Cate Blanchett, in real life and on the cover of Intelligent Life. (Evan Agostini/Intelligent Life via AP)

By actual face, I mean the actress’s image was not retouched during post-production, according to the magazine. As much as it shouldn’t be, this is a kind of a big deal.

Intelligent Life’s editor Tim de Lisle explained the decision to present Blanchett this way on his blog:

When other magazines photograph actresses, they routinely end up running heavily Photoshopped images, with every last wrinkle expunged. Their skin is rendered so improbably smooth that, with the biggest stars, you wonder why the photographer didn’t just do a shoot with their waxwork. ...

Cate Blanchett, by contrast, appears on our cover in her working clothes, with the odd line on her face and faint bags under her eyes. She looks like what she is — a woman of 42, spending her days in an office, her evenings on stage and the rest of her time looking after three young children.

Blanchett and Intelligent Life should be applauded for this cover. (De Lisle is quick to point out that the magazine “can’t be too self-righteous” about its decision because they are “benefiting from [the actress’s] beauty and distinction.”)

That’s not to say that magazine covers or ad campaigns featuring famous people that have been retouched are necessarily bad. But seeing a celebrity look like — gasp — an actual person in a photograph like this is refreshing. A dose of reality can do wonders for a person’s self-esteem.

De Lisle concludes his thoughts, saying, “It’s a curious sign of the times that [trying to reflect real life in a photo] has become something to shout about.” Hopefully, it won’t be in the near future.

See a larger version of the cover here.

What do you think of Intelligent Life’s magazine cover? Tell us in the comments.

Read more from Celebritology:

‘The Host’ teaser trailer released (Video)

‘The Hunger Games’: A gchat analysis

Kim Kardashian ‘flour bombed’ at red carpet event

Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie welcome son Luca