I think it’s finally time to let you in on the beauty industry lies and secrets the insiders hoped you’d never find out about.
It wasn’t until I was working as a makeup artist on magazine editorials and fashion shows all over the world that I saw just how deep these lies go.
Airbrushing isn’t the only untruth
You may think that the biggest secrets of the beauty industry are surrounding how photos are airbrushed to change models’ features, but that’s only a piece of the larger set of lies you’re being sold in magazines and major websites every day.
I say “sold” because it really is about getting you to buy.
Basically it all comes down to money. Who’s spending it to get you to spend yours.
Have you ever run out to buy that amazing shade of lipstick when you saw it on the cover of a magazine, only to be thoroughly disappointed with how it looked on you?
Chances are it’s because that wasn’t the lipstick that was used at all!
Assume None of what you read is True
Little known fact: every fashion makeup artist carries very specific set of the same products with them. While there are variants within any makeup kit, there are also industry standards which every artist (in their respective subset of fashion, beauty, TV, etc.) is expected to have on hand at all times.
When you see notes on the side of a magazine, or in web article about what brand or color appeared on the face of that gorgeous model or celebrity, it’s rarely what was actually used.
Editors print whatever will appease the biggest brand sponsor in the situation; be it the one for the makeup artist, the celebrity, or the publication itself.
All the time I see photos that don’t match either the tips, or the products used which blogs/magazines say were essential to to achieve the look shown.
Here’s a perfect example from Vogue Australia where absolutely nothing on this model’s face corresponds with the beauty products they’re suggesting!
The worst moment of my career – ethically speaking
Though I worked the traditional fashion circuit, I was becoming known for my expertise in green beauty, and one night I was told to “show up for a job” with no details provided by my boss at the time. Since she was (is) one of the world’s most important makeup artists, I didn’t ask questions, I just said, “yes.”
A black SUV showed up at my door, and drove me to an unknown location.
Upon arrival I was placed in a room with NYC’s biggest fashion/beauty magazine editors and was instructed to talk about how great the new “natural” products were from this massive makeup brand.
#1 I had never touched the makeup before that moment.
#2 When I quickly scanned the ingredients, I saw it was all just greenwashing.
I was in a sticky spot, and had to find a way to “do my job” without getting fired, or flat out lying.
I felt sick.
Where the lies really begin
The lies started with the brand, who sponsored my boss, who paid for my work, and out of my mouth more lies were filtered to the editors, who just believe what they’re told….who then printed some modified version of that in a magazine, and made you (the reader) think that was truthful…because anyone who’d publish those things must have had a clue about the veracity of that information, right?
I tell you, they did not.
If you want a crash course on how to be a smart shopper for natural beauty products and not get taken advantage of, check this out >>
Inspiration not Duplication
So often many of you will enthusiastically ask on social media about a color you saw on me or a model I worked on that you loved. I do my best to reply truthfully — with that it was usually 3-6 different shades all mixed together…because that’s what we artists do!
You’ve also got to remember that there are colorized photo filters, and your screen settings affect what you’re looking at.
So you’ll never really be able to copy what you’ve seen, but you can use it as inspiration to find what works for you.
Psst! If you need help with that, I’m just a computer click away. Check out my virtual Healthy Makeup Lessons here for how to get my personalized assistance.
So, did this article change the way you will now view the mass media? Leave me a comment below about your feelings and experiences with this.
Featured image by @thingsdesignedbyjess