Step aside, nudes! Bold lips, blue eyeshadows, endless blush, neon everything – if you still haven’t picked up the hint, we are talking about makeup from the 80s! Noticeably, for the last two years, the foundation of any makeup tutorial was getting skin that glows from within (the Euphoria-inspired trend). However, cut to the latest Paris Fashion Week or the NY Ramp walk seasons – the 70s, 80s, and 90s style makeup has been the highlight. With the natural-looking glass skin serving as the canvas for a makeup artist’s brush twist – they have paid homage to the Hollywood 80s.
When you have to recreate Brooke Shields or Debbie Harry’s looks from that era, you will realize how the 80s categorically focussed on the concept of ‘excess.’ This article will preview the basic elements used in 80s makeup, the style chart that rocked the era, and a quick glimpse through the icons who made a mark in that era. Time to bring out your makeup brushes –
Table of Contents
What are the basic elements of makeup from the 80s?
Here are some of the chosen areas that the 80s makeup revolutionized. Picking those up –
1. Foundation and Blush
Just what the current set of fashion artists are looking at – painting a blank canvas and allowing the hues to pop – that was the crux of the 80s look. The foundation was applied in layers, and it was supposedly two catty lighter than the usual skin tone.
Talking of blush – it was a must-have in the makeup kit. Deep plums and bright pink shades were the add-ons to face contouring.
2. Eyeliner and Mascara
Remember Princess Diana’s blue eyeliner? Well, that’s just one pop that you have seen. Pick up any of the fashion magazines that details what makeup from the 80s looks like – you will find them laced with the rocker-looking smudged matte black liner or the typical raccoon style.
Black mascara was always the classic option, but without a doubt, the popularity of the purple and blue shades went through the roof!
3. Rocking Lips
Go back to any of the pre-millennium beauty standards, and you will see – a solid lip outline is a must! Having said that – the metallics were the match of the day. Following them closely were – bold red, mauve, or frosted pink hues that made their way to every wardrobe.
4. Eyeshadow and Eyebrows
For eyeshadow – purple, blue, and pink were the chosen shades (either solo or blended). If you are not much of a fan of pop shades, you could always go in for muted shades – tan or bronze.
The bushy brow was the flavor of the fashion season. You could either leave them as au natural or could trim them to suit your needs.
What are the stark features of 80s makeup?
In this segment, you will get to see some of the stark features that made makeup from the 80s as classic as they are –
1. Rocker pink eye-lip combo
When you have fuchsia pink in your makeup kit – there’s nothing that you cannot do with it! But then again, it’s either the eyes or the lips. Not necessarily! When you have the 80s as your beauty guide – rest assured you can rock both and that too as loud as you wish! Fuchsia pink lip shade with eyeshadow of the same color – and you are ready to go!
2. Variety of bright eyeshadows
If all you have seen or heard is just adding a dash of blue eyeshadow – then there’s a lot you are missing out on! There is a multitude of shades available – from orange to pink to purple that would leave you wanting more.
If you want to try out the makeup from the 80s but are still not a fan of deep shades, you can always opt for metallic bronze.
3. Lash-to-lid eyeshadow
If you are not a fan of makeup, or cannot apply it perfectly, this is one style that you will not like to miss! The origin of this concept is spearheaded by spreading the eyeshadow over the whole of the lid. Though the divas tried it with the bright eyeshadows that they would normally use back in those days, you can surely tame it down to the metallic bronze eyeshadow for a lighter look.
4. Metallic color
Lining with a darker color and then putting in the shade of your choice was the key to the 80s look! With the nude lips consuming too much space, it was time for some frosted glow to come back. The metallic look suited every occasion and was big with sequined dresses.
5. Draped blush
If you are unaware of the effects that the ‘color grow’ technique has on the skin, it is time to check out the same. This is a type of blushing or contouring wherein you not only concentrate on the cheek blushing but also blend it entirely on the skin. To ensure that you have sharper cheekbones – you can always highlight them with shades of red and pink.
6. Neon all around
Neons were a huge part of makeup from the 80s. Not just in headbands, the electric pinks and fluorescent yellows were found everywhere – from eyeshadows to luscious lips.
Icons that made the 80s
We all know how Princess Diana brought about a revolution in terms of her makeup in the 80s. Following her path of revolutionary dolling-up, other icons made these styles famous. Here’s taking a glimpse –
Christie Brinkley was the American supermodel who rocked smoky eyes – a fuchsia pink look, sometimes adding a dash of blue to her eyes.
Debbie Harry was the woman who specifically categorized the makeup from the 80s look! Pink and purple were her chosen hues, with a dash of mascara for patching it up.
If you want to check out what bold brows were all about – there’s none better than Cindy Crawford and Brooke Shields! Dark, painted brows formed the trademark of the 80s look!
Have you checked out the coloured eyeshadow that Cher wears? Her motto has always been to keep it as bright as possible. So, when you wish to go glam with the 80s peaking – ensure that you pop the brightest of shades.
Neons were the splashes of vibrancy that the 80s brought forth! The shades are unmissable from neon pink to green to fluorescent yellow. Remember Boy George and her style?
If there was one color that adequately made it to every fashion cover – it was pink! From metallic lips to smoky pink eyes – there was every shade of pink that a pink lover would want. Go back and take a look at Jane Seymour’s old pictures – you will get what glossy makeup from the 80s looked like!
Going back to the 80s
It was just pre-pandemic that the makeup gurus were going crazy about the retro look. With the neutral shades running their course, it is time to pop some hues into your makeup kit. With most celebs and TikTokers opting for these loud shades, the makeup from the 80s is back roaring. If you are yet to add some colour pops to your kit, it is time you opt for the same. Did you enjoy reading this article? Then share it with your dear ones, and keep following this space for more!
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.