36 Common Beauty Abbreviations So You Know What The Hell Everyone is Talking About

It's OK if you thought the only thing DC stood for is District of Columbia.
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It's OK if you thought the only thing DC stood for is District of Columbia.

Like William Henry Harrison’s presidential term, the life of a hard-working drone bee, and Kelly’s hair, sometimes, things get cut short. It’s only natural, really. Combine that with living in this overstimulated media age, as we do, attention spans shorten, and stories turn into tweets, emotions into emojis.

We’ve pretty much solidified ourselves as Generation Abbreviation.

Gen Abbrevs, you’re chill AF. Def, totes maj, obvi, amirite?

The makeup and beauty world has not been immune to this shorthand, abbreviation, and acronym trend. If anything, it’s been an active participant in paving the way for like-minded consonants to cozy up next to each other with BB, CC, and P+P, for example. 

So, here’s an outline of what the hell the most common abbreviations in the makeup and beauty world stand for to give you the breakdown of what’s being said when nothing comprehensible is actually being said.

AHA: Alpha-hydroxy acid

BB: beautyblender

BB Cream: Beauty balm cream or blemish balm cream, depending on where you live

BHA: Beta-hydroxy acid (typically salicylic acid)

BO: Body odor

BOGO: Buy one get one (free)

CC CreamColor correcting cream

COTWComment of the Week (duh!)

DC: Discontinued

Dupe: Lower-cost product or hack that is almost identical to a high-price product

E/L: Eyeliner

e.l.f.: Eyes Lips Face

EPF: Environmental Protection Factor

E/S: Eyeshadow

FP: Finishing powder

GWP: Gift With Purchase

HD: High-definition

HG: Holy Grail

LE: Limited-edition

Lippie/lippy: Lipstick

LOTWLook of the Week (of course!)

MAC: Makeup Artists Cosmetics

MUA: Makeup artist

MUAC: Makeup Artist’s Choice

MUFE: Make Up For Ever

No Poo: Term used for methods of washing hair without traditional shampoo

OCC: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

PL: Private label

P+P: Prep and prime

Pro: Professional

SPF: Sun Protection Factor

TM: Tinted moisturizer

UD: Urban Decay

UVA: Ultraviolet light waves with a long wavelength

UVB: Ultraviolet light waves with a short wavelength

YSL: Yves Saint Laurent

This is only to get you started on the cool, hip world of abbreviations and acronyms. Life is hard, so cut corners when you can, is what I’m saying. No need to do more work than needed when communicating, because, like, we all need time to wash our faces, put on SPF, then BB our BB creams, before we use E/L, E/S, FP, and lippies for our LOTW. 

You know, priorities, baes.

  • What other abbreviations are out there in the beauty world that you've been scared to admit confuse you?
  • Do you love shortening words as much as I do?
  • Did your attention span make it through the entirety of this article?