The Honest Beauty Trend That Is Exposing Misleading Beauty Experts

With the birth of social media, people got a chance to show off a curated view of the world to their friends, family, and followers. And as social media has expanded, so has our ability to augment our reality or at least the appearance of it. And that can have some consequences. There are the fun stories, like how Meghan Markle and the dog Snapchat filter caught the attention of Prince Harry as he was scrolling through social media.

And then there are the less fun stories about how beauty filters that change one's appearance to be more stereotypically pretty can have a negative impact on mental health. Filters and editing apps can let you "fix" things that you don't like about your appearance before you share a photo on social media. And a scholarly study found that just five minutes of using social media could lower your self-image. It can definitely be tricky to find balance in your social media use. Things like acne, under eye circles, wrinkles, and even pores can be removed and smoothed out to give the appearance of flawless skin, but some influencers and beauty content creators are showing the honest truth behind the perfect look.

Filters and lighting can trick you into thinking flawless skin is possible

On TikTok, #realskin has over 370 million views and features loads of videos from people highlighting that what you see online isn't necessarily authentic and the importance of realizing that no one's skin is flawless, no matter what makeup you use. In many of them, makeup artists and influencers seem to be responding to comments they have received from followers, wishing they looked like the women in the videos. Like Sofia Sifuentes' video with the comment, "I must be doing my makeup wrong. I can never get my skin to look smooth." The big reveal is, of course, that the perfectly smooth look is achieved not by makeup alone but by filters and editing, and Sifuentes shows off what her face really looks like close up.

Ellie Makeup Artist posted a video with the caption "smoke and mirrors girl, smoke and mirrors" seemingly in response to the comment in the video: "Your skin is so smooth." She starts the video with full glam, and by the end, when you see her face close up under direct sunlight, the "flaws" that we all have are clear — bumps, pores, shine, baby hairs, there's no one whose face is naturally absolutely smooth.

Real skin is beautiful and perfection is an illusion

Some more popular TikTok hashtags around a similar theme are #texturedskin, with 500 million views, and #skintexture, with nearly 288 million views. TikTok user @makeupbyrebeccalouise posted a video in which she shows herself putting on makeup and explaining how easy it is to be tricked by what you see online when it comes to makeup. The caption reads, "Texture is a thing, don't be scared to show your real skin. I think this is the most important message we need to pass down to our children. Don't believe what you see on social media." And model and influencer Kenz Lawren posted a video outlining how celebs look so good on the red carpet, using herself as an example. You guessed it; it comes down to lighting and professional makeup artists prepping them to look as perfect as possible. It's some of those photogenic tricks celebs use in every picture.

The main takeaway is that even with a full face of makeup, which some may use to hide perceived flaws, one's skin is not and can never be completely smooth and poreless. Even if filters, ring lights, and other techniques can make it seem like it is. And it can be easy to think that if only you use the same products as your favorite beauty blogger, you too will have perfect-looking skin. But that is literally impossible. And that's OK.