Calling Bullshit On: The Rule You Need To Take Off All Your Makeup Every Single Night

Remember what happened in that Nic Cage, John Travolta Face Off film? Yeah. If you don’t take your makeup off you will LOSE your face…Illustration by Marina Esmeraldo


by Holly Rains |
Published on

'FOUNDATION MELTED MY FACE OFF!' 'MASCARA MADE ME BLIND!' 'BB CREAM CORRUPTED MY SOUL!' Before you cry Daily Mail, these headlines aren’t lifted from the fiery annals of the* Femail* section, though they're probably lurking there somewhere, where a Liz Jones type figure presides over them like some old God serving, Wiccan-loving custodian, but people suddenly become very shouty and totalitarian when it comes to makeup removal.

Yep, wearing it is fine, slather that shit on, but if you don't take it off - then FYL (like FML, but referring to you, not me) you don’t deserve a face.

Year round - especially during Fashion Month where beauty chat goes into hyperdrive – we are presented with new makeup products, new ways to apply said products, new formulations, new colours, new textures, new smells (my latest liquid eyeliner has a distinct smoked ham smell about it, not unwelcome, but probably more of an evening scent), we’re basically foie gras-ed makeup and due to the fact that I’m an advertisers dream and buy into every beauty product, especially if it’s JML, I’ll try, and buy, anything.

But here’s my problem, why is makeup such a bitch to take off? It is just so goddamn boring. We are awake and wearing it longer than we’re asleep without it, so does it really make that much difference if you just leave it on and let Time and Pillow take it off? I’ve done the math, and on a normal day I’ll be wearing makeup for a good 14 hours, what difference does taking it off for the six or seven hours sleep I’m going to get that night?

Due to poor application, or the fact that my sebum levels are off the chart, if I do ever take it off before bed, the cloth doesn't usually look too Snog Marry Avoid (didn't you love it when they made the girls scrub off their makeup with a flimsy ass makeup wipe and it turned brown - just sooo satisfying), but all makeup pro’s, MUA’s to the uninitiated, bang on about the fact you must always, repeat ALWAYS cleanse your face before bed. Mitigating circumstances? Lol.

In the beauty world, there is no excuse for not taking your makeup off before bed. Don’t have as sink? Find your nearest freshwater supply. House on fire? Use the sprinkler system to wash off your cleanser. Because if, if, you sleep in it, god help the scene that will stare back at your from the mirror in the morning. Spots, wrinkles, enlarged pores, if not worse… No face at all.

Meet the inner dialogue that goes through my mind on an all too frequent night-timely basis, usually after consuming too little mineral aqua and too much gin and lemonade (way tastier than tonic)...

'I'm in bed, it’s so warm. Mmm, toasty. Shit, I haven’t washed my face...'

How it all begins. I’m the ham in a toasted duvet sandwich and I realise my face is still a home to a few cm’s of product, can I be arsed to get up and walk to the bathroom? Seriously, is that even a question?

'Oh god, tomorrow I shall awaken to a pustule-filled face'

This is the anxiety stage where I can’t sleep because MUA’s are clouding my brain. The fear that I will wake up to a gross face is too great. Ironically, not getting enough sleep will make you look far worse than not taking your makeup off. Oh, irony. What a glorious piss taker.

'Ok, face wipes, where the fuck are my face wipes?'

The lazy girls dream, but apparently these wipes harbour face-eating properties that must be avoided at all costs. Admittedly, bum wipes don’t do the job of a cleansing wipe, but at least on that occasion I tried.

'Cool, it’s only my eye makeup that’s really left on. That’s fine, eyelashes can’t get spots…'

No, but lashes can crack and fall off, and mascara and liner can cause wrinkles. Ew, wrinkles.

…. (time lapse) 'I still have a face. I STILL HAVE A FACE!'

I wake up and wildly touch my face, and surprisingly every piece of face anatomy is there. Yes, I have pores, yes, I have spots, but I had them the day before, and the day before that, and the day before I even started wearing makeup.

At this point, makeup artists and skin care enthusiasts are probably going to have me killed in my sleep, but at least when they find my corpse, I’ll have curled, black eyelashes and defined eyebrows.

P.S. if you’re really concerned about constant nightly removal, use a micellar water: stupidly quick, super efficient and they use them in Paris. Fancy.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

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Illustration: Marina Esmeraldo

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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