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I don’t mind touching up the skin, but the skin should have texture, fine lines, and so on! With makeup, cleaning up edges or erasing smudges or smears, sure. I don’t like when the colors get altered, replaced, or pumped up to the point where it’s not just a matter of adding contrast but making the product look 100 times better than it really is.

— Christine

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I don’t mind it, as long as the colors aren’t altered. I’ve been around long enough to realize that what you see in ads isn’t always what you get, no matter what the product is. Even in ads for food, actual food isn’t always used. I also know what “flaws” I have, I’ve embraced them, and I don’t expect “miracles” from any product. Also, what we may perceive as being altered or photoshopped may not be; there are actually people who exist with perfect skin, lashes, etc, and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

It’s gotten so out of control. I think the adds of today will be laughed at worse than an avocado fridge in the not-to-distant future.

I remember when you could look at a product listing for a magazine cover. Now they don’t do that because the products don’t actually exist in real life for you to buy. That great nail colour is made digitally and the model wasn’t wearing polish in the pictures. Good chance those aren’t even her hands!

For me, its acceptable to photoshop the skin in a mascara or lipstick advertisement, not one for foundation
Just like they should not photoshop lashes or put fake ones on to sell a mascara.

Enough not to distract people from very obvious flaws/the focus of the picture, but not enough to qualify it as false advertising.

As someone who used to retouch images for a living, I can safely say that smudge tool to the face is generally a no-no.

I’m sick of mascara ads using false lashes on models, and I hate it when they alter the models face so much that she doesn’t look human. Nobody has picture perfect skin. I consider myself to have good skin. I’m in my early 20’s with no lines/wrinkles/sun spots/age spots/acne/etc but I do have redness from time to time and pores on my nose.

If it’s to enhance something that doesn’t directly affect the presentation of the makeup, I don’t have a problem with it. But if you’re deliberating photoshopping pictures to make your product look way better, or even to mislead people into thinking it looks different, then that’s wrong. Mascara ads are the biggest offenders here.

I hate when they photoshop beauty ads. I want to see what the product REALLY looks like on. Photoshop the background if you must, but not the model

If a product claims to do something then I don’t think you should be able to create that effect with anything but that product. If a product supposedly sits on top of skin instead of settling into lines then they shouldn’t be able to edit any product settling out. Or if a mascara isn’t supposed to clump then they shouldn’t be able to separate those lashes digitally later. Otherwise it’s false advertising and that’s illegal. I’m okay with them removing errant hairs or a scar, that’s fine.

I actually think they should take the millions of dollars they spend on photoshop and hiring movie stars and spend it on developing a better product. Then when (and if) they choose to advertise the product they should use real people in their ads. That way you get a better idea of what a product can actually do. And with the added money spent on product development they may actually be able to do some of the things they claim.

I think retouching anything the product touches should be off limits. I’m so tired of everything being retouched!

Mmh, tough question. I agree with you on the smudges and smears. However I do not like the amount of retouching in beauty ads nowadays. PhS turns what is supposed to be a picture into a work of art. I feel it contributes to making many girls and women reach for something that is not reality, which can lead to suffering. There is already so much one can do with lighting and proper makeup that to me this much PhS is something of a lie.

I’d like to see “the real deal”, to be honest. I mean, if I were buying a car, I would be really ticked if the car company was allowed to falsify (for that’s what it is) the mileage or other details about what I could realistically expect in terms of performance. We women spend a LOT of makeup and skin care and I really believe we deserve the truth (it’s one of the reasons I think so many of us embraced Paula Begoun’s books when they first came out). Makeup artists are highly skilled in any case so why not let them do their work, let the products do what they can do and then let us, the consumers, see the results? Some years ago, Jamie Lee Curtis did a magazine shoot where she very bravely showed “the real her” – with face and body imperfections, and then the “computer enhanced” final version. She wanted women to know that even SHE couldn’t/didn’t measure up to the image of her on the magazine pages. I remember a LOT of women praising her for doing this.

oops – “spend a lot ON makeup and skin care” (wish there were an “edit” feature here for mistakes like this).

None. If a product doesn’t look good on the model without all the computer help, than I don’t want to be wearing it around, because I can’t be carrying around a computer in front of my face in realty. If a company is worried about the makeup and are considering photo shopping because it looks cakey and unnatural, well then the product has kind of lost it’s point our is simply too heavy for normal people to be wearing, right?

I don’t mind it at all. Adverts for me are something to gush over: something that is supposed to be a bit dream-like and unrealistic. It’s the beauty industry, and seeing a normal girl just like me… with normal imperfections, just won’t make me want to buy a product.

I really hate when they take a woman who is in her 40s or 50s and photoshop her skin so much that it looks like she is 18. Not a line or wrinkle on her entire face! It’s completely unrealistic looking.

Profile photo of Christine

And completely adds fire to the idea that we shouldn’t look the age we are (or that we shouldn’t accept aging gracefully). Nothing wrong with wanting to dial the clock back a bit, but when you’re 30, you aren’t 12, and when you’re 40, you’re not 18! And that’s OK!

What’s even worse is when they use a 15 year-old girl as a model for an anti-aging cream. Of course she has no fine lines under her eyes; neither did I as a teenager!

I would be more interested in purchasing something from a nonphotoshopped ad than one that you can tell is completely photoshopped. Whitening teeth is ok in my opinion, but removing wrinkles is not. the product being advertised should remain untouched. maybe if ads started looking more real we would trust beauty companies more.

Christine, one reason your site is so valuable is that it presents the product with lots of controls in place: the same person, with pretty much the same skin color/type in each photo! It’s possible to compare one product to another and see if one item might be better than another. By contrast, an ad takes away a person’s ability to tell what’s so special about each product–it’s so removed from reality that it’s laughable.

I don’t like it because it’s not honest, but the products might not sell as well if the companies didn’t do it.

Blemishes like pimples brushed out and harsh cast shadows on the face lightened I don’t mind. With the photoshoots I so myself these are thinks I like to touch up.

I have a prominent lines under my eyes that can look bruised with cast shadows in lighted shoots so I soften those but not erase them. 😉

I agree with using it to touch up shadows and for covering blemishes and tattoos that a client would not want in a picture, but erasing every wrinkle and stretching lashes up to the eyebrows is false advertising in my opinion.
Why not just use animated models and skip humans altogether? By the time all of the tweaking is done, that’s about all that’s left anyway!

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