Do false lashes in mascara ads annoy you?

by Gio
truth about mascara ads

Is there anything more misleading than mascara ads?

I’m not an idiot. I know the point of ads is to sell you a dream. They exaggerate reality out of all proportion to make you want whatever they promote.

But mascara ads do it in such an obvious way, there’s no way you can believe for a second that beautiful pair of lashes the model is proudly sporting is real.

All Mascara Ads Are Ridiculously Fake

Yep, you won’t find a mascara ad where the model isn’t wearing fake lashes. To add insult to injury, brands then Photoshop those lashes to make them look even bigger and longer.

Do cosmetics companies really think that we are so stupid naive to think that one or two swipes of their mascaras will make our lashes reach our eyebrows?

And by the way, who the heck wants that? Sure, I want the drama of fake-like eyelashes, but that’s too much. If people can spot your fake lashes a mile away, well… let’s just say that’s not a good look.

You want to be noticed for the sexy, beautiful woman that you are. You don’t want people to wonder if you’re even human anymore…

If The Mascara Is Good, Why Lie?

I don’t expect any ad to tell the truth. But what does it say about your product when you don’t even use it in your ad?

Surely, if the advertised mascaras were any good and did exactly what they say on the tin, there’d be no need to use fake lashes at all.

I’m sure brands would still Photoshop those lashes a little. That’s just how they roll. But there’s a difference between enhancing your product and replacing it completely.

It begs the question: if your mascara could really give us luscious, thick and long lashes, why aren’t you showing us the result?

If all you give us is fake lashes and Photoshop, we’re gonna assume the mascara sucks…

Keep It Real

Listen, brands, consumers aren’t stupid.

We know mascaras aren’t miracle products. We know that we’ll never look like your beautiful, overly-photoshopped model. We know that ads always manipulate products to make them look their best and create false expectations.

But this is getting too far now.

There’s a reason why everyone is looking for honest reviews before buying a product. We want to see the real before and after pictures to see if that mascara can deliver what we’re looking for.

Here’s an idea: why don’t you show us yourselves?

What do you think of mascara ads? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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38 comments

JenM October 27, 2010 - 2:02 pm

I totally agree! It’s so silly. I don’t even care that they state in tiny print “model is wearing false lashes” – why put them on in the first place? The shampoo ads do it too – stick extra hair pieces or extensions in. So they’re saying their shampoo gives you volume but they have to add fake hair in to actually get the volume. Duh! It’s like advertising a t-shirt but showing the model wearing a coat buttoned up over the t-shirt so you can’t even see it. I wanna see what the mascara does, not what a model with false lashes looks like!

beautifulwithbrains October 27, 2010 - 3:29 pm

JenM, I couldn’t agree with you more. The t-shirt analogy is perfect. These ads just advertise a product, telling people how awesome it is but never showing it. That’s just useless. And so is the fine print. It’s fair to add it but it’d be more useful to just ban false lashes from being used in the ads so we can see how the mascara performs. And some mascaras work really well, so why use false lashes? Those shampoo ads are also annoying too, maybe I should do a rant about them as well…

Ariel October 27, 2010 - 2:21 pm

yea seriously. i like how Chanel imitable seems to be the only mascara ad that’s not “fake” (i think).

beautifulwithbrains October 27, 2010 - 3:30 pm

Ariel, it’s annoying, isn’t it? I don’t remember that ad at the moment but I think that pretty much every brand uses falses and photoshop on their ads. Still, it’s good to know that some ads are more natural and less deceiving than others.

Phyrra October 27, 2010 - 2:29 pm

Yes, they’re irritating as all hell. I want REAL results shown, not fake lashes.

beautifulwithbrains October 27, 2010 - 3:32 pm

Phyrra, I agree! How are we suppose to know how a mascara works if they show us a model wearing false lashes?! I guess brands mustn’t be very confident in how good their products are to do that. Thank goodness for blog reviews though!

Stavroula Plag October 27, 2010 - 2:29 pm

False lashes in mascara ads drive me CRAZY!!!! Dear companies… you’re advertizing your MASCARA, not FALSE LASHES!! I never paid attention to their ads anyways, I always take a look at the mascara wand!

beautifulwithbrains October 27, 2010 - 3:35 pm

Stavroula, so true! I agree on everything you said. I don’t pay attention to ads anymore as they are just useless. Blog reviews are more useful them and the wands are important too. If they’re too big, I won’t use them.

Nikki October 27, 2010 - 3:35 pm

Not really annoy but I make sure to read the “super tiny disclaimer”! I believe L’Oreal have it written but some ads do not! So imagine to those who strongly believes those are lashes you’ll get from using their mascara! False advertisement is how I’llc all it

beautifulwithbrains October 27, 2010 - 5:44 pm

Nikki, I agree that it is false advertising. Some ads are so fake that it is easy to see the models are wearing falses but some are more natural and can really deceive people and that shouldn’t be allowed.

Connie De Alwis October 27, 2010 - 3:39 pm

Haha, I’m very much so annoyed by the use of false lashes in ads! And they don’t even make it a point to use “natural” false lashes. But I’ve made my peace with the ads. I no longer pay much attention to the models and their ridiculous lashes.
What annoys me the most is when editorials (eg. companies getting “real” people to give testimonial about the mascara) use false lashes as well. and again, they could’ve just use more natural looking false lashes and nobody would’ve noticed. Even worse is when bloggers reviewing mascaras use false lashes in their after pics.

beautifulwithbrains October 27, 2010 - 5:52 pm

Connie, I know, right? Some ads use such big, unnatural lashes that could never fool anyone. If they really wanted people to believe their claims, you’d think they’d be clever and use more subtle lashes… It’s much better to just stop paying any attentions to ads altogether.

I agree, that is much worse and bloggers are doing it too now? That’s disgusting! I didn’t know that but if I stumbled on a blogger that did that, I wouldn’t visit her website again, that’s for sure. The whole point of writing a review is being honest, otherwise they give everyone a bad name.

Mary October 27, 2010 - 5:53 pm

I’ve grudgingly accepted that cometics ads are usually ‘tweaked’. Seriously, what mascara in the world can produce lashes like those models have in Maybelline ads? I love when I see an ad on TV that shows their lashes get a bajillion times thicker with a size 1pt font disclaimer at the bottom.

Nowadays my beef is with food ads. They always look so good on tv but what you get in real life looks like someone just sat on it(http://www.thewvsr.com/adsvsreality.htm).

beautifulwithbrains October 27, 2010 - 6:06 pm

Mary, unfortunately every ad is tweaked in some way. *sighs* But when you’re advertizing a mascara and showing false lashes instead.. that’s just lying even they add a disclaimer.

I agree about food ads, they make everything looks delicious, but in real life. As far as I know, most foods aren’t even cooked or only half-cooked cos apparently they photograph better that way..

makeup morsels October 28, 2010 - 1:51 am

Hey Gio, just butting in quickly here.

A LOT of work goes into those food photos. They tend to cover the food with glaze or paint to make it look more appetizing. And I learned that a lot of times when you see milk or cream in food ads, it’s actually white paint. After they do all the setup, a ton of photoshopping goes into the final product. I’ve been doing some food photography/photoshop for school lately, it’s interesting to see how much you’re altering the original food to get the final result.

beautifulwithbrains October 28, 2010 - 10:00 am

Makeup Morsels, thanks for your precious insights, it’s interesting to know the techniques food ads use. Although some of them leave me disgusting. How can they think that using paint instead of milk is acceptable? It’s one thing to make a product look better, another to use something else and lie about it. This stuff shouldn’t be allowed or at least regulated with some fine print or disclaimer. One thing for sure, I’ll never look at milk or cream the same again..

Trisha October 27, 2010 - 5:53 pm

Yes, Gio! I think that it’s false advertising and shouldn’t be allowed. It’s ridiculous. It’d be one thing if the ad was advertising eye shadow or something, but if you’re advertising mascara, there shouldn’t be false lashes.

beautifulwithbrains October 27, 2010 - 6:10 pm

Trisha, I agree. I don’t care if false lashes are used in any other type of ads but aving about the benefits of a mascara and showing a picture of a model wearing false lashes is just wrong.

makeup morsels October 28, 2010 - 1:49 am

I definitely agree with you, I always try to look up actual pictures of the mascara in action before I go out and buy it. Photoshopping fake eyelashes is ridiculously easy, I do it all the time in my EOTD’s (except I actually say that I used photoshop lol) and I admit the results look nice, so it’s easy to see why the companies would do it. It’s frustrating though, to always be aware that what you’re looking at is nothing like what you’ll actually get.

beautifulwithbrains October 28, 2010 - 10:06 am

I don’t mind if people photoshop their lashes for their EOTDs or even when they are advertizing any other products. They’re not selling mascaras that way and if it looks better I can understand why it’s done. It’s only when mascara ads use false lashes or photoshop that it bugs me. After all, they are trying to convince me that their product will make my lashes super long and thick and then they show a picture where the fake lashes are so obvious! It’s so frustrating!

xin October 28, 2010 - 2:06 am

i am deeply bothered by falsies in mascara ads too! they seriously think that we consumers are stupid fools, which once again, proves to us that, we should never trust whatever from the mags or prints right?

beautifulwithbrains October 28, 2010 - 10:08 am

Xin, I agree. Sometimes the lashes are so obviously fake that you can’t help but wonder who they’re trying to fool… They really treat us like idiots and as a result, we know don’t believe anything they and mags say anymore. If they don’t change their tune, it may affect their sales for the worse..

Celina October 28, 2010 - 2:34 am

Yep! They certainly so annoy the heck out of me!! I don’t even see the point in having a model for the mascara ad because having them there is completely pointless :/

beautifulwithbrains October 28, 2010 - 10:09 am

Celina, I agree. They might just as well only show us the tube since we’re not gonna see how the mascara looks on lashes anyway..

Emma October 28, 2010 - 8:56 pm

Yes. They must think we’re stupid.

beautifulwithbrains October 29, 2010 - 9:21 am

Emma, I agree. It is so evident they’re using fake lashes that it’s kinda insulting if they believe we don’t notice it.

Tammy October 29, 2010 - 10:01 am

Falsies in mascara ads drive me crazy too! It’s false advertising! It bothers me even more when they put a disclaimer that says the model is wearing false eyelashes. That’s basically the company telling you that they’re lying to your face! “Hey, buy our mascara. It’ll make your lashes HUGE. Oh, well, not really.”

beautifulwithbrains October 29, 2010 - 11:50 am

Tammy, I agree. I have mixed feelings about the disclaimer though. I think it is necessary for those people that believe or want to believe that’s the result you really gonna get from a mascara. But on the other hand, it just tells you that their mascara wasn’t used in the ad and so it won’t do what it says it’ll do.

Negra Cabreada October 30, 2010 - 4:32 pm

It doesn’t make any sense, why advertise for something without even showing the actual results of that product? Weird marketing techniques…I thank God for Bloggers and other anonymous reviewer, they’re not going to dupe us anymore!

beautifulwithbrains October 30, 2010 - 6:20 pm

Negra Cabreada, exactly! If you’re advertising a mascara, that’s what you gotta show! Showing false lashes (or anything else for that matter) just dosn’t make any sense and is useless. My supposition is that they know their products aren’t all that good or they wouldn’t be so afraid to show the real results.. And I agree, thank goodness for bloggers!

Yukirat December 9, 2010 - 2:17 am

My question is whether mascara in general does anything for beauty. It’s either weird and black and glumpy, reminding me of a bird waddling out of an oil spill, or it’s the “look at me! I’m so vain!” over-the-top false eyelash look. 9 times out of 10, it is not flattering on the wearer, unlike eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush and lipstick :P. It creates havoc when you get a mascara-covered eyelash in your eyeball (worse, between your contact lens and eyeball) and makes me mad as hell when I have to rub my eye, but can’t for fear of smudging my darn lashes.
Fiberwig I can handle, though. Not clumpy, definitely lengthens, without creating the “OMG I’m a movie star!” look that falsies usually have.

beautifulwithbrains December 9, 2010 - 6:09 pm

Yukirat, I do see your point. Personally, I can’t wear eyeshadow with mascara, it just doesn’t look right to me but I agree that there are lots of mascaras on the market that either do nothing or perform really badly and give your lashes a spidery look, or are clumpy or worse. It’s not easy to find a good mascara that makes your lashes visible but in a natural way.

Ana December 16, 2010 - 9:53 pm

Thumbs-up for both of your “self image” articles!

When I was younger, falsies weren’t that popular – the ones you saw were the seriously OTT ones, so I didn’t think they’d use them. The PS wasn’t as good or as ubiquitous as it is now, so, even though I knew there’d be some enhancing, I thought it would be on a smaller scale
.
I remember one Lancome ad, I can still recall the beautiful purple-black rose and eyeshadow… I looked at the lashline, saw nothing and thought “Okay, they may have enhanced it a bit, but it’s real! It’s a well-known brand, it has millions, both of customers and of dollars behind it. I’ll save and I’ll buy it!” (+ the beauty mags were raving about it and it was one of the few big-brand names on the market, so everybody bought into the hype and the “It’s pricey, it must be good, I’m loving it because I must justify the expense to myself.”). And, I must tell you, it was 10 times the price of my usual mascara and 3 times my monthly allowance. Good thing I didn’t buy it in the end, but I still feel a pang of guilt that I had come that close to spending that much of my parents’ hard earned money.
Now I know what sort of hocus-pocus goes behind the scenes.

It’s hilarious seeing an ad in the British mags with the “shot with lash inserts for an even lash line” (riiight) and then seeing the same ad in the US mags without it.
The Brit mags make me watch the ads a bit more closely and see how the model’s lashes are way shorter and sparser than the inserts. They’re still lying, but I feel a bit better that I had the opportunity to see the lie. With the US versions you don’t even have that opportunity 😐 .

Erm, I hope I made some sense – translating to English in the wee hours is exhausting O_o .

beautifulwithbrains December 17, 2010 - 5:17 pm

Ana, thank you! 🙂 I hope to write more of them in the future. 🙂

Unfortunately it’s not always to spot fake lashes or digital enhancements. Some ads, especially older ones, look quite natural and they can be really deceiving. You don’t have to feel guilty for believing the hype, but it’s good that you resisted the temptation to buy it. I have to say that I do love Lancome mascara but they are overpriced and their ads are very fake! The mascaras are nice but don’t give the effect promised by the ads.

I know some brands like L’Oreal have got into trouble in the UK for their ads and they had to withdraw their ads because they were deceiving hence why they state in usually very small letters than false lashes are used. It’s a shame the same doesn’t apply all over the world. What the UK are doing is a step in the right directions but it would be better if they forbid any mascara ads that use false lashes, because seriously what’s the point of advertising a mascara if you’re not showing what it can do?

And yes, you made a lot of sense. 🙂

Emma April 3, 2011 - 1:38 pm

Yes it is soo annoying and should be illegal!
please sign my petition against it! http://www.wix.com/falsemascara/advertising

beautifulwithbrains April 4, 2011 - 10:27 am

Emma, I agree with you. I don’t understand how they can get away with this. Even if there’s a small print they still don’t show how the mascara works, it’s so annoying!

What a great idea to start a petition for it. I’ve just signed it. 😉

Gina August 31, 2012 - 11:41 pm

We aren’t supposed to be smart enough to tell they are wearinig the fullest bunch of false lashes they probably could find; but we should spend our money on their “promises”

beautifulwithbrains September 2, 2012 - 8:54 pm

Gina, so true. It’s quite offensive, isn’t it?

Comments are closed.