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Decoding the Essentials: Must-Know Terms for Hair and Makeup Artists Working on Photo Shoots

The world of photo shoots is an intricate and vibrant one, and for hair and makeup artists, understanding the jargon and terminology used is essential. Clear communication is key to ensuring the model's vision is transformed into a reality. In this blog post, we'll explore the must-know terms for hair and makeup artists working on photo shoots, making it easier to collaborate effectively with photographers, models, and the creative team.



black and white image of Carrie Purser applying makeup to model India Malouf during a photoshoot
Erin Holmstead Photography

1. Base

The base is the foundation of makeup, typically a primer or foundation, applied to even out the skin tone and create a smooth canvas.

2. Contouring

Contouring is the art of using makeup to create shadows and highlights, emphasizing or downplaying certain facial features.

3. Smokey Eye

A classic makeup technique involving the use of dark eyeshadow, eyeliner, and blending to create a sultry, smoky effect around the eyes.

4. Highlighting

Highlighting involves using a lighter shade of makeup to accentuate high points on the face, such as the cheekbones and brow bones.



blonde haired blue eyed women wearing bridal earrings and a blue shirt with red lipstick
Erin Holmstead Photography

5. Lash Extensions

Lash extensions are artificial eyelashes that are applied to the natural lashes to create fuller, longer lashes.

6. Airbrush Makeup

Airbrush makeup is a technique that uses an airbrush gun to apply a fine mist of makeup evenly, creating a flawless, natural look.

7. Lip Liner

Lip liner is used to outline and define the lips before applying lipstick or lip gloss.

8. Setting Spray

Setting spray is a product used to set and seal makeup in place, ensuring it stays fresh and long-lasting.



close up macro shot of a young ladies eye with black winged eye liner
Erin Holmstead Photography

9. Winged Eyeliner

Winged eyeliner is a style where the eyeliner extends beyond the outer corner of the eye, creating a winged or cat-eye effect.

10. Ombre Hair

Ombre hair is a coloring technique where the hair transitions from a darker shade at the roots to a lighter shade at the ends.



picture of women with a bridal up do wearing pink lipstick and pink blue and yellow eyeshadow
Erin Holmstead photography

11. Updo

An updo is a hairstyle where the hair is pulled up and secured, often used for formal or elegant photo shoots.

12. Balayage

Balayage is a hair coloring technique where color is hand-painted onto the hair to create a natural, sun-kissed effect.



picture of women wearing a pink shirt with brown short hair wearing silver hoop earrings
Erin Holmstead photography

13. Glossy Lips

Glossy lips involve using lip gloss to create a shiny, lustrous finish on the lips.

14. Matte Finish

A matte finish in makeup or hairstyling refers to a flat, non-shiny appearance.

15. Texture Spray

Texture spray is a product used to add volume and texture to hair, making it more manageable for styling.

16. HD Makeup



women resting her hands on her checks wearing bright blue smokey eye makeup
Erin Holmstead Photography

High-definition (HD) makeup is designed to look flawless on camera and in high-resolution photos and videos.

By familiarizing themselves with these essential terms, hair and makeup artists can enhance their ability to communicate effectively and understand the specific requirements of a photo shoot. This knowledge, combined with their artistic skills, will enable them to transform models into stunning works of art for the camera.


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