Welcome to the world of foundation, lipstick, and eyeliner! Today you’re going to learn advanced English make-up vocabulary: the words for 13 types of cosmetics, and 7 phrasal verbs about make-up with example sentences.


(If you have no interest in learning English make-up vocabulary, how about you scurry along to one of our other posts to learn about idioms using demonstratives or expressions about apples?)


1. Types of Make-Up: The Blindfolded Make-Up Challenge


Do you know what the different types of make-up are called in English? Do you know your concealer from your eyeshadow?


English makeup vocabulary


In this video, I allow Emily to use my face as a canvas for the Blindfolded Make-Up Challenge. Watch to learn these 14 vocabulary words, and to see how glamorous I look by the time Emily’s done with me! ;o)


Vocabulary in the Video:

  • blindfold
  • foundation
  • concealer
  • powder
  • brush
  • eyebrow kit
  • contour kit
  • blush
  • eyeshadow
  • eyeliner
  • liquid liner
  • pencil liner
  • lipstick
  • mascara



If you learned something from this video, please subscribe to my channel on YouTube! Thank you!


2. Phrasal Verbs about Make-Up


In addition to learning the vocabulary words for the different types of cosmetics, if you really want to talk about make-up in English, you’ll need to learn a few phrasal verbs, as well.


a. make yourself up / tart yourself up


Brad: Some of my buddies just called and invited us to go bar-hopping with them tonight. Do you want to meet up with them?

Caitlin: Sure thing! I just got back from the gym, though, so I’m a sweaty mess. Do I have time to shower and make myself up first?


phrasal verb make yourself up


‘Make yourself up’ has a neutral sound to it, but an alternative that you could use for a laugh amongst friends is ‘tart yourself up’.


The reason this is informal is because ‘tart’ is a slang term for a woman who you think behaves or dresses in a way that is immoral and is intended to make men sexually excited. ‘Tart’ is also sometimes used as a slang term for a prostitute.


When you ‘tart yourself up’, you’re not actually trying to look like a tart, you’re speaking playfully. We can say this with our friends to be affectionate or joke with them.


Rachel: You look great, Eliza! Where’s Sam?

Eliza: She’s in the bathroom tarting herself up. Shall we share a glass of wine while we wait?


phrasal verb tart yourself up



b. put something on


Griselda: I have dry skin, so I always put on moisturizer before putting on my make-up.


phrasal verb put something on




c. blend something in


Kathleen: What do you use to blend your concealer in?

Leigh: I’ve heard that sponges work well, but honestly, I just use my finger.


phrasal verb blend something in




d. go with something


Ginny: With this dress, do you think I should go with the blue eyeshadow or something more neutral?

Sara: Be bold! Go with the blue!


phrasal verb go with something




e. bring something out


Mariana: Wow! Those false lashes really bring out your eyes! Would you teach me how to apply them sometime?

Leila: Of course! I’d love to!


phrasal verb bring something out




f. freshen up your make-up


Matt: The play starts in less than an hour. Do you think you can get ready quickly?

Robin: No problem. I need to change into my dress and brush my hair, and I’ll just freshen up my make-up in the car on the way over. I’ll be ready to leave in 10 minutes.


phrasal verb freshen up your make-up




g. take something off


Maxine: It’s important to take your make-up off every night before bed, or you’re going to wake up with pimples.


phrasal verb take something off


‘Take off’ is the most general term for removing make-up, and it is always appropriate, no matter your method for removing your make-up. However, English gives us a few additional options that give information about how you intend to remove your make-up.


If you wipe off your make-up, you’re removing your make-up with a moist towelette.


If you wash off your make-up or rinse off your make-up, you are removing your make-up by splashing water on your face.




Are there types of make-up that you use that we didn’t cover in this lesson?
Post a photo in the comments, and I’ll respond with what we call that type of make-up in English!



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