80S Makeup Ideas

Introduction to 80s Makeup

The 1980s was a decade characterized by its exuberance, flamboyance, and unapologetic self-expression in all aspects of life, including fashion and beauty. It was an era that witnessed the rise of iconic trends and styles that continue to influence the industry today. One such area where this influence is particularly evident is in the realm of makeup.

The makeup looks popularized during the 80s were bold, vibrant, and fearless, reflecting the daring spirit of the time. In terms of fashion and beauty, the 1980s can be described as a melting pot of diverse styles.

From power suits to shoulder pads, leg warmers to parachute pants, this era embraced eccentricity like no other. Amidst all these fashion choices, makeup played a vital role in defining individuality and making a statement.

Makeup became an essential tool for individuals to express their identity in unique ways during the 80s. It allowed people to break free from societal norms and experiment with new looks that reflected their personality or subculture affiliations.

Whether it was inspired by punk rock rebellion or influenced by glamorous pop divas, makeup became a means to create visual art on one’s face. The importance of makeup as a form of self-expression during this era cannot be underestimated.

It not only served as a tool for personal transformation but also acted as a medium for cultural expression. Through different makeup looks, individuals embraced their creativity and communicated their affiliations with various subcultures or trends prevalent at the time.

General Characteristics of 80s Makeup

Bold and vibrant colors: neon shades, electric blues, hot pinks, and bright reds

The 1980s was an era known for its exuberant fashion choices, and makeup was no exception. One striking characteristic of 80s makeup was the abundant use of bold and vibrant colors.

Think neon shades that practically glowed under disco lights, electric blues that mesmerized onlookers, hot pinks that screamed confidence, and bright reds that commanded attention. These intense hues were applied generously to the eyes, lips, and cheeks to create a visually captivating look.

To achieve these striking color statements in eyeshadows and blushes, beauty enthusiasts turned to highly pigmented formulas. Eye-catching palettes featuring a range of dazzling colors became all the rage.

It was not uncommon to see a blend of multiple vibrant shades on the eyelids or even rainbow-inspired creations. The daring nature of these colors reflected the audacious spirit of the decade and allowed individuals to express their vibrant personalities through makeup.

Emphasis on dramatic eyes and defined brows

Dramatic eyes were central to 80s makeup looks. This meant heavily lined eyes with thick black eyeliner applied along the upper lash line for a bold effect.

The liner was often extended beyond the outer corners into exaggerated winged tips, adding an extra touch of drama. To complement the theatrical eye makeup, brows were meticulously shaped and defined.

Thick and full eyebrows were in vogue during this time period as they framed the face beautifully while enhancing expression. Many individuals would groom their brows into strong arches using brow pencils or powders one or two shades darker than their natural hair color.

The combination of bold eye makeup with defined brows created a captivating look that demanded attention whenever one entered a room. It was all about making a strong statement, breaking away from the simplicity of previous decades.

Contoured cheekbones for a sculpted look

Contouring, while widely popular today, actually had its roots in the 80s. This decade witnessed the rise of chiseled cheekbones and a more sculpted facial structure.

Makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts would skillfully use bronzer or matte blush to create depth and shadow on the cheeks, enhancing natural bone structure. Contouring techniques involved applying a darker shade just below the cheekbones to create a shadow effect, visually slimming down the face.

This was often accompanied by a highlighter on the highest points of the cheeks for added definition and radiance. The result was a beautifully sculpted face that exuded confidence and elegance.

Matte or glossy lips with intense pigmentation

The 80s makeup game wasn’t complete without attention-grabbing lips. The era saw two contrasting trends: matte lips and glossy lips, both sporting intense pigmentation.

Matte lipsticks in bold shades like fiery reds or deep purples were popular among those seeking a powerful statement lip that oozed sophistication. On the other hand, glossy lips were equally desirable for those aiming for a luscious pout that reflected light and drew attention to their smile.

Lip glosses with vibrant hues such as electric pinks or shimmering nudes could instantly transform any look from subdued to radiant. No matter which finish one preferred—matte or glossy—the key was to make sure the lip color was vivid and impactful.

Lips became an essential canvas for self-expression during this era, further adding to the allure of 80s makeup. 80s makeup had distinctive characteristics that set it apart from other eras in fashion history.

It celebrated boldness through vibrant colors like neon shades and bright reds while emphasizing dramatic eyes achieved through heavy eyeliner and defined brows. Contoured cheekbones added a sculpted look to the face, enhancing bone structure and creating depth.

Whether opting for matte or glossy finishes, intense pigmentation was essential for the lips. This era witnessed a fearless exploration of makeup, encouraging individuals to express their unique personalities through striking cosmetic choices.

Iconic 80s Makeup Looks

Pop Diva Glam

The Pop Diva Glam makeup look was synonymous with the vibrant and energetic spirit of the 1980s. It showcased a bold and confident style that celebrated individuality.

One of the defining features of this look was the heavy black eyeliner with exaggerated winged tips. The eyes were accentuated with brightly colored eyeshadows applied in geometric shapes, such as triangles or squares, creating an edgy and dramatic effect.

To add even more drama, thick layers of mascara were applied to achieve voluminous lashes that fluttered with every blink. To complete the Pop Diva Glam look, glossy lips in bold shades like red or fuchsia were chosen.

The lips became a focal point, adding a touch of sensuality to the overall appearance. The high-shine finish gave an alluring and attention-grabbing quality to the lips, perfectly complementing the mesmerizing eyes.

Punk Rock Rebellion

The Punk Rock Rebellion makeup look embraced a rebellious and non-conformist attitude—an embodiment of counterculture movements that emerged during the 1980s. This style challenged conventional beauty norms and aimed for a grungy effect.

Smudged black eyeliner was heavily utilized to create a smoky and intense look around the eyes. It conveyed an edgy vibe, as if one had just stepped out from a wild night at a rock concert.

To further enhance this rebellious appearance, dark eyeshadows in shades like charcoal or deep purple were applied generously on the eyelids—blending seamlessly into each other to create depth and dimension. Contrasting brightly colored streaks on the hair added another layer of individuality (e.g., pink, blue, or green).

To balance out the intense eye makeup while maintaining a punk aesthetic, matte nude lips became popular choices. This subdued lip color allowed the eyes to remain the focal point, while still contributing to the overall edgy look.

Retro Hollywood Glamour

Retro Hollywood Glamour makeup looked back nostalgically at the golden age of cinema, infusing it with a modern twist. It exuded elegance and sophistication, reminiscent of iconic stars from the past.

Soft, shimmery eyeshadows in neutral tones like champagne or bronze were applied delicately on the eyelids to create an ethereal and luminous effect. The focus shifted towards achieving a timeless beauty that emphasized enhancing natural features rather than going for bold and vibrant colors.

Winged eyeliner with a slight flick at the end was employed to add subtle drama and accentuate the eyes, providing a touch of glamour reminiscent of silver screen starlets. Thickening mascara played a crucial role in creating full lashes that enhanced their fluttery allure—recalling classic doe-eyed beauties who captivated audiences decades ago.

To complete this retro-inspired look, classic red lipstick with a matte finish was chosen—an eternal symbol of glamour. The red lips became an iconic statement piece that exuded confidence and power.

The matte texture added a sense of modernity while still paying homage to timeless beauty ideals. 80s makeup encompassed various iconic looks that showcased individuality and embraced different styles from Pop Diva Glam to Punk Rock Rebellion and Retro Hollywood Glamour.

Each look had its own unique characteristics that captivated audiences during this vibrant era. Whether one preferred bold colors or subtle elegance, it was an era where self-expression through makeup truly flourished—ushering in trends that continue to inspire beauty enthusiasts today.


The 1980s undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the world of makeup, and its influence can still be seen today. The era was characterized by bold self-expression, vibrant colors, and experimentation. From the glamorous looks of pop divas to the rebellious styles of punk rockers, 80s makeup was all about making a statement.

Whether you want to relive the glory days or simply embrace the spirit of the decade, there are plenty of 80s makeup ideas to inspire your next look. Throughout this article, we explored some iconic 80s makeup looks that defined the era.

The Pop Diva Glam look showcased dramatic eyes with bold colors like electric blue or hot pink. Thick winged eyeliner and glossy lips in shades like red or fuchsia added an extra touch of allure.

On the other hand, Punk Rock Rebellion brought a grungy aesthetic to makeup with smudged black eyeliner, dark smoky eyeshadows, and contrasting streaks in hair color. For those who prefer a more classic approach, Retro Hollywood Glamour offered soft shimmery eyeshadows in neutral tones like champagne or bronze.

Winged eyeliner with a slight flick at the end and thickening mascara created an elegant yet sultry look. Completing this timeless style was classic red lipstick with a matte finish that exuded sophistication.

Exploring 80s makeup ideas allows us to celebrate a decade filled with artistic freedom and self-expression. While some trends may seem daring or eccentric by today’s standards, they embody an undeniable spirit of creativity that continues to inspire us all.

Let these vibrant colors and bold styles serve as reminders that embracing our own unique beauty is truly empowering. So go ahead and channel your inner 80s icon—express yourself through makeup fearlessly!

1. What are some iconic 80s makeup trends?

Some iconic 80s makeup trends include bold eyeshadows in vibrant colors, heavy eyeliner, bright blush, and glossy lips.

2. How can I achieve the 80s makeup look?

To achieve the 80s makeup look, start with a matte foundation, use colorful eyeshadows, create bold brows, apply heavy mascara, and use bright lip colors.

3. What are popular 80s makeup colors?

Popular 80s makeup colors include neon pinks, electric blues, neon greens, and vibrant purples for eyeshadows, blush, and lipsticks.

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