That is the question. And the answer is not as simple as it may seem at first blush.
Ads from Lancome and Maybelline featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington were recently banned in the UK for extensive Photoshopping. This is a timely discussion for Alima Pure, as we have recently begun to use images of women on our blog and are gearing up to do more with photos of faces. We have struggled a bit with the question of image manipulation.
We always knew we did not want the highly Photoshopped images you find in glossy magazine ads. We understand the role those kinds of images play in the beauty industry and we would like to play a very different role.
We choose to use real women rather than professional models because in our experience, women want to know how makeup might look on them. But whether we use professional or non-professional models, it often happens that the model will have a blemish that cropped up overnight, or a bra-strap will suddenly peek providing a distraction in an otherwise beautiful shot. In our blog, we have used our co-workers, as well as some friends and family members. We want them to feel comfortable sitting down to be photographed, knowing that we won't publish a photo of them with a brand new pimple or spinach in their teeth.
But there are things we won't change with Photoshop. One is the overall texture of a woman's skin. As one of our Facebook fans said, she likes pores! We like pores as well. And we like freckles, and even smile lines. We like the lopsided grins and the imperfect lashes that make every woman unique and interesting. We especially like the stories that each woman has, the seeming contradictions in her personality that make her a wonderful friend, business leader, mother or sister. In the future, we hope to talk more about those things, but that's a blog post for a different day.
For now, you have our word that while we will use photoshop to change small things, we will not use it to change the way our makeup looks on our models. We won't be removing lines, freckles or pores; we won't be changing the colors; and we absolutely will never change the shape of a model's face, body or features. We believe women are naturally gorgeous, and so that's how we will present them. Natural AND gorgeous.