What is the CVS Beauty Mark all about?

The CVS Beauty Mark that denotes unaltered image

Hi friends!

Today we’re shifting away from products and talking a bit more about bigger picture stuff. Not sure about you, but as a beauty lover I (try to) follow news & trends as much as I can. CVS is one of my favorite places to shop beauty, so whenever they are in the headlines my interest is piqued immediately. And they are currently making some bold statements in the industry with their Beauty Mark initiative.

I first mentioned this initiative in a post last year after CVS announced their plans to significantly expand their beauty offerings both online and in-store in early 2018.

Read this: Has CVS brought us the future of drugstore beauty?


In a nutshell, CVS promises that by the end of 2020 all of their marketing imagery (including print, in-store, digital, & social media) will be completely untouched by Photoshop or any other editing software. From their perspective, this is a major strive towards total transparency, and a move away from unrealistic beauty standards.


The Beauty Mark is our pledge to pass a healthy self-image on to the next generation.

CVS Beauty Mark tagline
CVS Beauty Instagram

Read this: Major Drugstore Beauty Brands Are Helping CVS Reach Its Goal of Eliminating Photoshopped Imagery

To avoid any potential confusion on the consumer’s part, the Beauty Mark will appear on every unaltered image. You then have 100% certainty that the marketing image you’re seeing is in its purest form, so to speak. As it stands now, CVS estimates that about 70% of their imagery is now Beauty Mark-compliant.

See the difference below.


Several big drugstore beauty brands and their celeb ambassadors, like Kerry Washington, Ashley Graham & Ayesha Curry, are fully in support of the CVS Beauty Mark initiative. Neutrogena, CoverGirl, Revlon, & Olay are just a few of the legacy brands taking a major role in helping CVS reach its 2020 goal. A plethora of other beauty brands are set to join in the initiative in 2019 including Physician’s Formula, Aveeno, Rimmel & Burt’s Bees.

CVS Instagram statement on Beauty Mark initiative


I think CVS is making a pretty powerful statement in taking this initiative. Over-manipulated beauty images have been a long-held industry standard, and it’s only amplified even more since the dawn of social media.

There’s definitely an opening now to start a conversation about unaltered beauty, especially as more emphasis is put on body positivity and mental wellness. When I take selfies, either for this blog or for my Instagram, they are never manipulated in any way. I think it’s important to show what I really look like; my skin tone, my freckles, my blemishes, everything. Not some face-tuned version of myself.

We all have a responsibility for what we put out on the internet, especially when so many younger, more impressionable people are interacting online.

Do I think this means that all the companies, all the advertisers, all the marketers will now stop using Photoshop because of the CVS Beauty Mark initiative? Hell no. It’s just one step in a positive direction.

You can read more about the Beauty Mark initiative here.

What do YOU think about the CVS Beauty Mark? Let me know in the comments below!

Xo, Erica


Learn about the CVS Beauty Mark initiative, and how one of the biggest beauty retailers is tackling the industry’s fixation on unrealisitic standards.

Author: Erica

Hi! I’m Erica, a makeup enthusiast based outside of NYC. I discovered my love of cosmetics back in 2011 when I started watching simple tutorials on YouTube. It was a revelation to me that with just a simple few swipes of mascara or dabs of blush, you could transform into a more enhanced version of yourself. My obsession has not abated over the years, but instead has grown stronger as the beauty industry has gone from strength to strength. After graduating from business school in 2018, I decided to finally share my thoughts and opinions on all things cosmetics and this is where ‘We are glamerus’ was born. I share my musings on a bi-weekly basis on everything from my holy grail products and preferred application techniques, to the latest trends overtaking the beauty world. I hope you enjoy! xo

14 thoughts on “What is the CVS Beauty Mark all about?”

  1. I love this initiative and everything it stands for. The overmanipulation of photos is a disappointment on so many levels (1. The model is beautiful just the way he/she is 2. How are we supposed to know if the product works when you just changed everything it apparently does?!)

    I’m happy that beauty brands are getting behind this. I’d love to see the same shift in higher end cosmetics too.

    1. Exactly! Customers want to make connections with a product or an ad, and Photoshop seems almost counterintuitive at times. A lot of people look at edited ads and think, I’m never going to look like that so why bother buying that product? It’s like when you go to a makeup counter. A lot of times the salespeople actually insult you so you feel you need their products! I just don’t get that sales tactic at all. So it’s totally refreshing to see a corporation like CVS tackling this topic 👏🏻

      1. Now what I’d love to see next in the beauty industry is an expansion of ages when it comes to ads. It’s always young people. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be rocking mascara when I’m 50. Lol

  2. I really like the more natural photos. Seeing more normal-looking skin and how the product looks on them is more convincing to me. All the photoshop nowadays looks kind of anime or cartoonish and it is hard to connect it with the product or with how I would use products.

    1. Yes, I totally agree. I won’t say that I’ve never been drawn to an image that’s clearly been manipulated (I feature some of them in my inspiring IG series), but I know I can personally make that distinction between what’s real & what’s not. I just wonder how younger kids & teens feel when they’re scrolling social media or shopping in stores and they see fake images.

  3. I never alter any of my photos either! I don’t even know how lol. I totally love this whole revolution though! I do think that lady looks better without the photoshop in your sample photo though so now I’m gonna be more sad because they are not photoshopped & still looking so great, y’know? Lol.

Leave me your thoughts & opinions!