1980's Makeup

Hi everyone!

For the last post in my series of ‘Makeup Through the Decades’ I will be taking a look back at makeup from the 1980’s and which products are useful when trying to recreate this look.
The 80’s saw a dramatic change from previous decades where women had kept makeup natural and light and instead the new order of the day was to pile makeup on and experiment with bold, bright colours. This is a really fun look to play around with and gives you the chance to try out colours and styles that you might not normally go for.

Gone was the golden glow of the 70’s and instead women usually opted to use foundation that was one or two shades lighter than their natural skin tone. This meant that the already bright colours used on the eyes and cheeks would really stand out and make the look all that more dramatic. Foundation was also applied liberally so a full coverage product is best for this look. I like MAC’s Studio Fix Foundation (£20.50) when I’m after something a bit heavier and that will help cover any blemishes or imperfections.

Smokey eyes in bright colours such as fuchsia, electric blue, oranges and greens were hugely popular throughout the 80’s. Any colour that takes your fancy would work for this look as long as it is bold and vivid! Thick, dark eyeliner was also essential and was applied to both the upper and lower lash lines to get the most dramatic effect. Add a pair of false lashes to really finish off the striking eye makeup needed to achieve the 80’s look. MAC’s Fluidline eyeliner in Black Track (£15.50) and L’oreal Superliner in Carbon Black (£6.49 at Superdrug) are really easy to use eyeliners that are great for this look. MUA also do some really cheap eyeshadow palettes (from £4) if you don’t want to spend a fortune on colours that you might not use that often.

One of the most recognisable aspects of 1980’s makeup has got to be the blusher. This was applied to the hollows of the cheeks in thick lines for a stripy appearance. Blusher was never blended out to look more natural and again bright colours such as hot pinks, oranges and plums were the most popular in this decade. Use a highlighter on the cheek bones to really make blusher stand out; Benefit’s Watts Up (£24.50) and MAC’s Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel (£17.50) are a couple of my favourite highlighters at the moment.

By now you may have noticed there is a bit of a theme to the look of the 80’s – the bolder and brighter the better! Lipstick was no exception to the rule with Fuchsia again being a popular choice. Impassioned by MAC (£14) is a fab bright pink lipstick as is Shocking Pink Lip Paint (£4.49) from Barry M.

The 80’s was all about taking your look to the extreme and women took inspiration from stars such as Madonna and Cyndi Lauper throughout this era. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours that you might usually steer clear of and remember the bolder and brighter the better!

Have any of you guys tried to recreate this look? I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you have for recreating the 80’s glam style.

Hope you enjoyed reading,


Images taken from:



  1. Thank u for doinf this post....I am in the middel of my makeupschool course doing 1980´s makeup this week researching a little bit....very fun to read you post......good facts...thank u...LOts of Love

  2. @Mizz Made Up Thank you :) Glad you enjoyed the post and found it helpful. I find it really interesting looking back at how makeup used to be and really enjoyed writing this post. Good luck with your makeup course! x

  3. Hi, do you know which products and brands were popular in the 80s? I am doing a project on 1980s makeup and I need to know the popular products that were used in that decade. Thanks.

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