Dolly Parton Has Been Wearing Her Makeup to Bed Since the ’80s — Here’s Why

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We all understand the risks associated with not removing our makeup before bedtime, which can result in waking up to a pillow covered in foundation and mascara stains, as well as experiencing breakouts that leave our skin irritated and red for weeks.

However, even though it might be considered a sin in the makeup world to skip the strip-off in the evening and the essential skincare steps before bed, country music icon Dolly Parton doesn’t seem to abide by this strict rule in Dollywood. 

Instead, Parton has admitted that she has been sleeping in her makeup since the 1980s. I know — we gasped too. However, she does have some solid and clever reasons for doing so. 

In her newly published memoir, Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones, which came out on October 17, Parton shared personal life stories along with unexpected revelations that included her makeup habits. The one revelation she revealed was especially surprising since she’s famous for maintaining a youthful appearance that defies her actual age of 77.

Intrigued to know what it is? Parton began wearing her makeup to sleep when she left her hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, to start her career in California. 

Surprisingly, Parton started to wear her makeup to bed to be equipped to hit the streets all glammed up in case there was an earthquake. 

“When I arrived in LA in the 80s, I started sleeping with my makeup on, partly because of the earthquakes,” she wrote in her memoir. “I thought, ‘I’m not heading out on the streets without makeup in case there are cameras out there! I’m going to be ready to go!”

Despite our belief that there were no exceptions to sleeping in makeup, Parton managed to persuade us with her compelling reasoning. Once she adopted this regimen, she remained consistent with the decision for the rest of her life. 

She admitted that when she moved back to Tennessee, a state free of earthquake concerns, she still decided to ditch the makeup remover. And she owes the continuation of this routine to her husband, Carl Dean, who she has been married to since 1966. She admitted in her memoir that she always wants to look presentable for her husband, even while she is sleeping. 

“I don’t want to go to bed looking like a hag with Carl,” she wrote (Parton, Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones, Ten Speed Press, October 17).

So how does Parton not worry about breakouts or irritated skin? Well, she just doesn’t. She claims that the assumption to clean your face at night is not true. According to Parton, it actually doesn’t matter when you clean your face. We were skeptical, but it seems to be working for her as she is always glowing even at almost 80 years old. 

“It doesn’t matter when you clean your face, as long as you clean it once a day,” she wrote. “After I wake up, I do all the little rituals, and then I start over again and go out every day and look good all day long.”

You can either rock it the Parton way or continue with your nighttime routine. If you are content with your skincare routine, stick with it. And even if you know you breakout when you sleep with your makeup, there are some helpful options. This includes wearing an overnight sleep mask or selecting a foundation suitable for sleeping with during those relentless 9-5 workdays (get it?) when you’d rather not remove your makeup. 

    1. Parton D. Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones Publication. Ten Speed Press
Ava Girardi

Ava Girardi

Ava Girardi is an Editorial News Intern for Sleepopolis. She loves writing about all things sleep from viral bedtime routines on TikTok to studies on sleep quality that will help you get the most helpful information to achieve that perfect bedtime routine. Ava is currently studying at Elon University where she is a double major in journalism and media analytics. When she is not writing, Ava is spending time with friends or family, running, or trying new yummy foods.

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