‘Beauty retouch’ or digital deception?
Published: Sunday, April 3, 2011
Updated: Sunday, April 3, 2011 14:04
Makeup companies often promise flawless, eye-catching results, but what if the results are entirely face-altering?
This is the case in the new Rimmel London advertisement for its Lasting Finish Lipstick featuring indie darling, Zooey Deschanel. The 31-year-old actress who is best known for her roles in the films (500) Days of Summer, Yes Man and Elf, is virtually unrecognizable in the ad.
Set against a Union Jack backdrop, Deschanel's nose is slimmer, her striking blue eyes are greener and the sides of her face have been significantly slimmed down to an almost box-like shape. The girl in the picture looks more like Deschanel's second cousin than the actress herself.
It would be foolish to believe that any image that makes its way into the pages of a glossy magazine is sans Photoshop, but to what extent will companies go to deliver that look of so-called perfection?
Celebrity endorsements are not a drop in the bucket. They cost quite a bit of money, which is warranted given the draw that the famous face brings to the company.
Which begs the question: Why would Rimmel cough up thousands of dollars for a celebrity spokeswoman, only to then render her unrecognizable?
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Rimmel has found itself in deep water. Last year, the Advertising Standards Authority banned a Rimmel ad due to false advertising.
The commercial for Rimmel's 1-2-3 Looks mascara, features rocker Mick Jagger's model-daughter, Georgia May. The company promises three varying eyelash lengths with the twist of a dial on the mascara tube and displays a photo lapse of Jagger's eyelashes growing to three different lengths, each longer than the next.
However, a tiny asterisk at the bottom of the screen is accompanied by the message "shot with lash inserts." The print ads followed suit, alerting only the closest reader that not only was this product misleading, but also had to be accompanied by enhancements for any real effect.
This is the age we live in; one full of enhancements. Anyone can purchase Photoshop and alter an image these days. There are even certain courses at UCF that entail learning Photoshop.
For those individuals who are less than computer savvy, electronic company Panasonic has created a solution. The company's new Lumix DMC-FX78 camera has a built-in "beauty retouch" feature.
Users can choose from two options: the Aesthetic Retouch and the Make Up Retouch. With the Aesthetic Retouch, one can erase imperfections such as blemishes, mattify oily spots on your face, whiten teeth and eyes and even make the eyes look enlarged and more defined.
The Make Up Retouch allows users to add eyeshadow and lipstick. Don't have time to tan before an event? The Cosmetic Mode gives users the option to give subjects an instant spray tan.
After looking at images of people who had tested the camera, I have to say I wasn't impressed. Teeth became blindingly white and skin was blurred so severely that it almost lost all shadows and angles. Users looked almost like a different person — maybe that was the point?
Thankfully, there are some changes taking place. France and Australia have both petitioned to implement a Photoshop disclaimer on any image that has used airbrushing.
Makeup company Make Up Forever recently launched its latest ad campaign toting the phrase, "You're looking at the first unretouched make up ad" that features a model who is apparently au naturel and not digitally edited.
Shocker! You can see her pores!
Rimmel's spokeswomen always wrap up its heavily-produced ads with the slogan "get the London look." Honestly, if that look entails shaving down my apple cheeks or erasing my freckles, I think I'll pass. I want to love the way I look — no Photoshop magic necessary.