Genuine or Generated - Trusting Pixels
Phase Two – Human Extinction
March 29, 2021

Genuine or Generated

This year marked the launch of our Genuine or Generated campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to shine light on makeup artists who do things right, by showcasing their work without any retouching enhancements. Doing this ultimately reinforces their talent, proving that their skills lie within. Though our campaign is geared to honor those who simply rely on their raw talent, we decided to sneak in a video every so often using completely generated makeup done in post-production and asked our viewers to vote if they thought the makeup was “Genuine or Generated”. After votes come in we disclose at the end of the week if the makeup was “Genuine or Generated”. Thus far, the voter results have been shocking.

First and foremost, we can’t mention anything until we give proper credit to Marika D’Auteil (@lapetitevengeance), who is a huge inspiration for this campaign. In one of her Instagram posts she tells makeup artists “not to panic if you are not able to hide your clients’ fine lines, wrinkles, eye bags, scars, pimples…remember everything you see is filtered. The point is because of Instagram, makeup artists put too much pressure on themselves trying to reach a goal that is not realistic.” Reading this post confirmed our campaign needed to be geared towards the beauty industry, not only because of body image issues that stem from retouched content in the industry, but also because young, up-and-coming makeup artists are being mis-guided by constantly looking at fake content.

(Clip showcasing work submitted by @lapetitevengeance)

The results have been absolutely jarring when asking viewers to vote if a video shows genuine or generated makeup. As they say, sometimes it’s “too good to be true”. This has certainly been the conclusion when we featured authentic work from incredibly talented makeup artists for our campaign. In some cases, up to 87% (see below) of voters have guessed wrong and assumed that genuine makeup was generated!

(Poll results from a genuine look submitted by @makeupbyhappi)

In other instances, after showing videos with computer generated makeup, up to 80% of our voters have guessed wrong, assuming the makeup shown was completely genuine.

Our Genuine or Generated campaign confirms our biggest fear: people truly cannot tell the difference if something is real or fake. This proves that talented makeup artists can very easily be overlooked when their work looks too good to be legitimate. On the other hand, computer generated makeup can look real or imperfect enough to come off as authentic. Regardless of the outcome, it’s very clear that people need guidance to help identify what is authentic; que Trusting Pixels.

*Are you a makeup artist interested in submitting work for this campaign? You’re in luck! This campaign is still ongoing. Reach out to us on IG or shoot us an email at to submit.

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