HomeFashion'80s Makeup: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

’80s Makeup: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

In the 1980s, cosmetics were about giving your face a “natural” look. This meant foundation, blush, and eye shadow in shades that matched your skin tone and lips that were either left natural or colored with a light gloss. The goal was to accentuate your best features and create a cohesive look.

But not everyone followed these trends. Some people chose a more extreme approach, using bright and bold colors in their makeup. This could result in some fascinating (and sometimes horrifying) results.

Let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of ‘80s makeup.

Trends And Looks In 1980s Makeup: Glitz And Glam

The 1980s were a decade of dramatic fashion and makeup looks. Glitz and glam were the order of the day, with big hair and even bigger shoulders being all the rage.

One of the most iconic 80s makeup looks was the strong brow. This trend was started by the one and only Joan Collins. Brows were plucked into sharp, defined arches and then heavily darkened with a brow pencil or shadow.

Another big 80s makeup trend was blue eyeshadow. This was usually applied all over the lid, giving the wearer a dramatic, smokey-eyed look. Blue eyeshadow was often paired with pink or coral blush for a pop of color.

Lips were also significant and bold in the 80s. Glossy, brightly-colored lips were all the rage, with red being trendy. Lip liner was also heavily used to help define the shape of the lips.

80s Fashion Trends to Complete Your Look

What comes to mind when you think of 1980s fashion? It may be neon-colored clothes, big hair, or shoulder pads. Whatever you think of, one thing is for sure: the 80s were a time of Bold fashion choices.

For those who want to dress like it’s 1985, there are specific fashion trends you’ll need to include in your wardrobe. To help you get started here are a few 80s fashion trends to get you started:

  1. Shoulder Pads

While shoulder pads were first introduced in the 1930s, they became trendy in the 80s. Many women wore them to achieve a robust and powerful look. And while they may not be as popular today, shoulder pads can still be found in some modern clothing items.

  1. Neon Colors

In the 80s, neon colors were all the rage. From clothes to shoes to accessories, everything was bright and vibrant. Add some neon colors to your wardrobe if you want to dress like the 1980s.

  1. Big Hair

Big hair was another 80s trend that is still popular today. You’ll need to use many styling products, such as mousse, hairspray, and gel, for an extensive hair look.

  1. Leg Warmers

Dancers originally wore leg warmers to keep their muscles warm. But in the 1980s, they became a fashion trend for both men and women. They were often worn with shorts, skirts, or even jeans.

  1. Acid Wash Jeans

Acid-wash jeans were a must-have in the 80s. These jeans were usually blue or black and had a distressed look. If you want to achieve an authentic 80s look, add a pair of acid-wash jeans to your wardrobe.

  1. Fur

Fur was also a popular fashion trend in the 1980s. Women often wore fur coats, hats, and even gloves. If you want to add a touch of luxury to your 80s outfit, consider including some fur in your wardrobe.

  1. Leather

Leather was also a popular fabric in the 1980s. Women often wore leather jackets, skirts, and pants. And men often wore leather jackets and pants as well. To achieve an authentic 80s look, include some leather in your wardrobe.

  1. Preppy Clothes

Preppy clothes were also popular in the 1980s. This style was usually associated with wealthy people and included button-down shirts, polo shirts, and Khaki pants. If you want a preppy 80s look, include some of these items in your wardrobe.

  1. Ripped Jeans

Ripped jeans were also a popular fashion trend in the 1980s. This style was usually associated with rebellion.

What Makeup was Popular in the 80’s

In the 1980s, the most popular makeup was blue eye shadow, pink blush, and red lipstick. This decade was all about having fun with makeup, and people experimented with different colors and looks. One of the most iconic 80s makeup trends was the “smokey eye.” This look was achieved by applying a dark eye shadow all over the lid and blending it. Supermodels like Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford popularized this style.

How to Rock the 80s Look in 2023

The 1980s was a decade of over-the-top trends and fashion statements. Bold colors, big hair, and exaggerated makeup were all the rage. While some of the 80s trends have come back in recent years, others have been best left in the past. Here are a few tips on how to modernize the 80s makeup look and make it work for you in 2023:

Start with a clean, fresh face. If you haven’t already, invest in a good skincare routine. This will help create a blank canvas for the rest of your makeup.


The ’80s were a decade of big hair, makeup, and attitude. And while some may be best left in the past, we can’t help but look back at some of the trends and products with a sense of nostalgia.

While today’s makeup trends tend to be more natural and minimal, in the ’80s, it was all about going big or home. Neon colors, thick eyeliner, and over-the-top blush were all the rage. And while some of it may seem a bit tacky by today’s standards, there was something about the ’80s makeup look that was so… fun.

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