Can Overnight Makeup Really Leave You Looking Beautiful?


Women are addicted to makeup. A survey by Superdrug found that one in three females refuses to be seen in public without it, nearly half prefer makeup to a bare face, and one in 10 women would never let her significant other see her without a full face of makeup.

Remember in "Bridesmaids" when Kristen Wiig woke up next to a sleeping John Hamm, tiptoed into the bathroom to redo her makeup, and pretended she woke up looking flawless? I'll admit I've done this before, and I'm not alone. When you have a new man in your life, there's an illusion of perfection you want to live up to, and who wants those first sleepovers to shatter that image? Some might say to get over it, that he'll see you without makeup eventually. But for those seeking an alternative solution to the jump-out-of-bed-to-put-on-your-face approach, many makeup brands have created 24-hour formulas and even products designed to make you more attractive as you sleep. Since there are tons of overnight makeup items on the market, I tested a good sampling of them and now bestow upon you a list of the very best stay-put beautifying products to try.

This Bare Escentuals powder makes skin flawless overnight Face Powder: bare Minerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment ($60,

The most creative product of the lot, this treatment was created exclusively for overnight use. The claim: Concentrated powders replenish skin while you're catching z's, so you'll wake up with a luminous glow. I chose the Light formula and followed the instructions, swirling the treatment into my skin using circular motions. The container didn't specify where to apply it, so I used it all over my cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose. It looked chalky going on, but it evened out my complexion and rubbed into a lovely matte finish. After just one night, I woke up with smooth, luminous skin. After a few days, it reduced the appearance of my pores, too. It may be meant for night use, but now I'm tempted to use it 24/7.

Eye Shadow: Revlon ColorStay 16 Hour Eyeshadow Quad ($5.99,
Originally I assumed a strong cream shadow might have more longevity, but the ones I tested tended to either rub right off or dry and crack overnight, leaving my eye area itchy and red the next morning. This palette of silky, blendable shadows, on the other hand, worked surprisingly well. I created a full smoky eye in the early evening using the bronzy quad dubbed Adventurous, and went out for a dinner and movie date. While brushing my teeth before bed, I marveled at how the carefully layered shadows were still set in place. When I woke up, they still hadn't budged, so I went straight to work. I don't typically wear much eye shadow to the office, so I received compliments on my made-up face. Little did they know it was a slept-in, second-day look.

Eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($23,
Thanks to a steady hand and an obsession with eyeliner since my teens, I can apply most formulas like a pro, but that doesn't mean they will stay on. In the morning I dipped a stiff, fine, eyeliner brush into a pot of the Violet Ink shade. Such a gorgeous deep purple! Right at the lash line, I quickly swept the creamy formula from the inner to the outer corner of my top lid. It dried almost instantly and lasted all day and night, and impressively into the next morning. This product gives new meaning to the term "bedroom eyes." I probably could have left it on longer, but I wanted a change. Awesomely, a creamy face wash was all it took to remove it.

Mascara: CoverGirl LashBlast 24 Hour Mascara ($6.39,
Many people insist on fancy designer mascaras, which can be superb, but never underestimate the power of a big drugstore brand. The scientists who created this magic wand must be wizards. The bristles flex to evenly apply one coat of mascara, which is all you need. (In general, I recommend using a lash curler first, then wiggling your mascara brush a bit at the base of lashes to create fullness, and brushing outward towards the ends.) There was not a clump in sight. And in the morning, still no flakes or smudges of any kind. In fact, I tried to remove the mascara with a gentle makeup remover, to no avail. And so the mascara remained intact for another full day, until it finally washed off later that night before bed.

Lip Color: Maybelline SuperStay 24 Lipcolor ($7.99,
One look at this gloss wand had me terrified. How would this product stay on my lips (and not my pillowcase) overnight? Well, it's not really a gloss, it just applies like one. First you paint on the color side—I tried a bright pinkish red called Continuous Coral, which had a very light, fruity scent. The color end dries very quickly with a slightly sticky finish. Next you apply the clear conditioning balm on the other end, which adds moisture and shine. After a night of cocktails, the color was still in place. My lips were a little less shiny in the morning, but the color was still there, loud and proud. Waking up with bright lips seemed a little odd, but this product certainly delivers on its 24-hour claims! For sleepovers with your man, I'd suggest choosing a more natural color like Blush On, which I later tried and found also worked like a charm.

Lipstick: Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick ($7.99,
My last true test was to find a full-on lipstick that would make it through the night. Alas, I woke up many mornings with red, pink, and fuchsia smears across my cheek, my arm, and my pillow. This product touted "comfortable 16-hour color" and listed hydrating ingredients like shea butter and aloe on the package. The lightweight Silhouette shade went on smoothly, and hours later there was no feathering or bleeding. It was the weekend, so I lazily slept in and woke up with pretty, soft, kissable lips. Mission complete.