Are You Fluent in Beauty Slang?

By: Jane Andrews

Are You Fluent in Beauty Slang?
Image: Halfpoint Images / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Are you obsessed with makeup and super savvy about skin care? Are your nails always on fleek? Do you know exactly what to tell your hairstylist when you head to the salon for a cut and color? Just like French, Spanish or Portuguese, the beauty world has a language that's all its own, and not everyone knows how to use it. 

If you think you're fluent in beauty speak — those terms you see hashtagged on Instagram and YouTube and hear makeup artists and beauty vloggers throw around — now's your chance to prove it. This quiz covers the language of today's top beauty insiders and will test your knowledge of all of the latest lingo, from esthetic procedures and makeup techniques (quick preview — do you know what floating eyeliner is?) to manicures, face masks and hairstyling slang. If you live for YouTube tutorials (or make them yourself) and love being in the know about lipstick shades, eyeshadow looks and contouring tricks, we have a feeling you'll breeze through the following 35 beauty-full questions.

Who knows? You just may have what it takes to be the next big-time beauty blogger, YouTube celeb or Instagram star. Are you ready to test your skills and find out?


Can you tell us where your waterline is?
The crease between your lips at the corner of the mouth
The rim where your eyelid meets your eye
While there are a number of makeup techniques that call for eyeliner to be applied directly to the upper or lower waterline, you need to be very careful when applying so as not to irritate the eye or cause infection. Use only dry eyeliner pencils and make sure the formula is waterproof.
The area just under your nose
It's another word for hairline.

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How about threading?
A hair-cutting method
A facial that involves intensive exfoliation
A type of manicure
An eyebrow-shaping technique
Having your eyebrows threaded is essentially like getting multiple eyebrow hairs tweezed at one time. The process pulls hairs from the follicle, row by row, via a piece of string. It tends to be less irritating to the skin than waxing, which is one of the reasons why it's such a popular alternative.

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Having virgin hair means which of the following things?
Your hair has never been colored or chemically treated.
If your locks have never been dyed, permed, relaxed, bleached or treated with any other type of chemical formula, you have virgin hair. The same is true of extensions that are labeled as virgin — it means they are made of real human hair (not synthetic) that hasn't been colored or processed.
You've never styled your hair with heating tools.
Your hair has never been cut.
You have no gray hair.

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When you use contrasting shades of makeup to enhance and define facial features, what technique are you using?
Contouring
While professional makeup artists have used the contouring technique for decades, it became a huge DIY trend in early 2010 thanks to its popularity among the Kardashian sisters and online beauty influences.
Feathering
Draping
Foiling

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If you're about to "bake" your face, what are you going to do?
Expose it to the sun without wearing SPF
Let loose powder sit and soak into your skin for a few minutes to help set your foundation
In addition to using the heat from your face to help set your liquid foundation, this technique creates a smooth, creaseless finish that doesn't get streaky, cakey or call out large pores.
Apply foundation to bare, unmoisturized skin
Intentionally wear a foundation that doesn't match your skin tone

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Long nails filed into a sharp, triangular point are called what?
Squoval
Pointed
Pierced
Stiletto
Typically created with false nails applied to the natural nail tip, stiletto nails are fierce and flashy. They often feature creative, out-of-the-box nail polish designs and bright, eye-catching colors.

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If you ask for babylights at the salon, what are you getting?
Chunky highlights
Multicolored highlights
Fine, subtle highlights
To create babylights, a stylist applies color strategically to very thin wisps of hair around the head. The end result is a subtle shimmer of color that looks natural and grows out seamlessly.
A mixture of highlights and lowlights

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In the world of makeup, what's a dupe?
A product that has been previously used but is in good condition
A less expensive product that's almost identical to its high-end counterpart
Short for "duplicate," a dupe is an affordable knock-off of a high-end piece of makeup such as a lipstick, bronzer, blush or foundation. If you Google "makeup dupes," you'll find a treasure trove of money-saving dupe suggestions from beauty bloggers and websites.
A high-end product that isn't worth the money
A product endorsed by a celebrity

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Do you know what a cut crease is?
A short, spiky hairstyle
An eye makeup technique
A cut create is a popular eye makeup technique that involves using different shades of eyeshadow to create a sharp, definable line across the eyelid. It creates a bold, dramatic look and brings extra attention to the eyes.
A type of face mask
A contouring trick

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Non-touring is which of the following techniques?
A natural hair-lightening method
An exaggerated form of contouring
A body hair removal technique
A makeup application technique that creates a glowing, clean-looking complexion
Non-touring is essentially a highlighting technique that gives skin a fresh, no-makeup makeup look. Typically, non-toured looks are created using products like primers, tinted moisturizers, and cream or powder highlighters.

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What do you call a shampoo that's designed to remove buildup from the hair?
Conditioning shampoo
Clarifying shampoo
Stronger than regular shampoo, clarifying shampoos remove the dirt, debris and other buildup left by things like styling products, dry shampoo and hard water. Because they have high pH levels that can strip and dry out the hair, so they should only be used once or twice a week.
Volumizing shampoo
2-in-1 shampoo

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How would you describe a French manicure?
A manicure with clear polish and no color
A manicure with white polish at the tip of each nail
Despite its name, the French manicure did not originate in France. Reportedly, the style was conceived by 1970s Hollywood as a way to save time — because the versatile style did not clash with any color, movie actresses did not need to get their nails redone every time they changed costumes.
A manicure featuring different shades of polish on each nail
A manicure with nail art featuring the Eiffel Tower

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If your favorite beauty product is DC'ED, what does that mean?
It's been discontinued.
There's nothing worse than learning that your favorite skin care product or shade of lipstick is no longer being made. Luckily, there are a number of websites devoted to tracking down DC'ED products — Google "discontinued makeup" to find them.
It's been reformulated.
It's been renamed.
It's expired.

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When your best friend says they have to show you their latest haul, what are they talking about?
A collection of nail polish shades that are specific to a season
An injectable facial treatment such as Botox or fillers
A purchase of multiple makeup and beauty products from a single store
Beauty superstore chains such as Sephora, Ulta and Sally Beauty are ideal places to take home a major haul, as they carry a wide range of skincare products, hair care products and makeup from a variety of brands.
A hairstyle that's drastically different than what they had before

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Do you know what microneedling is?
A plastic surgery procedure that permanently fills pores
A procedure for the scalp that helps stimulate hair growth
A laser hair removal technique
A facial procedure that rejuvenates the skin by piercing it with tiny needles
One of most popular and cost-effective forms of microneedling is called dermarolling, which involves rolling a tool over the face that's outfitted with hundreds of microscopic needles. When performed properly by an esthetician, the process can offer many benefits, such as plumper skin, faded acne scars and a reduction of wrinkles.

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How would you define swatching?
It's a technique for applying foundation.
It's a method for testing makeup shades.
Swatching is when you apply a small amount of a makeup product (such as foundation or eyeshadow) onto your arm or hand to test its shade and finish, and see what it looks like when against your skin tone.
It's a texturizing technique for the hair.
It's a method for applying under-eye concealer.

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Can you explain what a diffuser is?
A hair dryer attachement
If you have curly hair, blow-drying it with a diffuser attachment can be extremely helpful. It helps minimize frizz by dispersing air in a way that's less rough on the delicate hair cuticle.
A type of makeup brush
A kind of highlighting powder
A shine-inducing hair spray

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If you stipple your foundation, what are you doing?
Applying it only to areas of the face that need coverage
Mixing it with a moisturizer or serum
Rubbing it together in both hands before applying
Applying it in small dots before blending
When you stipple your foundation with a stippling brush, the product is diffused in a way that creates a smooth, air-brushed finish. It's a great technique to use on acne-prone skin, as it lightly brushes foundation over scars and bumps, rather than along the sides.

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When a nail polish is 3-free, what does that mean?
The formula dries in three minutes.
The formula takes three minutes to remove.
The formula is free of three specific ingredients that are thought to be toxic.
Nail polishes that are labeled "3-free" do not contain formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate or toluene. There are also brands that offer 5-free polishes, which remove camphor and formaldehyde resin, as well.
The formula is available in three shades.

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Do you know what draping is?
A contouring technique that uses blush instead of a contouring powder
Because draping creates such a bold and dramatic look, it's very popular on the runway and the red carpet. It was also a popular look in the '70s and '80s, though it was called something else back then — color glow.
A special technique for applying under-eye concealer
A volumizing blow-drying technique
A layering hair-cutting technique

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If you've "hit pan," what have you done?
You've found your perfect shade of powder foundation.
You've exfoliated your entire body with a special scrub.
You've run out of a powder makeup such as eyeshadow or blush.
When you reach the bottom of an eyeshadow, blush or other type of powder makeup, the case it's contained in will usually start to peek through. This is when you've "hit pan" and know it's time to restock the shade.
You've mixed two shades of foundation.

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Do you know what dermal fillers are?
A type of injectable cosmetic skin care treatment
Temporary dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring molecule in the skin. The injections are used to make skin look smoother, softer and plumper, and typically last from six to 12 months.
A special primer used to fill pores
A special cream used to minimize facial scarring
A type of extreme plastic surgery

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If someone says you have a "beat face," what do they mean?
Your makeup looks amazing.
Don't be offended if someone says your face is beat — it's a compliment! While the term has recently become popular with Millennials and Gen Z'ers, it's been used for years in the beauty industry to describe makeup that's perfectly done.
Your makeup looks awful.
Your makeup is wearing off.
Your makeup is bleeding and smudging.

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Sheet masks, ampules and essences are products that are part of which popular skin care trend?
CBD beauty
Vitamin C beauty
K-beauty
The K-beauty concept of skin care comes from Korea and focuses on creating a soft and dewy complexion via intensive hydrating products such as sheet masks, essences and ampules, the latter two of which are highly concentrated serums.
J-beauty

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In the beauty industry, what does MUA stand for?
Makeup amateur
Makeup aficionado
Makeup airbrushing
Makeup artist
While MUA has been used for decades by industry professionals, the abbreviation has become more common over the last decade thanks to the advent of Instagram, Twitter and hashtags.

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You've probably heard of BB and CC creams, but do you know what DD creams do?
Offer anti-aging benefits while hiding fine lines and providing all-around coverage
Short for “Dynamic Do-All," “Daily Defense" or "Dermatologically Defining," DD creams do it all. They're designed to deliver the many anti-aging skin care benefits of BB cream while also covering imperfections, reducing redness and evening out skin tone.
Minimize dark circles under the eyes
Firm and soften the skin on your neck
Reduce puffiness

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If you're a part of the "no poo" movement, what do you do?
Use a teaspoon of shampoo
Replace shampoo with alternate hair cleaners
People who go "no poo" (short for "no shampoo") use a wide variety of alternatives to cleanse their hair, including baking soda, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, clay powder and dry shampoo. Some people ditch cleansers altogether and use only water to wash their hair.
Replace commercial conditioners with essential oils
Use the poop emoji in bad product reviews 💩

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What do beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) do for your skin?
Deliver intensive moisture
Even skin tone, smooth fine lines and clear pores
Beta hydroxy acids are chemical exfoliants that dissolve oil and help remove dead skin cells. One of the most well-known types is salicylic acid, which is an ingredient commonly found in washes and creams designed for acne-prone skin.
Minimize dark under-eye circles
Plump and firm the skin

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There's a makeup technique that involves applying eyeliner to the upper waterline. Do you know what it's called?
Waterlining
Airlining
Toplining
Tightlining
Tightlining is an eyeliner technique that creates a subtle line while also making the lashes appear fuller and thicker. Also referred to as invisible eyeliner, it's a great way to give your eyes natural-looking definition.

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A Brazilian blowout is which of the following things?
A hair-straightening treatment
Also known as keratin straightening, this type of hair treatment keeps hair smooth and straight for a long period of time (typically 10 to 12 weeks). The process involves the application of a liquid keratin formula that coats the hair, seals the cuticle and adds shine.
A blowout that leaves hair with loose, wavy curls
A blowout that leaves hair extra shiny via a gloss overlay
A dry hair conditioning technique

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Can you tell us what floating eyeliner is?
Eyeliner that's applied to the crease of the eyelid
The floating eyeliner look works well on hooded eyes because it creates a line that rests perfectly above the lashes when the eyes are closed. This adds the definition and depth that hooded eyes lack.
Eyeliner that's only applied to the top lash line
Eyeliner that's only applied to the bottom lash line
Eyeliner that's applied with a special angled brush

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If you ask your hair stylist for a dusting, what are you going to get?
Subtle highlights
An intensive conditioning treatment
A tiny trim
A dusting is essentially the tiniest trim you can get. It involves cutting off only the tips of the hair to remove split ends without it looking like the length of your hair has changed.
A dry cut

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When you foil eye shadow, what are you doing?
Dusting it with powder to help keep the color in place
Muting the color by applying primer on top
Moistening it before applying the color to the lid
Shadow that's foiled has a shiny, metallic look that's perfect for making a statement. To prepare it, mix a pigmented eye shadow shade with primer, water or makeup spray, and stir until it has a thickness similar to paint.
Adding glitter to it before applying the color to the lid

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Do you know what the term co-washing means?
To do your laundry with a friend while sharing beauty tips
To wash your face with two types of cleaners
To wash your hair with two different types of shampoo
To wash your hair with conditioner only
Because most shampoos contain harsh cleansing agents that can strip the hair of moisture, co-washing is a great way to minimize dryness and keep your locks free of frizz. It works best for people with normal to dry hair — if your hair is naturally oily, you'll probably need to use a shampoo at least once a week to keep it fresh and clean.

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Strobing has become very popular in the last few years. Do you know what it is?
A makeup application technique
Strobing is a highlighting technique similar to contouring, except it's focused on accentuating facial features by adding shades of light to specific areas of the face such as the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and the cupid's bow.
A hair highlighting technique
A Korean skin care technique
A manicure technique

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