Do you recall the dark lip liner and the neon eyelids of the 1980s makeup? Layers of blush and bold eye shadows were just a few of the many iconic makeup trends of the decade.
When it comes to beauty and fashion, the 80s were all about bold expressions. From bright lips to colorful and flashy lip colors, the decade celebrated colors in full swing.
In this guide, we are going to highlight the hottest 1980s makeup trends. We will also offer a tutorial so you can emulate the 1980s celebrities and legendary makeup icons.
7 Most Popular 1980s Makeup Trends
Busy brows became popular in the 80s. Unlike previous decades, women liked sporting thick and natural eyebrows. Hence, women who didn’t have beautiful and thick eyebrows naturally had trouble following this trend. That’s why brow gels and brow pencils were all the rage in the 80s. However, thin brows were back on the scene during the 90s and early 2000s.
There is no denying that foundation is an indispensable makeup accessory. During the 1980s, the use of heavy foundation was a happening makeup trend. Women spent quite some time applying layers and layers of foundation. Of course, this trend required women to spend quite some time in front of the mirror.
Typically, the choice of the foundation was two shades lighter than the original skin tone. That meant your natural skin tone was never visible. In simple words, the thick foundation base served as a canvas for painting other makeup accessories like blush and eye shadow.
Another major highlight of the 1980s makeup scene was the use of bright and bold blush colors. Stylists and makeup gurus consider the decade as a time for women to use makeup as a form of self-expression. Women loved to apply purple and pink blush generously all over the cheekbones. Regardless of the skin tone, blush was the focal point of makeup for the women of eighties.
We bet you can’t imagine using the same colors today. Today’s women are all for freedom of self-expression. However, they are less likely to use bold and loud blush colors to reveal their adventurous side.
When it came to eyeliners, women preferred a heavier application. If you want to picture how the perfect eyeliner of the decade looked like, think of a raccoon. Women used black and matte eyeliner for tracing the tops and bottoms of their lids. Smudging the liner together resulted in a rock and roll vibe.
During this happening decade, pink, purple, and blue eye shadows were common among fashion divas. In fact, anything colorful on the lids was a popular eye makeup trend. Teens and women, who needed to spice things up, used these colors together for attaining a dramatic look.
While brighter eye shadows were on every stylist’s and model’s list, some women also opted for a bronze goddess look. That’s why bronze and brown shadows were also a part of the 1980s makeup trends.
In addition to black mascara, celebrities and beauty enthusiasts used colored mascara. Many women complimented the mascara with neon eye shadow and false eyelashes.
The natural look was not popular during the 80s. That’s why this decade was all about creating drama through heavy and bold makeup. The same goes for mascaras. A large percentage of the decade’s female population began their day by applying two or three coats of mascara.
Blue was one of the most interesting mascara colors of the 1980s. If you ever leaf through a fashion magazine from the decade, you will probably spot blue mascara on every model. However, black lashes were also popular among some women.
- Lip Liner and Lipstick
When we look back at the fashion and beauty trends of the 80s, it is safe to conclude that no woman wanted a natural look. It was all about bold eye shadow colors, brightly colored cheeks, and dramatic eyeliner/mascara application.
You may think that such makeup trends would call for natural-looking lips. However, that was rarely the case. Lips were always bright red or shocking pink, just the rest of the makeup. The most popular lip colors were purple, fuchsia, orange, and red. Dark lip-glosses were also a common makeup accessory in every woman’s makeup kit or purse at the time.
There was no lipstick application without a lip-liner for defining the shape of your lips. You must have observed that lip liners were darker than the lip shade. Unlike today’s beauty trends, the lip-liner did not overlap the lip shade. You could see the liner and the lipstick separately. Metallic lip shades were also popular for giving a frosted look.
The Overall Look
Now that you know about the most popular makeup trends and accessories of the 1980s, let’s recap the overall look of the decade.
- Heavy and pale foundation to create the base
- Bright and strong blush colors for a heavy and generous application on cheeks
- Colorful, bright, and smudgy eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara
- Bright and contrasting lip-liner and lipstick
- A hint of eyebrow gel for creating the effect of naturally thick and busy eyes
8 Makeup and Beauty Icons of the 1980s
The decade gave birth to hundreds of fashion icons. Celebrities, musicians, actors, and even athletes played their contribution to create the most popular beauty trends.
There is no one else like Madonna who defined the 80s makeup and beauty trends. Dark cheeks and lighter-hued face powder were the most noticeable parts of her makeup routine. Dark eyebrows and deep red lips added more charm to her iconic look.
- Grace Jones
We will always remember the iconic actor and singer from the decade for her bold eye shadow choices. She loved experimenting with green, blue, yellow, purple, and metallic eye shadows with a pink lip shade.
- Princess Diana
Who can forget the iconic Princess of Hearts? Thousands of women emulated her shiny glossy cheekbones. Princess Diana often used bright blush colors to add a rosy color to her cheeks.
- Cyndy Lauper
Lauper is one of the most famous fashion icons of the 80s. That’s because she experimented with almost all the makeup trends of the decade. Whether it was the foundation, lips, eye shadow or blush, she experimented with all. Her wild makeup gave birth to many fashion trends, and teens loved her crimped yellow hair.
- Molly Ringwald
We certainly don’t remember any movie from the 1980s that didn’t feature Ringwald. Her deep red color lipstick and feathered bangs were incredibly popular among women of all ages.
- Olivia Newton-John
You may not prefer drawing eyeliner all-around your eyes today. However, this trend was quite popular back in the eighties. Olivia Newton-John, the famous fitness star, and Grease actress, loved experimenting with makeup trends, especially eye makeup.
- Jane Fonda
We can’t talk about the beauty trends of the 1980s without mentioning Jane Fonda. She became a fitness star during this decade. Even today, Jane Fonda is an inspiration for thousands of women all over the world. Who can forget her orange lip shade and highlighted cheekbones?
- Brooke Shields
Some fashion icons did embrace natural and pastel colors. However, busy eyebrows were always a part of the decade’s look. Brook Shields loved wearing pastels and natural shades. Her eyebrows and pink lipsticks with mascara made her look unique and simply irresistible.
Beauty Trends from the 1980s that are Making a Comeback
The beautiful and fashionable days of the 1980s were different from today. When it comes to fashion and beauty, we don’t see too many trends making a comeback. However, we can’t say the same for busy and bold eyebrows, which are now quite popular among celebrities and fashion enthusiasts.
Other than that, makeup stylists and celebrities can’t imagine using the same eye shadows, blush colors, and lip shades. Nonetheless, some of today’s biggest brands are producing colorful palettes that take inspiration from the 1980s.
80s Makeup Tutorial
If you want to emulate the makeup style of the 80s, here is a brief tutorial.
Remember that the decade was all about mixing daring and bold colors to achieve a powerful look. You don’t have to copy the exact colors and techniques to look like someone from an 80s magazine cover. The key is to choose the most popular trends that suit your taste and style.
Here is a step-by-step guide for re-creating 80s makeup.
- Choose a good-quality primer and apply it to your face. You can apply powder after the primer, but it’s not mandatory. That said, using powder will remove any types of creases for a flawless base.
- Apply a powder-based foundation if you have oily skin. Opt for a fluid-structure or cream-based foundation when choosing a product for dry skin.
- Women with oily skin should apply the powder on their noses, chin, temples, and cheeks. Go easy on the powder, or avoid it if you have dry skin. Instead, use cream foundation.
- Whether you want to create a punk, darker, or gothic look, contour your face. You can pick a bronzer or a blush that is two to three tones darker than your skin tone for creating a dark look. If you want to style a bright and colorful look, choose a blush that is two to three tones lighter than your skin.
- Apply it to either side of the nose as well as on the hollows of your cheeks.
- Pick an intense eye shadow and apply it using a thick shadow brush. Choose a darker shade for applying on the fold. The best eye shadows for recreating 80s style makeup are purple, red, orange, warm pink, and neon. Blue was another favorite.
- Goth and punk styles were also popular throughout the decade. You can go for darker shades to recreate a Goth or punk look.
- Don’t cover the entire eyelid with eye shadow. You can create a lightning screw to make it look more like the 80s. If you use an eye shadow palette, you will have a good variety of eye shadow colors to add more charm to your look.
- Apply a Gothic or basic eyeliner according to your desired style. You don’t have to choose black eyeliner every time. Choose from a variety of shades, such as teal, blue, and purple.
- You will need a great deal of eye shadow and mascara to make your eyes the same as famous celebrities from the decade. In addition to that, you will also need volumizing mascara to open up your eyes.
- Like the eyeliner, your mascara doesn’t have to be black. You can also apply blue or purple mascara.
- For lipsticks, pick a bright shade that compliments your eye makeup. You don’t have to choose subtle colors for lip shades. Pink, red, and any bright color will complete your 80s makeup look. If you are styling the gothic look, go for black, red, or dark purple lipstick.
- Finish off your look with lip gloss. However, you can leave it if you want to add any sheen to your lips.
Tips to Follow for Creating 1980s Makeup Look
Here are some tips to follow for these areas to ensure you achieve the perfect 1980s makeup look.
The use of heavy blush and foundation was the highlight of the decade’s makeup trends. But you may not want to paint your face using the same daring colors. You can stick to alternative makeup trends that correspond to the latest trends. For example, you can choose a light-medium coverage foundation with some translucent powder to create the desired base. For blush, you can go for a coral cream blush to add a bit of color to your cheeks’ apples.
The eye makeup of the 80s revolved around the eyes. When exploring beauty trends of the decade, you must have come across dark shades, rainbow hues, or smokey eye makeup.
You can use black eyeliner or apply a double coat of mascara to create the same effect. Choose saturated hues and contrasting colors. Electric blue and black are among the most popular colors. While purple, green, blue, and fuchsia were also popular.
Women applied strong shades and did not blend the colors. You can go for bronze, reds, corals, and pink for the 80s makeup look.
Orange hues, pink, and red lip shades are perfect for painting your lips like the models from the 80s.
Your eyebrows should look naturally beautiful. Don’t pluck your eyebrows before creating the 80s makeup look. Just use a dash of brow gel to tame unruly brow hairs.
- Beauty Marks
Mole and marks were another famous beauty trend from the decade. If you already have a mole on your face, that’s perfect. But you can also create one using a black liner, just like Madonna. Don’t forget to soften it a bit with a brown shadow.
- Hair Styles
When we think about the most popular hairstyles of the 80s, we instantly think of feathered bangs or big hair. Even men liked growing their hair during those days. You would spot many cans of aerosol hairspray on every woman’s dressing table. Other popular hairstyles featured permed hair.
Whether you want to be like Madonna or Grace Jones, the decade presents endless makeup trends for styling a unique look.
Now you know the most happening and popular 1980s makeup trends. If you love colors and don’t mind painting your face with bold eye shadows and dark lip shades, you will love makeup trends from this decade. Follow our guide if you want to create an eccentric 80s look. Don’t forget to use quality products, so you don’t harm your skin. If you must perm your hair, go to a reliable hair salon. Reputed beauty salons don’t use chemicals that cause any permanent damage to your hair.