Lies & Lashes: A Photo Retoucher Reveals The Secrets Behind Beauty Ads



By now, we’ve all been witness to the results of a Photoshop job gone Frankenstein: Missing legs, impossibly disproportionate waists, and other images that are so 'shopped they’re more laughable than anything. And even when we see a fashion editorial or advertisement that doesn’t include mangled body parts, we’ve still come to take the images with a grain of salt. Bodies get Photoshopped. We might not always love this, but we know it happens. Yet, somehow, beauty ads have managed to largely escape the protests and wrath of Photoshop-haters, even though it seems they might show the biggest culprits of all.

Don't take our word for it, though. A photo retoucher for fashion and beauty companies spilled industry secrets to BuzzFeed Shift, explaining that the majority of Photoshop work he does doesn't involve bodies, but rather, faces. “I do work on a lot of cosmetics images, too, and the mascara ads are just ridiculous,” says the photo retoucher who (for fairly obvious reasons) chose to remain anonymous. “They wear false eyelashes, of course, in the photo shoot, and we completely draw the lashes in one by one so it's just like a forest of eyelashes. That's like the biggest lie of all — you can't achieve that.”

We get why companies want to show their product in the best light, but we’re not into the idea of creating a false standard of beauty. When the idea of perfection is hammered home through an almost completely digitally enhanced image, it negates the part of the beauty we love the most: Celebrating the differences that make people unique — the trademark gap in your teeth, the sprinkling of freckles on your nose, the decades-old scar on your forehead from your first attempt at bike riding sans training wheels. These are the things we always find most charming, and we don’t think they need to be sacrificed in order to sell makeup.

Perhaps the part of the piece that stopped us in our tracks the most was the end, where the retoucher doesn’t call for a petition or elimination of Photoshop. Instead, he writes, “The skin retouching and smoothing is the most deceiving thing, but if we stopped doing that now, you'd flip through your magazine and say, oh my God, honey you need to put on some makeup. To stop doing it now would be so noticeable.” Oy. We get why we can't just suddenly say goodbye to Photoshop, but perhaps we can stop blatantly lying drawing lashes on one by one. (BuzzFeed Shift)

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Photo: Via StyleFrizz