With its “Beauty in Real Life” campaign, CVS debuts its first unedited makeup campaign

Back in January, CVS Pharmacy announced that it would be creating new standards to highlight the unaltered in-store, campaign, social media and website imagery it produces, joining companies like Aerie, Lonely and ModCloth that have also promised to leave models’ freckles, scars, stretch marks and wrinkles on proud display.

“As a woman, mother and president of a retail business whose customers predominantly are women, I realize we have a responsibility to think about the messages we send to the customers we reach each day,” Helena Foulkes, the former president of CVS Pharmacy, said in a press release at the time.

Today we got to see what that really looks like. In a campaign called “Beauty in Real Life,” each image features the company’s so-called “CVS Beauty Mark” that reads “Beauty Unaltered” to announce to the world that the image hasn’t been materially augmented in any way, meaning that CVS has not altered or changed the model’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, or enhanced or altered lines, wrinkles or other individual characteristics. 


“We want beauty imagery to be something our customers can relate to — something that makes them feel better about themselves and never not good enough,” Norman de Greve, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer of CVS Health, said in an email. “As a result, we’ve been continuously working with beauty industry experts, brand partners and customers to better define our standards for what ‘materially altered’ means and these are the first images we’ve produced to reflect our commitment to transparency in beauty.”

A print campaign image from “Beauty in Real Life”

Recently, unedited images have been proven to benefit certain companies, including Aerie, which saw a huge uptick in sales after announcing that it would halt the editing of any of its models.

“There’s been a shift in what consumers want to see when it comes to beauty — especially amongst Gen Z and Millennials,” de Greve said. “We wanted to introduce a campaign that uses beauty to make women feel good about themselves by empowering them to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin. Beauty should be fun — it’s not about conforming, it’s about real life, and that’s the message we wanted to share through this campaign.”


You can watch the unedited video for this campaign below:

April 20, 2018, 9:55 a.m.: This post has been updated.