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Haaaah, I took two years of Japanese and I still second guess myself when pronouncing double vowels in it. Which is silly, because it’s a really consistent language phonetically.

I still get Guerlain wrong on occasion, if I’m not thinking about it. And I confess I’m not quite sure how to pronounce Le Metier de Beaute…surely I’m not alone?

LMDB is pronounced “Le Meh-tea-yay de Bow-tay” with a “bow” as in “bow tie,” if that makes sense! πŸ™‚

Oh gawd I NEVER even attempt to pronounce that brand! Maybe its a good thing we don’t have it in Australia then! All of the strine in our accent would just make it sound atrocious…How DOES one pronounce it? Anyone?

I agree with Le Metier de Beaute, I used to think it was pronounced ‘beaut’ but I heard someone else say ‘beaut-ay’.

I also had trouble with Illamasqua (-ca or -qua at the end).

I think it helps that so many big French brands do a lot of advertising! You can just go by what the brand tells you to say. Initially I had trouble with Illamasqua– whether it was ‘kwa’ of ‘ka’ at the end. I watched a few of their videos and discovered that even their own artists pronounce it differently, so I guess it works either way!

All the time, English is my second language so sometime I don’t even know how to pronounce people’s names. lol

The first one that comes to mind is Givenchy, LOL. I still don’t know what the proper pronunciation. L’Occitane, Guerlain, and Yves Saint Laurent are some others that come to mind. Those are the one’s where I’m fairly sure I’m pronouncing them correctly, but I still feel self conscious saying them out loud, haha. I also thought NYX was just N-Y-X for the longest time, but I’m used to saying “nix” now. The other brand is LORAC…I say it Low-rAHk. So, I’m not super fantastic out writing out how I pronounce things, but since it’s Carol backwards, it seems like the O would be a long O and the A would be a short A, but I could be wrong. *shrug*

If anyone knows the legit pronunciations, LET ME KNOW! Please & Thank you! πŸ™‚

The proper pronunctiation of Givenchy is jee-vahn-shee, the first ‘g’ being pronounced as a typical french ‘j’, so without the ‘d’ that English speakers naturally add to it. I don’t really know how to explain this properly, because it’s a sound that doesn’t occur in the English language. I hope my explanation makes any sense πŸ˜€

Oh thank the Lord I’ve been saying it correctly, LOL! Thank you! You explained it wonderfully, Chiara! I took a couple years of French many years ago, but I still always feel like I’m butchering the language when I attempt the pronunciation of some words.

so Guerlain is a tricky one. without the letter e at the end, as in “guerlaine”, there is nothing to nail that letter n down. so in french this is another one that’s gair-lehh–, the last syllable being tossed off snootily implying the n without really pronouncing it, take another drag off your cigarette, look off into the distance looking glamorous and troubled.

I hate to say it and sound like a snob but… I always known that it should be pronounced “nix”. Look, I have an interest on Greek mythology long before I had an interest in makeup (since I was in elementary school) so when I first heard of NYX, I immediately thought “Hmm… Isn’t that the name of a Greek goddess?” Sure enough on the company website it said “goddess of the night” at the time. It confused me why other people would call it N-Y-X in the first place.

Anyway, I mostly heard of makeup brands from youtube videos and commercials. I merely copy how they pronounce the brands.

It’s a Polish brand and Polish is pretty easy to read, because you read exactly how the word is spelt. So it’s Inglot πŸ™‚

At first, when I was younger, I always thought Givenchy was pronounced in English. (im from the netherlands). A few years ago I started following blogs that made youtube clips and said Chi-ven-chi.

Other french names are not so hard f or me, we learn french on school for several years and I go to france almost every year on holiday.

Until now i always thought NYX was an english brand so I was always spelling it. Looks like all the noobs in holland got it right after all saying nix.. Haha!

I might be wrong, but I studied French for 13 years. And I believe that Chantecaille is pronounced shawn-teh-kigh.

In that caille rhymes with the word “high.”

except for here, since we have a double-l and an e at the end we get shahn-tuh-kigh-yuh. same as how tortilla gives us tore-tee-yuh or ratatouille gives us ra-ta-too-yuh. but since this is someone’s family name they may pronouce it any which way. who knows…

I won’t even horrify you with how I’ve been pronouncing it in my head, but I have to say I am sincerely impressed by my failure to get even a single syllable of it pronounced right. πŸ˜›

L’occitane is still a mystery to me. Saw a seqment on QVC before Christmas and I think I heard it pronounced LAW-SIT-TAWN…. Can anyone shed some light on that one?

Pfft, just cosmetic brand names? I learned most of my vocabulary through reading. Let me tell you about my phonetics fail. πŸ˜›

Yves St. Laurent is the one I still puzzle over, which is strange because I’m quite fond of fashion and know most of the big brands fairly well. I’ve still yet to hear somebody pronounce it, too, so I usually just use the initials if it comes up in conversation, haha. Looking through the comments, I just realized myself and most other Americans say Givenchy wrong. πŸ˜› Guerlain used to confuse me until you did the video showing off your collection, at which point I realized the second part of the word should be pronounced with a short vowel and not a long. Surprisingly, I got L’Occitane more or less correct the first time, if a little long on the ‘a’ sound.

Me too! I got many of my first “big words” from romance novels read on the sly, which absolutely didn’t help with my pronunciation. I still remember the quizzical looks I got when I trotted out my (wrongly pronounced) five dollar words. Priceless.

NYX and Nuxe… hmmm. I also thought that Loccitance was pronounced Lockitann, but it shall be pronounced Loxitann as far as I know. French is hard. Clarins shall is pronounced ClarΓ€ns (swedish letter Γ€ is almost like ai).

Nyx was never hard for me, just because I saw all the product also named after Greek deities, and Nyx is one of them! See, all the classics culture I learned while taking Latin makes taking a dead language not so useless.

I can kind of do most of the French brands, though I’m horrible at just reading something in French and saying in right.

With the extra little mark in the name, I’m not sure how one says Lancome, though. And I “read” Guerlain as rhyming with pain or rain for a long time before I thought about it being French.

…I enjoy pronouncing MUFE’s abbreviated name as moo-fee, but I’m weird.

However, it’s not N-Y-X, it’s “neex”, as it’s a word and not initials πŸ™‚
It’s the name of the Greek deity of the Night, nyx means night in ancient Greek. NYX’s founder Toni Ko recently confirmed.

Have a lovely day!

NYX for sure! I still say N Y X because nyx is just like “niks” which means “nothing” in Dutch (my native language).
Luckily I have no problems with French names. Our French classes our quite good in the Netherlands.
My English used to be far worse than it is now, so I used to say Urban Desay. *facepalm* I didnt even know what Decay means! Haha!

I speak French, so those ones don’t bother me. The brand I can’t pronounce is Shu Uemura, which is a shame because I love their lash curler!

Anything French! I was hopeless at the language in school and dropped it as soon as, so with the exception of brands that do a lot of advertising in the UK (L’oreal and Givenchy off the top of my head) I cannot for the life of me even attempt it.

I do the opposite thing with OPI – I always pronounce it as one word, rather than the initials. Even though I know, o-pee is so much quicker to say.

Yes. I had a hard time figuring out how to pronounce “Illamasqua” and I still can’t pronouce “Shu Uemura” correctly. “Thierry Mugler” is another tricky one!

It’s Ill-err-mask-err for Illamasqua. I was convinced the middle part must be pronounced like “llama” until I watched one of their videos and heard them saying their own name! I then repeated it to myself outloud repeatedly and I’ve got it down now πŸ˜€

Thanks! I usually pronounce it the same way as the Pixiwoo sisters do, which is something like Eel-llama-skah πŸ˜‰

I think English for non English speakers is very difficult to read. While there are many languages out there where you read the word exactly like it’s written, English is completely different. For example the words through, though and thought. All have the ‘ough’ but each is pronounced differently. I’m bilingual, English and Polish and I teach English here in Warsaw and English reading is definitely one of the harder things for people to learn. Le Metier de Beaute us pronounced le metyeh de bohte. The ‘gi’ sound from Givenchy is not present in English, it’s like a mix of jee and shee. L’Occitane is loxitahn. πŸ™‚

Lorac totally threw me! It’s pronounced la-rock? What?? I still say lo-rack. I feel weird saying it any other way! But some I have troubles with are shiseido, l’occitane, and I know there’s more but I’m blanking.

All the time.

The only ones I can get right are Japanese ones since I studied it for a couple years, but all those French ones destroy me. Though the funny thing is when you pronounce Japanese ones correctly (i.e. resembling the pronunciation of someone who speaks Japanese) sales people look at you like you’ve grown two heads and then ask if you mean *terribly pronounced Japanese word*. I wonder if it’s the same with all the French names too though I have no way of knowing since I know squat about French. πŸ˜€

My favorite time was when I asked to try Guerlain Mitsouko at the Guerlain counter. I think I spent like 5 minutes repeating myself before the sales person knew what I was talking about and this was in Seattle, a city with a decent Japanese population too.

Kind of like when people would order “broo-shetta” when I worked at an Italian restaurant, instead of the correct “broo-skate-a”? My Italian professors all practically got dry heaves when they heard “broo shetta.”

Sometimes I think the salespeople like to see customers struggle. I mean, really. I hate when they look at you like you’re Queen of the Morons when you can’t pronounce a foreign word–that’s why it’s FOREIGN. Sort of related, I went to a vitamin store to buy what I thought was Se len ium. The store manager said rather condescendingly “you mean Se LEE nium.” You say To MAY To, I say To MAH to just don’t belittle me.

Yes, sales people at French brand counters often struggle with pronounciation! I’m a native French speaker, and when I ask for a product, they’re often clueless… say “Rouge G L’Extrait in Orgueil” and they have no idea what I want. I just have to point it out cause I wouldn’t know how to make it sound any other way!

I on the other hand have difficulties with asian brand names (Shu Uemura for example), and until today, I didn’t know than NYX was “nix” and not “n-y-x”!

I’ve only just figured it out after going to the Guerlain counter. The woman there says it Ger Lahn. So I’m presuming that’s right seeing as she works there πŸ™‚

Shu uemura, guerlain, shiseido, yes saint Laurent, givenchy… I don’t know how to say these and there is no way I can go to a department strode and talk to someone about these:/ I would usually just go to the counters, point the product out and talk about it:D

I think the biggest headache for me was diptyque. (dip-teek). Didn’t know that at all! I won’t even bother trying to write out how I thought it was supposed to go.

I’m completely clueless when it comes to pronouncing French brand names. But because of years studying Japanese, I’m pretty confident in saying Japanese brand names like Shu Uemura (which is pronounced “weh-mu-ra,” though others would contest it’s “oo-weh-mu-ra” or even “oo-wee-mu-ra.” It’s the founder’s last name, so I believe it’s pronounced the same way they’d pronounce Uemura, Uehara, etc.)

I’ve been studying Japanese for about ten years and I think saying it’s pronounced “weh-mu-ra” is misleading and it would be more correct for non-native speakers to pronounce it “oo-eh-moo-(r)ah” (with the tongue touching the roof of the mouth on the (r) sound if you want to make it sound like a Japanese r). It may sound like that because of the way your mouth is shaped when you say the sounds quickly (like how “tempura” and “tenpura” are interchangeable), but I wouldn’t say the u sound is not present in this case.

Oh yeah, though once I’m told the correct pronounciation I usually remember, I’m pretty good with linguistics. It doesn’t help that everyone has a different idea of what’s correct!

As a French speaker I wasn’t sure how to pronounce Illamasqua or Suqqu… and wondered also whether OPI, NYX, ELF etc. had to be pronounced as words or as acronyms. Grateful for online MU tutorials and reviews!

Is it sad that this is the one time in my life that 5 years of French comes in handy? I’ve had no trouble pronouncing the French names, although NYX is a new one! I was saying N-Y-X too!

This is a combination of what most readers have already said:
Shu Uemura I thought was Shoo Yoo-mura but just recently (after 20 years of saying it wrong) was told it was Shoo Oo-E-Mura,
I always spelled out N-Y-X until I saw a video of theirs on YouTube. I also spelled out MAC when I first heard of them.
I learned L’Occitane from being in the store when an employee answered the phone. Same situation with Crabtree & EVElyn, not EVlyn. But the one that currently perplexes me is Illamasqua. Is it a surname? A feeling? A literary figure? What!

Apparently Illamasqua means “classic” by googling “WHAT THE HELL DOES ILLAMASQUA MEAN??” or something similar… it was the first result. I could be wrong!

I can’t find anywhere else that says that…

I had a look, and although it’s a fun resource, it’s clearly confusing if not wrong for the French brands as well as some Italian ones. I couldn’t say for the other languages!

For example in Yves Saint Laurent, you don’t pronounce the “t”s AT ALL, they’re not “barely audible” like this website says. And rounding your mouth is definitely not the way to pronounce French nasal vowels.

I think it’s doing the best it can. If you just say that it’s pronounced “laurennnn” without even an idea of a “t”, then it changes the pronunciation for the worse. Keeping in mind that there’s a “t”, even if you don’t fully pronounce (or at all), may help some people.

that one’s eev-san-lore-ehh–, the last syllable you sort of toss out snootily as if you just smelled a fart and your sneer sort of makes allusion to an “N” but without saying it,then you take a drag off your cigarette and look bitter, tired, fabulous and over it.

I struggle with the name of some of Guerlain’s products. For example: Parure. Not sure how to pronounce that!

Oh yes, Givenchy, Guerlain are two that I more recently learned how to pronounce properly. And I just found out from this post, that NYX is pronounce ‘nix’.

I new it was NYX as in the goddess but I say both as well. I like to look it up if they have wiki page as he phonetics are usually listed there as well.

Same here: french, italian, english… I pretty much have them all covered lol

I did say N-Y-X for a while too and I still prefer it to NYX πŸ™‚

Perhaps I’m a weirdo, but I was saying Korres wrong for years. I thought it was like the last name of Project Runway judge and designer Michael. Oops. Apparently it’s Core-Rez.

I have had trouble. Once I hear it correctly, I pretty much have it, thank goodness.

One problem with cosmetic names is that the origins, and hence the pronunciation “rules,” are frequently unclear.

One that comes to mind is Shu Uemura…or just the ‘Uemura’ part because everyone pronounces it differently!

Since I speak both French and English, the French names aren’t as tricky for me, but I always struggled with “Shiseido” and “Shu Uemura”. Actually, it wasn’t until I saw one of your videos, Christine, that I realised I’d been mispronouncing “Temptalia”. πŸ˜€

Because the only way I’d ever heard it was the way my mom said it, I pronounced Lancome wrong for years, with a short a (as in “land”).

Haha yes! Mostly it was names that I wasn’t sure were abbreviations or not. The first time I saw NYX, OPI – probably even MAC but I can’t remember.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure, Dusty has a fantastic video on how (not) to pronounce certain brand names. It’s an oldie AND a goodie. πŸ™‚

Your skin tone/coloring: Beige/Neutral
How often do you clean your eye makeup brushes? Every 2 weeks. I should probably clean them sooner but I procrastinate on it!
How often do you clean your face makeup brushes? Every 2 weeks. I really should clean them more frequently.
How often do you clean your lip brushes? After every use. I only use a lip brush for tricky shades that need to look perfect (reds/brights)

that’s not true. do you read ‘sinusoida’ and ‘siniak” same way? or ‘marzyΔ‡’ and ‘marznΔ…Δ‡’? you don’t pronounce Δ™ at the end of the word (only ‘e’). and there is many more.

tip for others – try checking at forvo.com. it’s really great way to check any foreign word.

The company’s choice to stylise their name ‘NYX’ seems to lead logically and inevitably to people parsing it as an acronym to me. The goddess is still called ‘Nyx’.

Pronunciation is very important to me for some reason. A lot of makeup products/brands have French names, and I took french for 12 years so I don’t have a problem with those at all. As for the others, if I’m not sure I will go out of my way to find out. I find a lot of people mess up Illamasqua, as well as the NYX, but that one is a little more understandable as not everyone knows about greek mythology.

Most French brands and perfumes are difficult the first time. Ole Henriksen pronounced Oo-la I think he’s Norwegian.

Issey Miyake…I say EE-say MEE-YAH-KAY, that’s how Elsa Klench said it back when she was on CNN. Department store SA said simply, “Izzy” (>_<) Anyone know for sure??

yep, about ten years ago when i first started shopping at sephora my sister and i didn’t know how to say stila so we would just say steelastylastilla

Illamasqua! It was only after watching a video by them, when I heard them say their own name that I knew for sure! I thought at first it was “Ill Llama Squar” rather than “ill err mask err”

I also pronounce OPI as a word like Opey when it’s probably Oh Pee Eye. In fact I think there are dots in it as O.P.I… Doh!

I’m multilingual (English, French, Taiwanese, Mandarin), so I’ve rarely had trouble.

Although I’m a bit confused on Shu Uemura. I thought it was shoo oo-eh-moo-ra (with the r kind of being a little bit like an L sound).

But a person who studied Japanese above said it was weh-moo-ra.

But then again, I’m not Japanese.

This debate makes me think I should do a video on how to pronounce French brand/product names!
That would be fun and useful as it seems πŸ™‚

I’ve been taking French for six years now so I feel pretty confident in my pronunciation! I always Americanize French words and names when I’m speaking in English though–like if I were to talk about L’Oreal in French (for some strange reason haha), I’d say something like law ray ahl with a French r but in English I’d say lor ree elle with a hard r. Pronouncing Yves Saint Laurent with its nasal endings would probably get me weird looks from people, especially when I don’t look like a French person even in the slightest! I speak Cantonese too, but it really never comes up anywhere outside of Cantonese. I understand very little Mandarin but my parents taught me pinyin so I can still pronounce Chinese words even if I don’t know what I’m saying. I can’t think of any prominent brands with Chinese names, though.

I just LOVE this thread! Oh the things we have to go through!

I had an interesting experience with Guerlain. It was when I was buying some Meteorites. The lady in Nordstrom said it as Goor-lane, basically. I had to go to Neiman Marcus because Nordstom didn’t have it. So I asked an associate where Goor-lane is, and she looked at me and said.. “Oh, Goor-lahn..” Ouch! But super nice ladies there. I verify with the official Guerlain associate and it is Goor-lahn. Phew!

Just a few French ones get tricky. Asian, not much. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the person’s native tongue. But wow, I’ve learned so much from this thread! =D Christine, how about a permanent link somewhere on the website for Brand Pronounciation?

As a French speaker I don’t usually have issues with most but I still find Guerlain awkward to say so I usually save myself the hassle and pronounce it with without the French accent “Gerrr-lannn” haha. Lorac and Shu Uemura threw me off a bit too.

During the “Caesar Julius” era (in Rome), they used to write “u” as “v”. So, I assume that “Bvlgari” has to be pronounced like “bUlgari”.

Although, like Christine, I pronounce NYX “N-Y-X”, not “Nix” πŸ™

everybody I’ve heard says L’Occitane wrong- all differently but still wrong lol! And for me its hard to read Illamasqua as not kwuh, but kuh.

Yes, but whenever I do, I always look up products made by the brand on YouTube to hear how my favorite beauty gurus pronounce it! Lol

It’s official, I have decided to get my first tattoo – large print “illiterate” on my forehead. Seriously, I have been pronouncing the majority of these names wrong for years without a clue. And while I botched NYX…I was just wandering if the pencil was going to crease!

I can only pronounce most French or Italian brands name in americanized way since i don’t speak those languages. Guerlain is def. confusing.

Constantly, mostly because I’m bad at figuring out how to pronounce new words I read. I still pronounce Illamasqua my own way because the brand itself says the pronunciation is ambiguous–I say it like it’s in Spanish. It just makes more sense that way :p

Decided in high school that I could not learn pronunceations so I took Latin. Absolutely no hep in prouncing anything ! I only know how to pronounce foreign names by hearing others saying the word.

All of these wonderful French phonetics that we have contributed should come with the caveat that if you live in America and you actually go to the pains to pronounce them correctly people in public most likely will think you are an asshole who thinks they’re better than everybody(Freedom fries! Murica!)/not know what in the hell you’re saying. sad but true. so when in doubt, yankee it out. c’est la vie.

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