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Getting Nailed with Porn Stars' Favorite Manicurist

Julez Zamora has painted porn star's nails for 15 years. I called her to find out if gel or acrylic nails hold up better during fingerbanging.

by Sophie Saint Thomas
Aug 11 2015, 8:55pm

Photos courtesy of Julez Zamora

When I watch porn, I always think, Who does the porn stars' nails? One day, for instance, I watched a MMF porno and noticed a close-up shot of a leading lady's hand on a dude's ass. The shot revealed a detail no straight men would have caught: The porn star had broken her French-tipped nail. Where did the nail go after she broke it? I wondered. The possible sex life implications of my latest beauty obsession weighed on my mind, and there was only one solution: Speak to a porn star manicurist.

It's a niche occupation, but many beauticians have filled the role. One such beauty expert, Julez Zamora, has given porn stars manicures for 15 years. I called her at her noisy downtown Las Vegas apartment to learn more about painting porn star's nails, the actors' nail-shape preferences, and if gel or acrylic nails hold up better during fingerbanging.

Broadly: How'd you get into porn makeup?
Julez Zamora: I was working as a cashier at a strip club at the Glitter Gulch, and I was doing wedding make up, and one of the girls was like, "I'm going to go do porn or whatever." I [asked], 'Do you need a makeup artist?" And she [said], "Actually, yes we do!" From there it was kind of word of mouth thing--not ass to mouth. I never do that.

Does doing porn stars' nails pay well?
Yeah, it does. It's about $100 an hour--or sometimes I'll just do a full day rate for the bigger production companies, like when I worked for Elegant Angel in LA it was [roughly a] $500 day rate, and I [was] on set about six hours. I'm on standby most of the time anyways.

Do you bring all the supplies?
I always bring polish with me in case their nails looked like shit. I do makeup and the rest--nails, waxing--is maintenance work. I'm an esthetician as well so I would do wax for them. Most of them do Brazilians. I fix my rate on what they needed and how long they'd stay at the shoot.

How do the porn stars like to wear their nails?
It's always square French tips. One of my [porn star] friends is very careful, but she only does girl on guy. They don't do their nails for the guys. Guys don't notice stuff like that--they barely even notice the makeup. Stuff like that is about getting yourself in character and helping you feel good about yourself.

Totally. I mentioned this article to a straight male friend and that's exactly what he said.
Exactly. It's the girls who watch with their boyfriends who notice nails--and the porn stars. If they lose a nail in a shoot they go, "Aw, where did it go?"

Since you live in Las Vegas, do you ever do makeup or nails for stars coming into town for the AVN Awards?
Oh, yeah. Usually that's my busiest time. I'll book a couple months in advance for something like that. Certain companies will have suites, and they'll have shows going on in the rooms, and members of the websites can come in and have the live shows instead of watching it online. Cam sites will have cam parties where every room will have girls in it and people can pay for extra alone time. I just chill in there waiting for touch ups.

Is it true you witnessed a scratching incident?
So there was a girl on girl scene. One of the girls had really long nails. She put her fingers inside and scratched the other girl. No big deal right? But then they brought a toy in. So instead of grabbing the lube, [one of the girls grabbed] the [toy cleaner] container. She put the cleanser for the toys on the toy thinking it was the lube, and she put [the toy] inside her. She was like, "AHHH! Fuck!" It wouldn't stop burning. So they had to run to the store and get a douche to clean it out. That vag was on fire.

What other crazy beauty mishaps have you seen on porn sets?
Track marks. That was kind of sad, though, at the same time--and it was a lot of work. I use Dermablend a lot. (I can use anything really; I just have to layer it.) So I put down a base [on the track marks]. You have to put down something and say it's a red mark. Then you put down some green, and put on another layer, and then concealer, and just powder to blend the edges so it doesn't look like there's a big splotch of makeup there.

Was that an awkward conversation to bring up with the porn star?
I didn't tell the directors or anything. I just kind of did it. The girl was like, "Oh, I'm sorry." I [said], "I got it." But she was like, "Do you happen to be a nurse?" I was like, "Nope! Nope! I'm not helping you with that" She wanted me to shoot her up or something. That was only one time though, and I never saw her again. Not here to judge, just going to cover it up.

Who has the best nails and who has the worst?
A lot of the more famous people [I've worked with] are like Ron Jeremy--he doesn't do anything to his nails. As far as girls go, the most standard thing is definitely the French manicure thing. Every once in a while the girls with tattoos will wear the stilettos--that wasn't so much a trend until much [more] recently. Sometimes they'll have jagged nails with chipped paint, and you'll totally have to fix that up.

I have one last question. Which is less likely to pop off during fingerbanging: gel or acrylic nails?
Acrylic for sure, but it has to have smooth edges or you're going to hurt someone for sure.

Tagged:
porn
Culture
Broadly
Fashion
nails
NSFW
porn stars
fingerbanging
gel
acrylic
manicures
julez zamora
Broadly Culture