The Beauty Glossary You Need To Bookmark Now

14 min read
Carolina Herrera SS22

Buzzwords, ingredients and trending treatments – our insider beauty glossary spells out what’s happening in the world of hair and makeup. So, sort your acids, get to know your vitamins and brush up on everything in between

A is for… Ampoules

Already an essential step in South Korean beauty regimes, ampoules supercharge your skincare in one single shot. Think of a product with the viscosity of a serum, but packed with even more actives per drop, working double-time on everything from blemishes to fine lines – basically, a booster shot for your skin. Designed to be used nightly over a course of one to four weeks, most come in a set of single-use vials, so you don’t have to worry about using more product than necessary. Dr Barbara Sturm Night Ampoules

B is for… Browns & Co. Brows

This beauty concept in the heart of Jumeirah has been designed to transport you to the Balearic Islands, while specialising in personalised treatments, from beautiful brows and lashes to rejuvenating facials and semi-permanent makeup. Founded by Fiona Brown and Chloe Walsh, and located within a quiet villa with six treatment rooms, the sensory environment ensures you experience a Zen-like energy, while reaching your beauty goals according to the service of your choice. Book Now

C is for… Chinese Medicine

Used in traditional Chinese medicine, gua sha involves scraping a flat, rounded tool, usually made of jade or rose quartz, over the skin. The treatment relaxes the muscles, gets the energy and blood moving, and shifts any puffiness. It boosts the circulation, which takes away toxins, and brings in oxygen and nutrients. You are also creating a controlled trauma, a short-term flush of redness, which the skin then starts to repair by making new collagen. Shop Now

D is for… Dermaplaning

Think face-shaving, but with either a specifically designed device to use at home or, for a deeper treatment, a surgical-grade scalpel in the steady hand of a qualified practitioner. Either way, as a chemical-free form of exfoliation, a specialist blade is used to gently remove the dead surface cells and a layer of facial hair, leaving skin ultra-smooth, fresh and glowing. We recommend paying a visit to the Biolite Aesthetic clinic in Dubai or trying a Dermaflash device at home. Dermaflash Luxe Anti-Aging Exfoliating Device

E is for… Edibles

The way to better hair and skin is from within through vitamins and formulas, with many high-performing products on the market. The latest beauty supplements contain collagen, follicle-strengthening vitamins and minerals, such as silica, biotin and zinc, but also target the rising stress levels associated with hair loss, and fight greys by altering the way the body metabolises pigment. So, whatever your goal may be, create your own customisable routine, tailored to your needs. Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair

F is for… Filter-Free

Now is the time to drop the digital filter, so for makeup with the same prettifying sheen as your favourite Instagram cheat, hold the highlighter. “We are moving away from Insta-glam cheekbones and specific areas of shine,” says Terry Barber at MAC. Instead, reach for a skin tint, a new generation in bases with low-level coverage, and what Barber calls a euphoric, all-over glow. “It will pick up the light rather than bounce it back, so skin looks freshly moisturised.” MAC Studio Radiance Face & Body Foundation 

G is for… Golden Glow

As a precious mineral, gold boasts both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, meaning it can calm redness and minimise the size of pores, while reducing the signs of ageing, leaving the skin looking visibly brighter and rejuvenated. As the first certified salon to offer a 24K gold facial, Sisters Beauty Lounge is the best place to guarantee you’re getting a golden treatment that hasn’t been compromised by the adding of other minerals into the mix. Book Now

H is for… Hepburn Headscarves

Dior AW21

Dior’s new collection saw a nostalgic accessory enjoying a 21st-century renaissance, with artfully arranged headscarves emblazoned with the house monogram tucked into crisp shirts and the collars of coats and dresses. The neatly knotted silk scarves exude the retro glamour of Grace Kelly on the continent, or Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Also seen at Versace, start by folding your scarf in half to create triangle points, and either tie under the chin or a ponytail, letting your hair flow out. Shop Now

I is for… Instant Hydration

Face oils give an instant hydration injection, locking in moisture for glowy, plumped-up skin that helps you look like you’re fresh from a facial. Layered on as the last step, a face oil helps lock in moisture to keep everything underneath soft and hydrated, and today’s sophisticated formulas leave the heavy, gloopy oils of old in the dust, with feather-light blends that sink in instantly. Best of all, there’s a face oil for every skin type, even oily complexions. Augustinus Bader The Face Oil

J is for… Jojoba

Rich in beauty-boosting vitamins A, E and D, plus antioxidants and fatty acids, jojoba oil is actually a wax ester with remarkably similar properties to our skin’s own sebum, meaning it’s able to penetrate deeply, reaching below the top layer of skin for maximum nourishment. The fragrance-free oil is extracted from the plant of the same name, and is so potent due to its ability to balance the body’s oils by tricking the skin into thinking it has already produced enough. Pai Skincare Avocado and Jojoba Hydrating Moisturiser

K is for… Kohl-Rimmed Eyes

Dior AW21

There was something rebellious about this season’s shows. A moody teen spirit pervaded the catwalks, with eyes becoming the new site of creative expression. This was particularly felt in the thickly rimmed kohl eyes seen everywhere from Dior to Chanel. Start by darkening the waterline to create a sense of sultry drama, or open up the eyes with charcoal around the lash line and lashings of mascara, as make-up artist Aaron de Mey did at Givenchy. Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘n’ Kohl Liquid Eye Pencil

L is for… Lamination

Move over microblading – brow lamination is the new treatment delivering full feathery brows. Hailing from Moscow, it involves straightening and lifting the hairs using a chemical solution that allows the hairs to have more flexibility to move them into your desired shape, covering any gaps or stray areas. After your natural brow hairs are straightened, a fixing solution is applied to keep the hairs straight, adding a tint if desired.

M is for… Microneedling


Microneedling boosts the effectiveness of your face creams, serums and lotions, and can truly transform your complexion, thanks to a process in which a device containing ultra-fine needles is used to create tiny punctures in the skin. The slight injury stimulates the growth of collagen, which then improves the appearance of some scars and wrinkles, together with helping active ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin, ensuring your skincare works as hard as possible. Teresa Tarmey Microneedling Kit

N is for… Non-Toxic Beauty

Dedicated to pioneering change within the beauty industry in the GCC, the region’s first clean beauty platform, Curated, wants you to rethink your skincare. Dubai-based Hend Aziz and Alia Alkhafajy founded the beauty distribution company, offering niche premium clean beauty brands the chance to break into the Middle Eastern market. Aimed at building a mindful approach to skincare, Curated partners with responsible beauty brands that are free of harsh chemicals and toxins. Indie Lee Discovery Kit

O is for… Ombre Lips

Schiaparelli AW21

It was big in the 1990s and now it’s back – meet the ombré lip 2.0. Rendered in taupes and umber at Schiaparelli, and rich browns at Kiko Kostadinov, then slathered with a high-octane gloss, this is a trend taking over for the new season. Meaning ‘shaded’ in French, it involves mixing two monochromatic tones together to create the illusion of a fuller-looking lip. Try lining your lips with a darker pencil, and fill in with a lighter base. The key is ensuring you blend well to complete the look.

P is for… Parisian Products

Previously, Middle Eastern fans of French beauty brands had to wait for their next Parisian trip to stock up on must-have beauty buys. But now, iconic French pharmacy group Pharmacie Monge has teamed up with Faces to bring the brands directly to us. First established in Paris, Monge has been the place f or chic yet functional beauty products, and a curated collection of France’s most-talked-about skincare, makeup and wellness finds will now be available on the regional site. Shop Now

Q is for… Quality Bonding

Protein-based plex technology strengthens hair from within by repairing internal bonds for strong, nourished hair that can withstand regular colouring and styling. “A hair strand is like a ladder, and the bonds are the rungs that hold it together,” says Katie Barker at Charles Worthington. “They are easily weakened or broken by heat styling and colouring, but plex formulas put them back together, making your hair shinier and more resilient.” Olaplex No 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask

R is for… Retinol

Retinol is a form of vitamin A, and is the gold-standard ingredient for transforming any type of skin, reversing the effects of ageing, and treating everything from acne and wrinkles to pigmentation. It controls sebum, gives you a strong barrier to ensure that skin is better hydrated, boosts collagen, and it regulates cell turnover. Use it long enough and, over time, it will diminish pores, break up pigmentation, smooth out lines and brighten up dull skin. Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol

S is for… Scalp Care

“Think of your scalp as your hair’s support system,” says trichologist Anabel Kingsley. ”Swap regular shampoo for an exfoliating deep cleanse every three washes to remove product and sebum build-up, which can impede growth.” From relieving dryness to promoting growth, the best products lather up to rinse particles away easily, leaving hair light and fresh. Elsewhere, scalp serums treat irritation with aloe, or fortify with plant proteins. Philip Kingsley Vitamin C Jelly Detoxifying Hair and Scalp Treatment

T is for… Turmeric

Thanks to bio-active component curcumin, turmeric is considered a powerful natural anti-inflammatory. This means it has the ability to deal with an array of skin issues, from redness to irritation, and puffiness to scarring. On top of that, curcumin also has antioxidant properties, which contribute to achieving serious radiance and glow. Found in cleansers, toners, moisturisers and masks, reap the benefits of turmeric for an instant glowy, brightened result. Sunday Riley CEO Glow Vitamin C and Turmeric Face Oil

U is for… Unapologetic Fringes

Louis Vuitton AW21

Freshly shorn blunt bangs of all shapes, textures and thickness were a runway mainstay as fringemania hit the catwalk. At the Paris shows, they were particularly impactful, with blunt-cut bangs at Louis Vuitton, sci-fi-esque micro fringes at Rick Owens, and midi fringes at Lanvin, which fell somewhere in between. Shying away from French-girl cool, these fringes were bold, fierce and unapologetic

V is for… Vivid Eyes

Giambattista Valli AW21

This season, pops of colour had an edge to them in the form of graphic-painted eyes. At Giambattista Valli, colour was used boldly and precisely over models’ eyes, fashioned in geometric shapes in both light and dark tones, which referenced the frescoed ceilings of Rome’s Galleria Borghese. Over at Versace, Dame Pat McGrath created vivid, electric-hued cat eyes, and Altuzarra had butterfly-wing-inspired designs.

W is for… Waterless

With global water shortages predicted by 2025, brands are finding new ways to use less H2O. Powder-to liquid formulations join solid bars in the world of haircare as a sensible way to protect resources, while Molton Brown’s new and beautifully sleek haircare collection contains hydroponically grown botanicals, farmed in an underground system that uses 70 per cent less water than traditional agriculture. L’Oréal has improved rinseability, and has upgraded to ‘waterloop’ factories. Molton Brown Intense Repairing Hair Mask

X is for… XXL Clips


Add a clip and then some more. Stack multiple barettes behind the ear, or a back-from-the-1990s claw clip. As approved by Bella Hadid and Rosie Huntington-Whitely, they are the cleverest way to hold layered cuts and full-bodied curls in place. Otherwise, try a bow and aim for exaggerated luxe styles that transform a classic look into a bold moment. When it comes to hair accessories for winter, size matters, and this upcoming season, the bigger, the better.

Y is for… Yoga Face Exercises

You’ve perfected your Downward Dog, but did you know that facial yoga can give sunken cheeks and furrowed brows a lift too? The idea is that you can help thicken the muscles, so your features become plumped up. “By working all the layers of your skin correctly, facial massage can also increase blood circulation, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach the cells of the skin,” says face yoga expert Danielle Collins. “The result is a clearer complexion with a healthy glow, thanks to fewer toxins.” Holidermie HoliFace Yoga Set

Z is for… Zimmerman Beauty

Zimmerman AW21

Polished, unfussy and seamlessly bronzed, who wouldn’t want to be this ultimate antipodean cool girl? The beauty brief for the Zimmermann shows is fairly consistent, says makeup artist Noni Smith: “Effortless, with a focus on beautiful skin.” A dewy finish is key, using buttery textures and pearly creams to brighten skin and amplify cheekbones, for a look that could absolutely walk off the runway and into real life.

Read Next: How To Find The Perfect Foundation

  • Words by Eliza Scarborough