What The Orange Is The New Black Stars Look Like In Real Life

Orange is the New Black is a show set in prison, so it makes sense that most of its characters wouldn't have access to a whole lot of makeup and styling products. Even so, it's always shocking to witness the transformation the show's cast members undergo each season to shift from fab to drab to play their on-screen characters. Check out what the cast of OITNB looks like in real life.

Taylor Schilling (Piper)

Actress Taylor Schilling introduced audiences to Litchfield Penitentiary as new inmate Piper Chapman in the debut season of the Netflix smash in 2013. While Piper has changed a lot throughout the series, her look has remained consistent — simple makeup and straight blonde hair throughout. 

Schilling's everyday look doesn't differ much from Piper, but her personality seems worlds apart. Schilling seems more grounded that her character. Raised in the suburbs of Boston, she dropped out of graduate school to pursue her acting career, landing a spot on the one-season drama Mercy. While Piper got engaged on the show (twice), Schilling was single at the time of this writing, saying she's open to love but is currently occupied with work. (Rumor has it she dated Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein, but Schilling has refused to confirm or deny.) In short, while Piper seems like a high-maintenance friend, we'd definitely be down to spend some time chilling with Schilling. 

Laura Prepon (Alex)

Laura Prepon became well-known to TV watchers as a redhead in That '70s Show, but she decided to opt for a much darker color for OITNB, dying her hair pitch black. She completes the look on the show with arched, thin eyebrows, glasses, and a cat eye that always manages to look perfect, even with prison-quality eyeliner. 

Prepon, who stepped behind the camera for one episode of OITNB's fifth season, sometimes switches up her hair colors in between filming, appearing blonde, brunette, and even red again. She also usually goes more glam on the red carpet, though she works that cat eye in real life too. At the time of this writing, Prepon is keeping busy preparing for motherhood. She and fiancé Ben Foster are expecting their first child.

Danielle Brooks (Taystee)

Danielle Brooks shines every single season as Taystee, the infectiously positive inmate determined to lead the charge toward a better life. In her real life, Brooks' appearance is a bit more glam than her Litchfield counterpart. You'll often find her in fashion-forward dresses with killer eye makeup during red carpet appearances. 

Brooks, who graduated from Juilliard, isn't just a star on the small screen. The actress made her Broadway debut in the revival of The Color Purple in 2015, earning a Tony Award nomination for her role. Brooks is a real life superwoman, filming her expanded role in OITNB Season 5 while still performing in the musical. How's that for good behavior?

Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes)

Uzo Aduba has earned two Golden Globe nominations and two Emmys for her OITNB part as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren. Her character's roller coaster ride throughout the series is punctuated by her distinctive hairstyle.

In real life, Aduba's look is far more glamorous than her character, complete with dazzling accessories, makeup, and a variety of hairstyles. In addition to her experience on OITNB, Aduba is an experienced stage actress, having starred in Godspell and The Maids. She took her talents (which include classical voice training at Boston University) to the small screen in 2015 to star as Glinda in NBC's The Wiz Live!

Kate Mulgrew (Red)

Kate Mulgrew had to adopt a ginger pompadour to play the part of Galina "Red" Reznikov on OITNB, but you may still recognize her from her previous part as Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager.

In recent years, Mulgrew has stuck with Red's hairstyle even when she's not on the show, although she usually goes a little less intense with the teasing. Though the Russian inmate experiences extreme challenges in Season 5 that drastically alter her appearance, both Red and Mulgrew remain forces to be reckoned with on and off screen. 

Taryn Manning (Pennsatucky)

Taryn Manning's Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett is one of many OITNB characters who've evolved significantly throughout the series. Her scraggly brown hair remains the same, but she did get new teeth, thanks to Piper (sort of). 

Manning's look is more fabulous in real life. She often appears rocker-chic, which is fitting considering she's sung in quite a few bands over the years, including the electric group Boomkat. (She also dropped some solo records.) 

Lea DeLaria (Big Boo)

Lea DeLaria has been with Orange Is the New Black since Season 1 as Big Boo, the show's center of sarcasm and wit. Boo has gone through a few different hairstyles on the show, but she usually keeps it short and dark with minimal makeup.

In real life, DeLaria rocks a similar style, even sporting a tattoo on her arm that says "Butch." Off-screen she often wears glasses, too. Outside of acting, DeLaria spends her time doing stand-up comedy, singing, touring the world, and performing on Broadway. She got engaged to fashion editor Chelsea Fairless in 2015. The pair met through OITNB co-star Emma Myles, but split in 2017. 

Dascha Polanco (Daya)

Dascha Polanco has been blowing viewers away as the artistic Dayanara "Daya" Diaz throughout OITNB's run, and fans received a special surprise when her real-life daughter appeared as the younger version of her character in the show's fifth season. Daya is known for her highlighted hairstyle, which Polanco was already rocking when she came in to audition. 

In real life, Polanco also likes to experiment with hair colors, going from blonde to brunette to a stunning platinum grey over the years. She's a fashion rock star on the red carpet and always generates buzz with her distinctive wardrobe choices. While Daya isn't quite as risky with her fashion, we like to think she'd be a stunner if she weren't stuck in Litchfield's starchy styles. 

Selenis Leyva (Gloria)

As the matriarch of Litchfield, Selenis Leyva has had to embody a wide range of emotions through Gloria Mendoza, all of which she handles with skill. On the show, Gloria keeps her look practical but pretty, maintaining a short hairstyle, thin eyebrow, and a bit of a smokey eye. 

In real life, Leyva also keeps her hair short, although she'll sometimes grow it out a bit, and relies on light makeup. This mother of one has kept herself busy with acting for years and will make a huge splash on the big screen in 2017 as one of Peter Parker's teachers in the Marvel film Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Natasha Lyonne (Nicky)

Natasha Lyonne was already an established actress when she signed on to play Nicky Nichols on OITNB, having appeared in the American Pie franchise and in movies such as But I'm a Cheerleader and Blade: Trinity. However, Nicky was a very different part for her, one that required drawing from her own personal struggles with drugs and alcohol. Lyonne proved perfect for the role, which earned her an Emmy nomination. The character usually lets her thick hair run wild (although she rocked a straight look for a bit in Season 5) and likes to go heavy on the eyeliner and mascara, which makes a mess when she's struggling.

Off-screen, Lyonne likes to experiment with that gorgeous hair. Though the actress usually sticks with simple styles, she has been known to choose some memorable make-up looks, recently making a dramatic switch and choosing a shocking and beautiful eye makeup-free look at a fashion show. At the time of this writing, Lyonne was in a relationship with Saturday Night Live vet Fred Armisen and preparing to make her directorial debut on a short film. 

Laura Gomez (Blanca)

The real life Laura Gomez became a little less shocking after Blanca Flores gets a makeover in Season 5, but it's still mind boggling to see how different Gomez looks from her unkempt character. Blanca uses her crazy hair and unruly eyebrows to her advantage on the show, but as she gets pulled closer to the central storyline, her look starts to soften (with a little help from Maritza and Flaca, of course.) 

In real life, Gomez is all glam, but she says she appreciates her look on the show. The actress, who gets a fake unibrow drawn on for the character, says having her make-up done (or not done) is a great way to get into character. Outside of acting, Gomez is also an award-winning writer and director of short films. 

Emma Myles (Leanne)

Leanne Taylor has one of the more shocking backstories on OITNB. She was raided in an Amish community, but the woman we meet in prison is missing some of her teeth (and now, part of a finger) thanks to her drug addiction. She usually goes without make-up and lets her dirty blonde hair hang straight.

You probably wouldn't recognize fresh-faced actress Emma Myles on the street, but it was her dedication to the transformation that earned her the role. According to BuzzFeed, Myles showed up for the audition wearing next-to-no makeup, unwashed hair, and dirty clothes. "All of the girls who were auditioning for Leanne, they were all very pretty, very clean. They had clean shirts and makeup and perfect hair," she said. "I was like, I'm either dead wrong or I'm on to something right now."

Julie Lake (Angie)

Like her on screen BFF Leanne, Angie Rice is well known for her straggly hair and not so great dental hygiene. Julie Lake's character sports wavy dark brown hair and usually goes without make-up as she wanders the grounds of Litchfield.

Off-duty, Lake looks very different. She rocks a great cat eye and contour and clearly knows how to brush and floss. The actress says makeup for her character only takes a couple minutes, although the hair takes 20; the secret to the look is the fake bad teeth, which are painted on using a palette of colors such as tobacco stain, nicotine, and coffee. "It's amazing how hideous you look with bad teeth," she told Too Fab. "I remember the first time they did it I looked in the mirror and smiled and burst out laughing. It was just endlessly amusing to me at first."

Pablo Schreiber (Pornstache)

Pablo Schreiber was Litchfield's first (but definitely not its last) creepy guard. George "Pornstache" Mendez was best known for his distinctive facial hair. Otherwise, the tall guard kept his look simple, wearing his hair short and spiked. After he was sent off to serve his own sentence, he grew it into a weird mullet.

In real life, Schreiber keeps his facial hair trendy, although he has said he was sad to lose the signature facial hair when his character went to jail. The suave actor underwent another style transformation for his role as red-headed leprechaun Mad Sweeney on American Gods in 2017. Though this Tony Award nominee may play a lot of creepy and morally questionable characters on screen, he certainly seems like a stand-up guy in real life.  

Laverne Cox (Sophia)

In this mega popular Netflix series, there are few characters that have gone through such a dramatic transformation. Transgender actress Laverne Cox plays Sophia Burset, a transgender inmate at Litchfield who runs the facility's salon. Given her beautician skills, Burset looks great in the series, until things take a bad turn. When Burset is locked up in solitary confinement, we see her sans makeup and styled hair, and the effect is rough.

All of this simply pales in comparison to her red carpet look, which is simply perfection. Cox is known for immaculate makeup, glowing complexion, and luxurious tresses. 

When she's not lighting up Netflix, Cox is busy earning her place in Hollywood history. In 2014, she became the first transgender person to be nominated for an acting Emmy. She made more history in 2016 as the first transgender person to have a recurring role on broadcast television

Michael Harney (Healy)

Sam Healy, played by Michael Harney, is the show's emotionally troubled correctional officer and inmate counselor. Scenes with Healy typically show him slumping around, glasses at the tip of his nose as he tries and fails to understand the inmates' emotional needs. His home life with his Ukrainian mail-order bride is also a bonafide mess, and at the conclusion of Season 4, he contemplates suicide, then checks himself into a mental institution for help.

Outside of Orange Is the New Black, Harney appears to be a happy go lucky guy. Fans and followers enjoy seeing him shed his blue uniform in favor of tailored suits and other handsome ensembles on the red carpet and on the stage. In early 2017, he wrote a collection of six one-act plays called The Awful Grace of God, and he stars alongside Lady Gaga in the highly anticipated film A Star is Born, due out in 2018.

Francesca Curran (Skinhead Helen)

Francesca Curran made a big splash in OITNB's fifth season as Skinhead Helen Van Maele, a bald inmate who terrorizes Litchfield with her tattooed face and neck. The character is a huge transformation for Curran, who actually shaved her head for the part and kept re-shaving it every morning on set so the makeup artists could apply her facial tattoos. She also has dark under-eye makeup applied and has her eyebrows whited out for the part. And then, of course, there's the missing teeth.

In real life, Curran accessorizes with a variety of wigs and flaunts a style that is very feminine and fabulous. She seems to enjoy her Litchfield look, often posting pics on her social media accounts of her extreme transformation.  

Nick Sandow (Caputo)

There are only two words that can accurately describe Joe Caputo: stressed and sex-crazed. Caputo, played by Nick Sandow, is Litchfield's warden. Though he's by no means perfect, he is passionate about his career and often goes to bat against his higher-ups for the facility and its residents. Caputo typically sports a tattered suit, loose-fitted tie, and reading glasses on his head. He's perhaps best known for his dated handle-bar mustache, and the remaining bits of hair he has on the series is never combed or well-kept.

In real life, Sandow is a dapper fellow who typically opts for well-trimmed facial hair, no spectacles, and nice suits. He's so polished at public appearances that it's shocking to fans of the show, and get a load of his real-life townhouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., which was featured in The New York Times. Sandow said one of his favorite parts of his stylish home is the freestanding tub where he unwinds after a long day of shooting. "I put valerian in the water, which turns it blue, and then you basically pass out," he said. These are luxuries Caputo doesn't have the time or money to enjoy.

Yael Stone (Lorna)

Yael Stone is as beautiful in a fictional prison as she is in real life. Stone plays the always dolled up Lorna Morello in the popular show. Like a glamorous old movie star, she typically wears a bold red lipstick and styles her dark hair in soft waves as she dreams of a fairytale marriage outside the prison walls. When Stone gets to ditch that drab prison garb on the red carpet, it's as if Morello herself is finally living the life of her dreams.

While she may not look that different off screen, Stone certainly sounds different. She hails from Australia, so her character's Boston accent didn't come naturally. "I think the best way that I've come to describe the sound is like a kind of East Coast/working class cocktail," she told Elle. "When I went for the role, I was living in Brooklyn and also visited Boston and took recordings of people's voices."

Adrienne Moore (Black Cindy)

Adrienne Moore plays the hilarious Cindy Hayes, also known as "Black Cindy." She's the kind of woman that lets it all hang out and gives it to you straight. Hayes' hair is often fashioned in two giant afro puffs, and she isn't shy about shaking what her mama gave her or hanging out in her underwear.

In real life, Moore seems equally comfortable front and center, traipsing down the red carpet with flawless and bold hair, makeup, and attire, and she shares other character traits with her Litchfield counterpart. "Cindy uses humor a lot to kind of bring a lighter mood to very difficult situations," Moore told Parade. "And I know that's something I guess I do unconsciously and using humor as a way to sort of just lighten the mood and not be so strict or serious about everything else. That can have its good and bad consequences." She also connects with her character's religious pursuits. "My parents weren't as strict as what it seems like Black Cindy's parents were, but certainly religion was a very important factor in my life."

Jackie Cruz (Flaca)

Jackie Cruz oozes attitude and a distinct style as inmate Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales. In the show, Flaca always wears thick cat-eye makeup, thick bangs, and that signature teardrop under her right eye. 

Fans of the show went berserk when they caught a glimpse of Cruz in something other than her prison sweatshirt. In April 2017, paparazzi photographed her on the beaches of Miami in a low-cut, sheer black swimsuit that left little to the imagination. She often wears that same flirty, sexy attitude on the red carpet, donning plunging gowns that would make a corrections officer blush.

Jessica Pimentel (Maria)

In OITNB, Jessica Pimentel plays Maria Ruiz, a tough-as-nail Dominican inmate who's been through more than her fair share of drama and tragedy. Ruiz endures pregnancy in prison, is forced to give up the baby, rises to the top of the Dominican prison coalition, and boldly takes on an illegal prison panty business, then the drug trade. In Season 5, she is upgraded to a series regular.

In prison, Ruiz is a tough, plain Jane kind of woman, but her off-screen life is so dynamic and diverse that Rolling Stone called it a "double life." The actress moonlights as a death-metal singer for a band called Alekhine's Gun. She told Cryptic Rock, "Yes, I feel most at home in music because it's been part of my life almost as long as language has, but for me, I'm able to express myself in music in a way that I cannot with words."

Vicky Jeudy (Janae)

Janae Watson, played by Vicky Jeudy, is a former track star who made a terrible mistake when she robbed a bank with an old boyfriend. Her backstory has made her seem like a tomboy with a hard heart.

In her private life, Jeudy is nothing like her troubled character. In fact, she's even into beauty pageants and was once a semifinalist in the Miss New York USA pageant, according to InStyle. "If you can wear a swimsuit or bikini with high heels, then walk down the runway while everyone is cheering with confidence, then you can do pretty much anything!" she told the magazine. 

Jeudy also sees similarities between the support systems pageants offer and her time in a fictional prison. "I think it's a great avenue for women because it helps build confidence, and you meet a lot of friends—I still keep in touch with the girls I competed with," she said. "It's the same for Orange. We're all on this amazing hit show together, but we aren't competing against each other. What's for you is for you, your journey is your own, and we're all supportive."

Elizabeth Rodriguez (Aleida)

Aleida Diaz, played by Elizabeth Rodriguez, won't be winning any mother of the year awards anytime soon. Rodriguez plays Daya's hard-headed, abrasive mom on the long-running series. She works hard to maintain appearances in prison and has a talent for nails, but her best/worst accessory is her hard attitude. 

When Rodriguez isn't playing a seasoned criminal with parenting issues, she transforms into a vision of glamour and charm. Though her real life and work life are worlds apart, Rodriguez empathizes with Diaz. "I always joke that she's the best mom in the world," she told Cosmopolitan. "I don't think she's a good mom, but I think she has a huge heart and she loves her children. Like anyone, you could love someone, and it doesn't mean that you're equipped or you were taught or have the patience or the love or the wherewithal to be a good parent. One has nothing to do with the other. You know? You'd think they would or that they'd magically coincide, but just because you love someone, it doesn't make you the best partner or parent or child."

Diane Guerrero (Ramos)

Much like her onscreen character, Diane Guerrero is all about appearances. She plays the ever-feisty and sometimes ditzy Maritza Ramos in the series. Ramos' perfect eyeliner and long locks are stunning, even behind bars. According to InStyle, she was doing her makeup like that look long before her time on the show. "It's always been my thing! That look was especially big in my community growing up," she said.

On red carpets and at special events, Guerrero's style is much more involved, and so is her personality. She's passionate about talking politics and immigration reform. When she was 14, her parents were deported to their native Columbia. "So many things were connected to that day that me and my parents split up," she told Vogue. "The psychological damage. The emotional damage. My actions now. My actions then. I wanted to share that because I know that others were experiencing the same things and didn't know what to do with that energy."

Samira Wiley (Poussey)

Poussey Washington's most identifiable physical trait is her short hair. The beloved character, played by Samira Wiley, is best friends with Tastee and Black Cindy and seems to have a heart of gold. Her usual attire is an oversized sweatshirt and ill-fitting khaki pants.

On the flip side, Wiley is a stunner who could double as a fashion model any day. She posed for InStyle's MIMI section and discussed her signature hair. "I've had my hair short for a really long time—it's been nine years," she said. "Before I cut it, I had long hair that was everything from permed to straight. I remember when I got into Juilliard—which was just crazy to me, that I would be studying at a school like that—the choice to cut all my hair off was really symbolic for me." 

Constance Shulman (Yoga Jones)

Yoga Jones, played by Constance Shulman, is a very thin, beach blonde hippie on Orange Is the New Black. She's not particularly glamorous, but her look is distinctive, as is her voice (You may recognize her as the voice of Patti Mayonnaise in Nickelodeon's Doug.) On set, she wears virtually no makeup, which enhances the earthy vibe she brings to her character.

Off screen, Shulman is known to be a bit more fashionable. She's been photographed with slightly longer, better kept locks complementing a wardrobe that suits her tiny frame and even affords glimpses into her spunky personality.