These Before/After Makeup Photos Prove Porn Stars Are Just Like Us

Photo: Getty Images
These Before/After Makeup Photos Prove Porn Stars Are Just Like Us
Entertainment And News

Porn stars have come a long way. We used to think of X-rated performers as skanky and dirty, but now they're considered cool and alternative. 

Adult film actors have sex on camera for a living, but that doesn't make them anything other than human. They have the same insecurities, vulnerabilities, and fears that we do. Their life on screen is just a small part of their true identity.

In some ways, porn stars have more challenges — people refusing to think of them as artists, and believing that anyone in porn would have nothing of value to say. Some people dismiss adult entertainers as vapid and empty.

Fortunately, there's one person who sees that rawness and vulnerability. Who is Melissa Murphy?

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Melissa Murphy has been a makeup artist for the adult film industry for over 10 years. She got her start after she started taking care of the dogs of a porn director who her friend was working for.

She had been doing makeup part-time in a mall and suggested to him to hire her if he needed her help with doing the porn stars' makeup, saying, “You’re from Boston. I’m from Boston. If you ever need a makeup artist, give me a job.”

By taking before pictures (no makeup in natural lighting) and after pictures (full makeup and hair), she shows us a side of the porn performer we might not usually see: the down to earth and honest women they are.

When asked what kind of responses she's gotten, Murphy said in a 2013 interview, "People are saying that they like that it humanizes porn actresses. I'm really trying to humanize all people. We are all just human beings, we are all the same, and nobody’s perfect. No one looks stunningly perfect without makeup. Supermodels are Photoshopped. The ideal is not real. And I’m super grateful to these women who are brave enough to let me do this. I show all the before-and-afters to them before I post them. They’ll see the collages and probably do a 'Gulp!' and an 'Oh, God!' It’s a brave thing to do."

Makeup sure is powerful! Just take a look at these before/after transformations of female porn stars if you don't believe us.

Kalina Ryu

Sasha Hart

Natalia Starr

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Ashley Lane

Reyna Arriaga

Jenna J Ross

All photos: Instagram.com/xmelissamakeupx

Murphy said that when she does makeup for porn, "There is definitely a standard look, the one most directors and companies are looking for: Soft, glamour, pretty. It works on everyone. It's about enhancing your natural beauty."

Murphy is a master at making porn stars look good before, during, and after every sex scene.

So, what's her best beauty tip that anyone can use, even if they're not a porn star? "Organic raw coconut oil is also a great moisturizer. If things get hot and heavy, it can also be used as a lubricant," she says.

That's certainly good to know.

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Woman's Day. Visit her website or and her Instagram.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on June 29, 2015 and was updated with the latest information.