Dolly Parton reveals the surprising reason she always wears makeup to bed

Dolly Parton revealed she wears a full face of makeup to sleep in case of this unlikely event

UNSPECIFIED - DECEMBER 10: In this screengrab released on December 10, Dolly Parton accepts the Hitmaker Award during the Billboard Women In Music 2020 event on December 10, 2020. (Photo by 2020 Billboard Women In Music/Getty Images for Billboard)
(Image credit: 2020 Billboard Women In Music/Getty Images for Billboard)

Dolly Parton has revealed why she wears makeup to bed—and no, it's not because she performs Jolene at 3 am. 

The country music icon, who is set to be honored in a new tribute concert coming to Netflix, sleeps in a full face of cosmetics to ensure she's red-carpet-ready in the event of an emergency. 

"I never know if there's going to be an earthquake or a tornado or a storm and I'm going to have to go out in the middle of the night," she said in a recent interview with the WSJ magazine. 

The 9-5 singer added that she doesn't wipe off her makeup at the end of a long day, preferring to keep herself powdered and glittery for the sake of her husband, Carl Dean. Dolly has been married to the asphalt-laying company owner for almost 55 years, but still likes to look glamorous for him when lounging around the house. 

"I don't like to go home and just tear down completely, because my poor husband has to look at me," she joked. 

Before you recoil at the thought of crusty foundation cementing in Dolly's pores, don't worry—the Tennessee superstar still washes her skin. 


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Dolly Parton attends the 53nd annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.

(Image credit: Taylor Hill / Contributor Getty)

She explained she chooses to do "all my beauty work and cleaning my face in the morning because I usually try to keep my makeup on at night." 

This unorthodox method (which is like to make your dermatologist's skin crawl) doesn't just guarantee Dolly is camera-ready if she needs to get up in the depths of the night. It also saves her the hassle of fiddling with wipes and cleansers before bed, a chore known only too well to regular makeup wearers. 

Dolly's trick isn't for everyone though and is especially not recommended to those with sensitive or acne-prone flesh. If you'd rather let your skin breathe while you catch your ZZZs, here's a foolproof guide on how to wash your face properly for a natural glow. 

As well as maintaining a polished face, Dolly also makes sure her at-home attire is smart. She gave a glimpse into her casual wardrobe when she received her Covid vaccine in March, wearing a genius outfit that even earned the praise of Hilary Clinton. The Grammy award winner has refused to give in to the pandemic trend of wearing sweatpants and pajamas, preferring to relax in what she calls her "little house clothes." 

"I do like to be comfortable like everybody else," she admitted. She explained she has her "own little house clothes, like a dress type teddy and a long teddy." She coordinates the garments, which she calls her "baby clothes because they're soft like a baby" with "a little jacket or shirt" if she gets chilly. 

As for her own style idol? Dolly reveals she was inspired by "the town tramp" in her hometown, who rocked an eclectic look of "colorful patchwork skirts" and "piled up blond hair." While everyone else in her community mocked the woman's fashion, the I Will Always Love You singer was in awe of the flamboyant look. 

"When everybody would say, 'Oh, she's just trash,' I'd say, 'Well, trash is what I'm going to grow up to be,'" said Dolly. "And I guess my look is glamorous trash!"

Emma Dooney
Emma Dooney

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.