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Wakeup Makeup

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"My hair and makeup are impervious to anything short of thermonuclear armageddon."

When a TV character wakes up in the morning, he or she is almost always impeccably groomed. You never see bed-head, stubbly beards, or crusty eyes unless it's a story point, and even then it's usually just to emphasize either a late night drinking with friends, or a new baby that's making a lot of demands. But very often, women arise from nine hours' sleep with perfect makeup, without even a small smudge. In short, Not a Morning Person definitely does not apply.

Often, this trope extends to characters emerging from a shower, swimming pool or the sea... or even to women who have no access to cosmetics whatsoever.

This has become a Discredited Trope, but it's still played straight in far too many shows. In animation this is usually due to a Lazy Artist's Limited Wardrobe extending to hair and makeup. Compare Morning Routine, where adding makeup/beautifying oneself will be shown. Subtrope of Beauty Is Never Tarnished.

Characters who wake up after a night of heavy drinking with perfect makeup may also wake up with perfect, salon-coiffed hair.


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  • A UK advertisement for Nescafe involves several young adults waking up in a trashed flat after a night of wild partying, acting confused and awkward, including an implied drunken sexual encounter between two of the characters. Yet despite all this, they all look as fresh-faced and tidy as if they had just arrived, rather than waking up the morning after. Not a hair out of place or a smudge of makeup in sight.
  • Parodied in an advertisement for Superdrug, in which the typically messy-looking couple each get out of bed and brush their teeth, do their hair and makeup etc. then returning back to bed when the other is not looking.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Kanon does this inconsistently; on occasion, when getting up in the middle of the night to prank Yuuichi, Makoto will have her hair ribbons on. Akiko always seems to have her hair braided, sometimes ridiculously so, as well, regardless of the late hour.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman (1987): While averted by George Pérez a couple of the later artists on the book would have Diana appear to be wearing eyeliner and lipstick to bed.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Averted in Stallion of the Line after Ranma and Robin spend the night together. The next morning they go to kiss but are promptly repulsed by each other's morning breath, especially since they'd been drinking heavily the night before.

    Films — Animated 
  • Frozen:
    • Hilariously inverted in Frozen, where we are treated to the sight of Anna waking up on Elsa's coronation day with a ridiculous bedhead that looks like it's gone through a tornado, is drooling out one side of her mouth, and is nibbling on a lock of hair with the other.
    • ...and then it happens again in "Frozen Fever" when Elsa is rousting Anna for her birthday.
  • In Frozen II, Elsa goes to bed with eye shadow on.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Addams Family contains a shot of Morticia lying in bed with her eyes closed and her trademark make up, including red lipstick, false lashes, and sparkly eye shadow. It is suggested that she is just waking up.
  • Danger: Diabolik has Eva, the title character's supermodel-hot girlfriend/accomplice. Even though it seems like she spends hours on end rolling around in bed with her Uberthief lover (amid huge piles of money!), her elaborate glamor makeup is never less than flawless.
  • Invoked in the Disney movie Enchanted, where Giselle wakes up from a night spent on a couch with perfect hair and makeup, looking even better than when she went to bed. "She's a real princess!"
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's: Holly Golightly apparently has the power to spend the entire night partying and wake up the next morning with a fresh, flawless makeup job (mascara and all), with nary a smudge to be seen.
  • Parodied in OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, where the hero gives his bed-head a Hair Reboot simply by passing a hand through it, making it perfectly combed and styled.
  • There's an interesting moment in Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies when Morgana makes a snide comment to a male character during a morning scene, "Never seen a girl without her makeup before?" even though she is clearly wearing makeup.
  • In My Cousin Vinny, Lisa spends the night in the car and wakes up with perfect eye makeup and lip gloss. Her hair is messy, but that's how she wears it normally. She does wipe eye boogers out of the corners, though.
  • Bond girls are famous for this. Not only do they wake up the morning after an active night in bed with James with flawless make-up but their hair is unmussed and they are wearing all their jewelry (for some reason).
  • Lampshaded in the opening scene of Bridesmaids when Annie sneaks into the bathroom to put on some makeup before her bedmate wakes up.
  • What's Your Number? opens with a woman putting on makeup before the man wakes up.
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene: The title character's eye makeup is utterly unsmudged the morning after her sister and brother-in-law put her to bed following her Freak Out.
  • Humorously averted with Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), who wakes up in one scene with his fur flattened on one side of his face.
  • In an example notable for being both male and extreme, Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight wakes up with half his face burned off, but the other side flawless. This even includes his hair, despite his forelock being side-swept from the side that's burnt bald.
  • The Narrator of George of the Jungle describes Ursula as "perfectly permed" as she wakes up one morning.
  • Invoked in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — in Bethany's Establishing Character Moment, she wakes up, does her makeup and hair, then she takes a "Just Woke Up" selfie, presenting her as the typical looks-and-phone-obsessed popular girl.
  • Discussed and then parodied in Isn't It Romantic. While cynical Natalie lists all the things she finds ridiculous in rom-coms to her co-worker who adores these types of movies, one of them is that the female lead always wakes up "with perfect hair and makeup" — so of course, after she's knocked out and wakes up in a romantic comedy, her hair is perfectly styled along with her makeup being impeccable, fake lashes included. In a HOSPITAL, no less.
  • My Stepmother Is an Alien: Kim Basinger looks good after a wild night of hot love making. Mrs Budlong looks like a cosmetics model even when she's woken up in the wee hours of the morning.
  • Played with in The Proposal, when Margaret wakes before Andrew and applies makeup to her lips as well as fixing her hair and even gently slapping her cheeks to liven up her face. When Andrew wakes up and joins her in the bed to keep up appearances, he asks if she's wearing makeup, believing she had just woken up as well. She replies, "Of course not."

  • Lampshaded and justified in The Heroes of Olympus when Piper gets a magical blessing that makes her appear perfectly groomed 24/7 for a few days. No matter if she just got out of bed, just finished a fight, or just deliberately mussed up her hair: It goes back to perfection within seconds.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Max from 2 Broke Girls always wears heavy amounts of lipstick and mascara, even while sleeping.
  • In Ben Higgins's season of The Bachelor he wakes everyone up to find Amanda and take her on a date and the other girls comment on how nice and alert she looks. She appears to have makeup on and have not fallen asleep.
  • Samantha on Bewitched often emerged from bed with perfect hair and make-up, including false eyelashes. It could be magic.
  • In Brothers & Sisters, Kitty is once shown having just woken up. Her hair and make-up is not only perfect- she's wearing earrings.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer almost always has its female characters in makeup, no matter what their previous activities. Averted when Faith comes out of her coma; she wakes up with no lipstick.
  • In The Carol Burnett Show spoof of the Esther Williams movie Dangerous When Wet, Carol/Esther dives out of the pool and wraps her wet hair in a towel. Moments later she removes the towel to reveal completely dry, fully styled hair.
  • The Charlie's Angels episode "Nicks and Tucks" has an extreme example. A plastic surgery patient spends most of the episode with her entire head wrapped in bandages. When the bandages come off, her hair has been brushed and blow dried, and she's wearing makeup.
  • In CSI: Miami, Calleigh ends up having her car go into a swamp. When she emerges, her make-up is perfect.
  • Averted in Dexter, in the opening credits which show the titular character engaging in a morning routine that includes shaving off the stubble and flossing his teeth. It makes his Perma-Stubble that much more noticeable in the show proper.
  • Played with on A Different World where Whitley wakes up quietly, fixes her hair and make up, and brushes her teeth and then lays back down in bed beside Dwayne before he gets up. He later on comments about how she can look so beautiful first thing in the morning.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Fourth Doctor regenerates with tidy, wavy auburn hair. A look which lasts all of five seconds before he messes it up. Clearly to set up a solid rejection of the Third Doctor's prissy attitude.
    • Vira in "The Ark in Space" is revived after being a frozen corpse for millennia with some very 1975 light blue eyeshadow and absolutely solid helmet hair. Noah revives with his hair slicked back (the actor's natural hairstyle at the time, visible in rehearsal footage, had been Quirky Curls '70s Hair similar to Tom Baker's look).
    • "Rose" averts it: she wakes up the morning after meeting the Doctor bleary eyed and with terrible bed hair.
    • The Tenth Doctor regenerates with gelled hair — and, as he happily points out, sideburns (but no beard other than that).
    • "The Doctor's Daughter": The vat-grown soldier Jenny emerges from the creation machine with styled hair and noticeable eye makeup. Rule of Sexy and all that, with bonus points for being played by David Tennant's (then-future) wife. You can be sure that she was going to look her best on camera.
    • In "Let's Kill Hitler", River regenerates with makeup on, in a different style to how she'd been wearing it in her last body. Rule of Sexy again — the makeup is fairly similar to how she'd been wearing it in her last body and what looks good on a young black woman might not suit a middle-aged white woman.
    • "Twice Upon a Time": Downplayed but still present for the Twelfth Doctor's regeneration into the Thirteenth. The very first shot we see of her is a close-up of her eyes, and she's visibly wearing eyeliner and mascara despite having been Peter Capaldi just half a minute prior. "Revolution of the Daleks" finally settled the debate about Thirteen's natural hair color, meaning she regenerates into a blonde dye job as well.
  • Gilmore Girls:
    • Lorelai Gilmore is often seen waking up in bed with hair and makeup in perfect place. In one episode, Luke is grumbling about her being at the diner so early in the morning, and Lorelai responds that she doesn't understand how he can be so mean "when I only managed to line one of my eyes." She says this with both of her eyes lined.
    • Lampshaded/Subverted in an episode where a Girl Posse takes Rory and Paris from their houses in the middle of the night, with Paris remarking that Rory looked too good for someone that had just woken up. The subversion being that Rory knew they were coming so she prepped beforehand.
    • Also lampshaded in an episode soon after Suki and Jackson got married, when Suki says they both still try to get up and brush their teeth and fix their hair before the other gets up so they can pretend they just woke up that way.
  • In Hannah Montana, Miley and Lilly always seem to get out of bed with eye makeup, mascara, foundation and lip gloss perfectly in place. They also wear jewelry while sleeping. Averted with Robbie — although never shown, he has a strict routine of grooming to always keep his hair looking nice.
  • Highlander: The Series: In the episode "Pharaoh's Daughter", when Duncan wakes up Nefertiti from her 2000-year slumber as a mummy, she still has perfect hair and makeup.
  • Subverted for a small gag in The King of Queens. The B-plot of one episode revolves around Arthur trying to find someone he can pose with, for his photo Christmas greeting card. In the end he tricks Doug and Carrie into waking up and rising from their bed, just at the moment the camera shoots. The resulting photo shows a smiling Arthur, and Doug and Carrie with messy hair and groggy facial expressions.
  • LazyTown:
    • When Stephanie is seen in the morning in a few episodes, she's not only got perfect hair, she slept in her headband (presumably because the headband is actually part of the wig), and she's wearing pink dance tights under her nightdress.
    • An interesting, gender-swapped version is that villain Robbie Rotten wears obvious eye make-up, yet it is consistently perfect when he is seen waking.
    • Hero Sportacus's clearly waxed pencil mustache is also always perfect upon waking.
  • Many characters on Lost have impeccably styled hair, despite being stranded on a (presumably humid) tropical island without any obvious access to hair care products.
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Invoked. Midge waits until her husband falls asleep then puts curlers in her hair, some exfoliating cream on her face and goes back to bed. Then, she wakes up before Joel, takes out the curlers, puts on her makeup, and pretends to sleep through the alarm so that she can look perfect the second he wakes up. She spends a somewhat disturbing amount of time on her appearance in general; she also takes her measurements every single day to make sure she's not getting flabby anywhere. It's shown later in season 1 that she picked this up from her mother. Even after breaking up with Joel, she continues to do this, as we see her applying exfoliating cream at least once while she and Susie are staying in motel rooms during their road trip tour in season 2 episode 8. In the season 2 finale, she arises from bed to discover that Benjamin is home and he admiringly asks if she always looks that good after waking up.
  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Devil Doll features a Damsel in Distress character who goes to bed with full mod '60's style makeup, complete with false eyelashes so long they could be used as diving boards. Later on in the story, she is stricken with a fever and the only alteration to her looks is a light mist that's been sprayed onto her forehead.
  • Lampshaded in The Nanny - Fran sleeps in make up an with hair done just in case there's ever a fire at the mansion so the firefighters won't forget her over the pretty, young, blonde heiress. Then made fun of when her mother simply wants to know if Fran didn't forget her gold earrings. However it still remains a mystery how Fran's make up has not the slightest smudge. Or how it doesn't even run in the bathtub or after a shower or any of the many big and minor catastrophes she encounters during the show.
  • When waking up in Storybrooke for the first time, Regina from Once Upon a Time has perfect makeup, perfect mascara, perfect eyeliner, perfect lipstick, and her hair perfectly coiffed. Granted, there is magic and a curse involved, but still...
  • Our Miss Brooks: Memorably averted in the episode "The Model School Teacher". The catty female reporter is pleased to see Miss Brooks unmade up, so she could portray her as poorly as possible.
  • Agent Cooper's hair on Twin Peaks was a particularly humorous aversion given his standard hair helmet. He wakes up with some truly amazing bedhead.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Elena looks impeccable every time she's shown getting out of bed, and Vicky looked pretty damn good for a hospital patient. In 1X22 and 2X1 Caroline was a good looking waking up as a vampire.
  • Lampshaded on Will & Grace: Karen emerges from the bathroom with her hair in a towel, but when she removes the towel, her hair is dry, blown-out, and shiny. When Grace asks how she did that, she simply shrugs, "Money."
  • Averted in a Season 1 episode of The Wire. McNulty goes to Rhonda's house and wakes her up early in the morning. She comes to the door in a bathrobe, with no makeup and her hair mussed.
  • Wonder Woman: Diana, either as Wonder Woman or Diana Prince, is always perfectly coiffed with immaculate makeup. For example, in "Death in Disguise", she is in bed and wakes up just before assassins break in and shoot her. Of course she is in full makeup and looks great.
  • Subverted in The 4400: Diana is sometimes shown to be "au-naturale" when woken up or taking a day off.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Vampire: The Requiem: Justified with the "Doll Face" Merit that vampire characters can gain. A vampire's body "resets" whenever it awakens; the Merit extends that power to affect their hair, makeup, and grooming as well. Whether this looks glamorous or uncanny depends on the vampire.

    Video Games 
  • Yuna in Final Fantasy X awakens once with bed head (though it's quite hard to tell the difference from the CG model) and the entire cast laughs at her.
  • In The Sims, you can invoke this if you want. Your Sims can have makeup on 24/7. It's also the default for hairstyles, which never need combing and are almost always perfect.

    Visual Novels 
  • The title character of Melody has perfect eyeshadow on once while at the protagonist's apartment after taking a shower.


    Web Originals 
  • Completely averted in the videos of Tess Masazza’s Italian Webseries Insopportabilmente donna, that show how bad a makeup becomes after a good night sleep and, more generally, that any makeup can be ruined by accidents such as rain, crying too much watching a Chick Flick, etc. In another video, parodying (among others) romantic movies, this trope is then mercilessly poked fun at: Tess wakes up way before her man so that she can go through her Morning Routine and be in perfect conditions when he wakes up and look at her.

    Western Animation 
  • Averted in Adventure Time, as Princess Bubblegum always gets bed-head when she wakes up or gets stressed over an experiment. Notable because her hair (and the rest of her) is made out of gum and probably shouldn't ruffle that much.
  • Played With on Daria: when trying to film a video about Quinn, Daria specifically tries to get her in the morning, noting that it's "not her best time." However Quinn, looking disheveled, comes out into the hallway, sees Daria coming and quickly retreats into her room; by the time Daria throws open the door and frames the shot, Quinn is perfectly groomed and artfully poised in bed like Sleeping Beauty, and makes a show of elegantly rising to greet the day.
    • "Of Human Bonding" has the Fashion Club sleeping over, and all of them look awful the next morning. They quickly retreat upstairs when they see that the Three J's have come to the door to ask about Quinn.
  • On The Jetsons, Jane doesn't answer the video phone in the morning without her Latex Perfection "morning mask" that hides her sleepy features and hair curlers. She answers a call from her neighbor, who has the bad luck of having her own mask slip off a minute into the conversation. Jane remarks how embarrassing that must be for her.
  • Spoofed on an episode of The Simpsons. When Ned's Vegas wife wakes up in the morning, she leaves a perfect picture of her face in the pillow.
  • Averted on several occasions in Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In one episode, we see the main characters all getting ready in the morning: Aang shaves his head, Sokka shaves his stubble, Katara pins up her hair, and Toph...does nothing at all (okay - she earthbends off some dirt and spits into the trash can).
    • On at least two occasions, Azula, the normally flawlessly made-up dragon queen, is shown without any makeup at all: once as she's trying to sleep, and again when she's having her hair done.
  • Played straight in The Legend of Korra - in "The Terror Within", Asami shows up to the fight with the Red Lotus looking as made-up as ever despite it being the middle of the night. Considering that Asami goes swimming more than once without so much as smearing her trademark lilac eyeshadow note —other characters who wear makeup are seen either entirely without it (P'Li) or with it visibly running (Eska) at some point—a certain percentage of the fandom is convinced that it's tattooed on.
  • Invoked in Moral Orel: Bloberta wakes up before her husband every morning to do her hair and makeup, then "goes back to bed" and waits for him to wake up. When he gets up, he looks groggy and disheveled while she looks perfect. She seems to do this just to spite him.
  • At the start of The Powerpuff Girls episode, "The Mane Event," Bubbles and Buttercup avert this Trope with their Messy Hair. Blossom's long hair has locks that sparkle!
  • In Disney's Springtime for Pluto, when a male caterpillar transforms into a perfectly humanoid female butterfly, she pops out of the cocoon complete with dark purple eyeshadow and lipstick, as well as being fully clothed even though the caterpillar had gone into the transformation completely naked save for gloves and shoes. Considering how vigorously the caterpillar was spinning his cocoon, and how much effort it took the butterfly to emerge, you'd think something would be out of place.
  • This also occurs on Totally Spies!. A variation of this is that the girls always wear their makeup, even when disguised as males.
  • Characters in Jem don't ever take off their makeup. Only one character (Roxy) appears sans makeup, and only for a few seconds, in a Makeover Montage. We even see Jem taking a nap while still in her makeup, and she also still has perfect hair. Admittedly, in her case it's a hologram, but Jerrica is still wearing makeup underneath that.
    • The Holograms and The Misfits have been stranded so long on an island that they have make grass skirts and the like, but their hair and makeup? Still in mint condition.

  • Rebecca Black at the beginning of the Friday video.
  • The exact words ("When I wake up/In my make up") appear in the lyrics of Hole's "Celebrity Skin". In the music video, Courtney Love does wear professional make up. It's not made clear if she slept before the song begins, but she is lying on a coffin-like bed of some sort and she opens her eyes at the beginning.
  • Some women choose to have makeup patterns permanently tattooed onto their faces, allowing them to play this trope straight in one regard (obviously bed-head and crusty eyes still apply).