Makeup vocabulary

This entry is aimed at solving many doubts that arise at the level of vocabulary when entering the world of makeup. This includes words adapted to Spanish from other languages and also trade names that are usually used generically. There are many specific words that can create confusion and through this post I will try to define the most common. If you have any specific questions you can write an email to our contact.

Products and materials:

  • Jumbo: Thick pencil that is usually used as a cream eyeshadow. It can also be used as a pre-base for shadows.

  • Eye-primer or Paintpot: Pre-base for shadows. A previous step when applying the powder eyeshadow so that it fixes more, leaves a more intense color and lasts longer. It can be with or without color. In the case of paintpots they can be used alone

  • Khôl or Kajal: Very creamy type of pencil especially used to draw. It is usually used in the water line and also to blend. It is ideal for smoky eyes makeup

  • Blush: Blush / blush. It can be powder or cream.

  • Eye brow pencil: From the English term, eyebrow pencil, are usually harder than an eye pencil and with a powdery finish.

  • Glitter. Glitter particles

  • Concealer / camouflage: English term, concealer, whether for dark circles, pimples ... etc. Camouflage refers to concealers with a higher coverage, usually marketed by professional makeup brands.


  • Kabuki: Brush with lots of hair and usually with a short handle. It is used to apply loose or compact powders. It usually has a rounded cut. It is a brush with a lot of history since it was widely used in the ancient Japanese theaters.

  • Skunk: It is called that because you have similar colors to the skunk's tail. Made up of a mix of white synthetic hair and black natural hair. It is very versatile. Can be used for loose, compact and base powders. In the case of the base, the finish is very natural since natural hair absorbs excess product and artificial hair spreads the product evenly.

  • Cat's Tongue: So called because its shape resembles a kitten's tongue. There are bigger ones (indicated for makeup bases with which we want to give a covering aspect) and smaller ones (for concealer, for example). Useful when we want to reach every corner. They are normally made of synthetic hair (although they are also marketed with natural hair)

  • Blender / blending brush: Brush to blur shadows.

  • Goubillon / Gupillón: This is the name of the brush that comes with the mascara. You can use the French shovel or the adaptation to Castilian.

  • Fan: Brush of that form that serves to remove traces of shadow or dust in the lower area of the eye

  • Beveling: Angle cut brush or brush. In brush it is very practical to blur a khol, for example.



  • Shimmer: Brilliant
  • Frost: Frosty effect
  • Matte: No shine
  • Pearl: With shine (in fact, like the shine of a pearl)
  • Flawless: English term, refers to the perfect finish (with a fine, uniform and natural finish)
  • Airbrush: English term, refers when the finish is similar to that given by an airbrush or spray.
  • Nude: Nude effect, as if nothing had been applied.

Lipstick coverage:

  • SHEER: Low coverage.
  • GLAZE: Low gloss coverage.
  • LUSTER: Medium-low coverage and pearl finish (with gloss)
  • SATIN: Medium-high coverage and satin finish (quite matte)
  • FROST: Medium coverage and wet or frosty finish
  • MATTE: High coverage and matte finish (no gloss)



  • Packaging: It is the "packaging" or packaging of products. For example: the box in which the shadow comes.
  • Nude color: It is a type of color or skin color finish, as its name indicates.


  • Swatches. It is the leather sample of a product to give you an idea of how the color looks.


  • Depote: Normally it is applied for shadows but it can also be done on lipsticks, concealers ... etc. It is about extracting the product from its original container to insert it in a pallet and thus save space.
  • Waterline: Or water line, is the inner line of the eye

  • Banana: Eye basin area. In makeup it is often said to "mark the banana" when dark shadow is applied in that area.
  • Visagismo / Visajimo: Accepted in both ways is the technique by which, using the light and dark technique, we optically modify the shape of the face. It is very topical with the so-called «contouring». The dark color optically sinks the area we want and the light will illuminate the one we want to enhance.
  • «Strobing»: Technique by which illuminators are used in order to give the skin an aspect of juiciness and freshness.

Difference between Waterproof and Water resistant:

  • Waterproof: Waterproof, which means that it can be used even on the beach or in the pool, as much as you get wet the makeup remains intact.
  • Water resistant: It is waterproof but not as resistant as the previous one. It resists a few drops but not much more.


There are many more terms by which any suggestion of yours will be welcome!



Image source:,

10 replies


    Ala, .. ,, this entrance is muxo way, ..,

    I dont know,. It seemed to me even very intellectual: P

    and look what net is important. very important ,. know the correct terms, .. ps to express yourself properly no ???

    _ ::::: kisssseeeesss ::::: _


    • Amanda Noguera
      Amanda Noguera says:

      Hello!! It is more than anything so that when people read some terms they can understand them because there are "rare" or little-known words ... and surely I have left a lot! Thanks for your comment :)

  2. Zoraida Andrea
    Zoraida Andrea says:

    Well I have heard about other terms, such as: pan cake, camouflage, bread stick, carioca, translucent powders, I would like to know their use and the presentation of these.

    • Amanda Noguera
      Amanda Noguera says:

      Hello, Zoraida !! Well let's see, there are many terms ... hehehe
      - Cake and pan-stick are makeup bases but in different presentations: The cake is a format like a "tablet" (like watercolors) and is applied by dipping the brush or makeup sponge in water. The pan-stick is a stick format that is very convenient to use. The stick is passed through different areas of the face and then extends over the entire surface (usually gives high coverage)
      - Camouflage is a professional concealer and there are countless colors, high coverage. They are not only used to cover dark circles, redness ... but also for tattoos, varicose veins and even in effects for caps and prostheses, for example.
      - Translucent Powders are transparent (colorless) powders that are applied after the foundation to set, mattify, and make makeup last longer.
      - Carioca, the truth is that I don't know what it is. I have been looking for it and I think it is related to a type of face painting or fantasy style like the one usually done at children's parties.

      I hope I've been helpful. Thank you very much for your visit and cheers!


    I loved them, they are very important things when it comes to making good makeup, although at first you can't remember but over time we become more practical at it.
    Thank you

  4. Soledad
    Loneliness says:

    Hello! I humbly wanted to correct something (which I searched exhaustively on the web) the correct Spanish term for the mascara brush is GUPILLON, there is little information but on the cosmetic sales pages of the major brands, they sell it under that name. . Very good page for people who are just beginning in the world of makeup.

    • Amanda Noguera
      Amanda Noguera says:

      Hi Soledad. First of all I would like to thank you for your comment. It is true that most companies that distribute disposable mascara brushes do so with the term "gupillon" although the terms "goubillon" or "gubillon" are accepted because it comes from French. In the same way, visagism and visajism are accepted since the first comes from the French "visage" and the second is the adaptation in Spanish.
      I'm glad that you like the Post and that you consider it useful.
      A cordial greeting,

    • Amanda Noguera
      Amanda Noguera says:

      Hi Angie, I call it shadow anywhere it's in the eye, in its container, or on the loose. I don't know if you mean when it falls, then I call it residue. A greeting.


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