Photo retoucher claims she makes very little changes to models bodies

Sheryl Nadler
Shine On
July 23, 2012

Ever wonder how many of the beauty ads and images in your favourite fashion magazine are actually photoshopped? Most of them, an anonymous and veteran photo retoucher tells BuzzFeed.

The anonymous beauty industry insider claims that because most supermodels are genetically blessed with long limbs and lithe figures, there's not much call for her to do major photoshopping on a model's body. Couple this with the fact that models work out, watch their diets and go for endless spa treatments, means they are destined to look pretty darn good.

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Place a head from one photo onto the body of another? Yup. Sometimes you just want that great expression from the one image and the body language in that other image. And yes, occasionally there is call to slim down a waist or to diminish protruding bones from a model's body. But nothing serious.

The bulk of her efforts come into enhancing a model's skin, she says.

"We completely remove veins and freckles and moles and bags under the eyes all the time," she tells Buzzfeed. "We often remove body hair, subdue wrinkles, whiten teeth, pop the eyes. We also smooth kneecaps and veins in the hands and things like that. Anything that's distracting, that takes away from the product being featured."

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But mascara ads? Yeah, they're totally fake, she says. Models wear fake eyelashes for the shoots, after which the anonymous tipster draws in each lash, one by one.

She says she can spend 20 hours retouching one image.

So what does she think about the idea of slapping warning labels on retouched photos, alerting young girls to the fact that they can not possibly attain this level of perfection?

"There's just no way an image would be released without any retouching at all so every single ad would have that disclaimer on it. And absolutely 100 percent of what's in fashion magazines is retouched.

Watch the video below for the top 10 supermodels of the 1990's.

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