Beauty Tips From Porn Stars

Note: A previous version of this story used the headline “Porn Star Beauty Tips That Are Surprisingly Great,” and, as several of you have pointed out, that feels dismissive and a bit negative toward the women featured. While our intention with that headline was to highlight the fact that the beauty industry rarely taps these women for their grooming secrets, we understand the concern. Our primary mission is always to inspire and encourage women, so we've changed the wording to reflect your input.

Sometimes, it’s refreshing to mix things up a bit. Like forgoing Taylor Swift on replay for a little Sleigh Bells (Alexis Krauss, you sexy thing) or, better yet, giving your standard, vanilla porn a breather in favor of some edgy alt adult fare. Because, well-placed arty tattoos, all the piercings, and a badass attitude just make life a little more interesting. Plus, there’s more to some of these alt ladies than performing in films. They’re out there writing, producing, and directing their work, and running their own companies — and looking flawless while they're at it.

We talked to four women dominating the industry right now: actress, writer, director, and producer Joanna Angel (basically the Angelina Jolie of alt-porn); actress, model, new-media mogul, and author Kayla-Jane Danger; actress, model, and director Bonnie Rotten; and model-turned-actress-and-singer Skin Diamond. These fearless stars graciously took time away from the AVN Awards (a.k.a. the Oscars of adult film) to dispense crucial advice on making makeup stay put, keeping skin flawless from head to toe, and masterfully disguising blemishes, weird tan lines, and love bites all over. Spoiler alert: They hold differing opinions when it comes to personal grooming. Gotta keep it interesting, right?
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Primer and setting spray are your staying-power secrets.
“Definitely primer. Primer, primer, primer,” says Danger (pictured), who’s been in the biz for a decade now. “Personally, I don’t even think I care what brand it is, just as long as there’s something there for the makeup to stick to.” She also uses a pro makeup trick learned from long days on set. “Day to night: setting spray, all over the place.” Same for Diamond, who says her makeup artists use MAC Prep + Prime Fix to set her face for work and create a nice, dewy glow in the process. For sweat-proof staying power, Angel relies on the entire Stila Stay All Day line.
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A perfectly goth smoky eye requires some commitment.
Along with sporting tattoos, multiple piercings (yep, both nipples), and a rad side-shaved coif, Diamond (pictured) counts a stunningly gorgeous smoky eye as part of her signature look. Her approach is straightforward: Apply black eyeliner first — she likes a Sephora liquid one — and layer on loads of black MAC eyeshadow. "You have to have a lot of patience and just blend, blend, blend," she says. "Otherwise, you won’t make it smoke out evenly."
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Keep a go-to mascara in your makeup kit.
For work or play, a volumizing, lengthening and/or waterproof (and sometimes sweat-proof) mascara is essential. “I love Benefit mascaras right now,” says Diamond. “I just bought They’re Real, which is really good for natural-looking lashes, but with volume. I usually use BADgal for that goth smoky eye.” On the luxe end of the spectrum, Rotten (pictured) loves Dolce & Gabbana’s Passioneyes and, for a more wallet-friendly option, Danger likes Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Washable Mascara, which she stashed in her clutch for the AVN Awards.

False eyelashes help define those eyes even more — but it's important to always have a backup plan. When Danger wears her falsies out to an event, she always carries extra lash glue in her bag. “There’s nothing worse than having to take eyelashes off halfway through the night, and having a stripe through your eyeliner or have one hanging off your face,” she says, laughing. The mini Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive is her favorite for slipping into the teeniest of clutches.

Speaking of teeny, the ladies like to leave their big ol' makeup cases at home and keep abbreviated versions of their primping stashes in their going-out bags. Very abbreviated versions. “Our makeup artists give us these nice little palm-size to-go kits,” Danger says. “Like, if you’re just going out for the night, put a little powder on a puff or a little lip gloss on a Q-tip. Then, put it in a little plastic bag and put it in your clutch.” Huh.
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Be gentle when removing your layers of pore-clogging makeup, especially if you have sensitive skin.
There’s an art to the process. “I use the Simple brand makeup-remover wipes, because my skin reacts to everything,” says Danger. Rotten is a fan of the Neutrogena Night Calming wipes, and Diamond swears by good old coconut oil, especially for stubborn waterproof eye makeup. Angel (pictured) gets a bit more inventive with her cleansing routine. “If I am wearing a lot of makeup, I wash my face with Neuma Shampoo,” she says. “A lot of makeup-remover wipes make me break out.”

After filming, Rotten is a stickler for immediately cleansing her face with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, and then clearing out pores and preventing blemishes with dependable Clearasil pads. “You know the kind you use in high school when you have pimples?” she says, laughing. “I love those.”

But, let’s not forget skin elsewhere, since it’s getting major camera time. After all, being naked is an integral part of the job. For that, they find everything they need at the drugstore. First off, you gotta exfoliate. Diamond uses an exfoliating glove and Dove body wash in the shower, while Angel first cleanses with Dial soap and then refines her skin with the Neutrogena Body Scrub, using an exfoliating detailer. Also, you can never over-moisturize, at least according to Diamond. “I use Nivea for super, super-dry skin, even though my skin isn’t that dry,” she says. “I just feel like I want the most moisture I can possibly have.”

“I use Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Creme on my feet, because it’s really dry where I live,” Rotten says. “It’s ridiculous.” Considering that immaculate feet (along with flawless butt and legs) are part of Danger’s (NSFW alert!) business model, meticulous foot care is essential to her regular routine. “Feet are the foundation of your body, so they deserve pampering and love,” she says.
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Find a surefire way to cover up blemishes, tattoos, and more when necessary.
Sadly, on certain film sets Danger has to hide her glorious tats. The magical way to flawlessly cover them is Dermablend. “If they can cover my tattoos, they can cover ingrown hairs,” she reasons. “Or, they can cover a bite mark on your butt.” (We were wondering about the best way to do that…) She suggests using the products in layers: Apply Cover Creme, and then secure with the Loose Setting Powder. The best part: “You can rub up against things,” and it won’t come off. Angel has another fast fix for a common predicament: “Once I had a really bad farmer tan, and I used that Sally Hansen airbrush stuff, and it looked okay,” she says.

“Having tattoos, you need to treat your skin like you’re the palest, [most] ginger person you know,” explains Danger, who is allergic to some pigments in her ink. So, definitely slather on strong SPF when you’re facing the elements. And, make sure to moisturize, since the inked-up areas have a higher tendency to dry out. Also, treat yo’self. “I use natural Alba products in the bath,” Danger says. “They have a mint body wash that gives you this nice, effervescent feeling. It tingles a little, and it smells really nice. I love it. It tingles in all the right ways.”
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If you shave, do it right.
When it comes to personal grooming in this industry, waxing isn’t always an option since the actresses don’t have the luxury of that growing-out time between salon sessions. So, shaving is a popular alternative. But, using any ol' shaving cream or soap isn't the best idea. Ingrown hairs and razor bumps aren’t fun — especially on that part of your body. Rotten has a solution: “There’s this product out in adult stores called Coochy Cream,” she says. (You can also find it online.) “It’s a shaving cream with aloe in it, and it really helps the razor bumps.” After shaving, she spritzes on the brand’s Protection Mist to clear out pores and cool down the region.

Diamond is also Team Razor, but she has her own strict skin-care regimen. “I put soothing things on my more sensitive areas after I shave, just to stop ingrown hairs,” she explains. “I just use Venus' old-school, regular shaving products with cream, and then I use vitamin-E oil on my sensitive area.”

Option two for grooming: a combination of permanent laser hair removal treatments and waxing. (Although, Angel will only do GentleLase along with threading — a nod to her Middle Eastern heritage.) Of course, as hair and eyebrow styles come and go, so do trends when it comes to pubes, as Gwyneth Paltrow and Scandal FLOTUS Mellie Grant can attest.

“As someone who is naked all the time, I have never and will never get everything lasered off,” says Danger. “I like to change the shape, and I like to change the style. But, not ever having to worry about my bikini line or around my labia.” So, she lasers her bikini line only, for flexibility in terms of styling the “top.” Angel maintains just the landing strip, and asks her technician to laser around it.
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