February 18, 2019

Has A Friend, Family Member, Or Loved One Ever Mispronounced The Name of a Beauty Brand or Makeup Store That You Love?

My name is Isabella but I’ve spent about 99% of my life being called Elizabeth. I’ll introduce myself as Isabella and the person talking to me will proceed to call me Elizabeth. It’s gotten to a point I don’t even bother correcting anyone at this point.

I’m not even mad about it anymore but it does gets me steaming when someone is talking to me and proceeds to butcher the name of a product or a beauty brand or even a makeup store. I have priories. Getting makeup brand names right is way more important than getting my personal name correct! LOL!

Has it every happened to you? I know spent a lot of time spelling Bonne Bell as Bonnie Bell (and calling it Bonnie as well)!

I was laughing the other day when someone retweeted this and it appeared on my Twitter feed:

Thankfully enough my mom has never mispronounced Sephora but she has told friends, family, and strangers that her daughter (me) is on hotline. She means online…..! Needless to say it gets me a lot of strange looks. I guess people aren’t really understanding that I’m a blogger when she says this and she innocently doesn’t understand that’s she’s implying I’m more of a web cam girl or something.


I have to quickly rush to explain what it is she means before things spiral downhill! I hate to see what happens when I’m not around. I guess all her friends raise a brow and nod politely meanwhile, wondering what it is I am doing on “hotline”.

I’ve had a lot of people mispronounce brand names to me but none are more funnier than my dad who says Sephora wrong. He either calls is senora or cenora. I rarely get ticked off by this though! It makes me laugh versus makes me angry. And no matter how many times I correct him it’s still reverts back to senora. “Did you notice a new senora opened at the mall?” “Are you doing to senora?” “Did you want a senora gift card for your birthday?”

Have you ever had a friend, family member, or even a stranger mispronounce the name of your favorite beauty store or beauty brand?

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Linda Whitener

    Dad used to tease me about wearing “Channel 19.” (He knew perfectly well how to pronounce Chanel – and he’d buy it for me for Christmas!) While he was waiting to walk me down the aisle at my ill-fated wedding, he cracked us all up saying, “Too bad we can’t make our entrance to Ravel’s ‘Bolero.’” I miss that sense of humor.

  • Eraser

    Can’t say that I do, but my Italian grandpa who owned a bar made a point of saying “Caca Cola” whenever a patron asked for Coke. I think he knew what he was doing but he got away with his “lovable foreigner broken English” routine!

    By the way, my given name is Elisa and I’m called all sorts of things too – usually Eliza, which drives me crazy.

    • Isabella Muse

      Oh my god you’re my soul mate lol!

      How in the world is Elisa like Eliza! I totally understand girl! It’s really gotten so tiresome I don’t bother correcting people anymore. I have clients who called me Elizabeth for over 10 years LOL! Many times I’ve said Isabella, they have my business card that says Isabella, and they still call me Elizabeth.

  • Krystle

    CVS has a little self-advert that plays over the PA that talks about the anti-photoshop beauty campaign the store has going on and the different makeup brands that are involved. One of those is NYX, and the narrator names it by each letter rather than saying “nicks.” I work there so I have to hear it so often and it really grinds my gears

  • MN Diamond Girl

    Mispronouncing brand names happens to the best of us and I totally understand when it happens to the average consumer. I do, however, believe that beauty influencers on YouTube should know how to pronounce the brand names of all products they are hauling or reviewing. That is their job and I think it looks unprofessional when they don’t know how to pronounce it and they giggle and say “whatever.” The most common mispronounced brands are Viseart, Laura Mercier and Jouer.

    • Susan

      Yes, we all do it occasionally but I completely agree with you that if a YTer is passing herself off as an “influencer” she should learn how to pronounce brand names, color names, and personal names correctly. Last year I cringed my way through a palette review in which the color names were mangled. Merlot was “murr-LOT,” Chantilly was “CHANT-illy,” and Brûlée was “BRULL-ee.” I know we haven’t all taken French, but educate yourself if you’re doing a video. Rant over! 😉

  • Beka

    I totally mispronounced “Lorac” ( lor-ack) and “Anastasia” (Anna-stay-shah) for a couple years before a nice lady at Ulta was like, honey, that’s just not right

    My name is Beka, and people always insist on calling me Becky. It’s just comical at this point.

  • Leigh

    I was in Sephora with my husband when he asked if I had ever tried Tartay ( Tarte). Had a good laugh at his expense.

  • Anne

    it’s not Bonnie Bell?
    Also I never know about initial names. M-A-C or mack? N-Y-X or nix? E-L-F or elf?

    • Isabella Muse

      no lol! It’s Bonne Bell! it’s def mack and it’s nix ;-D But wow, good question! I always call it Elf as in Christmas Elf! is it E-L-F???

    • Sarah

      It is pronounced “Bonnie Bell” but spelled Bonne without the “i” Bell. It is an American family-owned company that was based in Cleveland, Ohio although in French bonne means ‘good’, but it is definitely pronounced like Bonnie.

      • Liz

        Yes, it is pronounced Bonnie even though it doesn’t have an I in the spelling 🙂

  • Jules

    Now all I can think about is Showgirls…. ver-SACE.

    Mispronunciations don’t really bother me… But I HATE snooty French corrections… Yes, I KNOW it’s zheevahnshee!! Someone else mentioned Lorac… I was guilty of mispronunciation with that one, and corrected myself. Then I found out it’s just the founder’s name spelled backwards. I reverted back to the ack.

    • Isabella Muse

      OMG! Best movie moment ever! ;-D lol givenchy never sounded so good as you typing it lol! LOL!

    • Anne

      Carol wanting everyone to call it “lohraaahc” is like when I call Target “tarzhay.”
      But I’m glad I took French in high school for the rest of these.

  • hs

    Lorac was my faux pas. Like many many others I pronounced it “Lor-ack” until I heard a youtuber call it “Lo-rock” and explained that it was the founders name, Carol, backwards. Thankfully I wasnt corrected in person but it definitely made me think of all the times I’ve said it wrong and that’s embarrassing enough lol

  • Angie Clementine

    I didn’t know how to pronounce Sephora for the longest time, before it became a household name. I remember reading about it in magazines, but there weren’t any stores in the New Orleans area. Then in 2008, I went on a business trip to Minneapolis and visited the Sephora in the Mall of the Americas. I was so excited!… but still didn’t know how to pronounce “Sephora”, lol. Now I hear people say it on YouTube all the time, so it’s hard to remember that the stores weren’t very common, not that long ago!

    Other names I have heard mispronounced are Ulta (my mom always says “Ultima”, like the Nissan Altima) and Buxom (I heard someone place the emphasis on the second syllable: Bux-OM).

    Oh, and this isn’t makeup, but once when I was in Bath & Body Works, a sales associate pronounced Black Cherry Merlot wrong — he said “Mer-LOT”. It was really hard not to laugh.

    • Isabella Muse

      oh no the dreaded Mer LOT mistake. So hard to telling people that T is silent lol!

  • Violet

    My name is Violet, but I go thru life being called Valerie or Vickie by acquaintances.
    I had a close high school friend named Vernon and his name got pronounced “Vermin” occasionally, lol!!!
    My son is named Sean and his name gets pronounced “Seen” by classmates and even a few teachers. A room mother actually told me that she had never seen my son’s name spelled in such a strange way.
    When I first met my future husband, he pronounced Popeye, “Pie-pie”.

    I confess that I mispronounced a lot of brand names until I started looking at YouTube to find out the correct way to pronounce them. I do remember many years ago, I was at a new mall with a friend and I spied a Sephora (1st one in west TN), and I exclaimed, “Oooh, a Sefferrah!” Of course, my more savvy friend corrected me.

  • Laurie

    I mispronounced OPI for years …now I know it is O P I and not Opie, like Ron Howard on the Andy Griffith Show. I think I’m good with everything else

  • SleepyTimeTay

    Despite using it for years, I cannot figure out how to pronouce “seche vite.” When I’m trying to find it in a store, I alqays preface it by, “I’m totally butchering the name but…”

  • Lauren

    As you know, I’m majorly into perfume. I’ve got one perfume-pal that I know IRL that is more into perfumes than I am (and she actually was the one that got me into them), but her pronunciations of brands and terms related to perfume is, well, kind of embarassing. For example, Diptyque was Dip-T-Q, sillage was sill-ehge, Guerlain was Gore-Lain, Hermes was Her-mees. Most of the time, not an issue, but still a little embarassing when I took her to go sniff through the counters at Neiman Marcus.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m sorry I laughed so hard at dip t q! I know someone who says that and I cringe but I’m sort of shy to tell her she’s wrong!

  • Sarah

    Not a beauty brand but while I was still a teenager It was always “Henry Potter” instead of Harry…

  • Catherine

    My name is Catherine, but people automatically shorten it to Cathy and lately more people reduce it to Cat (I am am 46 years old, way too old to be called Cat LOL).

    For some strange reason my mom always calls Ulta, Ultra. Not sure where the r came from, but no matter how often I have corrected her, the r remains. I have given up and just go with it!

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL! A lot of people seem to have the Ultra issue ;-D haha! Aw Cat is cute though! ;-D

  • Jan Kelley

    I have a very simple name. My name is Jan. I have been called Jane, Janice, Janet, Joanne, and a German pronunciation, Yan. Most of the time I don’t correct because it gets tiresome. And, it doesn’t really bother me.

    • Isabella Muse

      god bless everyone with a Mass accent. Truly it’s almost as great as the Staten Island accent. Amen.

  • Claudia

    So I as a teen I was taking French during high school and decided to buy Guerlain’s Champs-Élysées perfume at the Dillard’s counter. The idiot salesgirl behind the counter proceeded to “correct” me and say you mean Champs(american pronunciation) Eleesees. It made me so mad that I walked out and have never been to a Dillard’s since then.
    My mother in law calls me Gloria. My name is Claudia and I have been married to her son for 14 years. The last time she did it I called her Amber(her name is Nancy) and told her it’s been 14 years so get it straight or going forward she will be either Amber or Bambi. I don’t know how your name issue doesn’t irk you. It reminds me of this Star Trek episode https://youtu.be/nqwx2XFb1fQ

    • Isabella Muse

      lol oh how I miss next generation! ;-D “One’s my name..!” LOL perfection. my god I can’t believe your MIL hasn’t gotten your name right after all this time. Does she do it on purpose do you think? It gets so tiresome to correct that I simply don’t bother anymore. I’ll repeat myself twice on introduction. Me: “hello I’m Isabella” Them: “Elizabeth?” Me: No, Isabella. Them: “Ok, Elizabeth!” I’m to the point I’m all screw it call me anything you want just don’t call me late to dinner haha! `

  • Paige

    The one that gets me on YT that I hear less now that the palette is kind of five minutes ago is the color “tempera” in the Modern Renaissance palette. More often than not, it’s every YTer’s favorite color in that palette, and more often than not, they pronounce it “tempura,” as in the Japanese preparation of vegetables and meats by quickly deep frying it in a light batter. But it’s called the “Modern Renaissance” palette and that color references a type of paint used during the time of the historical period. When I hear YTers do that, it just sets my teeth on edge.

    Another thing, and it’s not about pronunciation, but it’s when someone puts an apostrophe in where it’s a word in plural. It’s everywhere on Instagram, and particularly when the owner of a brand does it (“brand new lipstick’s,” “I love our new duochrome’s”) it looks so glaringly unprofessional. There was one YT channel I used to watch but I stopped because (1) all she ever did was hauls and it started to make me feel icky because it’s so much money and she can never use up all of that product and it seemed like it was a financial burden on her family and I couldn’t watch anymore and (2) because every single video title had an apostrophe where the word was just plural (lippie’s, eyeshadow’s, palette’s, etc.) and I couldn’t take it.

      • Paige

        She is all hauls, all the time. Her channel is Brenda Couture. She has terrrific blue hair, she does a LOT of indie, and unlike a lot of 20-something YTers she’s middle aged, all of which I think is great. But just today, she put up a video on “highlighter’s” and “eyeshadow’s” and I can’t. I just can’t. Also the conspicuous consumption thing got to me. I can’t watch it anymore. Same with Tarababyz. I think she’s great, but it’s so much stuff. Which is an entirely different thread, having nothing to do with pronunciation or grammar or punctuation.

        • Isabella Muse

          Never heard of her! I do follow Tara though! She’s a sweetheart! She has a MAJOR collection going on haha! I remember I used to be just as nutty! Needing to own ALLL da things! Nowadays I’m a little more selective with my purchases! Most days I’m buying it “for the blog” versus for myself. I think if I didn’t have Musings of a Muse I’d probably have really panned down my collection and be WAY more selective with what I purchase! or maybe I’m kidding myself haha….!

          • Paige

            You’d probably be like the rest of us, with a merely moderately out of control collection that fills too a few too many drawers instead of one that fills a room. Says the woman who just jumped on getting the DoC Mickey Mouse palette because it sold out twice and I really wanted it once it was sold out the first time. Which makes me wonder if I got suckered into buying by DoC creating an artificial shortage. Sigh. Oh dear. Sorry this went so far off topic!

          • Isabella Muse

            cough ahem cough yeah, a few drawers cough…! We’ve all been there dear ;-D

  • Jenny

    To my mom, Ulta is called Ultra and Bath & Body Works is Bed Bath. Gotta love her. She tries.

      • TC

        Erm, I may be guilty of this myself, drives my daughter nuts when I tell her She can go to bed bath beyond whilst I have a coffee (I hate in bbw as the smell overwhelms me)

  • Wendy Sue

    I still call IT cosmetics “I.T” (pronounced eye tee) cosmetics.
    Everyone is still laughing at me LOL

  • razlcat

    Here is one I had to look up because I was pronouncing it incorrectly – Seche Vite – apparently it is “sesh veet”. Oops on my part.

    I think you should do a pronunciation glossary of sorts after this thread! Then we can check it before we make mistakes in the future.

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL! I think I get plenty wrong not sure I am the best person to create a glossary haha!

  • Elaine

    My 14 year old niece calls Ulta “Ultra” also – and we’re also from Massachusetts…I thought it was pretty clever! As for me, my name is Elaine – and NO ONE gets it right. It’s Ellen, it’s Eileen, it’s Irene…even my ex-husband started calling me “sweetheart” because he was petrified of getting it wrong (which he did when we first met). Still calls me sweetheart, too. Now it’s just habit!
    Love your writing, Miss Isabella. Have a great week.

    • Isabella Muse

      ohhhh! I’ll call you Elaine and never forget! Cute on your husband lol! ;-D You too my Elaine 😀

  • kjh

    Idk about the Bonne Bell. Way BITD, I was corrected into it being American, not French. How about Bette Davis? Pronounced as if the e were a y, unlike Ms Midler. The founder of the co was Jesse Bell, and I really doubt that he pronounces it Jess. Ergo…. My mum got larky (vs. hypercorrect?) about pronunciation. The ecru (ay-cryeu / can’t really write it without phonetics) like color was beige (behzh.) Like many readers I won’t watch a YTer who butchers the names. If I can pronounce and greet a woman with an 8 syllable Yoruba ( a Nigerian language) they ought to be able to pronounce shade/brand names they are EXPERTS in…

  • Kimmyyy

    Oh, I know I butcher lots of brand names and don’t really care. I’m happy to be corrected but will not guarantee I’ll remember the correct pronunciation the next time around (not on purpose, I just have a crap memory). I don’t really understand why it would upset anyone since it’s not like the majority of people do it intentionally. If someone isn’t a “professional” (aka works in the makeup industry in some way, like a makeup store, YTer, makeup artist, makeup business owner, etc.), it shouldn’t make anyone mad that a consumer wouldn’t know the correct way to say the name, especially when it isn’t something simple. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a Sephora or Ulta and had a rude employee act like I’m retarded because I say a brand name slightly wrong. Please correct me, but at least be polite about it. I do agree that someone in that industry should know names, though. There have been many times I’ve pronounced a brand name a certain way because a big YTer I watch does, then I found out it was apparently wrong, haha. Oh well.
    Names, however… It really frustrates me when I very clearly say my name and people then say it wrong, especially considering it’s hard to do that to mine. I mean, it’s Kimmy… Clearly my name isn’t Jimmy or Timmy, since you can see I’m definitely a girl, and no, I didn’t say Cali or Katy. My Texas accent isn’t that bad! 😛 If I’m ever not sure about a name, or I forgot it (again, bad memory), I’ll just ask you again.

  • Ashe

    I remember a makeup vlogger (not a popular one) saying Manny Moo-ah instead of m-u-a. Although I can’t be too judgemental, that’s how it sounds in my head because “Manny Make Up Artist” sounds silly!

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL omg that’s funny! I always say Manny M-U-A not Manny Makeup Artist. I think that’s his handle! ;-D But Manny Moo-ah is pretty funny 😀

  • Jan Aiello

    Your post has made me laugh. My name is Jan and I can’t tell you how many times I get called Jane! I even speak slowly and spell my name when speaking on the phone. Then I get a call back asking for Jan. I give up!

  • D

    Used to work in cosmetics in SE FL. This poor old lady for the life of her could not say Nina Ricci. It was NikkiTikki, TikkiNeechi, RikkiTikki, etc.

    A very nice older gentleman who was fluent in french language pronounced all the french product names for me. Anais as in the fragrance Anais Anais is pronounced like Inez.

    But Anais Nin with the two dots on top of the I in her name doesn’t pronounce it that way.

  • Diana Miller

    Totally get the name thing..I am Diana, not Diane but it is like people never hear the last syllable…I have given up correcting people for the most part and are just happy if they can spell it…which neither of my grandmothers could ever figure out!

    • Isabella Muse

      names like yours are tough sometimes! Like Joanna or Joann or Joanne. Diana and Diane or Christina and Christine. People tend to goof those up fast! I bet it’s irritating AF though!

    • Mercedes

      Yes, lord! My Mom is a “Diana” (which is a beautiful name, by the way), and gets Diane way, way more than she ever should.

      My name is Mercedes, but my nickname (short name, I’ve had it since I can remember) is “Merce,” pronounced “mercy.” I get why people have trouble pronouncing that, though. 😉

  • Gayle Galor

    One time I was running errands with my son when he was about 12 or so, and when I parked the car and he saw where we were going he asked me, “How long are we going to be in Ew-tah?” It took me a second and then I giggled and asked him, “Do you mean Ulta?” “Oh, yeah…” Now it’ll forever be Ew-tah in my head every time I see it.

  • Frugalcat

    As a teen, I used Neutrogena glycerin soap. My dad used to call it Nitrogen soap, or sometimes Nitroglycerin soap.

  • catazure

    I never even attempted to pronounce L’Occitane until a store associate was so kind that I confessed my problem to her, she told me Loss-i-tahn and I hope that’s correct since I’ve said it ever since 🙂 As to names, mine is Jennifer and I am routinely re-named Ginger.

    • Isabella Muse

      she’s right! They did a funny video a several years ago asking people how to pronounce it with Olivier later explaining the right way to say it! omg! lol! ginger and jennifer are no way alike!

  • D

    This one is not directly about glamour but somewhat related. Muse, remove if it does not apply.

    Again SE FL library. Lots and lots of old ladies. The book was Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.

    An old lady put on an air of sophistication and worldliness sashayed up to the desk and asked,

    “Do you have FAN TAN?”

  • Mellokitty

    It used to drive me absolutely effin CRAZY when my mom called Ulta “ultra”! But now that she has passed away almost a year ago, I would do anything to hear her say “ultra” again. A side note: everyone would mispronounce her name as Brenda when it was Drenda….

  • Rachel Runyan

    People call me “Rachelle” all the time, and sometimes even “Raquel.” My maiden name is “Shannon,” so all through school I got called that a lot.

    I haven’t had family members mispronounce beauty names (they could care less about talking about them), but my mother called her favorite chocolate shop, Euphoria Chocolate “Urethra Chocolates” for decades despite being corrected and told what a urethra was. She also called “gentiles” “genitals” despite being corrected every time. Her near-miss and inappropriate vocabulary was mortifying. LOL

  • Ruth

    A woman who WORKS at my Ulta mispronounces it. The whole time you’re shopping, you hear: “Welcome to Ultra! Welcome to Ultra!”
    A big-time beauty blogger mispronounces “lumiere” as “lumi-aye” and “Mercier” as ”Merci-ehrr.”
    I could swear Bonne Bell started out as “Bonnie” – but I’m reaching back to my teen years in the 1970’s!

    • Mariele Storm

      Do I have egg on my face–I always call it “Merci-ehrr”! I guess it’s “Mercy-ay”?

  • Amy

    My name is Amy, but I often get called Michelle… My mom is named Donna, but she frequently gets called Diane/a, Dana, or Danae…

    My big pet peeve, that really gets under my skin, is the general butchering of the Greek language… From Gyro to the alphabet used on college campuses, I find it mind-boggling that it’s gone on for so long… I actually got into a bit of a debate in a YouTube comment section with someone over the name “Calliope”; because someone did a video on the “correct pronunciation”, she took it as fact. Meanwhile, as someone who speaks some Greek, and is fully aware of the phonetic sounds of the Greek alphabet, and has known actual Greek people with the name, I know it’s pronounced “Kah-lee-OH-peh”, not “Kah-LIE-o-pee”, as there is no vowel that exists for the “Long I” sound…

    As for “influencers” mispronouncing names, I don’t find it that bad. In all fairness, it’s not like they have any real reference point; outside of the beauty industry, they aren’t typically verbalized, and therefore aren’t common sounds. I actually fault the brands themselves. If they’re going to pay/provide product to these influencers in lieu of the legitimate advertising, they should send a primer to said influencers. Even “researching” foreign words may yield in false results.

    • Isabella Muse

      holy cow how do they get Michelle from Amy? that’s crazeee! I get the butchering a language pet peeve! It’s done a lot across the board. My pet peeve is when people say Spanish and Portuguese are the same thing. Honestly, portuguese is so much more different. Common words in Portuguese are completely different than ones in Spanish. Pronunciation is also diff! Too true but also, would be good for influencers to research a bit!

  • Chris

    A little history about your name — Isabella — in Spanish Isabel is Elizabeth in English. But when did the ‘la’ get added to Isabel? It happened when the Spanish Queen Isabel was called Isabel la Catolica — Isabel the Catholic. So eventually the two words got slurred together & Isabel became Isabella.

    I probably mispronounce some of the French named fragrances.

    • Isabella Muse

      I actually knew this 🙂 My father was born in Portugal. I was named after Isabella of Castile 😉

  • Mariele Storm

    Huehue, my aunt and I are so bad at pronouncing things, I can’t even think of anything off the top of my head because I’m sure I’m pronouncing it wrong! Guerlain… grrr-layn, right? Chanel… shan-ell? I better stick to Physician’s Formula and Besame, at least I can pronounce those. 😛
    My name is Mariele (obviously!) but I’ve gotten called everything. It’s pronounced “mary-uhl”. But when I introduce myself, people call me “Ariel” or “Muriel” 99% of the time. And when people see my name written down, they ALWAYS pronounce it “Mary-Elle”, like it’s a traditional Southern name, haha! Even my grandfather pronounced it like that. My gym teacher used to call me “Mary Lee”. I’ve gotten called “Mah-reel” a couple times, too. Because people butcher my name so much, I better not get any flack for mispronouncing things, is how I see it! 😉

  • MDW

    This post thread has taken momentum. So here’s another contribution. Ex boyfriend for “Muget” would say MUGG IT.