It's basically the strands of hair being out of focus that give it the blurred look. Other than that, it's clever posing and lighting that do the rest.
Also, in order to not have to question whether something is a photograph or not check the categories that people submit their works into. They are always located under the image title and above the Artist's Comments.
But some of it is blurred. Although, technically, it's just certain strands of hair being out of focus. Among other things. I agree that bits of this look like a painting as well, and that's not a bad thing. I don't think that person above was intentionally trying to be insulting. They seemed genuinely impressed with the piece here and are just questioning how it works. We all start somewhere.