I Slept In My Makeup To Test These 24-Hour Products For You

In the name of science, I committed the cardinal sin of sleeping in my makeup!

Remember the days when brands promised eight hours of wear time? Kid stuff. These products promise to last all day and night for your pleasure; that’s 24 hours if you’re counting (which I am).

Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation was my original inspiration for this post. There was a 12,000-person waiting list for its launch in the U.K. last month! It ostensibly harnesses the same technology that NASA used to capture dust particles in outer space: lipophilic molecules that absorb four times their weight in sebum for (you guessed it) 24-hour wear. Say goodbye to midday oiliness turning your face into a Slip ’n Slide!

I applied without a primer or setting powder, since that’s how it’s meant to be used. The formula was lightweight to the point of almost being watery; I felt like I needed more coverage, but it didn’t build well. Even when I tried working it in with my fingers (the warmth can help products melt into the skin), it just seemed to sit on the surface and accentuate the drier parts of my face. It felt velvety-soft to the touch, though, and the semi-matte finish looked natural, if a bit flat. I cheated a tiny bit and added a swipe of Benefit Dallas to each cheek for color and a bit of definition.

Then came Smashbox Photo Finish 24 Hour Shadow Primer, the brand’s second shadow primer. I’m extremely loyal to the original Photo Finish Lid Primer (the pigment camouflages my veiny eyelids in addition to grabbing shadow like nothing else), but I figured I’d give this (fairly) new launch a shot--Smashbox tends to hit it out of the park. It has a silica-smooth feel to it and applies translucent.

Rounding out the list of products with very specific wear times: COVERGIRL LashBlast 24HR Mascara, the long-wearing version of the volumizing favorite (Kelly’s a fan).

While the description for SmartFX SmartBrow doesn’t specify right down to the hour, it does claim all-day wear. The ads for this double-sided wonder were all over my Internets, promising no-run, no-flake, waterproof brows. As someone who might charitably be described as “invested” in things like eyebrows, it was only a matter of time until targeted advertising wore me down. I found Smartbrow a bit difficult to work with at first. When Amy, the lovely product rep, recommended using the brush end first, that’s when it really clicked for me. The mascara-esque wand combed hairs into place with a hint of color so I was able to use less of the liquid liner-style brush on the other end to fill everything in. The pigment does go on a bit dark and thick (I used Brunette), but after some vigorous spoolie-brushing it started to look more believable.

Though my focus for the experiment was on 24-hour products, I used a few of my long-wearing favorites to finish the look. I added Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper, which is the thicker, darker sister pen to my beloved KVD Tattoo Liner (both are waterproof). I also used long-wearing Topshop Eyeduo in Long Weekend, a gorgeous matte coral paired with a coppery shimmer; I wanted something bright so I could really gauge the shadow primer’s fidelity. I smudged a little waterproof MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Matic in Satiny Warm Brown S-60 into my lower lash line and onto the upper lid to soften the cat-eye, and finished the look with Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain in Rose Amazone 45. I was not about to repeat the Lipnicure incident; soft and wearable for me, thanks, even if it doesn’t claim to last overnight.

Time: 8 p.m.

To my boyfriend’s amusement, I wore this Look with a capital L for a few hours while we watched a horror movie and ate dinner on the couch (romance!). Then I went to bed without washing my face, which felt so very wrong (and not in a fun way…).

Time: 9 a.m.

Are we still making “I woke up like this” jokes? Bounced from bed to camera, no touching up allowed. I was fairly happy with how everything held up. As you can see, my skin got a little greasy in the T-zone, my nose showed a bit more dryness, and I definitely had more redness than when I hit the pillow--but the foundation didn’t rub off completely. The brows held up a lot better than my usual pencils or powders do overnight, and the eyes are still looking pretty polished here, if a bit less vibrant.

Time: 8 p.m.

Feeling much less cute here: my skin is getting kinda red and blotchy and I am dying to wash my face. My lashes feel brittle and I have a few flakes resting under my eyes. Shadow is still sorta-there, but the liner has mostly disintegrated. The eyebrows are pretty much the same as they were in the morning, so it was definitely pillow friction that smudged them and kind of erased the tails--which is good news for brows that will actually last all day!


The pictures really speak for themselves. Nothing stayed completely intact for 24 hours, but I’d put money on all of the products making it through a grueling workday or a quick swim.

I know some of you have woken up “the morning after” with perfectly applied lips. Tell me your secrets.