It All Starts with a Good Foundation

January 10th, 2012

Socrates said that “beauty is a short-lived tyranny,” but cosmetic companies will have you believing otherwise.  The vast majority of ads for foundation feature celebrities and models, regardless of age, who have been airbrushed to perfection…and beyond.  In fact, sometimes the featured celebrity has been airbrushed beyond recognition.  Now how exactly is this supposed to demonstrate the product’s performance?


Example 1: Maybelline Eraser

The ad says, “The Eraser conceals instantly, visibly, precisely.”  Now, when they say “eraser,” do you think they might have been referring to the “eraser” tool in Photoshop?



Example 2: Lancôme Teint Miracle

Julia Roberts was paid $15 million to endorse the brand. Unfortunately, the real miracle behind 44 year-old Julia Robert’s “flawless” face in this campaign is post-production editing.

Both the Maybelline and Lancôme ads (both owned by parent company L’Oréal) were pulled in England by the British Advertising Authority who stated that the ads “breached the advertising standards code for exaggeration and being misleading and banned them from future publication.”  In reference to the Lancôme campaign,  L’Oréal’s response was that the ad was simply an “Aspirational Picture.”


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A completely nonsensical term used to describe advertising images frequently appearing in print ads for cosmetics explaining that the appearance of the model in the picture is not based in reality and has instead been so digitally doctored as to make the claims being expressed or implied in the ad completely worthless.


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