Urban Decay becomes one the first major beauty brands to post unretouched images

Much of what we see on Instagram is unrealistic, but few things are so impossibly perfect as make-up posts.

Instead of seeing what real people actually look like, what we get is smooth skin, perfect brows and sleek cat-eyes that are so Photoshopped they almost look like a cartoon.

However, Urban Decay seems to be recognising this isn’t actually real life, and have started posting pictures that don’t look like they’re retouched. Showing stray eyebrows or actual pores might not seem like a huge deal, but it really is in the make-up industry because these ‘blemishes’ are normally completely eliminated.

The first pictures came from beauty Instagrammer glowawaymeg using Urban Decay products and showed (gasp) – the actual texture of her skin. And yes, this means it isn’t perfectly smooth – because who’s skin actually looks like that IRL?

The response in the comments section has been overwhelmingly positive. aishahjx writes: “I love seeing real skin texture!”, loli_mua says: “Finally someone who isn’t photoshopped to not look human”, and killer.kween says: “The unedited skin makes me feel like my skin is just as flawless.”

It just goes to show that such a small decision as not Photoshopping images can have a huge impact, even boosting self-esteem. And it’s not like it negatively impacts Urban Decay – the eye make-up in the picture still looks incredible, and the realness of the snap only goes to make people feel more warmly towards the brand.

After this, Urban Decay started posting more pictures from make-up artists that showed pores, freckles and skin in its full glory.

This trend of skipping the Photoshop isn’t a new thing in the fashion industry, with big names from Asos and Boohoo to Aerie and Missguided showing unretouched photos. This has been hugely well-received, with so many people praising the brands for not airbrushing cellulite and stretch marks, showing that they are natural rather than something to be ashamed of.

The beauty industry still has a long way to go – Urban Decay is breaking ground, but it’s not like we’re seeing anything like acne or scarring. That really would be shocking in the world of make-up on Instagram, even though the popularity of the skin-positive hashtag #acneselfies is growing.

However, hopefully this is a step in the right direction, and the beauty industry will soon be serving up more realness than it currently does.

- Press Association

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