A Glossary Of Weird Makeup Terms

The world of makeup can be a scary place – especially when it comes with a barrage of strange beauty terms you never knew existed. Here’s to trying to nail them (and a new makeup technique while we’re at it!) one at a time.

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Image from YouTube (@Heidi Hamoud)

Skeptics be scoffing at the term, but my ladies and YouTube makeup cult followers know where it’s at. “Baking” is a term and method of makeup setting that’s been used in the drag community for decades – and is essentially applying translucent powder to the skin and letting it sit for about ten minutes; thereby allowing your body heat to “melt” the product into a creaseless, flawless finish. Afterwards, simply dust the excess powder off. The key here is to apply a heavy layer of powder on top of your base makeup (foundation, concealer etc.), so there’s enough of it to bake your concealer into your face. If you think you look ridiculous halfway through, you’re doing it right.
Image from Instagram (@kendalljenner)

To break it down for you, consider this analogy: If Kylie were contouring personified, Kendall would be strobing. Both techniques leave you with a flawless, chiseled face – but instead of the harsh, darker browns used to accentuate the hollows of your face, strobing focuses on using your best highlighters to bring out the areas where light would naturally hit. That means turning up the glow on your cheekbones, brow bone, nosebridge, and centre of your forehead. The finished result is a more natural, dewy look that’s still as camera-ready – and far more appropriate in our Asian communities, tbh.
Ever wondered what a flat-topped stipple brush was for? Stippling involves applying your liquid foundation in dotting motions, as opposed to regular rubbing or brushing in it with a foundation brush, for a more airbrushed effect. Stippling is particularly recommended for those with acne scars, as it brushes foundation over the scars instead of into, giving you a smooth finish. The term itself is originally one used in visual art and painting, wherein the artist marks the canvas with numerous small dots or specks – more proof that makeup is an art form in its own.
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Image from YouTube (@jeffreestar)

Urban Dictionary defines it as “a popular term in the gay community referring to good looks, fierceness, or something good”; think “fleek” but way more fabulous. While it isn’t exactly a legitimate makeup term, beauty YouTubers and makeup artists alike have been casually incorporating “snatched” into their get-ready-with-me lingo, to convey how polished or on-point they want their makeup to be. The one and only Jeffree Star is guilty of constantly informing his viewers to “keep that nose snatched”.
More straightforward than it sounds, buffing product into your skin simply means evening it out over the face for a smooth finish – be it foundation, powder, blush etc. It’s also more commonly used with mineral makeup, which comes in loose powder form, and done in circular motions till everything is molded smoothly into the face. Think the finished effect of beautyblenders, but with a brush.


We’ll end on a light note. Tightlining your eyes is the technique of applying eyeliner at the top and bottom of your lash lines, and is a simple way to subtly brighten the eyes while still looking natural. Carefully draw along your waterline and fill in between your lashes; but be sure not to poke an eye out.