Dolly Parton: ‘I leave my makeup on at night and clean my face in the morning’

Dolly Parton is actually touring now, at 73, which is my mom’s age. My mom is a fit 73 but she’s retired. So many entertainers work late into their 70s, 80s and even 90s, which is impressive and surely contributes to longevity. I’m thinking of Betty White (and imagining a protective shield around her, she’s 97!), Bob Hope and George Burns. Dolly has a cute short interview with the New York Times in which she talks about her tour bus, her theme park, Dollywood, which has a new addition called Wildwood Grove, and her routines. I know about this interview thanks to Mieka at Dlisted, who points out that Dolly doesn’t take off her makeup at night! That sounds like a recipe for bad skin to me, but Dolly has nice skin so whatever she’s doing works for her. Here’s some of what she said:

Do you have any good travel skin care tips?
I clean my face in the mornings. You never know if you’re going to wreck the bus, you never know if you’re going to be somewhere in a hotel and there’s going to be a fire. So I leave my makeup on at night and clean my face in the morning.

Do you fly a lot?
I fly when I have to. I don’t like to fly. But when I tour we make it part of the deal. I don’t like to spend tons of money, just flying here and there to say I’m flying private jets, because I’d much prefer my bus

No matter where in the world you go, you always come home and contribute here. Can you talk to me about that?
I think you should be able to be proud of where you’re from. I didn’t leave here to get away from my people. I wanted to do other things, I wanted to go see the world, but I was always proud to be a country girl.

I knew this would be a wonderful business venture, but I also knew it would really bring a lot of joy and happiness and a lot of jobs, too. That was important to me. Growing up poor, I know how important it is to make a living. And take pride in it.

[From The NY Times via Dlisted]

I really liked what she said about making an honest living, and how she wanted to create that for people in her home state with Dollywood. She also said she doesn’t go on the rides there because she gets motion sickness and doesn’t want to mess up her wigs. As for not taking off her makeup, I just listened to Zendaya’s 73 questions with Vogue and one of her main recommendations was to remove your makeup and wash your face every night no matter what. We’ve seen Zendaya without makeup though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Dolly without makeup. I’m like Dolly, I don’t feel like myself without makeup, but I always wash my face at night and just redo it in the morning. Other celebrities who don’t wash their faces at night include Lady Gaga (although I bet that’s changed since A Star is Born came out) and I’ve heard that Loni Anderson didn’t wash her face because she didn’t want her ex Burt Reynolds to see her without makeup. Honestly I’ve done that with guys I’ve only dated a few months. I wait a few months before I let them see me without makeup. It helps me not give a sh-t if I have to dump them. (Ok I’ve done this like maybe twice. I’m not that hardcore.) Also, can we get the 9 to 5 remake already? What is taking so long?



photos credit: WENN

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41 Responses to “Dolly Parton: ‘I leave my makeup on at night and clean my face in the morning’”

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  1. Bobafelty says:

    RIP her poor pillowcases

  2. Lala11_7 says:

    I put my eye makeup on night and sleep in it so that it settles…however, if I didn’t wash my face at night…my acne would move in on a permanent basis!

    As for Dolly?

    “Well…I…………………………………………………..will ALWAYS LOVE YOU……….”

    • ChillyWilly says:

      Lala do you sleep on your back? I am a side sleeper and wake up with kinked lashes if I sleep in mascara.
      I do love that Dolly is camera ready at all times. She is such a hoot.

      • Lala11_7 says:

        I don’t wear mascara…as I don’t have any lashes to speak of…but I do eyeliner and eye shadow every day….and I’m a WILD sleeper too…

    • Lizzie says:

      my best friend does this too! her eyeliner is always *CHEF’S KISS*

  3. Rina says:

    Dolly said, “You never know if you’re going to wreck the bus, you never know if you’re going to be somewhere in a hotel and there’s going to be a fire. So I leave my makeup on at night…”

    Sounds like a good reason to keep your makeup on. Lol!

    For the rest of of us, it might not be a good idea. Idk. Maybe it does work for some?

  4. snazzy says:

    ok very stupid question … if you sleep with your makeup on, doesn’t it just make a mess on the pillow? I don’t wear much make up (mostly lazy, to be honest), but I always make sure I wash my face and moisturize before bed, just to give my skin a chance to breathe heal from the day..

  5. nemo says:

    yeahhhh, leaving your make-up on at night is really bad for your skin…

  6. Chaine says:

    Sorry but if I didn’t take off my makeup at night I would wake up looking like the Joker as played by Heath Ledger.

  7. Leriel says:

    My acne-prone skin just started itching, after I read this words about sleeping in make-up.

  8. Zapp Brannigan says:

    My best memory of my mother was when I was about five years old and before she got seriously ill (she died when I was eleven) she was in our kitchen with a record on signing along to “Coat of many colours” and from that point on Dolly has always been associated with my happiest memory. She is a bright spot in an often dark world.

    • Celebitchy says:

      I’m so sorry you lost her Zapp and that’s a beautiful story.

      • Zapp Brannigan says:

        Thank you, Dolly always makes me laugh and cry because of that one memory, I am a sap!

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Zapp, that’s a wonderfully bittersweet story. Although I had my mother longer, I remember us singing into wooden spoons belting out Jolene. Music has always been my life’s soundtrack, and it’s how I remember loved ones more oft than not.

  9. Mellie says:

    I love ya Dolly, but that’s just gross. My skin would feel terrible if I did that and you might as well use disposable pillow cases.

  10. blinkers says:

    I like how practical her advice is! She doesn’t try to sell it as the secret to her great skin or a beauty tip, just some advice so you’ll Never be caught not made up… gwen stefani take note lol

    • tealily says:

      Ha, yup! Take it for what it’s worth! (I’m going to continue washing my face, however, ’cause idgaf.)

  11. My3cents says:

    Ok , just nope, but I think that she was referring to her routine while touring so I’m giving her a pass.

  12. Nancypants says:

    I can’t do that.
    I’ve never had acne or skin problems – maybe because I don’t wear make-up to bed – but I couldn’t.
    I can’t even wear socks or gloves with creams to bed without removing them in my sleep and I wish I could.

    When I was a teen, I slept on my back which would help but I would wash and dry my long hair at night and put it up in a ponytail with a roller like Pebbles Flinstone and that kept me on my back pretty well.

    A few times in my previous life 😉 I would wear minimal make-up if I knew I was going to be recalled during the night.
    You have 30 minutes to get there and it looked like crap complete with puffy eyes, so, I finally just reported with no make-up and my folks said I looked 16 (I was 38) and should never wear make-up and I said, “Thanks but teenager is not exactly the look I’m going for in my line of work.”

    She’s different. She’s an Entertainer and has a look to keep up but I remember seeing her back in her younger days (Porter Wagoner if you know who that is.) and she was having a smoke out back pre hair and make-up and you probably wouldn’t have recognized her.
    I barely did.

    Dolly is a character and a national treasure.
    If she wants to sleep in wigs and make-up then, God love her.

  13. Ref7 says:

    Are you feeling unsafe, Dolly?

  14. Milkweed says:

    I do that too out of tiredness but I don’t wear 2 pounds of it!

  15. Chrissyms says:

    Multiple posts sorry

  16. Chrissyms says:

    Multiple posts. Sorry

  17. Chrissyms says:

    I would wake up looking like a drunk raccoon if I did this but whatever works for you ms Dolly! Respect always!

  18. KidV says:

    I don’t wash my makeup off either. Twice a day washing makes my skin look worse. I have rosacea and I’ll wake up with a very red and splotchy face if I wash it before bed. I wear mineral makeup (which is good for rosacea) and I don’t wear a lot, there’s never any on my pillow when I wake up.

    I will take my mascara off if I’ve put a lot on, but if it’s just normal daytime mascara, I don’t even take that off.

    • Nicole(the Cdn one) says:

      Same here. I confess I never understood why wearing makeup all day was fine for your skin but not all night. And I’ve never worn a lot (so I never have makeup on my pillow) since I have sensitive skin and my face just cannot handle twice a day washing. I’ve never had acne though so perhaps that is the difference. Acne prone skin needs more washing and sensitive skin less.

    • Fleur says:

      I also have rosacea and find water really messes up my skin. The rosacea is only on my face but I have to be really gentle with it. I use mineral oil to take off my makeup. I also only shower every few days. Both keep my skin from getting blotchy and flaring up. I remember seeing an interview with Sita von teese where she was asked about her skincare secrets and she said, ‘i don’t like to share that because every person’s skin has different individual needs, and what works for me might not work for you.’

      • KidV says:

        It is the water, right? I can use Neutrogena cleansing cloths and my skin will be fine. I don’t like the way they feel on my face though, so I end up rinsing with water and there I go making my face splotchy.

        I have filters for the water coming into my house so I know I’m not getting gross water, but whatever is in it my skin doesn’t like.

      • Fleur says:

        @kidv, yes!!! It’s totally the water! I feel weird saying it because I love water, I love a good shower or bath…but totally, I’ve just come to accept that my skin will be a red blotchy mess in the hours after I shower at night, no matter how cool I keep the water temp. The blotchy redness is always gone again by morning. I use mineral ( baby) oil to take off my makeup and that seems to work fine, and I keep my face washing to a minimum. Hope the filter works out for you, I’ve never thought to try it before.

      • SNAP says:

        @ Fleur and Kidv: i think it may be the chlorine. I have psoriasis all over my body in between biological treatments. But even when i am mostly clear and go swimming at the Y, my skin ends up an itchy, red mess after dealing with chlorine. Funny thing even when i shower my skin almost screams although it’s not as chlorinated as the pool water. If i go to the beach, float in a lake or play in a creek my skin actually clears and doesn’t itch! I’ve read that the mineral contents in clean, natural bodies of water can detox the skin and be very beneficial. In my experience that info is right on point. Sea water seems to be the best for my skin. I’d love tp go to the Dead Sea for a psoriasis treatment!

      • ToiFilles says:

        This thread is fascinating. @SNAP – your salt water / skin history made me think back to touring the Vanderbilt “cottage” (Breakers), many summers back. The master bath had 2 massive marble bath tubs: one for city water, and one pumped in salt water from the Atlantic.

      • MmmmmSpaceCake says:

        I don’t have rosacea (atopic dermatitis is the cause of my vexation) so this may not be helpful but water can be irritating to those of us with compromised skin barriers. Normally, most skins have a pH of 4.5-5.5 (it’s called the acid mantle for a reason). Water is basic at a pH of 7. For a lot of people this no big deal as their skins adjust very quickly and within a few hours they right back down to being slightly acidic. However, many of us don’t adjust fast enough and our hides remain uncomfortably alkaline and we end up with flushing, micro-tears and rashes.

        One of the things that I do is when I get out of the shower or finish washing my face, I spray on a low pH toner and pat it in. Seriously, the relief is immediate and I don’t get all pink and blotchy. Low pH in your skin care, people! I am convinced it can remedy most people’s skin woes.

        As of the salt water thing, saline is excellent for healing skin and wounds. When you get stitches or oral surgery, saline rinses are often recommended.

      • Sue Denim says:

        Thanks for all of this, I have super sensitive skin too – rosacea, dermatitis and psoriasis. I never thought about water being an issue…will work on it now. To add, I also realized (a v good derm suggested and was right) a few years ago that I was super allergic to toothpaste, even Tom’s, they all have lots of chemicals. So now I make my own with baking soda and coconut oil — and blotches around my mouth, burning in my eyes, chronic sore throat and even a stomach ache went away…

  19. Usedtobe says:

    Well hell! Now I don’t feel nearly as bad the couple times a month I’m too lazy to take off my make up before bed. My esthetician is constantly reminding me that make up off before bed is the best thing you can do for your skin – especially if you wear a full face of make up daily as I (and Dolly does) do.
    I would also suggest that the reason it works for Dolly is because well she has boat loads of money to pay for the very best possible skin care and treatments.
    Also, I guess this means we will never, ever in our entire lives see Dolly make up free…

  20. Christin says:

    One of my co-workers knew someone who worked on a photography session with Dolly 25 or more years ago. Supposedly Dolly’s skin looked flawless. That is the one observation the person made, because not every celebrity they had met had good skin.

    Dolly has said that she and her husband like to travel in their RV. It has always amazed me that no photos have gone public of her minus wigs and makeup during her adult life. Her hair is supposedly a mousy brown color, possibly cut in a short style (per an unsubstantiated claim). I’ve never understood how she can travel and not be hounded, because her measurements would be difficult to hide, even if she looks completely different sans wig and makeup.

  21. Rachel says:

    I put a full face of makeup on EVERY WORK DAY! I love putting in on and think wowza you look FAB! When I get home from work and put on my at home clothes. My beautiful make up suddenly feels like dried cement on my face. I cannot wait to get it off with a good cleanse. My gosh I love Dolly but this is just ewwwww..

  22. Seraphina says:

    After all the Rose and Bill drama and The Trumpalooza in England, this was a great read. Thank you for the light hearted Reading.

    I can’t imagine sleeping in makeup. I forgot to a few months back and my face felt gross in the morning. Yuck.