can be used as a primer before makeup application or as a refreshing mist throughout the day.

Pressed powder

A compact powder product that is used to set makeup or reduce shine.



Quartz is a mineral that is sometimes used as an ingredient in makeup products, particularly in mineral makeup formulations. It can have various benefits, such as providing a natural glow and promoting skin health.

Quick Dry

Quick dry refers to makeup products that set or dry rapidly after application, such as fast-drying liquid eyeliners or nail polishes. These products are designed for convenient and efficient use.


Quads are makeup palettes that typically contain four complementary shades of eyeshadow, blush, or other makeup products. They are designed to create a cohesive look using a small, curated selection of colours.

Quality Control

Quality control refers to the processes and standards that makeup manufacturers implement to ensure their products meet the desired levels of quality, safety, and performance.


In the context of makeup, a quill is a small, fine brush used for the detailed application of makeup products, such as eyeliner or brow products. The term is inspired by the traditional use of quills as writing instruments.



This is for those working in fashion – it’s just another word for the catwalk.


The process of fixing and adjusting makeup throughout a shoot or event to keep it looking fresh.


A finish that gives the skin a healthy, luminous glow.



A supporting artist (SA) – an ‘extra’ or having a walk-on part.


‘Special Effects‘ (SFX) refers to the creation of wounds and scars as well as prosthetic makeup.

Spot painting

If you are going for a natural look (eg for children) it can often be easier to spot paint out imperfections rather than apply full makeup.

Setting spray

A product sprayed onto the face after makeup application to help it last longer and stay in place.


A technique of using a shimmery product to highlight certain areas of the face and create a radiant effect.


A finish that is somewhere between matte and glossy, with a subtle sheen.

Setting powder

A powder is applied to the skin to set liquid or cream makeup and prevent it from smudging or rubbing off.

Silicone-based makeup

Makeup products that contain silicone, help to create a smooth, flawless finish.


Under-eye concealer

A product used to hide dark circles or discolouration under the eyes.


The process of applying a base layer of makeup to even out the skin tone before adding additional colour or detail.

Under-eye Concealer: A type of concealer used to cover dark circles and discolouration under the eyes, usually formulated with a lighter texture and a brightening effect.

Undereye Setting Powder: A translucent or coloured powder applied to set under-eye concealer, prevent creasing, and provide a smooth, long-lasting finish.

Updo Hairstyles: A category of hairstyling that involves arranging the hair into elegant, formal, or casual up-swept styles, including various bun shapes and updo techniques.

Ultra Matte: A type of makeup finish that is completely matte and has no shine or shimmer, often used in foundations, lipsticks, and eyeshadows.

Upstaging: A term used in makeup and hair design to refer to a technique that draws attention to a particular feature, such as bold lipstick or dramatic eye makeup, while toning down other elements.

Undone Waves: A relaxed, beachy, and tousled hairstyle created using a curling iron or hot rollers, then combed out and styled with texturizing products.

Undercut Hairstyle: A modern and edgy haircut style that involves shaving or trimming the hair short on one or both sides, while leaving the top longer and styled in various ways.


Vent Brush

A type of hairbrush with widely spaced bristles and vents that allow for better airflow, commonly used for detangling, styling, and blow-drying hair.


In both makeup and hairstyling, volume refers to the appearance of fullness and dimension. Techniques such as contouring, highlighting, and using volumizing hair products are used to create the illusion of volume.

Velcro Rollers

A hairstyling tool that uses Velcro material to grip and hold the hair in place, creating volume, waves, or curls without the use of heat.

Volumising mascara

A type of mascara that is designed to make the lashes appear thicker and fuller.

Vegan makeup

Makeup products that are free from animal-derived ingredients and are not tested on animals.


A French term for a makeup artist who specialises in creating customised makeup looks based on a client’s individual facial features, skin tone, and personal style.

Vintage Hairstyling

A specialisation within hairstyling courses focuses on the techniques and styles used in various historical periods, such as finger waves, victory rolls, and beehive updos.

Variable Heat Settings

A feature on many hair tools, such as curling irons, straighteners, and hairdryers, that allows the user to adjust the heat level to suit different hair types and styling needs.


Wig block

A head-shaped block – usually covered in canvas (‘soft block’) – to enable you to dress, display and store wigs.

Working ‘off the mirror’

Paying close attention to how the makeup looks in the mirror is as important as looking directly at your client’s face.


As in “it’s a wrap” – the end of shooting a take or filming for the day.

Waterproof Makeup

Makeup products are designed to resist water and sweat and stay in place, even when exposed to moisture.


The area inside the lower eyelid, where eyeliner or other makeup products can be applied.



A type of concealer product that is specifically designed to hide blemishes and imperfections.

Xanthan Gum

A natural ingredient found in some makeup and skincare products often used as a thickener, stabiliser, or emulsifier.


Yellow-based foundation

A foundation that contains yellow undertones, which are often used to counteract redness in the skin.


A mineral makeup brand that specializes in products made from natural, non-toxic ingredients, often used by makeup artists for their clients with sensitive skin.

Yarn braids 

A hairstyling technique that involves braiding synthetic yarn into the hair to create a textured, bohemian look, often used in African and African-American hairstyles.


A tool used in airbrush makeup application to connect the airbrush gun and compressor, allowing for a smooth and even application of makeup.


Z Palette

A customizable makeup palette designed to hold and organise individual makeup pans, often used by makeup artists for their kit.

Zigzag part

A hairstyling technique of creating a part in the hair that zigzags back and forth, often used to create a more natural-looking, effortless style.

Zipper braid

A braiding technique that involves weaving the hair in a pattern that resembles a zipper, often used to create intricate, unique hairstyles.

Zirconium Dioxide

A common ingredient found in some makeup products often used as a colourant or to provide a smooth, silky texture.

Zero waste

A sustainable approach to makeup and beauty that aims to reduce waste and promote eco-friendly practices, often by using refillable or biodegradable packaging.