Melissa Murphy, The Makeup Artist Behind Those Amazing Porn Star Before-And-Afters, Speaks Out

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Makeup artist Melissa Murphy’s series of mesmerizing side-by-side photos documenting the transformation of bare-faced everygirls into bombshell porn stars stood out as fascinating for a few reasons — namely, the social commentary aspect, in which we’re forced to question everything we think we know about what porn stars are “supposed” to look like. But the photos also elicited reactions that had less to do with the profession itself (and, with it, our preconceived notions of female physical attractiveness) and more to do with Melissa … as in, how the hell does she do it?

As a makeup artist on porn sets, it’s Melissa’s job not only to conjure airbrushed perfection out of fresh-faced normalcy, but to use products and techniques that can hold up to, well, all that vigorous activity. And while she didn’t exactly divulge her secrets in her interview with Slate (we still want to know what products she uses!), Melissa did comment awesomely on the varied reactions to her photos going viral. “People are saying that they like that it humanizes porn actresses,” she said, “I’m really just trying to humanize all people.” She also said of the stringent beauty standards that none of us are immune to, regardless of our profession or where we’re seen: “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.” Word.

Oh, and some of the photos on Melissa’s Instagram weren’t of performers: they’re of her sisters and friends. She said she had to do some damage control with sites that were using said photos and calling them porn stars, but we think it might actually be a compliment. I, for one, would love to be mistaken for one of Melissa’s gorgeous clients, especially after she’s had her way with them. [Slate]

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