Vocabulary related to makeup and cosmetics in French

For many people, talking about makeup is like speaking another language. If you are a makeup fan, or maybe an expert, you can use some of these phrases to describe the science and art of cosmetics.

Do you like to put on make-up but still get confused between the terms? Well, you are not the only one. Many people find themselves in the makeup department since it is such a vast universe. If you are a beginner, our article will allow you to familiarize yourself with the world of make-up which will no longer hold any secrets for you, here are some terms to introduce you to the lexicon of make-up:

1. La poudre bronzante

Meaning: a cream or powder that you put on your face and body to make your skin look brown from being in the sun


Example: Elle portait une poudre bronzante au club. (She was wearing a bronzer to the club.)

2. Le correcteur 

Meaning:a type of make-up used to hide spots or marks on the skin


Example: Le maquilleur a utilisé un correcteur pour couvrir les imperfections. (The makeup artist used a concealer to cover the blemishes.)

3. Le blush

Meaning: a cosmetic for coloring the cheeks in varying shades

English: blush 

Example: Elle était confuse au sujet de la couleur du blush. (She was confused about the colour of the blush.)

4. Le toner

Meaning: an astringent liquid applied to the skin to reduce oiliness and improve its condition


Example: Elle n’oublie jamais d’utiliser son toner dans le cadre de sa routine de soin de la peau. (She never forgets to use her toner as a part of her skincare routine.)

5. Le fard à paupières

Meaning: a kind of coloured/colored make-up worn around the eyes.

English: Eye shadow

Example: Je ne peux jamais appliquer correctement le fard à paupières. (I can never apply eyeshadow correctly.)

6. La base (de maquillage)

Meaning:  a liquid or powder makeup applied to the face to create an even, uniform color to the complexion, cover flaws

English: Foundation

Example: Elle a commencé son maquillage en appliquant le fond de teint. (She started her makeup by applying the foundation.)

7. Le rouge à lèvres

Meaning: colored makeup worn on the lips

English: lipstick

Example: Je dois juste mettre du rouge à lèvres et nous sommes prêts à partir. (I just have to put lipstick on and we’re good to go.)

8. le démaquillant

Meaning: a substance used to remove make-up from the face

English: makeup remover

Example: Vous devez toujours vous démaquiller avec un démaquillant avant de dormir. (You should always remove your makeup with a makeup remover before sleeping.)

9. le mascara

Meaning: makeup used on eyelashes

English: mascara

Example: L’application de mascara peut donner un aspect plus complet à vos yeux. (Applying mascara can give your eyes look fuller.)

10. la crème hydratante

Meaning: cream used on skin to help it stay moist and smooth

English: moisturizer

Example: Nous ne devons jamais sauter la crème hydratante pour garder notre peau hydratée. (We should never skip moisturizer to keep our skin hydrated.)

11. le vernis à ongles

Meaning: a substance used to colour/color and/or varnish one’s nails

English: nail polish

Example: Elle n’applique que des nuances de vernis à ongles nude. (She only applies nude shades of nail polish.)

12. le dissolvant


English: nail polish removerExample: Puis-je emprunter votre dissolvant pour vernis à ongles? (Can I borrow your nail paint remover?)

We hope you enjoyed learning words related to makeup in French. Learn how to talk in French with the help of these words. Learning French is easy online with teachers. Take a free trial and enjoy learning languages.