Show Us Your Morning Faces

I'm all about natural beauty -- let's take it to the extreme.
Publish date:
January 27, 2012
beauty, natural beauty, morning faces, show us your

I've always been a big fan of the way people look. Which also means the way they look without artifice. Commonly known as "the natural look" (why didn't I just come right out and say that? oh, because people have co-opted the expression "the natural look" to mean something that you used a lot of time and products to achieve, when I mean Really Actually Natural). The Jane Magazine (and now Makeunders are examples of this less-is-more thing that I like so much.

It's totally a personal choice and all that, of course. My last two years of high school and first year of college, I wore SO much makeup that my snot was the color of my inner-eye-liner.

My current personal choice: The way I leave the house in the morning is the same as when I wake up, except that I brush my teeth. I don't have on makeup unless I'm still wearing some from the day before because I went on TV or something. I don't even usually brush my hair. I'm too busy brushing my daughter's, while packing her lunch, while tweeting (oh, this SPANKING-NEW tweeting thing -- thanks for another distraction), while showing you stuff on my phone, while signing permission slips, etc. I only have one little tiny mirror in my bathroom and Charlotte is usually in charge of telling me if I have toothpaste on my chin.

My staff is a different story. Between Ms. Emily "Pinup" McCombs and Cat "Eyeliner" Marnell, we could start our own Sephora. So when I was in our staff meeting yesterday brainstorming ways to drive traffic, I thought about how well the bellies gallery did for us and we (Emily) came up with this assignment to all xoJane Staffers: Show how you look when you first wake up in the morning. And I will do it too! Oh, and to torture y'all further, don't use that setting on your iPhone where you can see yourself as you take it.

There's certainly some statement in here somewhere, but also: the results are funny. Emily and I both look furious, maybe because we get up the earliest. (Madeline just said I look like I'm "floating in a bathtub of rage.")

Here's mine. Taken at 6:30 am this morning. Manhattan. Last night I worked until about midnight, didn't sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time and woke up at 6:30 to shower (a rarity! woo-hoo!) before getting Charlotte up. Sorry for the partial nudity here -- or partial breast. I don't even usually sleep naked! Maybe I took off my top in the night. I do a lot of things in my sleep without realizing it, so it's possible. HOWEVER, it is fortuitous that I took this because it looks like I might have an infection in my left eye and without this, I wouldn't have realized it, not being a mirror-gazer.

Bottom line, we want you to join us! So the challenge is this:

1. Put your camera by your bed before you go to sleep tonight.

2. When you wake up, take a picture of yourself right there on your pillow, before you've done anything to your hair or face, puffy eyes and all. It works best if you take it blind, without using that mirror view you can get on the iPhone.

3. Send it to and we'll publish the results in a brave and fun gallery next week. You don't have to include your name, but for bonus points, answer one or more of the following questions:

  • What time you woke up
  • Where you were (translated loosely from whose bed to what city)
  • What you were doing the night before.
  • How long it takes you to get ready in the morning.

Here are the editors:

Hannah, 9:50am, Toronto [Added after publishing because she was a bit late.]

I went to a concert at a bar, hence the wristband. I got to bed around 2:30 but I had a quick shower before and went to sleep with wet hair, which is why it's such an utter mess. It was still wet when I woke up! With school, I usually only have time to do my make-up when I'm on the bus so I try to do that sneakily and quickly, in about 5 minutes, filling in my brows, curling my lashes, applying blush and a bit of concealer. If I'm going out it takes about half an hour, depending on what I'm doing with my hair. I can do a full face of make-up pretty quickly.

Madeline, 8:55 am, Brooklyn

Last night I drank champagne at the NYC Ballet and at Westway. I went to bed without washing off my makeup. If I want to look really nice it takes me one hour to get ready, if I want to look presentable it takes me like 30 minutes and half the products.

Lesley, 7:40 am, Boston

I worked until just before midnight, and then I watched some Star Trek before falling asleep. It takes me about 45 minutes moving at a comfortable pace, I'd guess.

Julie, 8:30am, Brooklyn

I watched Love & Hip Hop with Clayton (Bryan's future blind date), drank Andres and cooked vegetables. We're on a spending diet. I don't put makeup on my acne if I don't have to, so I shower, apply topical meds, eye cream and sunscreen then throw on my rag and bone skinnies + Isabel Marant blazer uniform and I'm done. Makeup and hair are done at my desk and only if I have an event or am interviewing a celeb.

Jenny, 8:30 am, Los Angeles

I was in bed by 10pm, reading Wuthering Heights for the first time, unable to stop myself from thinking, "every single character in this book is an insufferable asshole!" I'm a nighttime shower-er so usually in the morning between clothes, hair and makeup I can get out the door in about 1/2 an hour. This morning it will take longer though, since I skipped a shower last night (and lazily used Pond's face wipes to take my makeup off instead of actually washing my face) and I'm going on 3 days of hair grease. It's getting pretty oiltastic up in here.

Helena, 8:32 am, Washington D.C.

This is my face with last night's mascara still on because I was too tipsy to be a responsible 31-year-old. I was at this Reggae club getting my "dutty wine" on which is so not like me--on a Thursday. On a normal non-dutty wine day it takes me about 15 minutes to get ready for the outside world. That's wash, toner, lotion, eye gel, spf, concealer, illuminator thingie, NARS blush, and Armani mascara.

Bryan, 9:55 am (oops! sorry Jane! totally not the norm), Manhattan

Sorry, guys, I didn't realize it was sooo dark. Last night I was watching DVR'd shows (Grey's Anatomy and American Idol) and fielding emails until 11:30pm. (I also did a little cyber boyfriend hunting.) It takes me exactly 23 minutes, from start to finish, to get myself together in the morning.

Olivia, 8:07 am, Brooklyn

The night before I watched "Breaking Bad" in bed, which is beginning to make my bedtime later and later. It really only takes about 30 mins to get ready, mainly because I lie in bed for 15 minutes deciding what to wear for the day. Zero makeup most days. Sometimes I wear a little eyeliner, but only on special occasions.

Julieanne, 6:00 am, north of NYC

I was supposed to go to a party for Fleshbot, but alas, I recap "Jersey Shore" on Thursday nights for New York Magazine, so I was duty and honor bound to take the train home to watch reality television. I did that until like 11 and then did my obligatory one hour a day of work on a screenplay while nursing a lone, sad Yuengling. My friend had recommended a Charles Grodin movie I'd never seen, so I watched in bed. (It was very good.) I fell asleep around three. I work from home, but I write for the Today Show in the morning so I'm up at the crack of dawn. You can see that I've just put on contacts (I can't see the TV as well in my glasses) as my eyes are freshly squinty and bloodshot. I make coffee the night before, but while it's brewing I usually have this gross energy drink called Green Thunder. I sleep in an undershirt and panties because it makes me feel like Ripley. I did put on a shelf bra under my pajamas for you guys, because it was cold in my apartment and we're not animals.

Daisy, 8:33 am, Tahoe

Last night I was: Drinking. Writing. Hot-tubbing. I take really long showers (they are my happy place), so the whole process from start-to-finish takes about 45 minutes.

Emily, 6:05 am, Brooklyn

Jane told me my picture is the "big reveal," which I think means I look super-horrible, but whatever. I think other people cheated by a) waiting until they woke up a little to take the picture b) smiling c) using the iPhone view where they could see themselves/modulate their expressions. I watched TV at home last night with my man and my cat. It takes me about an hour to get ready in the morning.

OK, now you go!

I am dying to see your unaltered selves when you wake up in the morning. Cat, who's not awake yet, will be joining you there.

You can follow me on Twitter @JanePratt if you want to.