Beauty Blogging Jargon That Confuses Everyone Else

Friday, March 16, 2018

beauty flatlay, beauty blogging jargon, abh single shadows, nyx hd finishing powder,

The beauty world is riddled with wonderful terms and phrases and even some particularly confusing product names that to any non-beauty-world person would sound odd. And I don’t just mean people like my husband, who is constantly confused when he hears me use one of these words, but even people who love beauty products but don’t necessarily involve themselves in the world of beauty with all its hip-happenings (that’s not one of the terms & I realise I don’t sound cool using it!). There are just some bits of jargon that us beauty bloggers or those in the industry have come to learn and use in our beauty related way that anybody else would find completely ridiculous or at least bemusing.

Here are some of the ones I’m aware would sound random outside of the beauty world but of course I’m sure there are others that I don’t even realise are perplexing anymore. They’ve become too deep rooted. Hah!


An odd term I reluctantly added to my vernacular, this describes the action of using a product so much the metal casing underneath is now visible. It’s become one of my favourite makeup phenomenons to observe and experience.

e.g. "Finally hit pan on that blusher after using it for 7 years. (Gross and true)"


This is one of those terms that became the thang for a while that I never actually used myself except sarcastically because I feel like it’s only suitable to use for those under the age of 18. Commonly used to describe the accuracy with which one has painted on their eyeliner flicks or brows that day or just generally how their makeup has turned out on the day.

e.g. "My brows are on fleek. Not fire. Fleek. On fleek." 


This is the one that inspired the entire post because whenever I refer to any of my primers as a primer, the Husband looks at me like I’m a weirdo. His understanding of the word primer is: primer paint, or undercoat, that you apply to walls to ensure better application, longevity and durability of the subsequent paints. Sound familiar?

e.g. "This primer is the bomb dot com." (wow...never used that nonsensical phrase in my life until now)


Not 'empty products'. That was too long to keep saying or typing. We’ve collectively all made empties the colloquial term to name the collection of rubbish we pile up in our rooms somewhere. The pile of rubbish that confuses everyone else. And when someone tries to chuck them into the recycling bin we lunge at them screaming “MY EMPTIES!!! My precious!!!”.

e.g. "I used to hate posting my empties every month & now I look forward to them immensely."


You hear highlighter - you think Stabilo or Staedtler right? The neon chunky monkey of the pencil case crew that would result in a little struggle with the zipper at the end of each lesson. But the highlighter we all needed back in secondary school despite not learning how to properly use one till we got to uni. That’s what highlighter means to everyone else. But not to us in the beauty world. Oh no! It is the imparting of a molten glow visible from the next galaxy by means of a finely milled metallic powder or cream.

e.g. "My highlighter is on fire today, I mean on fleek."


Until I got obsessed with the beauty blogging world, to me Swatch was only a watch company with a large glass fronted store on Oxford Street. Now it’s more commonly used as a verb to describe the art of demonstrating the colour of a makeup item on one’s skin on some part of the body.

e.g. "What even is a blog post without the swatches though. Swatch them please. Please tell me you’ve swatched them" - autocorrect always changes this to ‘searched’ for me. It’s always a battle. 


This is a new one for me but I am so glad there is a term for the annoying phenomenon of a product balling up on your skin as you go to rub or buff it in. This isn’t just with makeup as it can happen on your face or body skincare. It’s just so annoying when it happens because most times it means all that hard work you’ve already put in has balled up and is rolling around all over the place. Aargh!

e.g. "I hope this doesn’t pill up on my face. Please no pilling, just play nice."


Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Holy Grail is a biblical or medieval term. Either way, I learnt it as a kid after watching Indiana Jones - The Last Crusade (awesome movie!). It is used to describe something that is wholly sought after and prized for its ability provide infinite happiness. And it still has the same essence in the beauty world except that we use it recklessly every now and then to rave about our latest favourite lip liner or brow pencil or what have you. It’s the ultimate favourite that we couldn’t be without. If only it could impart some longer lasting youth upon us, eh?

e.g. "This holy grail concealer has knocked my previous holy grail concealer off the top spot."

Which other terms do we use that would confuse others? Have you had an experience where someone was bewildered by one of the beauty blogging terms? I'd love to know...

Sal xxx
Bloglovin | Instagram | Twitter

You Might Also Like