Wednesday, 12 November 2014

How Using Photoshop Is Just As Bad As Wearing Make-Up

"Boys think girls are like books, if the cover doesn't catch their eye they won't bother to read what's inside."

That's the cause the of the latest rivalry in town.

Move aside Batman Vs The Joker !

Time for The Professional Makeup Artist Vs The Photoshop Expert.

Professional Makeup Artist

Photoshop Expert

Honestly, the rivalry appeared out of nowhere.

I went out for dinner with some friends, and one girl started talking about how she dislikes girls that use photoshop to make themselves look beautiful.

She said it was dishonest, because you're not showing your true self.

I countered by saying that fundamentally, how is that different from using makeup to make yourself look beautiful?

Whether you use makeup or photoshop, at the core, you're still using something artificial to make yourself look better.

My friend disagreed, a lot.

Thus, the heated debate was born.

This excellent video, shows you the combined power of makeup and photoshop. It's frightening.

For me, the most interesting insight that came out of the debate was something someone said; "I hate wearing makeup but I feel like I need to."

Ladies, what do you think?

- Is the Professional Makeup Artist any different from the Photoshop Expert?


Let's discuss in the comments.


  1. That video proves that photoshop is fundamentally different to make up. yes you use make up to alter your appearance, but the enhancements you can make are severely limited compared to photoshop. make up can achieve only that, enhancements. however, as that video demonstrates, photoshop has the ability to fundamentally chamge appearances. the other thing is that the affects of make up are visible, it's easy to see where someone has used eyebrow pencil for example to enhance their natural brows. but changes made by photoshop are pretty much undetectable, and that's what sets it miles apart from make up, and also i'm sure what makes it more a deplorable practice in the eyes of your friend.

    1. Hi Jos, thanks for your comment. It seems you agree with my friend based predominantly on the 'degree of change' that photoshop allows you to have vs makeup. That's a fair point, and the video does go to the extreme to show you what photoshop is capable of. But what about in the scenario where you only use photoshop to bring about moderate, or even minimal change? Because if that's the basis, surely that means that as long as you use photoshop within reason then it's okay? Based on that foundation of a 'moderate photoshop user', then does this still create such a differentiation from a makeup user? Because it's also possible for people to become almost unrecognizable with a serious makeup makeover. However, I do like your point about how changes brought about by makeup are visible vs photoshop being undetectable. That's an interesting take. But visible from what exactly? If you have no 'original' to compare it to, then surely makeup forces you to accept what you see at face value just as much as photoshop does.

  2. *effects

    Damn mobile typing!

  3. Makeup hides flaws and enhances features. Photoshop completely alters a person's physical appearance. Yes, at the core, you're still using something artificial to change your appearance, but makeup can't make a size 12 look like a size 2. That is where there is a HUGE difference.

  4. Hi there. What if you only use photoshop for small touch-ups? Similar to the way you use makeup?

    1. If it was a moderate or minimal change, like making a pimple on your forehead disappear, or getting rid of shine, then I don't think your friend would have noticed it so much to make a comment. In that case, it's not so different from putting on a little concealer. It's when lips get bigger, waists get smaller and arm fat disappears that it becomes so controversial.

    2. I believe my friend was just speaking generally, that's where the debate originated from. But if I understand you correctly, if it's moderate or minimal change, then it's very similar to using makeup. It's only when you make extreme changes, i.e. those that cannot be achieved by applying makeup that the problem arises.

  5. Two points:
    First, you wouldn't usually use photoshop for small changes that makeup would be able to achieve as well. If you do use it to the exact same degree as you would with makeup as you say (put draw some eyeliner effect or eyeshadow, erase a spot etc), then I can see what you mean. Still, people usually use it in a much higher degree - to make themselves look in a better shape (thinner- for girls), higher their necks like in the video, make bigger eyes or bigger lips etc etc. If you really want to compare photoshop to physical changes (not virtual ones), you should parallelize it with plastic surgery instead for make up.

    Second, what makes it completely different, is that you still exist with make up- that's you, with stuff on you, but it's still you. And when you take the make up of when you come back to your place after a party like a good girl, you will see your good old self in the mirror. The photoshopped you is not you- you've never been the way photoshop makes you look. And as it has been previously stated, it's harder to see what has been the photoshop change, in contrast with make up, where you can easily distinguish a non-makeuped face from a makeuped face!

    1. Hi Helene, I never use makeup or photoshop, so I'll admit I'm discussing on the back foot here. I just find the debate interesting because I had never thought about it until my friend mentioned it the other day.

      However, I'm not sure I agree with your point about not using photoshop for small changes that makeup could achieve because someone told me earlier today that that's exactly what they use it for. So it seems the two are rather interchangeable.

      I think the 'degree of change' argument makes sense. Although, you could argue where exactly do you draw the line? Is there a limit to the degree of change your allowed to bring about using makeup? Or does that only apply to photoshop? And it seems that making yourself look thinner is a recurring issue. Hypothetically speaking, if 'body makeup' was invented that could make you look thinner, would that be acceptable? Because it seems to me that a key point is that you can do more with photoshop than you can with makeup. I.E. It's unbalanced. If it wasn't, would your view remain the same?

      I didn't realize girls went to such lengths as you describe when using photoshop because as you'll notice in the examples I used in the post, the differences in the before/after pictures aren't really that drastic at all. That's what I had in mind when I wrote the post.

      But you make an interesting point bringing up plastic surgery, but I'm not sure whether you're for or against it when making your comparison.

      And your last point is an interesting one, but if you look at it from a guys point of view, the difference becomes blurred. When you put makeup on, you know that's you as you said, albeit slightly altered. But the guy that sees you, or anyone for that matter, the only version of you that he sees is the one wearing makeup. So when you take your makeup off, you will see your good old self in the mirror, but somebody else will be seeing a new person for the first time. Of course, you're still recognizable, but the deception (if you can call it that) remains. So if you're still recognizable from your photoshopped picture, isn't that the same? Because you've never been the way makeup makes you look either.