Whaddya Mean, Tightlining?

No matter what industry you work in, there is technical talk.  Teachers speak of IEPs, real estate agents discuss easements, carpenters talk about risers and treads, etc.  Us makeup artists have our own language too…and it just happens to be the prettiest one 🙂

Sometimes I refer to things forgetting that I’m speaking in makeupese  and some people might not know what the hell I’m talking about.  So I’m going to do for you what Big L did for street slang–I’m gonna school you.

Airbrush Makeup: A liquefied form of makeup applied with an airbrush machine.  Can give skin a flawless look, depending on the product and application technique.  It sits on top of the skin, so it’s a great option for mature/wrinkled skin.

Brush Roll: The pouch used to hold makeup brushes.

Cat Eye: An eye makeup look that is thickest and angled at the outer corners.  Not for those who want a subtle look.

Color Wash: Using one shade of eyeshadow for both eyelid and crease.

Contour: Using a dark color to make something recede.  This is how to minimize the width or length of a feature.

Crease: The space above the eyelid and under the browbone.  This is where you put a darker color than your lid for a contoured look, or slightly lighter color than your lid for a smoky look.

Cupid’s Bow: The double curve in the center of the top lip. Highlighting the skin above it makes lips look slightly fuller.

Fallout: Usually used in reference to eyeshadow. It’s any shadow that falls under the eye or onto the face.  It’s the reason why makeup artists like me do the eyes first!

Flare Lashes: Also known as clusters, these false lashes come in groups of 6-8 lashes instead of strips that are the length of the lashline.  They come in different lengths and thicknesses and can be built up.

Highlight: Using a light color to draw attention to a feature or area of the face.  Commonly used on cheekbones, brownbones, inner corners of eyes and above Cupid’s Bow.

Illuminating: Products that say they are “illuminating” contain some kind of light reflecting particles.  Great for places you want to highlight.  Stay away from illuminating products if you have oily skin, because they can make the skin look more oily.

Kit: A makeup artist’s supply of products.

Matte: Products with absolutely no shimmer or shine.  Matte formulas can be drying, so avoid them if you have dry skin.

MUA: Stands for “Make Up Artist.”

Non-comedogenic: Means that the product will not clog pores.

Outer V: Used in reference to the section of the eye from the outer end of the crease to the outer end of the lashline.  Drawing a little “v” here (with the point going towards the hairline) works well with a lot of eye makeup looks.

Primer: A face or eye product put on prior to foundation or eye makeup to help the products stay on longer.  They also give a good base and help provide a smoother, more even surface for the products.

Tightlining: Lining the upper inside eyelid with an eyeliner.  This can help make top lashes look fuller.

Transfer: When a mascara or eyeliner smudges onto the eyelid, crease, or browbone before it has dried.

Sheer: Minimal coverage products that have a hint of color, so that you can still see through to the skin or lips.

Waterline: The inside lower eyelid.  Lining here with a dark color makes the look more dramatic and makes the eyes look smaller. An off-white liner here will open up the eyes.

Winged Liner: Eyeliner that extends past the end of the eye, usually on the upper lashline.

Hope I’ve decoded some of the mystery for you.  Please let me know if I’ve missed anything!

Have a beautiful day 🙂


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