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Exclusive: Make Up For Ever, Unretouched


About two years ago, digital retouching—a standard industry practice—began to go too far. Limbs went mysteriously missing; waists, arms, and hips were made unrealistically slim; skin color was lightened; and crow’s feet and wrinkles magically disappeared. Cue the backlash: The magazine-reading public started to question the practice and its effect on our impossible ideals of beauty. Cosmetics companies had their hands full with lawsuits in which it was determined that if the magical powers of false lashes, wigs, and computers were used to create images, it had to be noted in (fine) print. As a result, celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Monica Bellucci went sans makeup in fashion glossies, while others refused airbrushing altogether. And so, the “real beauty” movement was born.

Now Make Up For Ever is taking that movement one step further. In a first for the brand (and a novel idea for the industry), the professional-turned-consumer line is debuting an unretouched ad campaign—which has been certified by a notary public so there’s no question that it’s legit. The image highlights MUFE’s HD Invisible Cover Foundation range, which, it is claimed, provides results so flawless that your skin does not need retouching even when photographed with a digital lens. Seeing as how there was no blending tool used to smooth out discolorations and imperfections, a few things were obviously taken into account to make for a pretty picture: a) the model is young, ensuring that there are no physical signs of aging to contend with, and b) the photo is not a close-up but pulled back slightly.

Still, it’s a monumental achievement and one we hope more brands will follow. The campaign officially drops tomorrow equipped with a microsite that will contain a special interactive video and behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot. But for now, we’ve got a preview of it right here. Thoughts on the image and the notion of a new age of unembellished ads?

Photo: Courtesy of Make Up For Ever

Behind The Tear Sheet