You Mean That’s NOT Real?

by PJ on Sunday, July 29, 2007

in makeup, makeup - mascara, What do you think? Beauty topics and thoughts

(Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Waterproof Mascara ad,
p. 26-27, August 2006, Biteki magazine)

We all know that beauty ads are often about visual impact. Pores are blurred, lines are erased, makeup is retouched, and hair is re-textured. Perfection is what we aspire to, and it is what they are presenting.

Last week, UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found L’Oréal in breach of advertising rules after they admitted that, in their TV ad for Telescopic Mascara, Penelope Cruz wore false eyelashes. In their future ads, L’Oréal must include a statement in the ad if false lashes are used. Apart from this, L’Oréal will have to make it clear whether claims like “up to 60% longer lashes” refer to the appearance, not the actual length. (Read the full story in The Guardian.)

I wonder why ASA didn’t do this earlier, but I also wonder whether there is any point in doing it.

Have a look at a few more ads:

(Helena Rubinstein Surrealist Mascara ad,
p. 28-29, October 2006, Biteki magazine)

(Clinique Lash Power Mascara ad,
p. 92-93, August 2006, Biteki magazine)

(L’Oréal Volume Shocking Waterproof Mascara ad,
p. 84-85, August 2006, Biteki magazine)

(Notice that three of the four ads appear in the same issue.)

Obviously, there is a difference between stylized eyelashes above and false eyelashes that are meant to blend in with and enhance the real ones. But, in certain contexts, the difference is almost irrelevant. While I do believe in transparent advertising, I do think most of us consumers are (and should be) savvy enough to know what to take away from advertisements. Some ads are more visual than informational, and they are designed to appeal to our senses more than anything else.

Here is a spoof of the TV ad in a comedy sketch show (aired on BBC several months ago), which is very funny but makes a similar point.

One random thought: At least we can put on false eyelashes if we want to, whereas we can’t digitally enhance our image in others’ (or our) eyes……

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

A-Mused Sunday, July 29, 2007

Major law suit in the works for MJ than LOL!

They boast 120% the size of your normal lashes with the new lash expander LOL!

Personally I think it’s a little bit on the silly side! We, as cosmetic junkies, know that the ads aren’t what we’ll be able to accomplish upon purchasing the product but I think we chew up the ads like candy because we enjoy the visuals and the general idea, that maybe, just maybe the product will give us that dreamy blemish free glow, those long gorgeous lashes, that perfect pout, etc!

Honestly I believe that a majority of our cheaper drugstore brands here in the US don’t even use said products that are being advertised on the eyes, lips, and face of the model!

If we see an advert for saying some new Covergirl shadow palette…it’ll show some gorgeous model with gorgeous eye makeup that’s bright, vibrant, bold and pigmented. Try purchasing said advertised palette and trying to achieve the look! Impossible! I totally think they use other brands plus some major photo shopping touch ups to enhance the looks!

It’s funny as with designer brands I don’t mind so much but with drugstore brands I find it slightly irritating.

I think that’s because at least with designer brands we do somewhat achieve the visual result of the advert as in with cheapie drugstore brands we are just in for one big major lie!

Oh my! I am babbling aren’t I?

Great article PJ! Got me talking something fierce here hehehe!


Parisb Monday, July 30, 2007

LOL I remember reading about it. Seriously, most of the ads are so photoshopped you don’t even know what can be believed anymore. btw, do you mind me showcasing this article in my Beauty Roundup coming up on August 1? I can send you some info on what that entails if you like :)


PJ Monday, July 30, 2007

Hello A-Mused!

Thank you for your comment!

I also read that, on some of the Japanese beauty magazines, where it would say next to a photo that the model is using a certain shade of a lipstick, very often more than one shade is used to create a desired effect.

Along with studio lighting and photoshopping, we get a very stylized version of how certain products perform.

The studio lighting and the printing process do make a difference. I sometimes see an eyeshadow being featured two or three times on the same issue of a magazine and it can look very different on different photos. It can be very confusing.

While I really enjoy flipping through magazine pages (some of them are amazingly beautiful indeed), the information I tend to get from them are simply product names, the range of shades (in the most general sense), prices, and release dates. I guess it is a similar case with ads as well.

(For skincare products, I simply ignore all the claims and judge whether it is a good product by reading the ingredient list. For makeup, of course, I try to test as many products as I can. It is fun anyway!)


PJ Monday, July 30, 2007

Hello Parisb,

Thank you for stopping by again!

I know. I think now, in some ways, photography is more and more about what to do after the photo is taken. With computer, we can do virtually anything. I guess cosmetics companies obviously love this idea…

Thank you for asking to showcase this post on your blog! Really appreciate it!


Anonymous Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hey! Love the site! Just stopping by for the first time!

Christa Jean


PJ Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hello Christa,

Thank you!

Thank you for stopping by. Do come back often!



sesame Wednesday, August 1, 2007

This is funny. I think most consumers are intelligent enough to tell the difference that those lashes are SO fake. But personally, I think such ads are scary looking.


PJ Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Hello Sesame!

Thanks for stopping by again.

I think many of Helena Rubinstein’s ads are quite visual. On the other hand, I remember being surprised to see that ad by Clinique (even though it still has that clean and minimal style which is typical of Clinique).

My favorite one is probably the second Helena Rubinstein one. It looks quite delicate and stunning …


yummy411 Wednesday, November 7, 2007

great blog with all the different unrealistic ads! thanks for sharing!


PJ Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hello Yummy411 again,

Thank you very much! I am glad you enjoyed the post (and the photos)! :)


Leave a Comment

Please note that information on purchasing Japanese cosmetics on-line can be found on my FAQ page.

Thank you very much!

Previous post:

Next post: