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You have been a loyal follower of these brands but when questioned, ‘What does it stand for?’, you find yourself being left dumbfounded. Abbreviations are everywhere. We find it at our workplace, we find it on the highway, and of course our favourite makeup brands are made up of abbreviations! Next time when the topic of beauty brands come up, impress your companions when you show them you know more than just their commonly-known names.

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1. OPI

What it actually stands for: Odontorium Products Inc

This brand is widely known for its nail products. On an average, there are 160 active OPI shades at any given time. To keep up with the trends, OPI ensures that it has new products coming in annually.



Cult Product: OPI Classic Collection Nail lacquer in Big Apple Red

A shade of red that does not boast an orangey or pinkish undertone, the Big Apple Red is perfect for all skin tones.

2. DHC

What it actually stands for: Daigaku Honyaku Center

DHC provides beauty products, including skincare, body care, makeup items, and more recently, even hair products. Founded on the the benefits of virgin olive oil (for younger looking skin), olive oil has become the foundation of DHC’s full line of skin-loving products.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil


Cult Product: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

A water-soluble, fragrance- and colour-free formula, the deep cleansing oil is a blend of hydrating olive oil and Vitamin E which helps to dissolve dirt, makeup and excess oils. This oil cleanser penetrates deep into your pores, clearing impurities without stripping the natural oil off your face, leaving your skin moisturised whilst giving you room to double cleanse.

3. NYX

What it actually stands for: NOTHING. Contrary to what many think, this is not an abbreviation. NYX is Greek for “goddess of the night”. Now you understand the attention you have been getting.

An affordably-priced makeup brand, NYX distributes quality products without the hefty price tags. Introduced in 1999, the brand has grown and became ideal for both teens and young adults wanting to look good at a fraction of the usual makeup price.



Cult Product: Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand

Priced extremely affordably and with pretty good coverage, the concealer wand can be used as both a concealer and a highlighter. It has also been said to be a dupe for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer!

4. ELF

What it actually stands for: Eyes Lip Face

An international cosmetics brand based in New York City, ELF has taken drugstores all over the world by storm. Priced sometimes even more affordably than NYX, ELF has also been raved constantly by YouTube vloggers.

E.L.F Lip Exfoliator


Cult Product: Lip Exfoliator

Encased in a solid black tube, the lip exfoliator does not look like much. Do not let that fool you though, shaped in a lipstick for easier application, rub this all over your lips for a mess-free exfoliation!

5. M.A.C

What it actually stands for: Make-up Art Cosmetics

Designed to last through even the wildest of nights, MAC makeup is good for all ages, races and genders. They are also a socially-conscious brand with four social initiatives in place currently.

mac superslick liquid eyeliner

Cult Product: M.A.C Superslick Liquid Eye Liner

For those who are afraid of using liquid eyeliner, M.A.C has got it covered. Having a tip that is not too flexible, the M.A.C eyeliner is sturdy enough for beginners to use it with much ease. The colour playoff is an intense black, a definite keeper.

6. 3CE

What it actually stands for: Three Concept Eyes

Hailing from the country of skincare and makeup products, 3CE is a Korean brand that has recently been made available in most Sephora stores in Singapore. Established by shopping retailer Stylenanda, the makeup line is favoured by many including YouTube star Park Sora.

3CE Back to Baby Cream SPF35


Cult Product: 3CE Back to Baby Cream SPF35

Offering a glowing, luminous finish, the 3CE Cream claims to feel like a second skin. With its long-lasting moisture care properties, it is no wonder that the product has been a hit with many of 3CE’s customers.

7. SK-II

What it actually stands for: Secret Key Two

Since its inception on 21 December 1980, SK-II has maintained a strong foothold in the beauty scene. Developed by Japanese scientists who were observing old workers at a sake brewery, who may have aged faces but soft and youthful hands, it was discovered that the constant contact with Pitera, a natural result of yeast fermentation, was the secret to youthfulness. Now, this ingredient is found in all SK-II products.



Cult product: Facial Treatment Essence

Otherwise known as “Miracle Water”, the formula for this product has remained unchanged since it was created. The essence helps balance skin’s sebum secretion, while keeping it shine-free, evening out skin tone and preserving youth and radiance. In fact, more than 20 million bottles have been sold and it has been said that one bottle is sold every 22 seconds. Are you one of those who use it?

Somehow most of these brands sound cooler with their abbreviations. Perhaps we will stick to using that, it’s probably easier on the ears saying pass me the OPI bottle instead of  Odontorium Products Inc. But for now, let us still take heart in knowing a little more of our favourite brands.

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