Sasha Grey : How Her Signature Makeup Shaped Her Career

Learn about how Sasha Grey’s makeup strategy set her apart from everyone else in the adult-film industry, rocketing her career to esteemed success.

As with all trend-types, the origins of their inception often come years prior from humble and normalized beginnings, where a few take them on as a regular aspect of their lives. Then suddenly, the trend goes viral and it catches on as the new thing that everyone wants to do. This is exactly what happened with Sasha Grey, who rocked the porn industry with her thick eyebrows and feline-esque eyes. This makeup strategy combined with her unique combination of intelligence and BDSM flicks is what set her apart from everyone else in the industry in the mid-2000s. According to Allure, her intelligence earned her the moniker “thinking man’s porn star”, however, this wasn’t just a title as she was into classic film, vintage cars, and literature.  After all these years, her smoky cat eyes, well-shaped eyebrows, and red lipstick are still considered a classic and trendy look. Here is where she took inspiration from and how her look was maintained throughout the years.

Sasha Grey’s Inspiration: How She Developed Her Style


In an interview with Allure, Grey stated that her eyebrows were all her as she never could bring herself to change them. She stated specifically that they “wouldn’t fit my face” if she were to change them up. She actually thanks her sister for pinning her down and forcing her to pluck her unibrow right before high school. When Grey made her debut into the adult-film world, she left her hair alone and brought her own makeup to the set. This was because she wanted to have makeup on but didn’t want it to feel caked on – she wanted to still feel her face underneath.

Taking inspiration from Edie Sedgwick, Elizabeth Taylor, and the likes of Lauren Bacall, she slicked on liquid eyeliner, used smoky eyeshadow, and enhanced her strong brows with a bold, now iconic, cat-eye look.  She said that a lot of her inspiration came from the fact that she was really into punk music at the time and wanted a little heavier, little darker, look with sharp colors and cool designs. This inspiration is what brought her unconventional and edgier look, as she wanted to disprove the clichés about the adult industry.

Choosing Makeup Products with Zero Staying Power

Part of her career success was the component of zero staying power. Grey specifically chose products that did not stick well to the face. This was to amp up the scene’s realism. This meant that she did not use waterproof mascara or primer for her eyeshadow. She stated that she “did not care what happened” and actually thought that the more her makeup ran (was messy) the better for the scene. Part of the reasoning behind this was Grey thought it was a bit funny to have a perfect face while you showed off everything else.  

Any Makeup Tips from Grey?

The one thing that she did learn and pick up from a porn set makeup artist is that red lip color that has blue undertones in it, looks best with dark hair. This is a rule she follows to this day.