Earlier this month, Urban Decay's decision to embrace "real skin" by sharing images of makeup artists showing off their pores, freckles, breakouts, and wrinkles was praised by the brand's Instagram followers, who were happy to see them lay off the Photoshop — subsequently ditching the idea of a flawless and essentially unattainable complexion. (They weren't quite as thrilled about another big decision Urban Decay announced this month, but that's another story entirely.)
Now, it looks like the beloved brand may very well have started a social-media movement, and MAC — on both its US and UK-based profiles — is the latest company to follow suit. In recent Instagram posts, the brand has opted out of erasing facial hair from photos, instead posting pictures of models and makeup artists who've skipped the skin-perfecting apps, particularly where peach fuzz (which, FYI, is completely normal) is concerned.
The picture featured on MAC's US page was originally taken by makeup artist Matthew King, and makeup artist Anna Donegan took the picture that appeared on its UK feed. While it's unarguably refreshing to see pictures that haven't been heavily edited making their way onto the 'gram, the decision not to Blur Tool away facial hair has proven divisive, with some of MAC's followers pointing out the "mustache" in the pictures, and even suggesting the facial hair should have been removed prior to taking the shot. (Just one of the many charming comments: "Wax it darling.")
Despite some negativity, a number of MAC's followers are applauding the brand for choosing to feature these snaps over something edited and unrealistic — because this is what actual skin looks like. "There's nothing 'wrong' with this hair at all," wrote one Instagram user. "Actually, this picture is so refreshing. Pretty much everyone has this downy hair around their lips and I love seeing it not being Photoshopped out. Well done, MAC." Another two commented, "Gorgeous! And I love that the model has little facial hair," and, "So good to see a makeup image that hasn’t been photoshopped to within an inch of its life."
What's more, it isn't just high-end brands who are listening to consumers about making a case for "real skin" and embracing facial hair: Drugstore beauty giant L'Oréal Paris Makeup has also recently been applauded for featuring an unedited model in one of its Instagram ad campaigns. This shouldn't be revolutionary, and yet it is — and some of the industry's best-known brands are leading the way.