Say What? Beauty Brand Pronunciation Guide

My first internship was at a large teen magazine, and one of my jobs involved ordering samples of beauty products for the editors. One day I was asked to call in some products from Stila — a cosmetics line I had never heard of. “Do you just need lipgloss from Stella?” I asked my boss. “It’s not Stella,” she said. “It’s pronounced Stee-lah.”

I was beyond mortified. (Did I mention my boss was the Senior Editor and uber hip?) In that very moment, the sophisticated, edgy intern persona I was going for fizzled. One upside, I’ll never forget how to pronounce Stila.

Click here for how to pronounce your favorite beauty and fashion brands.

Now, I’m a beauty editor and I see a lot of products with strange, made up, or foreign names. But here’s the truth: I still stumble sometimes. I’ll admit to mumbling a few brand names to the salespeople at Sephora in the hopes they won’t notice that I have no idea what I’m saying. And it was only the other day that I actually learned how to pronounce Illamasqua — it’s illa-mass-ka, BTW.

What I need is a beauty pronunciation guide. So I decided to create my very own … with a twist. Not only did I include the phonetic spelling of the word, but I also enlisted — OK, more like badgered — my fellow editor Jane into saying the brands for you and me, on video. I even threw in a few fashion terms as well.

Now, I can proudly say Shu Uemura without looking like a fool. And I promise, if you watch these videos, you’ll be makeup counter confident in no time too.

Click here for how to pronounce your favorite beauty (and fashion) brands.