The 'Getting Unready' Viral Beauty Trend Explained

Gen Z may become best known as the generation that picked up all their knowledge — how to style a room, play the stock market, make glitter slime — from social media videos. Makeup is a hugely popular topic, with influencers gaining millions of followers just for showing off their foundation application techniques or demonstrating how to create a smoky cat eye. But for 2023, viewers are finding the process of taking off product even more fascinating than the ones for putting it on. 

The "Get Unready With Me" (or GURWM) trend found its start on YouTube, but it's quickly picking up steam on TikTok, particularly since Lizzo shared her own routine for managing her sensitive skin (per Us Weekly). As Glamour explains, it's a twist the popular #WokeUpLikeThis hashtag. But unlike this older trend, where users shared selfies highlighting their un-beautified faces, getting unready means removing all the creams, powders, and gels we put on in the morning to (yes!) get ready to face the world. Judging by the number of hits that come up under a TikTok search on the topic, it's a trend that is destined to stay for quite some time. 

Getting unready can be a simple or multi-step process

"Getting unready" TikToks are as compulsively watchable as their glam-routine counterparts. There's something irresistible about seeing false eyelashes peeled off and carefully applied liner and blush being dissolved in an instant with removal pads and creams. When you see drag performers like Kathy O'Connor take off their makeup, you truly appreciate all the work that goes into creating the character. It's a brave choice on the part of the users, since they're revealing their natural faces — dark circles, blemishes, and all — but it also projects an authenticity that makes them all the more appealing. As fun as it is to experiment with makeup, embracing your natural beauty is empowering.

Depending on the user, a GURWM routine can be as simple as a face wash, or as complex as a full regimen of serums, moisturizers, face masks, and lip balms. As MySpaceMama's TikTok illustrates, getting unready can also include removing and putting away your jewelry (she sports an impressive collection of goth spike cuffs), and stowing the beauty tools you didn't get around to putting back in the morning. Some videos include details such as enjoying a pre-bedtime cup of tea or a cocktail (hey, we won't judge), brushing teeth, and lighting a relaxing scented candle. It's all about how you say goodbye to the day and prepare for a (hopefully) relaxing night.

Having a nighttime routine is important

Whether or not you choose to share the process with your social media followers, it's important to get unready before bed. Leaving makeup on all night puts you at risk for a variety of skin and health casualties, from dullness and irritation to breakouts and eye infections. Even if you've run out of makeup remover, you can still remove product with a dab of olive or coconut oil, micellar water, or regular soap and water. Follow up with the skin care best suited to your face, such as a face mask, eye cream, a hyaluronic acid-based serum, acne spot treatment, moisturizer, or a combination. Using products at night gives them time to penetrate the skin barrier as you sleep, according to Byrdie

Getting unready should also include a set routine of pre-bed habits, says the Sleep Foundation. Mindfully relaxing at night helps promote more restful sleep. Try reading a book, doing light stretches, sipping a cup of herbal tea, or meditating. Most of all, turn off the phone and computer at least half an hour before bed. Electronics emit a blue light that interferes with the brain's sleep signals. If worries about work or errands keep you up at night, research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that creating a to-do list five minutes before bedtime can help reduce that anxiety and let you fall asleep more easily. Then you'll wake up refreshed and ready to, well, get ready!