Monday, 22 September 2014

10 Beauty Words Decoded

The beauty industry is full of new words all the time. After a few people asked me what I meant by certain things, I thought I would decode some current ones. I tried seeing if any of the usual magazine suspects had a cheat sheet of definitions, but Google proved fruitless and just kept telling me about the potential health benefits of acai berries. Can't say I didn't try.

1. BB Cream- It stands for 'beauty balm', and is a moisturiser, primer, sunscreen and foundation all in one. I wear one everyday- No 17 BB Cream is my favourite- I find it lighter than foundation, improves my skin tone and has SPF 25, so I feel like I am doing something about anti-ageing.

2. CC Cream- Stands for 'Colour Control' so it's perfect for people who want to balance out redness and even skin tone. Personally I would say CC creams are better for older skin as they're super blendable and will hide age spots and broken capillaries, whereas for younger skin a BB cream is a better bet for clearing your skin and protecting you against the elements.

3. Balayage- Refers to a technique of hair highlighting that's done freehand- i.e. without foils- so that the colourist can get a rough, natural look. I suggested it to my hairdresser when I last got it coloured, but she said it wasn't necessary. I think this one will be a bit of a flash in the pan as a good hairdresser should be able to avoid the stripy look with well placed foils anyway.

4. Undercut- Is a big trend right now where you shave a section of your head, underneath your hair, so that you get a cool, edgy look when you tie up or section the top part.

5. Coconut Oil- Having a moment recently. You can buy coconut oil from health food shops, and it's best to get the pure, unrefined, unscented variety without any additives. It's good for almost everything, from cooking, to massages, to sealing and nourishing split ends. A lot of people are raving about it as a lubricant too...if Bounty bars turn you on.

6. Shellac- An ultra-tough nail varnish used in manicures that is made out of shells. Super shiny and hard wearing, you only have to change nail varnish colours when regrowth starts to show, and it's not as bad for your nails as gel.

7. Primers- Primers for eyes and skin are not interchangeable. While skin primer (my favourite is Instablur*) is smoothing and silky, eye primer is sticky, to enable the pigment to stick to your eyelids. They go under your make up to increase longevity.

8. Stippling- Is the process of using a stippling brush to apply your foundation in a 'dabbing' motion instead of sweeping. It pushes the foundation into your skin and gives heavier coverage. Personally as I have quite dry skin I'm not a fan of this method- I tend to use my fingers to warm up the product so it goes on smoothly, but a lot of people rave about it.

9. Contouring- Pinterest is your holy grail for learning this one, but to simplify, dark colours create shadows, and push elements of your face back. Light, bright colours bring elements forward. With contouring, you apply dark colours, namely bronzer, to the hollows of your cheeks (under your cheek bones when you suck your cheeks in), under your jaw line, and to any imperfections in your nose (widen, narrow etc). You then apply highlighter to where you want to pop out on your new slim face depending on your face shape. Sides of nose, t-zone, brow bone etc. You can basically make the face shape you always wish you had. I use a Sleek contour palette for this. Be careful, it is SUPER pigmented and you don't want to look like an oompa-loompa.

10. Chalking- Hair chalking has been around for a good while, but it's having a revival since Bleach London brought their range out in Boots. It's a non-permanent, fun way of adding coloured sections to your hair for festivals and the like. You basically select a section and colour it in with the chalk.

Did you find this helpful? Is there anything else that has you baffled?

Annabel xxx

Photo Credit: Pinterest


  1. I'm kind of glad to find the phrase 'undercut'. A friend and I did this to each other back in HS, but we just called it a white trash ponytail. Undercut sounds much classier/edgier. lol

    1. Ha I actually love them! Try googling/pinteresting them. I sometimes braid the side of my hair into a faux undercut because I'm worried if I got a real one I'd actually look bald. Haha. x


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