Rude Girl's Glossary of Web Beauty Lingo

This is an ever-growing list of abbreviations and other terms that you may encounter if you spend time around the beauty community--whether it be blogs, YouTube, forums etc.
Some of these terms I find idiotic; for these, I've spared no opportunity to add my own commentary.



  • ACW: All Cosmetics Wholesale. A site that sells overstock/discontinued items at a small discount.
  • argan oil: A Moroccan plant-derived oil used to moisturise skin and give sheen to hair. Heavily marketed by the Josie Maran brand.


  • BA:
    1. Beauty Advisor: A title for a sales representative at the cosmetics department of various stores, such as Macy's.
    2. Beauty Ambassador: A volunteer product tester and promoter for Wet 'n' Wild.
    3. breast augmentation.
  • BB cream: blemish (also 'beblesh') balm (also 'base') cream, alternately advertised as 'Beauty Balm' in Western markets. Product, primarily of Korean origin, that serves as a combination foundation, moisturiser, tinted sunblock (in most cases) and concealler. More frequently used as just an alternative marketing name for tinted moisturiser/sunblock in the West.
  • B&BW: Bath and Body Works, a brick-and-mortar and online store selling bath products, fragrances, candles and lip glosses. Not to be confused with BBW, 'Big Beautiful Women'.
  • BHT: butylated hydroxytoluene. Antioxidant and additive used as a preservative. May or may not have adverse health effects. See also parabens.
  • BI: Beauty Insider. Sephora's customer loyalty programme; or an individual on the low tier of the programme, below a VIB.
  • BOGO: buy one, get one (free, 50% off etc.).
  • BoS: Book of Shadows. Urban Decay palette, a new one of which is released every so often.


  • CC cream: Product that claims to be an improvement upon BB creams, the hype of which CC creams evidently which to capitalise on. Backronym for 'Colour Control'.
  • CG: Covergirl. A ubiquitous, lower-end American make-up brand.
  • CK: Calvin Klein. A clothing brand that also sells fragrance, and has released a cosmetics line several times before.
    Ex.: I had hopes that they'd get it right this time, but 2012's ck one make-up line did not impress me.


  • de-pot: To remove a pan of product, such as eyeshadow, from its main packaging. Often done to aggregate multiple products in a single, more compact case.
  • dupe: duplicate. A product that knocks off another, usually more expensive one, most frequently in applied colour rather than in packaging.


  • EL: Estée Lauder; generally refers to the main high-end make-up & skincare brand, rather than the umbrella company.
  • e.l.f., ELF: Eyes Lips Face. An abbreviation that serves as the primary identifier of the company, which makes budget cosmetics. Sold online as well as at Target, Food 4 Less and other stores.
  • EOTD: Eye of the Day. Also see LOTD.
  • e/s: eyeshadow.


  • F&F: Friends and Family. A site- or store-wide sale that usually provides a discount in the range of 15% to 25% off. Well-known F&F sales include Sephora's annual one. Some companies, like Urban Decay, may hold one more than once a year.
  • falsies: False eyelashes.
  • foil(ed): Metallic. For eyeshadows, the verb 'foil' refers to the process of mixing the shadow with water or another liquid for a more metallic/pigmented effect.
  • FOTD: Face of the Day. See also LOTD.


  • (Beauty) Guru: A 'guru' (YouTube's own term), or vlogger, who makes beauty-related video tutorials, reviews etc.
  • GWP: gift with purchase.
    Ex.:I got this bag with a mini mascara and a perfume sample as a GWP from spending $50 on Lancôme products at Nordstrom.


  • haul: Someone's single-visit purchase of multiple products. Also used as a verb.
    Ex.: (n.) Hay guise, here's a video of my ridiculously giant haul, which is my latest in my e-peen war of materialistic envy!; (v.) I just got paid yesterday, so instead of paying my rent, I hauled all of the Smashbox lip glosses at my local Sephora. WHAT A STEAL!!
  • HG: holy grail. Someone's number-one product in a particular category.
    Ex.: Child Labour Beauty(TM)'s Colourful Lipstick for Lips is my HG lipstick!!!!11 It like goes on my lips and makes them look coloured and stuff, SO PERFECT!!!1


  • IBS: International Beauty Show. A trade show held in New York City and Las Vegas (contrary to the 'International' name).


  • KVD: Kat Von D. Tattoo artist from reality show LA Ink who also has a make-up and perfume line at Sephora.


  • LE: limited edition.
    Ex.: MAC's new LE products are special in that have a microscopic red dot on their casings, and are only available this year. Total collector's item, OMG BETTER GET IT BEFORE IT'S GONE!!!
  • lemmings: Desire to obtain a product. Sometimes used as a verb.
    Ex.: (n.) That promo picture for the new palettes is giving me the lemmings; (v.) I'm really lemming those pretty new lip colours.
  • lippy:
    1. Cloyingly cutesy nickname for a lip product, usually lipstick.
    2. Rating, on a scale that goes up to five, for reviews on Makeupalley. The site uses a lipstick icon in place of a generic star.
    3. Name of nail lacquer company Butter London's lip glosses.
  • l/s: lipstick.
  • LOTD: Look of the Day. A post or video in which one shares photos of her face and/or body (and products/clothes on it). Often not accompanied by an actual tutorial. Presented as 'inspiration', but not unlikely to just be a manifestation of narcissism. Also see EOTD, OOTD.


  • MAC: Usual name for Make-up Art Cosmetics, a higher-end cosmetics brand.
  • MLBB: my lips, but better. Lip colour that is similar to that of, but still stronger than, one's natural lips. Given that this is a subjective term, this could be anything from a mauve or pinkish-nude that is only a shade or two darker than a specific individual's lips; or simply any tone that is not loudly unnatural, glittery, neon and vibrant.
  • Monistat chafing relief powder/gel: Silicone oil gel that, in addition to soothing feet and butthurt, is used by some as a face primer.
  • monolid: Eye, or an individual with eyes, lacking a (fully-formed) eyelid crease/fold. Most commonly seen in individuals of east Asian/oriental descent.
  • MUA:
    1. make-up artist: (n.) One who applies make-up to other people's faces, either for free or for an insignificant amount of money.
      ex.: I'm a make-up artist because I love to help people realise their natural beauty! I'm also a porn star to support the feminist movement! LOL!1
    2. Makeupalley. A site of aggregated short user-submitted reviews on products.
    3. Makeup Academy. A brand of low-cost cosmetics, sold at Superdrug and online. Known for their Undressed Palette, which is a dupe of Urban Decay's popular original Naked palette.
  • MUFE: Make Up For Ever, a higher-end cosmetics brand. Frequently advertised as a brand for professional make-up artists.


  • Nordie's: Cloyingly cutesy name for Nordstrom's.
  • NP:
    1. Napoleon Perdis. Abbreviation is used in the Australian cosmetics brand's logo. Make-up artist and founder after which the company is named also has cosmetics schools (The Napoleon Perdis Makeup Academy) and a limited number of stores. NP Set is the brand's lower-priced line of make-up products, sold at Target.
    2. nail polish.



  • parabens: Types of chemicals used as preservatives in cosmetics and other products. There is concern that they have adverse health effects.
  • PF: Physician's Formula. A brand of cosmetics and anti-aging skincare products, sold mainly in drugstores in the US.


  • quad: A palette of four different eyeshadows.


  • R&R: Rock & Republic, a high-end jeans company that briefly sold cosmetics as well.


  • set: To use product in order to improve longevity of applied make-up. One method is to go over a liquid or cream product (foundation, eyeliner, cream eyeshadow etc.) with a powder; this helps keep the product avoid sliding around, which may be of concern especially to individuals with oily skin. Another method is to use a setting spray over the entire face.
  • Shu: Shu Uemura. High-end make-up and skincare brand, named after its founder, a deceased make-up artist.
  • stash: One's personal collection of products.
    Ex.: This is a photo of my make-up stash. It takes up three entire train cases.
  • sub, subber, subbie: A subscriber, usually of a YouTube guru.
  • swatch: An image of how a product looks applied. Sometimes done on respective body part, but more frequently shown on the arm or on paper. Also used as a verb ('to make a swatch').
    ex.: That lipstick looks really beautiful by itself, but seeing it swatched on your fugly lips makes me turn gay for non-cosmetic-products.


  • Tag: A YouTube video where you answer a short list of prompts to talk about yourself. Popular amongst YouTube gurus Kind of like those old Quizilla-type things that used to circulate round Xanga and such, except we have to see your face and how you think everyone cares.
    Ex.: TAG: 20 Random Things about ME!!!; Fave Products Tag
  • TFSI: Too Faced Shadow Insurance. An eyeshadow primer made by Too Faced Cosmetics. Along with Urban Decay Primer Potion, a popular product for improving the longevity and vibrancy of eye shadows.
  • TM: tinted moisturiser. Or, of course, a trademark.


  • UD: Urban Decay. Make-up brand, founded in 1996, that originally sold products that were cruelty-free and in unconventional, vibrant colours; now mainstream and owned by the L'Oreal Group.
  • UDPP: Urban Decay Primer Potion. A popular eyeshadow primer made by Urban Decay.


  • vampy: Make-up that is reminiscent of the vamp/dark femme fatale archetype, such as smokey eyes and/or bold (red or wine-coloured) lips.
  • VIB: Very Important Beauty [Insider]. Sephora's loyalty programme for individuals who spend US$350 or over in one year. May indicate mental and probably also financial issues on the part of the enrolled individual. The 'Insider' part of the acronym is left out, making the abbreviation read extremely stupidly and cornily. C.f. BI.


  • WnW: Wet 'n' Wild, a U.S. company that makes low-priced make-up products.
  • WR / WB / WNR / WNB: Would rebuy / Would buy / Would not rebuy / Would not buy. Often used in empties posts or short reviews to indicate whether a product would be worthy of spending one's (or one's parents', husband's/wife's, celebrity dog's or country's impoverished people, depending on whether one is an adult, child or tyrant) money on.


  • YSL: Yves Saint Laurent. Fashion brand that also sells cosmetics and perfumes.
  • YT: YouTube. See also guru.