Makeup 80S Tutorial


The 1980s was a decade characterized by bold fashion choices, vibrant colors, and flamboyant self-expression. It was an era where music, movies, and pop culture influenced the way people dressed and presented themselves.

In the realm of beauty, makeup became an essential tool to showcase individuality and creativity. The makeup trends of the 80s were iconic and continue to inspire artists and enthusiasts today.

The 80s makeup trends were all about making a statement – from the exaggerated use of colors to the striking application techniques. Women embraced everything from bright neon eyeshadows to dramatic contouring, allowing them to express their unique personalities through their cosmetics. The era witnessed a departure from the more subdued makeup looks of previous decades.

One trademark look of the 80s was heavy foundation. Achieving a flawless complexion was highly coveted, leading to layering on foundations for full coverage that often resulted in a matte finish.

This trend allowed individuals to present an immaculate canvas for other bold makeup elements. Another standout feature of 80s makeup was vibrant blush colors.

Blush became an essential step in creating youthful-looking cheeks with shades like bright pinks or corals being popular choices during this time. Applying blush in dramatic strokes on the cheekbones added depth and gave women that quintessential rosy glow.

Importance of Makeup in the 80s Fashion Scene

In addition to its artistic expression, makeup played a pivotal role in defining individuals’ identity within the vibrant 80s fashion scene. Whether it was attending concerts or rocking out at clubs, using cosmetics allowed people to establish their unique presence and embrace their favorite subcultures.

The visual impact created by boldly applied makeup was also in sync with the fashion trends of the 80s. Fashion icons like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, and Boy George flaunted their dramatic makeup looks, which often matched their unconventional outfits.

Makeup became an extension of the individual’s personal style and a way to amplify their fashion choices. Furthermore, the 80s marked a time of inclusivity and breaking boundaries in terms of self-expression.

Makeup offered individuals an opportunity to experiment with vibrant colors, express their identities authentically, and challenge societal norms. It allowed people to push creative boundaries and embrace a freedom that went beyond mere fashion statements.

Face Makeup

In the 80s, face makeup played a crucial role in achieving a flawless complexion. One of the key elements of this era’s makeup trend was the use of heavy foundation. Women wanted to have a porcelain-like complexion that appeared perfectly even and blemish-free.

To achieve this look, they applied foundation generously, making sure every imperfection was covered. The application technique for achieving a smooth and even finish with heavy foundation involved using either a brush or sponge.

Brushes were often preferred as they allowed for better control and blending abilities. Women would dot the foundation all over their face and then blend it outwards using circular motions or gentle tapping motions with a damp sponge.

Blush and Contouring

Alongside heavy foundation, vibrant blush colors were used to create an eternally youthful appearance in the 80s. The popular shades included bright pinks, oranges, and coral tones that added a healthy flush to the cheeks.

Blush was applied quite generously, often extending up towards the temples for a more dramatic effect. In addition to blush, contouring techniques were employed to enhance facial features.

The goal was to create sharper cheekbones, slimmer noses, and more defined jawlines. Contouring products such as bronzer or darker shades of powder were skillfully used to sculpt these areas of the face.

Strategic application techniques involved sweeping along natural bone lines and blending meticulously for seamless transitions between light and shadow. To achieve an overall harmonious look with both blush and contouring, it was important to ensure that both elements blended well together without any harsh lines or obvious demarcations on the face.

This required careful blending with brushes or sponges after initial application. The face makeup trends of the 80s emphasized creating an impeccable canvas for the rest of the makeup.

The heavy foundation application technique aimed to achieve a flawless complexion, while vibrant blush colors and expert contouring techniques added youthful flush and enhanced facial features. Together, these elements paved the way for a glamorous and polished look that defined the beauty standards of the era.


Bold and vibrant eyeshadow colors such as neon pinks, blues, and purples

In the 80s, eyeshadow was a key component of creating a standout makeup look. The era was known for its bold and vibrant color choices, with neon pinks, blues, and purples taking center stage. These eye-catching shades were used to make a statement and complement the overall fashion trends of the time.

Whether you were attending a glamorous event or simply going out for a night on the town, wearing striking eyeshadow colors was an absolute must. To apply these intense hues effectively, start by using an eyeshadow primer to ensure longevity and vibrant color payoff.

Using a flat shader brush or your fingertips, gently pat the neon pink, blue, or purple eyeshadow onto your eyelids. Gradually build up the intensity by layering the color until you achieve your desired effect.

Techniques for creating dramatic eye looks including cut creases and smoky eyes

The 80s were all about drama when it came to eye makeup. Two popular techniques that emerged during this era were cut creases and smoky eyes. To create a cut crease look in the 80s style, start by applying a neutral shade on your entire eyelid as a base.

Then take a darker shade such as deep purple or navy blue and apply it along your natural crease line. Use a small precision brush to carefully blend out any harsh lines while still maintaining distinct definition between shades.

For smoky eyes with an 80s twist, choose dark shades like black or charcoal gray to create depth around your eye area. Apply the darkest shade closest to your lash line using an angled brush or pencil brush.

Blend it upwards towards your crease while gradually adding medium-toned shades like deep blues or purples. Finish off the look by smudging a touch of black eyeshadow or eyeliner along your lower lash line for added intensity.

Eyeliner and Mascara

Thick, winged eyeliner for a dramatic effect

One of the defining features of 80s eye makeup was the bold, thick, and winged eyeliner. This iconic look instantly added drama and intensity to any eye shape. To achieve this style, use a liquid or gel eyeliner with a fine brush applicator.

Start by creating a thin line along your upper lash line, gradually building up thickness as desired. Extend the line slightly beyond your outer corner to create that classic winged effect.

For an even more exaggerated look, make the wing longer and sharper. Remember to keep the bottom lash line clean and free from liner to maintain focus on the upper lid.

Use of colored mascaras to match eyeshadow or outfit choices

To further enhance their vibrant eye makeup looks, many individuals in the 80s experimented with colored mascaras. This trend allowed for coordination between eyeshadow shades, outfit choices, or simply for adding an extra pop of color. Colored mascaras came in various shades such as electric blue, hot pink, and even neon green.

They were used either as standalone products or layered over black mascara for added depth and dimension. Applying these colorful mascaras would typically involve sweeping them onto the lashes from root to tip in gentle zigzag motions.

80s eye makeup was all about embracing boldness and vibrancy. Neon pinks, blues, and purples dominated eyeshadow choices while techniques like cut creases and smoky eyes took center stage for creating dramatic looks.

Thick-winged eyeliner added an extra level of intensity while colored mascaras offered a fun and playful way to enhance the overall eye makeup. This era was undoubtedly a time for pushing boundaries, allowing individuals to express their creativity through innovative and unforgettable eye makeup styles.

Lip Makeup

Lipstick shades and finishes

In the vibrant era of the 80s, one could not overlook the importance of bold and bright lipstick colors. Hot pink, red, and coral shades reigned supreme and were an essential part of every makeup look.

These punchy hues perfectly complemented the flamboyant fashion trends of the time, making a bold statement wherever they were worn. Women embraced these vibrant lipstick shades as a symbol of confidence, individuality, and rebellion against traditional beauty norms.

Furthermore, beyond the color choice itself, another aspect that played a crucial role in 80s lip makeup was the finish of the lipstick. Glossy or matte finishes were both highly popular during this era.

The glossy finish gave lips a luscious shine that enhanced their fullness and made them appear more youthful. On the other hand, matte finishes provided a sophisticated edge to any look with their velvety texture.

Lip liner techniques

To achieve that iconic 80s lip look with precision and definition, lip liner became an indispensable tool in every makeup enthusiast’s arsenal. Lip liner was primarily used for outlining lips to create a sharp and defined shape. It acted as a boundary to prevent lipstick from feathering or bleeding outside the natural lip line.

The technique involved tracing around the natural contour of the lips using lip liner in a slightly darker shade than the chosen lipstick color. This outlined effect accentuated the shape of the lips while giving them added dimensionality.

Ombre lip effects using multiple lip liner shades

The creative genius of 80s makeup extended to experimenting with various ombre effects on lips using multiple lip liner shades. This technique allowed for playing with different hues within one’s chosen color palette. To achieve this trendy ombre effect on your lips, start by outlining your entire lip area with a lighter shade of lip liner.

Next, apply a slightly darker shade to the outer corners of your lips, blending it gently towards the center. Use a brush or your finger to lightly blend the colors together, creating a seamless transition from light to dark.

This technique added depth and dimension to the lips, while also showcasing one’s artistic flair. Lip makeup in the 80s was all about making a bold statement with vibrant shades and experimenting with different finishes.

Hot pink, red, and coral lipstick colors were favored choices that exuded confidence and individuality. Glossy or matte finishes added their own unique touch to the overall look.

Lip liner played a crucial role in outlining lips for definition and preventing lipstick bleed. Moreover, ombre effects using multiple lip liner shades allowed for creative experimentation and added an extra level of visual interest to one’s makeup look during this era of glamour and self-expression.

Special Effects Makeup (Optional)

Glitter and Rhinestones

In the glamorous world of 80s makeup, adding sparkle to the face was a popular trend that took center stage. Glittery eyeshadows and rhinestone embellishments were used to create a dazzling effect that could make anyone stand out in a crowd.

To achieve this look, individuals would apply vibrant eyeshadow shades as a base and then layer on loose glitter or use sparkly eyeshadows with built-in shimmer particles. The glitter would be carefully applied to the eyelids, creating a mesmerizing twinkle with every blink.

Rhinestones were another accessory that played a significant role in special effects makeup during the 80s. These small gems were often used to accentuate different areas of the face such as the brow bone, cheekbones, or even around the eyes.

They would add an extra touch of glamour and catch the light effortlessly. Individuals had the freedom to experiment with various shapes, sizes, and colors of rhinestones to create unique designs that reflected their personal style.

Body Paint

One of the most adventurous aspects of 80s makeup was body paint. This technique allowed individuals to transform their faces and bodies into works of art by using vibrant colors and imaginative designs.

Body paint was not only limited to specific events or performances; it became an integral part of one’s everyday makeup routine during this era. People would use body paint in various ways, including creating abstract patterns on their faces or bodies or emulating their favorite pop culture icons by replicating iconic symbols or logos.

The possibilities were endless when it came to body paint in the 80s – from colorful geometric shapes to intricate animal prints – allowing individuals to express themselves creatively through this medium. When using body paint for special effects makeup purposes, it was crucial to invest in high-quality, non-toxic paints that were safe for the skin.

Application techniques varied depending on the design and desired effect. Some individuals used brushes or sponges to carefully paint their faces, while others opted for airbrushing techniques to achieve a more blended and professional finish.

Special effects makeup was an optional but highly sought-after element of 80s makeup tutorials. The use of glitter and rhinestones added a touch of sparkle and glamour to the face, while body paint provided a canvas for endless creativity and self-expression.

These elements allowed individuals to take their makeup looks to new heights, embodying the bold and vibrant spirit of the 80s fashion scene. Whether it was for a special event or simply an everyday expression of personal style, special effects makeup became an art form that defined the era with its dazzling effects and boundless imagination.

Hair Accessories

1. ScrunchiesDuring the 80s, no hairstyle was complete without a vibrant and oversized scrunchie. These fabric-covered elastic bands were available in a wide range of colors and patterns, allowing individuals to match their scrunchies to their outfits or create eye-catching contrasts. They were commonly worn around ponytails or buns, adding a playful and fun touch to any look. To achieve the ultimate 80s vibe, scrunchies were often worn high on the head with teased hair for extra volume.

2. HeadbandsHeadbands were another popular hair accessory in the 80s that added both style and functionality to hairstyles. Wide fabric headbands with bold prints or bright colors became an iconic trend during this era. They were often worn across the forehead, pushing the hair away from the face and creating a youthful appearance. Headbands could also be used to hold back bangs or add an extra element of flair to updos.

3. Hair Clips and BarrettesHair clips and barrettes allowed for endless possibilities when it came to styling one’s hair in the 80s. From simple and sleek designs to more elaborate creations adorned with rhinestones, bows, or feathers – these accessories offered versatility and allowed individuals to personalize their hairstyles based on their mood or occasion. Clips were commonly used to pin back sections of hair or create decorative patterns, while barrettes provided a functional yet stylish way of keeping longer strands in place.

4. BandanasFor those seeking a more edgy or rock-inspired look in the 80s, bandanas became a staple accessory choice for both men and women alike. Worn either as headbands or tied around ponytails or messy updos, bandanas added a touch of rebellion and individuality to any hairstyle. They were often chosen in bold colors, patterns, or band logos to make a statement and complete the overall rocker aesthetic.


The 80s was undoubtedly an era of bold experimentation and self-expression when it came to makeup and fashion. It was a time where creativity thrived, allowing individuals to push boundaries and embrace their unique styles.

From dramatic eyeshadow looks to vibrant lipstick shades, the makeup trends of the 80s showcased an unapologetic love for color and glamour. Hair accessories also played a significant role in defining the signature looks of this era.

Scrunchies, headbands, hair clips, barrettes, and bandanas added flair and personality to hairstyles while complementing the overall fashion choices. These accessories continue to hold nostalgic charm today as individuals explore retro-inspired looks or pay homage to the iconic trends of the 80s.

As we reflect on this glamorous decade’s makeup and hair trends, let us remember that these styles were not just about aesthetics but also about self-confidence and embracing one’s individuality. The 80s taught us that expressing ourselves through our appearance can be empowering and liberating.

So why not take inspiration from this vibrant era and have some fun experimenting with your own unique twist on these iconic trends? Let your creativity shine through as you recreate these looks or adapt them to suit your modern style!


What were the popular makeup trends in the 1980s?

Popular makeup trends in the 1980s included bold, bright eyeshadows, intense blush, and bold lip colors. Heavy eyeliner and contouring were also common.

How can I recreate the 1980s makeup look today?

To recreate the 1980s makeup look, start with a vibrant eyeshadow palette, use plenty of blush, opt for a bold lipstick, and don’t forget to apply heavy mascara and eyeliner.

What makeup products were commonly used in the 80s?

Common makeup products in the 1980s included neon eyeshadows, frosted lipstick, blue and green eyeliners, and blush in shades of pink and coral.

Are there any iconic 1980s makeup tutorials or influencers to follow?

Yes, you can find iconic 1980s makeup tutorials and inspiration from influencers like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, and popular movies like “Flashdance” and “Pretty in Pink.”

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