“I woke up like this—flawless.” Well, maybe Beyonce does sometimes. But, after a long night of bar crawling or party hopping, there’s absolutely no way any girl—not even a rock star, supermodel or actress—is going to rise as glamorous as she appeared the night before. And it’s not just your beer goggles wearing off. To clear up the mystery of why women can look nothing like you remember them, I’m pulling back the curtain. Here are the shocking answers to the eight questions most likely to pop into your head when sunlight streams through the window and the princess who entranced you last night rolls over in bed. Read on if you dare…
1. Why does she look like something from a horror film? Contrary to what their makers would have women believe, makeup and hair products don’t last all night. There’s an expiration date and it’s sometime around midnight. Dark smoky eye makeup with tons of black eye liner circled around our eyes smears and fades, making us look like some tragic Goth girl in high school. Mascara falls under the eyes making us look like we haven’t slept in weeks. Contacts become dry and create bloodshot eyes, giving us the ever-alluring look of being strung out. Nope, we’re not high. We’re just tired.
2. Why is her face two different colors? Foundation is that skin-colored stuff we smear all over our faces to look like we have “perfect, even, blemish-free” skin. It comes off, making things blotchy, and reveals our real skin color, which may be much lighter then the color of our foundation. If it wasn’t smeared off by an epic makeout sesh with you, then our foundation gets eaten—yes, eaten—by our own skin. That red nose and chin we have is due to midnight munchies from our body’s biggest organ. Sexy, right?
3. Boy, she looks pale, doesn’t she? See, there’s this little thing called blush that adds a lot to making us appear healthy after we’ve covered our faces with foundation. Foundation takes away the natural human skin tones that liven up a face. So, in order to make us look alive again (not unlike morticians working on a cadaver) we apply blush to give us the cheekbones we once had and a “rosy glow” you can’t resist.
4. Why are there sparkles all over my sheets? Sorry about that. That’s probably from the bronzer that we covered our whole bodies in to appear tanner than we actually are. Body bronzer is like an insta-tan. We all love it, especially during the summer. I mean everyone looks better with a tan! If your sheets are stained it may because of this or because we had self tanner on that night too. Sorry about that, too. We just want to be pretty for you—and impress the other girls out at the club.
5. Where are her lips? Are you looking at us while we’re asleep thinking, “She had much bigger lips last night…” That’s called lip liner. You probably kissed it all off of us. We like to take lip liner and draw outside of our natural lip line to make them appear fuller. It’s like the poor girl’s version of collagen.
6. Is that a rat by her head? Nope, those are our hair extensions that got all matted up while we were… ahem… last night. Maybe one of them came unclipped from our real hair and is lying helplessly in a little scraggly ball somewhere nearby. We like to have big hair. The higher the hair, the closer to… awesome.
7. What’s that jelly-like thing on the floor, and where’d that spider come from? Those are our sticky boobs, jelly-filled mini-bras we can stick to our actual boobs when we want to appear bigger or we’re wearing a garment we can’t wear a bra with. We literally peel them off while you’re not looking and (ideally) keep them out of your sight. Oh, and that’s not a spider. That’s one of our false eyelashes. Yeah, our eyes seemed much bigger last night along with our hair and boobs. I know. Everything looks different at night. We just wanted to bat our long, luscious lashes at you. Now, give me back my spider!
8. Did she wear beige bike shorts last night under her dress? Well, kind of. They’re called Spanx. Liz Lemon from 30 Rock famously wore a set of three under her jeans. They’re a really tight pair of high-waisted shorts that suck in all our fat so we appear ripple-free when wearing a tight dress. Remember putting your arm around our waist thinking, “Wow, she’s so toned, she must work out”? Thank the Spanx!
So now, like it or not, you know exactly what’s what. All I ask is that when you wake up next to a girl you barely recognize, remember this: She’s still the same girl. She may just have a little less of herself put together. Deep down, we all just want to be pretty when we go out, for other women and, yes, for you. I suggest letting some of the makeup tragedies slide and getting to know us by how we act rather than how we look. That’s what really counts.