"In our factory, we make lipstick; in our advertising, we sell hope." 
                                                                                                                - Charles Revson


Teaching Standards

Critical Thinking &
Media Literacy

Deconstructing A
Print Ad

Words & Images

Celebrity Endorsements

Facts & Figures

Body Image

Ingredients: What's In this stuff?

Content Analysis

Sexual Images

Retouching, Airbrushing, &
Body chopping



Links to related sites

Recommended texts











Cosmetic Advertising:
The Real Messages
in the media

Frank Baker, Kara Clayton
media educators

(NOTE: portions of this page are under construction)

actress Jamie Lee Curtis
goes without makeup

watch the Dove
Campaign for Beauty video

Fast Fact: "Seventeen (magazine) estimates that teens spend $9.3 billion on cosmetics and skin products a year..."  Source: Branded, page 28

: Ads in Spanish 

For young people today, how they feel about themselves is sometimes a result of the media messages they are exposed to. 

This website is designed to raise the awareness of educators/students who are exposed to cosmetic advertising in magazines. It is also designed to teach "media literacy," as a mechanism for understanding how cosmetic makers persuade.

Cosmetic makers spend millions of dollars annually to reach their "target audience."  One of their primary media vehicles is women's magazines (some of which you may subscribe to at school or at home).

To get started, we suggest that you begin start collecting cosmetic ads and put them in a file for later use. They will come in handy as you begin addressing this topic with students. 

Use the Table of Contents (left) to review the content of this site.

Print articles/resources about cosmetics:

New: P&G pulls photo-shopped cosmetic ad
US bans Photoshop use in cosmetics ads
Internet consumers profitable for cosmetics industry
A Chance to Save Their Skin
Beauty Ads Pull Women's Legs Selling Unnatural, Useless Products
Revlon Targets Older Women to Boost Sales
New Revlon Ads Tout Vital Radiance

This year's models: Fit, famous & over forty
L'Oreal signs Cruz

L'oreal uses Desperate star

Hatcher stars in new Clairol ads

Lovely perfume ads hit Web before TV

Dove ad commentary

Dove ads with 'real' women get attention

Hawking Dove

Does reality sell beauty?

'Housewives' Longoria Signs L'Oreal Deal
L'Oreal to 'celebrate beautiful women' with Oscar ads
Pretty unreal: real teens look good; but celebrities look perfect
Traci Lords Signs Cosmetic Contract

Special Report on Cosmetics
(Business Week) Changing Face of Skin Care
Dior Ad Campaign Draws Fire

Avon Breaks New Ground With Salma Hayek Project
Teen magazines send girls all the wrong messages (Oct.29)
Face of cosmetics changing with times
Makeup Line Is Made for Latinas (Sept.6) 
How Cosmetics Advertising Misleads
An Advertising Comparison of Maybelline and Cover Girl
Seventeen, Self-Image, And Stereotypes
Cosmetic Safety: More Complex Than at First Blush
"'Passions' Product Pitch; NBC, Avon Weave New Cosmetics Line Into Soap Opera's Story"
Young Girls targeted by makeup companies

Site Updated on: 08/05/2012   

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