Mascara Commercials Drive me BATTY!

Nowhere {in my opinion} is there such a blatant lie in advertising than in mascara commercials. Their use of fake eyelashes to demonstrate how lustrous your lashes would be if you used their mascara is like a slap in the face to me. There is not one brand that can be singled out because they all do it. And really, I wonder not only who they think they’re fooling but how they can get away with it?

Wikipedia describes False advertising or deceptive advertising as “the use of false or misleading statements in advertising. As advertising has the potential to persuade people into commercial transactions that they might otherwise avoid.”

Is it because it’s not necessarily a false statement but more a false image that they can pass it off as real? …an image of “fake eyelashes” or “falsies”? I mean, the word “fake” is part of the name. It’s not subliminal or even photo manipulation or retouching . . . they are actually using visible and obvious fake eyelashes.

I really don’t know why it bothers me so much but it has since I was very young and first realized it and I’ve been yelling at the television and magazine ads ever since.

Does it bother you as much as it bothers me? Or is it because I have severe eyelash envy that I am enraged by such a blatant FU? What ads provoke you into yelling at your television?

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.


  • Fabi

    April 6, 2009 |

    i always think about this myself. those mascara commercials are totally misleading. TOTALLY. the only reason they are allowed to do it is because they can say they used mascara ON the fake lashes. geez! cover girl commercials bug me too, your lips never look like Rihanna’s with that shimmer lipgloss. lol!

  • Savvy Mode SG

    April 6, 2009 |

    when i was younger, i used to believe those commercials now i know better.

  • bianca

    April 6, 2009 |

    I think about this ALL THE TIME. I know they’re fake and that my lashes will never look like they do in the commercials. Yet, watching them gives me hope, just to be crushed. Totally frustrating.

  • J-Diggety

    April 6, 2009 |

    WORD, sister. It annoys the crap out of me, too. Every time I see a commercial or mag ad, I think, “Someone would have to be an idiot not to know that those are falsies or computer enhancements.” Puh-lease!

  • Erin

    April 6, 2009 |

    I thought I was alone in such rage 🙂 Thoes fuckers!

  • Brittney

    April 6, 2009 |

    Preach on sister! I couldn’t agree more.

  • Anonymous

    April 6, 2009 |

    annoys me.

    search youtube for a show called the gruen transfer, advertising people tell you how and why they do the adds.

  • Mrs.GB

    April 6, 2009 |

    I too hate the mascara commercials.

    I also hate commercials that are sexist against both women & men! Info-mercials do it mostly to women. “Look how easy this prodect is! Even a woman can use it!” And then so many commercials portray men as stupid dopes who need there wives to come and fix whatever they just screwed up. The husband is treated like one of the children.

    And commercials that show kids being bratty towards their parents. And the parents just bend over and take it! Like this new one for some fancy phone:
    Mom is cooking some new recipe, she messeges her kids to let them know. The son video messeges mom back and tells her that there is no way he’s eating what she’s cooking. And then mom orders a pizza for him!

    Umm hello! When I was a kid that was called back talk. And it wasn’t allowed. And whatever my parents made for dinner is what I ate for dinner!

    Where is that thing called respect?

  • Mrs. D

    April 6, 2009 |

    You are forgetting the hair color industry. I get so pissed that people like Sarah Jessica Parker, Heather Locklear, Eva Longoria, Diane Keaton, Cybil Shepard, etc get paid tons of cash for claiming that boxed hair color is what makes their hair beautiful. WHATEVER!!!! I’d like to see them put that crap on their own hair.

  • Mrs. Lovers Knot

    April 6, 2009 |

    Oh yes I get so annoyed by those commercials bc yes I did fall for them when I was younger. I also get annoyed at the print ads in the magazine too! My little cousin was wanting to try this new mascara she saw an ad for and I told her don’t the ad is a lie she is wearing fake lashes!

  • Liz

    April 6, 2009 |

    So true. I can put on globs of mascara and my eyelashes still look the same!!

  • Cathy Voyage

    April 6, 2009 |

    You are so so right! I always think the same when I see mascara commercials!

  • Tiffany

    April 6, 2009 |

    i always yell at those ads too! i wear false lashes all the time and it would be like me telling everyone that I just use great mascara!

  • Tara Gibson

    April 6, 2009 |

    SO true! and so very annoying!

  • brooke

    April 6, 2009 |

    hhhmmm…i don’t really mind the mascara ads because i guess i have just excepted that they are fake…however i guess i am a hypocrite b/c i just cannot accept all of these foundation/powder ads for matte flawless poreless faces…i have extremely oily skin (yeah yeah i’ve heard i’ll reap the benefits with fewer wrinkles later)…however i hate the lies for matte coverage..i don’t wear foundation only(mac or clarins) pressed powder…but still it eats at me the way the “lashtastic” ads do to you…

  • Jasmine

    April 6, 2009 |

    this is something i’ve been bitching about for YEARS. it drives me INSANE! i hate this. i have bought more mascaras because i buy into the stupid ads even though i know they’re a crock of sh*t. i think they should be called out on this. they should just use real people so that we can be jealous of models who actually have gorgeous, thick, long lashes instead of the ones with falsies pasted on. grrrrr. now i’ve gotten myself all worked up. haha!

  • Mrs. W

    April 6, 2009 |

    I hate the box haircolor commercials! they have a similar effect on me ; ) and foundation commercials! Nooo one has that perfect skin. Well, maybe some people do… but they’ve been airbrushed to look like their face is exempt of having pores. i dont need that kind of advertising lowering my self esteem. lol. so annoying!

  • Mademoiselle Frou-Frou

    April 6, 2009 |

    i have always noticed that too – i don’t get it! and you know there’s someone out there that doesn’t realize that they are using false lashes in the commercial and wondering why theirs don’t look good. i guess it’s right up there with air-brushing models in magazines…

  • scarlethue

    April 6, 2009 |

    I agree with everything Mrs.GB said. If I called my mom and told her I wasn’t eating what she was cooking, she said fine, you’re not eating at all! Order me a pizza? NEVER. And I don’t blame her either.

    I hate cleaning commercials– it’s ALWAYS a woman cleaning, always. Like men never clean. Or like a woman wouldn’t buy a cleaning product because a man was using it on the commercial. I would buy a product just BECAUSE a man was using it!

  • Mrs. S

    April 6, 2009 |

    I am with Mrs. W-the foundation commercials drive me the most crazy!! No matter what foundation I use it never looks that perfect.

    Also makeup question, how do you keep your eyelashes from clumping?

  • Carolyn

    April 6, 2009 |

    YES it TOTALLY pisses me off!!

  • Kellie

    April 6, 2009 |

    Well said. I couldn’t agree more. I have eyelash envy too. 🙁 I recently tried fakies for the first time and wow, I was in love. But I also felt like everyone could tell I was wearing fake eyelashes so it made me kind of insecure. I think I just need to get used to them first…

  • maeghan

    April 6, 2009 |

    You say exactly what I think. This has ALWAYS BOTHERED ME and I’ve always wondered how that plays into the description false advertising. Nice to know I’m not alone!

  • Carla

    April 6, 2009 |

    Hi Maegan, Go get em girl. I am with you. Fortunately I don’t turn the telly on so miss out on a lot of good crappy ads. I do like an eyelash curler though. Carla

  • drollgirl

    April 6, 2009 |

    those commercials and ads are the biggest joke. maybe a 4 year old girl would fall for them, but sooner or later we all get wise to their TRICKERY.

  • golublog

    April 6, 2009 |

    Its really irritating. The lashes are never clunky. THough I say hair commercials are pretty bad. My hair never looks that shiny, not even after the salon, but perhaps my hair just sucks.

  • kelly

    April 6, 2009 |

    complete false advertisement! totally bugs me too. and it sucks because when i was younger..i would believe it! i was bamboozled!

  • Maegan

    April 6, 2009 |

    GB: Yeah…that back talk would have gotten me the back of a hand across my face!

    Mrs. D: TOTALLY!!!! I’ve used MANY boxes of hair dye and not ONE looked as RAVISHING as the commercials!

    …and yes to the foundation and zero wrinkles as well!!! ooooh, maddening!

  • Kitten

    April 6, 2009 |

    I thought I was the only one who felt this way! In my opinion all mascaras are the same. I’ve tried many brands and my lashes never look any different from brand to brand!

  • yours truly dear

    April 6, 2009 |

    amen girl! it is so ridiculous. all those stupid weight loss ones are dumb too. they all have the fine print on the bottom that says “results are not typical” or “diet and exercise are recommended.” yet the announcer person is always like “this will help you lose weight FAST, etc etc etc.” dumb.

  • Taryn

    April 6, 2009 |

    To be honest, ALL makeup commercials annoy me! I have REALLY long eyelashes and get asked if they are fake all the time, so I don’t know how I particularly feel about mascara ads. BUT! The whole FAKE thing is wrong, in my opinion. These companies should show the public exactly what the results are when their product(s) are used on the REAL deal. So, I agree with you on false advertising. It’s wrong.

    As far as which ads/commercials really annoy the you-know-what out of me? TAMPON COMMERCIALS! I can’t stand them! They are so corny and make it out to look like life is absolutely perfect so long as we are using the “perfect tampon”! Like that is ALL we women are worried about in life: TAMPONS. Give me a break, right?
    Phew! I sure do feel better getting that off of my chest! 😉


  • Leigh

    April 7, 2009 |

    I am glad I am not alone in this, I seem to yell at the commercials each time I catch it, Annoying as hell.

  • Char

    April 7, 2009 |

    and they wonder why we quit watching commercials. *sigh* but I do love me some defensils from Lacome.

  • freeTEYme

    April 7, 2009 |

    this is when i realized im turning into my husband’s habit – a remote driver trying to avoid commercials!

  • Underfunded Heiress

    April 7, 2009 |

    Lol. I hate when my boyfriend thinks the models in magazines aren’t airbrushed. Hello???

  • Girl Japan

    April 7, 2009 |

    Oh yes darling.. especially the shampoo commercials where the show the shine and sheen which are obviously manipulated– there is a short movie here that was made into a commercial with Zeta Jones.. LUX Gold (the shampoo in Japan) it works well, but my hair was not SILKY …

    I think false advertising is like fraud really… but why is it okay?

  • Christina Lee

    April 7, 2009 |

    HERE HERE!!!!!

  • Penny

    April 7, 2009 |

    Ads for haircolour/shampoo/conditioner.They make it look like your hair will automatically come out shining and straight as an arrow,or with beautiful bouncing curls,as soon as you use that product,which is such BULLSHIT!It takes hours to get it looking like that,as well as good lighting.

    See?I’m already upset just talking about what gets me upset.My hate for them is that bad.

  • Carol Ann

    April 7, 2009 |

    Funny, this is the first time I have ever heard someone else mention fake lashes in mascara commercials…I thought I was the only one bothered by them…so good to know I am not alone.
    Do they think we don’t know?

  • Jill

    April 7, 2009 |

    I’m so glad you posted this. Mascara ads have always annoyed the hell out of me. Such blatant lies. Advertising is pretty much full of shit all the way around.

    On a happier note…I watched your wavy hair video and learned some new tips…thanks, chica!

  • Hanako66

    April 7, 2009 |

    haha…I totally agree

  • b is for brown

    April 7, 2009 |

    i completely agree with you! fake, false and WRONG!

  • Maris

    April 7, 2009 |

    Mascara commercials are up there for me with hair commercials…no ones hair looks that good without an airbrush!

  • Mrs. Biscuit

    April 7, 2009 |

    I sooooo agree with you about this! Who do they think they’re fooling?!

  • Danielle

    April 8, 2009 |

    yep. hair coloring commercials. they need to be banned like cigarette ads were….

  • Kez

    April 8, 2009 |

    Oh my gosh. Don’t even get me started. As a girl that has short, straight (and they point straight down) lashes, I feel so upset when I see these commercials!
    How in hell will this or that brand of mascara make me look like that?! I mean, even I can’t fall for that.
    And i need it more than most.

  • EZ and RJ

    April 8, 2009 |

    it has always bugged me! if i had falsies on it wouldn’t matter what brand of mascara i used!

  • Keyna b

    April 8, 2009 |

    EVERY time I see them I get this stupid little feeling of hope… maybe this time…?
    I totally get your urge to yell and scream at the TV about it!
    although these days I yell more at the TV while watching then news than anything else…
    good gracious… stupid STUPID politicians!!!!! grrr! don’t know what you all see about it if anything but SA politics are currently driving me crazy 🙂

  • Big Red

    April 9, 2009 |

    Hell ya it bothers me!! I was just ranting about the Lash Stiletto ad to by BF the other night. Kills me. they are so lying to all of us. We should start a class action lawsuit!

    I could go on and on…

  • Maegan

    April 9, 2009 |

    love love LOVE these comments! so great! .. ..

    Kenya B: I don’t watch the news for that reason!!! it INFURIATES ME …my heartbeat rises within minutes and I have to change it. maddening!

  • Anonymous

    July 11, 2009 |

    I totally agree, and in fact, found your blog after googling “mascara commercials” +”fake eyelashes” after seeing yet another mascara commercial that flagrantly uses fake eyelashes (this one with Eva Longria). I feel like launching a class action suit against them, or to report them to the better business bureau.

  • Anonymous

    July 13, 2009 |

    Wow! So comforting to know I’m not the only one who goes nuts over these commercials!

  • Anonymous

    December 29, 2009 |

    This kind of thing goes way back.

    In the early 1950s, Toni Home Perms were advertised with a pair of twins, and the tagline, “Which Twin Has the Toni?” The company got nailed because, although one twin did indeed have her hair permed with a Toni Home Perm, the work was done by a professional stylist. And since no home perm user would have a professional stylist doing the work, the ads were deemed to be false.

    This is akin to the hair dye ads today. I’m certain that, while the model/celebrity’s hair was indeed coloured with the product being advertised, the actual application was done by a professional stylist, which a home user would never have at her disposal.

    As for the mascara ads, I notice that they now put a tiny disclaimer on the screen for half a second, but no such disclaimer exists in any print ads or (most crucially in terms of buying decisions) in point-of-sale ads.

    I’m one of several people who have filed formal complaints with the advertising regulators in Canada. And there have recently been crackdowns (though pathetically mild) on L’Oreal & Rimmel in the UK.

    Perhaps the only thing that will make the companies abandon such blatantly false advertising is a class-action lawsuit. Or perhaps a grassroots campaign of women immediately returning their mascaras for refunds, on the grounds that they don’t work as they do in the ads.

    Only by hitting them hard in the wallet can we hope to make them stop lying to us.

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