80s Makeup: Top Trends of The Decade

Those who lived through the decade known as the 80s recall it as a fascinating period in history. During the 1980s, beauty had some highs and lows. The good news is that 80s makeup trends are making a big comeback 40 years later.

After four decades, we are finally ready to welcome back bright, badass 80s makeup that will push you out of your comfort zone. This is, in essence, the essence of 1980s makeup. And it all comes down to being able to stand out from the crowd. Consider Whitney Houston, Madonna in her formative years, Cyndi Lauper, and others.

Before we get into the trends of 80s glam makeup, we should mention that ladies in the 1980s wore a variety of products. But, hey, those girls were just having a good time, right? Keeping this in mind, let’s look at some of the trends that are making a big comeback.

80s Makeup Inspiration

Purple, Blue, and Pink eyeshadow

Being a cool girl in the 80s meant wearing bright eyeshadow. And your standard colours didn’t work. If you wanted to be cool in the 1980s, you had to wear eyeshadow in an unusual colour. Consider the colours blue, pink, and purple. Some girls even mixed all of these colours together. Talk about vibrant makeup.

Pink Lip Combo/Rocker Eye

Some ladies nowadays rock the pink lip or the rocker’s eye. However, we rarely see these two elements combined. Blendable gel eyeliner can be used to create a rocker eye makeup look. That is what contributed to the 1980s being dubbed a “hot mess.”

The look works beautifully when done lightly. Make sure your lower lashes are defined. If you want to be as authentic as possible, go for the 80s raccoon look. For a more dramatic look, pair it with a dark lip liner.

Muted lip

This sophisticated look has been popular for quite some time. Designers such as Gucci, Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, and others opted for lips that were either dabbed with balm or blotted with the faintest hint of colour a few years ago.

Muted lips are not synonymous with “naked mouths.” The latter is an outright rejection of makeup, whereas the former is a refined makeup look. By using a naked lip and colourful eyeshadow, you can achieve a simple 80s makeup look.

Lash-to-Lid eyeshadow

This was something our parents did frequently. A wash of powdery shadow extending from lash to lid is the latest Instagram eyeshadow trend. The technique is simple to learn and can even be done with your fingers. You can achieve the best looks by following Hollywood makeup tips.

Sunny Shades

In the 1980s, both men and women enjoyed dressing up for trips to the beach. That meant lots of coral lipstick, shimmery-gold bright eyeshadow, and other bright colours in your makeup. It’s easy to see why this trend is making a comeback. Ladies nowadays want to look like bronze goddesses, and 80s makeup allows them to do so.

Neon everything

We discussed how colours were a big part of 80s makeup. That means a lot of bright colours. Back in the day, neon colours could be found on leg warmers, fanny packs, and even headbands. The neon colours made their way into the lipstick industry, resulting in colours such as electric pink, which can flatten nearly all skin tones.

Heavy eyeliner

Raccoon eyes were popular in the past, as previously stated. People were eager to create them on purpose. To achieve the look, use matte black eyeliner to trace the tops and bottoms of each lid, then smudge it all together. The end result was rock-n-roll vibes that you couldn’t help but love. For this look, we usually use a gel pot or a satin crayon.

Bold and Bushy Brows

Thick, natural-looking brows are more popular than ever. That is an 80s makeup trend that we were able to easily incorporate thanks to models like Cara Delevingne. In the morning, brush a tinted or clear brow gel through your brows and proceed from there. Bold brows complement dramatic eye makeup.


When it comes to interesting and unique techniques, we must mention draping and contouring with blush. The technique is known as “colour grow”, and it has been around for a while. You use a blush not only on your cheeks but all over your face with this technique. As a result, your cheekbones are higher and more defined than ever. Colours that stand out include bright pink and fiery red.

Metallic lipstick

We have frosted lips again thanks to the revival of 80s makeup. There are more options this time around than there were in the 1980s. Back in the 1980s, there was only baby pink. You can experiment with matching your lipstick to your eye makeup by using colours from the same colour family.

Statement Lashes

Everything other than black mascara was frowned upon ten years ago. Coloured mascara, on the other hand, is making a big comeback these days. The plain old black is far too dull. We have burgundy to match any eyeshadow colour, as well as turquoise for your hazel eyes.

Because vibrant mascara is so popular, you can even mix and match the colours by applying one colour to the top lashes and another to the bottom lashes. As a result, styles like bright blue mascara are more fashionable than ever.

Why are the 80s makeup making a comeback?

The 1980s saw extremes in fashion, music, and makeup. They were, however, a period of great creativity. People first heard about things like vibrant mascara in the 1980s. While it is now common to coat your lashes with shades of burnt orange, green, or cobalt, vibrant mascara was a revolution in the 1980s.

The good news is that 80s vibes are more appealing than ever. Nowadays, we have 80s makeup that is done nicely.

Famous 80’s Makeup Icons:

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was a legendary singer who won nine Grammy Awards, one Primetime Emmy Award, and twelve Billboard Music Awards during her career. “I Will Always Love You” is the singer’s signature ballad, and it is still considered a staple in popular music today. Houston was a well-known actress in addition to her singing career.

Houston’s career began in the mid-1980s, and she quickly captivated her audience, becoming an icon in music, beauty, and fashion. The star was on top of everything, from her ruffles and sequins to her loud makeup and big hair looks.

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields is a well-known American model and actress who shot to fame in 1980 as Emmeline Lestrange in the commercially successful film The Blue Lagoon. Shields began her modelling career at the age of 11 months and became the youngest fashion model to appear on the cover of Vogue at the age of 14.

Aside from Shield’s glamorous magazine and red carpet looks, women in the 1980s wanted to imitate her voluminous locks, bushy brows, and signature thick lashes. Brooke’s makeup was often natural and neutral in candid photos, but she preferred more bold looks for editorial work.

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry is best known as the lead vocalist and co-founder of the rock band Blondie. Harry launched her solo career in 1981 with the release of her album “KooKoo,” which went gold in the United States.

With Harry’s international success in the music industry, her daring fashion sense and two-tone bleached-blonde hair became instantly popular among New Wave fans.

Her 1980s beauty look also included rouged cheeks, blue eyeshadow, and red lipstick. Harry’s various approaches to developing a distinct but functional fashion style were a huge source of inspiration for women in the 1980s.


Madonna dubbed the “Queen of Pop,” has sold over 300 million records worldwide, making her the best-selling female recording artist of all time according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The singer’s signature songs include “Material Girl” and “Like a Virgin,” which spent six weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

When Madonna first appeared on the music scene in 1983, she immediately reigned supreme with her iconic short frizzy hair and rebellious fashion, which greatly influenced the decade’s fashion.

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson is the only singer in history to have seven songs from the same album chart in the top five. She is known as Michael Jackson’s youngest sister, but she has made a name for herself in the music industry with her numerous accolades.

Janet Jackson rose to prominence in the 1980s, becoming one of the decade’s most recognisable singers and fashion icons. She wore high-waisted pants, blue leather motorcycle jackets, and statement belts, which were popular in the 1980s. Miss Jackson wore a girl next door look for her 80s makeup.

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper is an American singer, songwriter, and actress who rose to prominence in 1984 with her song “Time After Time,” which earned her the Grammy Awards for Best Female Performance and Best New Artist. She was one of the most famous pop stars of the 1980s, winning five Grammy Awards, one Primetime Emmy Award, and one prestigious Tony Award.

Lauper’s daring fashion sense consists of mixing and matching clashing colours, patterns, and textures, allowing her to stand out from the crowd. In terms of makeup, she wasn’t afraid to try out bold blush, lip liner, and blue eyeshadow looks. Lauper’s intense and distinct style complemented the decade’s fashion.

Joan Collins

Joan Collins, an English actress and author, rose to prominence as Alexis Colby in the 1980s soap opera Dynasty. Collins has received numerous awards throughout her career as an actress and is still active in the industry.

Collin’s influence in fashion reached new heights when Dynasty became the number-one show in the United States in 1985. The icon preferred draped blush and bright eyeshadow looks for beauty.

The shoulder pads, fabulous jackets, sequins, big earrings, and that little black dress that the actress wore as Alexis Colby made her one of the 1980s’ most notable fashion icons.

Tina Turner

Tina Turner is known as “The Queen of Rock and Roll” for good reason. She is also regarded as one of the greatest vocalists of all time, having won 11 Grammy Awards and selling over 100 million records worldwide.

Aside from her iconic hair, Turner inspired women in the 1980s with her signature denim jackets and leather hot pants that showed off her incredible legs. Her signature weapon for 80s makeup was a bold red lipstick.

She was also admired for her fringe outfits, which accentuated her dance moves on stage, and her black stilettos, which became a powerful indicator of the decade.


I'm a content writer and writing for 5 years for multinational companies.

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