15 Deceptive Photo Tricks That Make Models Look Flawless

How do models always look so flawless? One word: Photoshop. By now, we all know that what we see on magazine pages is not real, but you may still be shocked by the unbelievable photo tricks that make celebrities look flawless. 

Photoshop tricks have been used by retouchers for years to make models look thinner or more curvaceous. But it's not all retouching - there are some other tricks employed by the fashion industry to make models look better. We can thank Kim K for revealing her contouring secrets, but stylists have used bronzer, hair extensions, fake eyelashes, padded bras, and the art of perfectly tailored clothes for years. 

So before you start shaming into yourself for not looking like all those models, remember that even those models don't look like those models.

  • Swimsuit Models Wear Push-Up Bras Under Their Bathing Suits

    Swimsuit Models Wear Push-Up Bras Under Their Bathing Suits
    Photo: cattias.photos / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    As a Photoshopper for Victoria's Secret explained, “They put a push-up bra under the bathing suit," then retouch it out later.

    "When you’re wearing a strapless bikini, in no way, shape, or form [can] you have cleavage," she explained. "It’s physically impossible with the way gravity works.”

  • Breasts Are Altered In Photoshop

    Breasts Are Altered In Photoshop
    Photo: jccchou / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    No one's breasts look like that - not even the model's breasts. In most cases, the shapes of breasts are retouched to look rounder, bigger, or higher. They sometimes even remove nipples, according to one retoucher

  • Models Wear Hair Extensions

    “The first thing they do is they put in [hair] extensions,” explained one Photoshopper. “I don’t think I ever was on a shoot with a model that had real hair.”

  • Fake Lashes Are Used in Mascara Ads

    Despite numerous run-ins with the National Advertising Division, cosmetic companies like CoverGirl and L'Oreal still use false lashes in the majority of their mascara advertisements.  

  • All of Their Clothes Are Custom Tailored

    As Clinton Kelly of What Not To Wear explained to a woman that had won a consultation with him, everything you will ever see on a celebrity’s body, including outfits for when they’re just out and about and caught by a paparazzo, has been tailored to fit them. So don't be surprised if you don't get the same fit buying off the rack.

  • Models Stop Drinking Water Before Runway Shows

    As Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima explained, she stops drinking water twelve hours before the show. "No liquids at all so you dry out, sometimes you can lose up to eight pounds just from that."

    She also abstains from eating any solid food for nine days before a show, subsisting only on protein shakes.