Naya Rivera, Before and After

The beauty evolution of the 'Glee' star.

If you've ever mistaken Naya Rivera for Kim Kardashian, join the club. 

The 29-year-old actress and singer, best known for playing cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee, resembles Kim so much, they could almost be related. Besides the makeup, hair and fashion sense, they appear to share similarly—suspiciously!—plumped-up features. 

But Naya didn't always look so Kardashian-ified. Let's examine her beauty transformation. 

Naya in 2004

Naya Rivera at the 2004 premiere of 'Chasing Liberty.'

Our first pic shows Naya in 2004, when she was only 17 years old. Back then, she had a large mole on her chin, which she has since had removed. Her hair was naturally dark brown, and she looks super-pretty and fresh with no detectable makeup. 

Naya in 2009

Naya Rivera at the 2009 premiere of 'Bandslam.' (Photo: PR Photos)

Now we fast-forward to 2009 and the debut of Glee. Naya was 22 here, at one of her first big red carpet events, and kept the glam fairly low-key. I think her hair might be dyed darker and her teeth whitened... but other than that, she's just wearing false lashes, black liner and some sheer lip gloss and blush. A far cry from her red carpet looks in 2016!

Naya in 2010

Naya Rivera at the 2010 Emmy Awards. (Photo: PR Photos)

Naya used to have a lot more fun with her styling, as you can see in this 2010 shot. The over-the-top updo is kind of adorable with the bangs and red lipstick—but we'd never see her in these things now. Without heavy lashes, foundation or contouring, her makeup looks really fresh. She has perfect teeth!

Naya in 2011

Naya Rivera at the 2011 Emmy Awards. (Photo: PR Photos)

I suspect that by 2011, Naya might've undergone rhinoplasty to narrow her nose. But her lips look natural, and her makeup is still fairly light (aside from the spidery false lashes). Her cheeks are plump, but given she was only 24 here, I'll give 'em the benefit of the doubt!

Naya in 2012

Naya Rivera at the 2012 Fox Upfronts party. (Photo: PR Photos)

My favourite Naya photo is this one from 2012, where she sported gorgeous pinky makeup, an off-the-face ponytail and fun, oversized hoop earrings. Her lips might be enhanced (I'm looking at the top one), but overall, she looks great.

Naya Rivera at the 2012 Young Storytellers Foundation Gala. (Photo: PR Photos)

Here's another shot from 2012—proof that Naya used to actually wear colour on her lips! The fuchsia is amazing on her. Hair is loose and natural, and it looks like she probably got a spray tan. I think her eyes are starting to look more wide-open...

Naya in 2013

Naya Rivera at the 2013 premiere of 'The Hangover Part III.' (Photo: PR Photos)

Now we're in 2013, and Naya was 26 years old here. The first thing you notice is obviously the makeup. We all make our mistakes, and this was one of Naya's: crazy false lashes, heavy blush and poor blending, to name a few of the problems here. But I also see plumper lips and cheeks (Restylane, perhaps?) and a decidedly sculpted nose, indicating rhinoplasty. Also, her eyelids are not as hooded as they were in 2011 and 2012.

Naya in 2014

Naya Rivera at the 2014 Marie Claire Fresh Faces party. (Photo: PR Photos)

It was in 2014 that Naya began to morph into Kim Kardashian 2.0. Suddenly, she was blonde, with lighter brows, and adopted Kim's signature nude lips, false lashes and heavy contouring. Because of the latter, her nose looks much thinner, but I think it has also been surgically altered. Again, notice how much bigger her eyes are now.

Naya in 2015

Naya Rivera at the 2015 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

This 2015 photo is probably the most obvious evidence for Naya's use of fillers in her cheeks. She was only 28 at this time, so couldn't have been using them to correct much loss of volume. Instead, the Restylane has actually changed her face shape, since it was injected around her temples, all through the cheeks and of course, in her lips. The contouring exaggerates the effect, along with a new pair of Instagram brows and darker hair colour. I wouldn't be surprised if she also had Botox in her forehead.

Naya in 2016

Naya Rivera at the 2016 Race to Erase MS Gala. (Photo: PR Photos)

Arriving at 2016, Naya now has the polished style of a red carpet pro, but to me, her face has taken on quite an artificial appearance. It's the nose, which is unnaturally thin and contoured to death, plus the fuller lips (although they're definitely an improvement over the 2015 version). I do think her eye makeup and brows have improved a ton—both are much softer.

Naya Rivera at the 2016 Raising the Bar to End Parkinson's fundraiser. (Photo: PR Photos)

Our final pic is the one that inspired me to do this Before & After. OMG! Suddenly, Naya's lips are bigger than ever, along with filled cheeks, a super-smooth forehead, and what I suspect are lifted eyelids. Nothing about this looks natural... but apparently that wasn't her goal.


Naya Rivera in 2004 (left) and in 2016 (right). 

This is one Before & After where the photos really do speak for themselves. I think we can ALL agree that, at minimum, Naya has dabbled with hyaluronic acid fillers in her lips, cheeks and temples. However, I suspect that's not all the work she has had done. Besides teeth-whitening, I think we may be looking at evidence of rhinoplasty, Botox and possibly an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) to give her eyes a more wide-open appearance.

What do the experts say? According to Jason Emer, a Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon, "she has definitely had rhinoplasty and filler through the cheeks and lips. She may have implants in her cheeks, too." 

Cheek implants?! With Restylane being so readily available (and most importantly, a non-permanent option), I wouldn't think celebs would go that far. But looking again, it's certainly possible. We do know that Naya is no stranger to plastic surgery. In her memoir Sorry Not Sorry, she revealed that she gifted herself breast implants for her 18th birthday. So the rest of these cosmetic enhancements would not be a stretch at all...

How do you feel about Naya's beauty evolution?
Which of these looks is your favourite?
What "beauty work" do you think she's had done?

Related Articles