As any good party girl who’s ever passed out in her eyeliner already knows, sleeping with your makeup on doesn’t necessarily have to be the worst thing. Take, for example, the style icons of the swinging ’60s — Brigitte Bardot, Anna Karina, Edie Sedgwick, et al. — who knew then what it seems we’re just finding out now: smudgy is sexy.
Sandra Ballentine, for the NY Times’ T Magazine, hits the nail on the head when she says that the appeal isn’t “only because of the way it looks, but also for the narrative it implies,” much like tangled, tousled, devil-may-care bedhead lends itself to imagined vignettes of scandal and seduction. For what it’s worth, this non-rule applies mainly to eye and lip makeup — heed the warning not to sleep in your foundation, lest you run the risk of thoroughly clogged pores and the blemishes that result (Dr. Amy Wechsler, the consulting dermatologist for Chanel, advises that the only face makeup that should be worn through the night are mineral-based powder products).
The appeal of a slept-in eye certainly isn’t lost on the makeup elite: Tom Pecheux, creative director of beauty for Estée Lauder, gave the models on Balmain’s spring runway the leftover makeup treatment, which he called “his favorite look … It’s the sexiest thing on earth. Especially a black, naughty, smudgy eye. When a woman looks like that, men want to take them for a cocktail and then to bed.” Consider this your license to paint on that liner with abandon at night and clean it up in the morning for a look that simply purrs, not screams, sex appeal. [T Magazine]