10 Vintage 80’s Makeup Styles To Bring Back In Style
Fashions come and go. Some come back around full circle.
There’s nothing new under the sun. This means that if a new makeup beauty trend comes along, there’s a good chance it’s already been done before.
This is why you should try to channel some iconic makeup styles from the 80’s. It was a decade for creativity and experimenting, leading to some outlandish, yet cool trends.
Let’s take a look at 10 vintage 80’s makeup styles that you need to try today.
80’s Makeup Style: Purple Eyeshadow
When most people think about bold, bright eyeshadow colors, they think of the 80’s. There was no such thing as being subtle and demur in the 80’s – it was all about standing out and expressing yourself.
80's makeup, in particular, featured a lot of pastel colors, especially when it came to eyeshadow. Out of all the eyeshadow trends in the 80's, this is by far our favorite.
This is because purple is a great color for complementing all iris shades. It doesn’t matter what color your eyes are – purple will look great with them.
If you want to modernize this look, try blending your eyeshadow a bit more. The smoky purple eye is a great look for going out.
80’s Makeup Style: Natural Brows
You’ll find it easy to bring this trend back, as many people have jumped on the bandwagon already. Closely following a decade where women overplucked their brows, 80’s makeup included the untouched brow look which led to bushy, unkempt eyebrows.
This is an excellent 80's makeup style to bring back if you want to say goodbye to the pencil thin eyebrows of the 90's and odd angles of the 00's. These days, eyebrows are generally considered at their best when they're left to do their thing.
We recommend adding a little shaping and filling to the natural shape and curve of your eyebrow. This will help to accentuate its best features and tame any unruly hairs.
80’s Makeup Style: Guys Eyeliner
While this trend has resurged a couple of times since the 80’s, it’s time it came back full circle again. You may associate eyeliner on guys with the punk rock era, but even they weren’t original.
Stars like Bowie spearheaded this trend and made it famous in the 80's. Nowadays, it's easy to fit in with a bit of eyeliner if you're a guy. Jared Leto is a big fan of this look.
If you’re going to try this look, go for a slight smudge – this can help to soften it a little bit and keep the look subtle. Remember, less is more – you’ll only need a small amount underneath each eye to achieve the grungy eyeliner look.
80’s Makeup Style: Orange Eyeshadow
We are very familiar with the 80’s being the age of brightly colored eyeshadow. Let’s explore another shade that was just as if not more popular than purple throughout this decade.
Orange eyeshadow was so popular, in fact, that it didn’t stop at the eyes. Women wore orange wherever they could on their face – on their cheeks and their lips as well as their eyes.
It was a bold, but elegant statement that many women, including Joan Collins, pulled off.
If you're going to try and recreate this look now, we recommend going for a subtler shade of orange, so it's not too bright. Orange eyeshadows these days tend to have more copper tones in them.
One thing to love about orange eyeshadow is that, like purple, it’s a shade that will pair perfectly with most eye colors.
80’s Makeup Style: Visible Contrasts
One 80's makeup style that was fiercely popular in the 80's – largely thanks to Madonna was the dark brows, light hair combination. As we know, women loved to show off their thick, untouched eyebrows.
What better way to do so than lighten your hair? Dying your hair a platinum blonde, so it sat in contrast against dark eyebrows was a fashionable look that many women wore.
Madonna loved this look and didn't care that it didn't look natural. She loved the different tones, paving the way for one of the hottest 80's makeup trends of the decade.
You can certainly pull off a look like this these days. While it may be more subtle, it still looks great when you contrast shades like dark brown and platinum blonde.
80’s Makeup Style: Bright Lipsticks
We’ve already established that the 80’s was all about bright, bold eyeshadows. But it didn’t stop here. Making a statement with your lips was also on trend.
Wearing bright, unconventional lipsticks was a great way to unleash your creative side in the 80's. Many pop stars led the way in this trend and didn't care how bold they went with their lip color. In fact, the brighter, the better.
Today there's just as much freedom to express yourself through makeup. This is why the bright lip color look is an excellent 80's makeup style to bring back. From green to blue and even yellow, there are some bold lip colors that you can pair with a smoky eye for a great evening look.
80’s Makeup Style: Full Face
Everything about the 80’s was big and dramatic. Before then, women weren’t experimenting too much with lots of makeup – less was more when it came to getting ready in the morning.
The 80’s changed all this. Because creative freedom was at the forefront of 80’s makeup trends, women weren’t afraid to apply as little or as much as they wanted.
This led to the full-face makeup trend, which included eyebrows, eyeshadow, and lipstick. These days women typically either choose between a lip or an eyeshadow – but not in the 80's.
If you want to bring this look back, try to be clever about how you pair your lipstick and eyeshadow. While contrasting colors make for an interesting look, there are plenty of shades out there that complement each other as well.
80’s Makeup Style: Punk Eyes And Bright Lips
Our last 80’s makeup style is a good Segway into the next one – punk eyes and bright lips. Keeping in line with the full face, pop stars like Madonna continued to pave the way by overdoing it with both the eyes and lips.
Madonna was a big fan of big smoky eyes paired with neon-bright lip color. This high-wattage looks distressed but in the best possible way. Dark smoky eyes looked good with bright eyeshadows that purposely didn't match a bright lip.
We recommend choosing between a smoky eye and eyeshadow if you want to bring this dramatic look forward into today. This way, you can pair different neon lip colors more easily.
80’s Makeup Style: Blush Contouring
Back in the 80's, hardly anyone had heard of contouring. A typical makeup routine consisted of foundation, blush, lipstick, and eyeshadow. If you did want to enhance your cheeks, you used blush.
Blush was a great 80’s contour because it fitted in well with the rest of the 80’s makeup trends which, as we know, were bright and dramatic.
The technical makeup term for using blush as a contour for your cheeks is ‘color glow.' Bring ‘color glow' forward to current beauty trends by picking out a subtle shade that's not going to clash too much with your eyeshadow or lippy.
While you can choose to use a darker shade of contour, it’s worth giving this 80’s makeup style a go at least once and seeing if you like it.
80’s Makeup Style: Elongated Eyeshadow
This wouldn’t be a list of the top 10 vintage 80’s makeup looks if we didn’t keep coming back to eyeshadow. Eyeshadow was the cornerstone of 80’s makeup, and you won’t have gotten too far without it.
Supermodels like Grace Jones and pop stars like Bowie loved the elongated eyeshadow look. This meant taking your bright eyeshadow and blending it right out to sit past your bushy eyebrows.
If you're going to try this look now, we recommend choosing a more neutral palette – unless of course, you're a rock star. Neutral tones will be easier to blend and pair with one of those neon lipsticks you now own.
Looking At 10 Vintage 80’s Makeup Styles To Bring Back
What goes around, comes around.
The same is true for makeup. While you may have put those silly days of thin eyebrows and penciled lips behind you, there’s no escaping the 80’s trends that are coming back in full force.
Instead of denying them, it's better to embrace them. With current makeup, you can actually recreate some iconic 80's makeup looks and build on them for a modern, chic full face.