Over Editing In The Beauty Industry

Hiya! I hope you're okay.

As a self confessed makeup obsessive, I spend a lot of my time scrolling through Instagram looking at amazing different looks put together by some exceptionally talented makeup artists and makeup enthusiasts. Over the past couple of years I've noticed a trend that is really starting to bug me. Introducing Exhibit A and Exhibit B*:


Yep. Over-editing. Extreme Photoshop. Whatever you want to call it, it is taking over and it is driving me crazy. I can't help but look at this epidemic from a few different perspectives
  • As a makeup artist:
    Okay, I don't ever call myself a makeup artist. I did study professional makeup artistry at college, I didn't qualify (that's a story for a different post), but I studied the majority of the course. Yep, I am a true Beauty School Drop Out.
    As you can imagine I have spent time talking to a lot of different makeup artists all working at different levels of their profession. I can't help but sympathise with them during this Photoshop, Instagram MUA craze. They have clients coming to them requesting looks they see on Instagram. Unfortunately that means they are fully expecting to end up completely smooth and texture-less like a blow up sex doll. Which is fair enough! If they don't have much knowledge of makeup, they might think that kind of result is possible. Ya know, totally erasing skin texture. *Insert side eye emoji*
    Makeup artists are suffering as clients are left disappointed when they can't achieve the look they're expecting.
  • As an aspiring makeup YouTuber/Blogger:
    I enrolled onto a professional makeup course in 2010 because that's what I thought I needed to do in order to be truly successful on YouTube. I spent all of my spare time watching Sam & Nic Chapman (Pixiwoo), Wayne Goss, Michelle Phan. I wanted to develop my talent and become as genuinely knowledgeable as they are. I wanted to start a channel and inspire people with my creativity, as they do. I desperately wanted the channel to be like a 'progress diary' for my skills. These days I spend my time creating makeup looks and posting them to Twitter and Instagram. I have really been enjoying posting to Twitter and Instagram due to their growing makeup communities. There is some incredible talent out there!
    Since these heavily photoshopped have become so popular, it's becoming difficult to get genuine interaction and support for more 'natural' photos. People tend to show a lot of attention towards these severely edited pictures, while the 'natural' photos are kind of shoved to the back.
    People act as if flaky skin, stray hairs or any kind of texture is a direct reflection of the makeup artist's skill. That isn't fair. We need to be showing more support towards people who are keeping it real!
  • As a customer:
    I will admit that this is what really inspired me to write this post. I am fed up of brands using these heavily edited photos to promote their products! I understand that they want to be showing more aesthetically pleasing photos, but sometimes the makeup ends up looking totally different compared to the actual product. Customers then purchase these products because they're impressed by the editing and ultimately end up disappointed when they try them in person. I've ended up second guessing my ability to apply or 'get away with' certain products as a result of this.
Don't get me wrong I totally understand and support artists using digital tools to smooth skin slightly, or removing a blemish etc, but claiming the work is purely down to skill? Come on now, hun. I've scrolled through the comment sections for these photos and I've seen a bunch of people asking for tips on how to get skin so smooth, makeup so blended or lines so sharp. I have witnessed 'makeup artists' giving out tips like:

"It helps where you focus the camera"
"For lines you need the right formula"
"Invest in expensive products"

Seriously, no hate, no shade. It's simple... If you've edited a look in any way, just say it! Own it! Don't have people out here feeling like their skills are inferior because they can't achieve that alien plastic skin. Or because they can't abolish their skin texture.

Till next time!

*Please note, I have not used the any photos to shame or call out only specific people, they have just been used as examples. I am not trying to offend anyone.

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