Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Mascara Advertising Experiment.

As some of you are aware I am a qualified make-up artist. Naturally this means that I have applied one or two coats of mascara in my time. It is also the reason why mascara advertising really gives me the pip. In fact there is one particular advert that really gets my blood boiling. Not only does the model photographed have blatantly obvious false eye lashes on, I would also say that the photograph has been heavily altered with a photo shop package. Either that or the model is actually from a species of space aliens who are related to camels and as such, have the longest, thickest, most voluptuous eye lashes EVER. Now in fairness to the cosmetic brand, they do state in microscopic writing that lash inserts (*snort* if you wanna call full bar lashes inserts) were used for consistency. But really, how many people would see that ? How many first time mascara users will scadoodle off to the shops and come home expecting an eye lash miracle ? And how many first time mascara consumers will compare their own lashes to the ones in the advert and think that they have done something wrong and will possibly give up on using mascara all together ?

I know, I know, I'm ranting, but I get frustrated because I constantly come across women who say "Oh, I don't use make-up, I don't know how." Of course it's hard when you are faced with unrealistic end result images.

So anyway, today I thought I would show you the difference between what you will realistically end up with, and what some cosmetic brands would have you believe your end results should be. And just for the record, I really like the mascara brand that I use. It may not give me the dramatic full body and volume it claims, but it has a great consistency, gives nice results and stays put in our humid conditions. That's three big pluses as far as I'm concerned.

No mascara

A coat of mascara which promised full body and volume.

With the addition of a line of bar lashes.

With computer enhancement.

So how about you ? Does this kind of advertising really annoy you or do you think it is just widely accepted that most of what we see in magazines these days is a created with smoke and mirrors.


  1. Ah, those crazy advertising cats. It's like this in everything, being promised unattainable fulfilment! Love your little demo, very instructive.

  2. Wow. I never knew that. No shame those advertisers ... unfortunately, sweet innocents like our children and pre-teenage and teenage girls getted sucked into it ... and then who has to mop up the image problems?

  3. My point exactly MmMC. I know the same thing happens with most advertising but for some reason the mascara ads really rub me up the wrong way.

  4. Wow - that's amazing! I mean, I always figured it wouldn't be all they promise, but I didn't think of computer enhancement. I don't know what I thought, but yes - it's annoying when they don't just use the actual product. The word, 'misleading' comes to mind.

  5. That's amazing, so impressed with your perfect brows too my dear!! I don't wear a lot of makeup, being a mummy of 4 school children, i only use it when i'm goign to be visible beyond the school gate. Funnily enough, ditto for most of the mums (is it an early to mid 30s thing??) Anyway, as my daughters start to look at make up (in a few years) & apply mascara to their much longer, fuller, darker lashes than me (husband has such long eyelashes they are blonde on the tips & touch his sunglasses) actually that's a point you didn't raise, WHY ARE LUSH LASHES WASTED ON BOYS??!! I normally wear glasses so i assume no one can see my eyelashes anyway!! Now i'm off to get my eyebrows waxed.
    Really cool post, love Posie

  6. Really really really annoys me!!
    I just saw a mascara ad recently (probably the one you're talking about) and thought "WOW, can mascara really do that?" Well now I know....NO!
    I love your photographic proof! Thanks for sharing the truth. :)

  7. Thanks Posie, I'm only slightly obsessed with nicely shaped brows. Oh, who am I kidding, I am completely obsessed with nicely shaped brows :)

  8. I saw a mascara Ad recently.. and as much as I drum into my kids IT'S STRANGER ADVERTISING (that's what we call it) and they get it.. well, I actually got scooped up big time into WOW CAN MASCARA REALLY DO THAT? I avoid ads altogether.. so how could this particular Ad suck up my attention I wonder? Hmmmmm

    + I don't even wear make-up coz hubby sort of tells me I shouldn't have to (my husband says I look beautiful without it.. but maybe he's trying to hint how shocking I look with makeup coz I have no idea how to put it on) but having said that, my skin is so crappy I really could do with a few thick layers.. + I have eye-brows that look like squashed pillows.. so I think over the years I've just got used to not having to wear any and have learnt to accept it (that + not having the foggiest idea of what to buy & where to apply it).

    btw. you have such beautiful skin!!!!!

    Vicki xx

    ps. I can't believe I nearly considered buying Mascara just from seeing one Ad (shame shame) thinking I really could change my whole life around by increasing my eyelashes by 45cm .. THANKS for yanking me back to reality Whoooaaah

  9. ppss. "With the addition of a line of bar lashes." excuse my lash-vagueness, but what does this mean? does this mean fake lashes? xx

  10. Sorry Vicki, I should have explained that a little better. Yes, bar lashes are the full line of false eye lashes that you glue on. You can also buy individual lashes (or fillers) which are little groups of about 3 lashes and are a bit trickier to use.

  11. It bothers me but then, I tend to think it's all a hussle no matter what they are trying to sell me.

  12. Brilliant post! I will never look at another mascara ad the same!

  13. Ah yes, I always laugh at the terminology they come up with too, same with skin products!
    I was recently given a Dior mascara, but actually I prefer my el cheapo! Plus the Dior is sooo difficult to remove, drives me nuts.
    So what's your fave mascarara?

  14. Good post! I did a photoshop course a while back and have never looked at any pictures in magazines the same since.

  15. I think there is a hairy caterpillar wandering across your upper eyelid in the fourth photo. Thanks for the enlightenment on why my lashes never look as good as they proclaim they could.


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