Makeup 80S Style

Introduction to 80s Makeup

The 1980s was an era known for its vibrant and flamboyant fashion, and the makeup trends were no exception. From bold colors to exaggerated contours, 80s makeup was all about making a statement. It was a time when people embraced their individuality and expressed themselves through their appearance, with makeup playing a crucial role in achieving that iconic 80s look.

The fashion trends of the 1980s were characterized by excess and extravagance. It was a decade where power dressing dominated the corporate world, with shoulder pads and structured silhouettes being all the rage. Women wore brightly colored clothing with bold prints, while men sported oversized suits accessorized with chunky jewelry.

The overall aesthetic was larger than life, and this extravagant style transcended into the realm of beauty as well. In terms of beauty trends, big hair took center stage during this era.

Teased to incredible heights using hairspray and volumizing products, hairstyles in the 80s were all about creating volume and drama. Perms were popular among both men and women, adding even more texture to already full-bodied hair.

Importance of makeup in creating the iconic 80s look

Makeup played a pivotal role in defining the iconic 80s look. It was seen as an art form through which individuals could express their personalities boldly. The emphasis was on making a bold statement rather than adhering to natural beauty standards.

Brightly colored eyeshadows stole the show during this period, with neon shades like electric blue, hot pink, and lime green being particularly popular choices. These vibrant hues were applied liberally on eyelids for maximum impact.

Bold eyeliner also became synonymous with 80s makeup. Women would experiment with different shapes and sizes, creating dramatic winged looks with sharp edges that extended far beyond the natural lash line.

This intensified the gaze and added an air of confidence to the overall appearance. 80s makeup was a reflection of the vibrant and extravagant fashion trends of the era.

It was all about embracing bold colors, experimenting with contours, and making a statement through makeup. In the next sections, we will delve deeper into each aspect of 80s makeup to uncover more fascinating details about this iconic beauty trend.

Foundation and Base Makeup

When it comes to achieving that iconic 80s look, a flawless complexion is key. In the fabulous world of 80s makeup, heavy application of foundation was the name of the game. This meant slathering on layers upon layers of foundation to create a smooth and even skin tone.

Now, I’m not talking about a light dusting here; we’re talking about full-on coverage that could rival an artist’s canvas. The idea behind this heavy foundation application was to create a blank canvas for the rest of your makeup.

It provided a solid base upon which all other colors and products could pop. Think of it as laying down a solid foundation for your masterpiece!

This technique also helped to hide any imperfections or blemishes, ensuring that your complexion looked flawless and airbrushed. To lock in all that hard work, powder was essential in setting the foundation and creating a matte finish.

The 80s were all about that velvety-smooth, shine-free look. So, after applying your foundation with precision (because remember, it’s all about detail), you would generously dust on some translucent powder using a big fluffy brush.

This powder served two purposes: first, it helped to absorb any excess oil or shine on your face, keeping you looking fresh throughout the day (because nobody wants their face reflecting like a disco ball). Second, it ensured that your hard work didn’t budge – so you could dance the night away without worrying about your makeup melting off.

Bold Eyeshadow and Eyeliner

Vibrant, neon-colored eyeshadows in shades like electric blue, hot pink, and lime green

In the 80s, eyeshadow was all about making a statement! Gone were the subdued neutral tones of previous decades.

Instead, women embraced vibrant, neon-colored eyeshadows that added a pop of excitement to their eyes. Electric blue, hot pink, and lime green were all the rage.

These bold hues allowed individuals to express their creativity and show off their daring side. To achieve the iconic 80s look, it was crucial to apply these vivid eyeshadow shades with confidence.

Start by priming your eyelids to ensure longevity and prevent creasing. Then take an eyeshadow brush and pack on the color onto your lids.

Don’t be afraid to layer it on; intensity is key! Blend out any harsh lines using a clean brush or your fingertips for a seamless finish.

For those who wanted an extra wow factor, it wasn’t uncommon to apply different neon shades on each eye or even create colorful gradients from one hue to another. Experimentation was encouraged during this era, so don’t hold back when choosing your colors!

Dramatic winged eyeliner with sharp edges for a bold look

Winged eyeliner became synonymous with 80s glamour and remains an iconic trend that continues to this day. The key to mastering this style is creating sharply defined edges that accentuate the eyes’ shape and add drama to any look.

To start off, arm yourself with a liquid or gel eyeliner in black or deep brown – something that will contrast against your vibrant eyeshadow shade. Begin by drawing a thin line as close as possible along your upper lash line from the inner corner towards the outer edge of your eye.

Next comes the fun part – creating the wing! Starting from the outer corner of your eye, extend your eyeliner upwards and outwards towards the end of your eyebrow.

The length and angle of the wing are up to personal preference, but for an authentic 80s style, consider going a bit longer and sharper. To ensure both wings are symmetrical, you can mark the desired endpoint with a small dot or use a piece of scotch tape as a guide.

Just remember to remove it gently afterward to avoid disrupting your carefully applied eyeshadow. The 80s were all about pushing boundaries and embracing boldness.

Whether you went for neon eyeshadows or dramatic winged eyeliner (or both!), these elements were essential in creating an iconic 80s makeup look. So don’t shy away from experimenting with vibrant colors and sharp edges – have fun with it and let your inner adventurer shine!

Blush and Contouring Techniques

Application of bright blush on the apples of the cheeks for a youthful flush

One of the quintessential features of 80s makeup was the rosy, flushed cheeks that added a youthful glow to the face. In order to achieve this look, you needed to apply your blush with a generous hand. Opt for vibrant shades like hot pinks, coral oranges, or bubblegum pinks that stood out against the skin tone.

The goal was to create a bold pop of color on the apples of your cheeks. To apply your blush, start by smiling in front of a mirror.

This will help you locate the apples of your cheeks easily. Take your blush brush and gently tap it into your chosen shade.

Then, starting from the apples, sweep upwards towards your temples in a diagonal motion. This technique helps create an uplifted effect on your face.

Remember, it’s important not to overdo it with blush as you still want to maintain some semblance of natural-looking flush. So blend it well and make sure there are no harsh lines or blotches left behind!

Contouring with bronzer or darker shades to define facial features

Contouring was not as prominent in 80s makeup as it is today but adding definition to certain facial features was still popular back then. To achieve this effect, bronzer or darker shades were used strategically to create shadows and depth.

Start by selecting a matte bronzer that is one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Use an angled brush and lightly dust it under your cheekbones from ear to mid-cheek area creating a subtle hollow effect.

You can also contour along the hairline on the forehead if desired by sweeping bronzer along the edges blending gently towards the center. For those who wanted more defined noses, contouring the sides of the nose using a thin brush was another technique.

Start from the inner corner and blend it outwards towards the tip, creating a shadowed effect on each side. Remember, blending is key here!

The idea is to create subtle shadows that enhance your features, not harsh lines that look unnatural. So take your time and blend all the contouring elements seamlessly into your overall makeup look.

With these blush and contouring techniques, you’ll be able to achieve that iconic 80s look with sculpted cheeks and defined features. Experiment with different shades and find what works best for your skin tone to truly embrace the spirit of this bold and vibrant era.

Statement Lips

During the vibrant 80s, one of the most striking elements of makeup was the bold and statement-making lips. Women went all out with colors that were anything but subtle. Bold reds, deep purples, and vibrant pinks dominated the scene, creating an electrifying effect that perfectly complemented the overall aesthetic of the decade.

These hues were not for the faint-hearted; they were meant to be noticed from across a crowded room. Whether you chose a classic red reminiscent of a Hollywood starlet or opted for an edgy purple shade to showcase your rebellious side, your lips were sure to steal the spotlight.

Use of Lip Liner

To achieve those flawless 80s lips, it wasn’t just about slapping on some lipstick and calling it a day. The use of lip liner became crucial in creating a defined shape for your pout.

Lip liner acted as a guiding tool to outline and enhance your natural lip shape while preventing any color bleed or feathering. It allowed you to create precise edges and curves that accentuated your lip’s fullness.

Choosing a lip liner shade that matched or closely resembled your chosen lipstick color was essential for maintaining uniformity and preventing any noticeable discrepancies between your lip line and lipstick application. With carefully lined lips, you could achieve that coveted perfected pout that defined 80s makeup trends.

Adding dimension was also possible by slightly overlining certain areas of the lips with lip liner to create illusions like fuller-looking upper or lower lips. This technique was particularly popular among those who desired more voluptuous-looking puckers.

Statement lips were at the forefront of 80s makeup trends as women embraced bold colors like never before. From deep purples to vibrant pinks and classic reds, these attention-grabbing hues demanded attention.

The use of lip liner further heightened the impact, allowing for precise shaping and preventing color bleeding. So, if you want to channel the spirit of the 80s in your makeup, don’t hold back on those statement lips – go bold and make them pop!

Unique Beauty Marks and Freckles

Trendy Addition of Artificial Beauty Marks using Eyeliner or Small Stickers

Ah, the 80s – an era of self-expression and experimentation. One of the unique trends that emerged during this time was the addition of artificial beauty marks. These tiny marks, often seen on the cheeks or near the lips, added a touch of sophistication and mystery to one’s look.

To achieve this trend, makeup enthusiasts would use eyeliner or small stickers to create these beauty marks. For those seeking a temporary option, eyeliner was their go-to tool.

As if wielding a magical pen, they delicately drew small dots on their face with precision and finesse. The choice of eyeliner color depended on personal preference and desired intensity – black for a classic look or brown for a softer touch.

Some even opted for unconventional colors like blue or purple to make their beauty mark stand out even more. On the other hand, those looking for an even more effortless solution would turn to small stickers designed specifically for this purpose.

These adhesive gems came in various shapes and sizes, allowing individuals to customize their beauty mark according to their liking. From subtle dots to whimsical stars or hearts, these stickers added an element of whimsy to one’s appearance.

Embracing Natural Freckles by Enhancing them with Light Makeup Techniques

In contrast to the trend of adding artificial beauty marks, embracing natural freckles became another popular choice among admirers of 80s makeup. Instead of covering up these unique features with heavy foundation, individuals sought ways to enhance their freckles using light makeup techniques.

To begin this process, it was crucial to start with a sheer foundation that allowed the freckles to shine through while providing minimal coverage for blemishes. This ensured that one’s natural skin texture remained visible, giving a fresh and youthful look.

Some even skipped foundation altogether and opted for a tinted moisturizer or BB cream, letting their freckles take center stage. To enhance the appearance of freckles, makeup enthusiasts would use a light hand when applying blush.

By lightly dusting the apples of their cheeks with a natural-toned blush, they created a subtle flush that complemented the beauty of their freckled complexion. This technique added warmth and dimension to the face without overpowering the delicate nature of freckles.

Additionally, some individuals chose to dot their freckles with a brown or taupe eyeliner pencil to make them more pronounced. With gentle taps, they strategically applied these pencil marks on top of their existing freckles, mimicking the natural pattern.

The result was an enchanting display of uniqueness that celebrated individuality. The 80s were undoubtedly an era that encouraged self-expression in all its forms.

Whether it involved adding artificial beauty marks with eyeliner or embracing natural freckles through light makeup techniques, individuals had an array of choices to create their desired look. From enhancing features to celebrating what already existed, this decade taught us that beauty truly comes in many forms – whether adorned with artifice or embraced in its purest state.

Accessories and Finishing Touches

Sparkle and Shine with Glitter

When it came to makeup in the 80s, more was definitely better! To add an extra touch of sparkle and pizzazz, many fashion-forward individuals would incorporate glitter into their looks.

Glitter was not limited to just special occasions; it was a daily staple for those wanting to make a bold statement. For a truly dazzling effect, people would apply glitter on their eyelids or cheeks.

The trick to achieving the perfect glittery look was all in the application. After applying eyeshadow or blush, a small brush or fingertip would be used to gently dab on loose glitter.

The colors ranged from silver and gold to vibrant blues, pinks, and even multi-colored options that caught every ray of light. The result?

A mesmerizing sparkle that illuminated the face and added an extra layer of glamour. Whether you were heading out for a night on the town or just wanted some extra shimmer during your daily routine, adding a touch of glitter was sure to catch everyone’s attention and make you feel like a true star.

Lush Lashes with False Lashes or Mascara

In the realm of lashes, bigger was undoubtedly better in the 80s! Thick, voluminous lashes were highly coveted by both women and men alike. There were two popular methods to achieve this eye-catching effect: false lashes and mascara.

False lashes provided instant drama by adding length, volume, and sometimes even colorful accents like feathers or rhinestones. They came in various styles ranging from natural-looking wispy lashes to dramatic fanned-out designs that demanded attention.

Applying false lashes required a steady hand and some practice. Once mastered, they could transform any look from ordinary to extraordinary.

For those who preferred a simpler approach, mascara was their go-to savior. In the 80s, mascaras were formulated to provide the thickest, most dramatic lashes possible.

With each stroke of the wand, lashes were coated in jet-black formula that promised to add both volume and length. It was not uncommon for individuals to apply layer upon layer of mascara in order to achieve that coveted “spider lash” effect.

Whether you opted for false lashes or relied on trusty mascara, there was no denying that lush lashes were an essential finishing touch for any 80s makeup look. They framed the eyes and completed the overall glamorous aesthetic that defined the era’s beauty trends.

Hair Styling Tips

Big Hair, Big Volume, Big Attitude

Oh, the 80s! It was an era of boldness and extravagance, and your hair was no exception. The bigger, the better!

Teasing your hair became an art form as you aimed for sky-high volume that defied gravity. To achieve this coveted look, you needed three secret weapons: a fine-tooth comb, a can of hairspray (the stronger the hold, the better), and volumizing products that would give your locks that extra oomph they needed.

Start by backcombing sections of hair at the roots, gently teasing them in an upward motion to create that luscious lift. Once satisfied with the height and body you’ve achieved, lock it all in place with a generous amount of hairspray.

Voila! You’re now ready to rock that iconic 80s big hair with confidence.

Crimped Hair: The Textured Trend

Remember those funky zigzag patterns adorning people’s heads? That’s right – crimped hair was all the rage in the 80s!

Achieving this unique texture involved using a crimping iron or braiding damp hair and leaving it overnight for those who preferred heat-free styling methods. Simply separate your tresses into small sections and run the crimping iron down each strand from root to tip.

This technique added an extraordinary level of dimension to your mane. Crimped hair paired perfectly with vibrant colors and was often adorned with colorful scrunchies or bows for an added touch of flair.

Side Ponytails: The Ultimate ‘Do’

The side ponytail became an iconic hairstyle synonymous with 80s fashionistas everywhere. It added a playful twist to any outfit while exuding effortless coolness.

Grab a brush, gather all your hair to one side, secure it with an elastic band, and let the ponytail cascade down your shoulder. To amp up the style factor, you could crimp or curl the ponytail itself for added texture.

Some daring individuals even accessorized their side ponytails with scrunchies or oversized bows in bold colors. It was a hairstyle that screamed fun and youthful vibes.


The 80s was undeniably a decade of excess in all aspects of fashion and beauty. From the extravagant makeup to the larger-than-life hairstyles, it was a time when people embraced their individuality and expressed themselves boldly. The hair trends of this era perfectly reflected this spirit, with big hair ruling supreme through teasing, hairspray, and volumizing products.

Crimped hair offered a unique texture that added an edge to any look, while side ponytails brought a playful charm that became an iconic ‘do’. Looking back at these trends may evoke nostalgia or even amusement in today’s context, but they serve as reminders of the creativity and fearless self-expression that defined the 80s.

So next time you want to inject some retro flair into your style, don’t be afraid to give 80s hairstyles a go! Embrace your inner fashion rebel and play around with voluminous locks or experiment with crimped textures.

Remember: confidence is key when channeling any era’s trends. So spray on some extra hold hairspray, crank up those tunes from the 80s playlist, and own your unique style like it’s nobody’s business!


What were the popular makeup trends in the 80s?

Popular makeup trends in the 80s included bold, vibrant eyeshadows, heavy blush, and bright lipstick. Neon colors and metallics were also commonly used.

How did people achieve the iconic 80s makeup look?

Achieving the 80s makeup look involved using products like blue eyeshadow, thick eyeliner, and applying blush high on the cheeks. Crimped hair was often paired with this look.

Were there specific makeup brands popular in the 80s?

Yes, some popular makeup brands in the 80s included Max Factor, Revlon, and Maybelline. These brands offered products suitable for the bold and colorful trends of the era.

What makeup tips can help recreate the 80s style today?

To recreate the 80s makeup style today, focus on bright eyeshadows, exaggerated eyeliner, and bold lips. Experiment with neon shades and don’t forget to contour and highlight for a dramatic effect.

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