Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
I don't think you'll find this is true. A least not in fashion type magazines. They pay top retouchers a ton of money as well as the photographers make-up artists and models. It can easily take a few days or more to retouch faces and bodies on top fashion shoots and cosmetic ads.

These "photographs" are also used for display in the offices of the cosmetic companies in very large sizes and for promotion in stores, so I don't think they go cheap on any of that part of the business.

Judge by the results, not by the industry rumours; the glaringly fake and lifeless photoshopped images are done (and approved) by people with poor aesthetic culture. Indeed poor aesthetic culture encountered en masse is a complex phenomenon, but apart from (lack) of individual talent it is generally caused by lack of good education, and poor working environment. For comparison sake, go to http://www.imdb.com/ and have a look at portrait stills of Hollywood stars from the 1950s; obviously retouched and perfected yet still recognisably human and not devoid of charm. Current cosmetic ads are literally depressing... not only there is a lack of interesting faces (a general problem in portraiture), but even those famous and supposedly alluring are butchered with low quality PS intervention. This is a glaring example, JR for Lancome (one of the biggest players in upmarket cosmetics, and a big advertiser in all glossy magazines). Hardly a fan of JR I can't deny her real face exude some (animalistic) vitality. In contrast her shot for Lancome is not only mediocre and devoid of anything, but what followed is truly atrocious... I simply find hard to believe that this was done by a highly skilled well paid professionals.