Thursday, 11 December 2014

Beauty Lingo

Beauty will always be a thing which I am happy to spend excessive amounts of time and money pondering over but as it’s not my primary field of expertise I am always looking to learn more, so that’s why I’m calling all my trips to Boots ‘’research’’…

My first love, before the days I discovered serum and lipsticks is language. French, Italian, Spanish and even my native English all fascinate me in language structure and their history and I always want to learn more, more, more. I fancy myself as quite the linguist and I honestly reckon knowing a foreign language (or three) can be so handy in loads of situations through life. Take for instance my realisation of so many beauty words which have foreign roots. I find this all so darn fascinating.

(English) Mascara > más cara. (Spanish) :more face
Not a literal translation but loosely in Spanish this means ‘more face’ which I think is a pretty good representation of the word. I'm not saying this is where the word came from but I do think there's a root in the word which makes sense in our language today. Mascara adds something to your face, it gives more oomph to your lashes.

(English) Rimmel > rimel (Spanish) noun: mascara
‘Rimel’ is the word for mascara in Spanish and though it has no association to the British drugstore brand famously fronted by Kate Moss it is a happy coincidence that I took much delight in learning back in my GCSE Spanish days. Because naturally I asked how to say all the 'important' words early on.

(English) Jouer > jouer (French) verb: to play
In French ‘jouer’ is the verb ''to play'' and what a perfect word it is to describe our beaut habits. Make-up is all about playing with colour and being creative with the way we look.
The brand Jouer really took off in 2013 with their skin bases and interchangeable product packaging to create custom palettes from.

(French) Rouge > red (English) noun: red
Yes rouge is the French word for red but when make-up was first readily available in the early 20th century your make-up kit would be made up of little more than a pot of highly pigmented blusher that was referred to as rouge and women would use this to add a healthy flush to their complexion.

(English) Contraception  > contre/ contra (French/ Spanish) preposition: against/ anti
If you stick ‘contra’ in front any word it becomes ‘anti-‘ something. Now I don’t suspect anybody needs a biology lesson but contraception will stop you from getting pregnant, from conceiving a child and is literally anti- conception. A loose tie to health and beauty but it’s a good one to know.

(Italian) La vampa > blaze (English) adjective: flushing/ blushing/ blazing
Bear with me now on this one. ‘Blazing’ may not be your adjective of choice to describe a beautiful woman (unless you’re Sean Paul) but a vamp, traditionally is a sexual, confident and usually beautiful woman. Go and listen to Spice Girls The Lady Is A Vamp. You’ll see what I mean…

(Italian) Lustro > glossy (English) adjective: glossy/ lustrous

Pick up any shampoo bottle in the aisle of Sainsbury’s and you’ll see the word ‘lustrous’ somewhere on the packaging. The Italian word ‘lustro’ translates in English to glossy and you can see the clear connection there to a word we use day in day out in the beauty industry. After all, who doesn’t want glossy hair?

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