Iconic 80s Makeup Looks: How To Recreate Them In 2024

Are you looking for bold and vibrant 80s makeup looks to make a statement? Then this article is just what you need.

I’ve curated the most iconic and colorful makeup styles from the 80s that are perfect for parties, nights out, and special events.

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80s Makeup Looks

Here are the most important aspects when it comes to 80s makeup looks:

  1. Bright Eyeshadows: Neon and electric shades like blues, greens, and pinks are applied heavily.
  2. Heavy Blush: Angular application with bright, contrasting colors to define cheekbones.
  3. Bold Eyebrows: Bushy, untamed brows for a strong frame around the eyes.
  4. Intense Eyeliner: Thick black eyeliner, often extended into exaggerated wingtips.
  5. Statement Lips: Bold and high-impact colors such as bright reds and pinks with defined lip liners.
  6. Glitter Accents: Sparkling additions on eyelids or cheeks for extra glam.
  7. Frosted Lipstick: Shimmering lipsticks in metallic or frosted finishes.
  8. Geometric Designs: Artistic patterns and shapes created with makeup for avant-garde looks.

The 80s makeup looks were daring and expressive, reflecting the era’s love for bold fashion and vibrant aesthetics.

20 Iconic 80s Makeup Looks

Bold Eyeshadow: Bright colors like electric blue, hot pink, and neon green were popular, often applied all the way up to the brow bone.

 bold eyeshadow makeup
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Heavy Blush: Bright, intense blush applied to the apples of the cheeks and blended up towards the temples.

 heavy blush makeup aesthetic
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Blue Mascara: Colored mascara, especially in blue, was a trendy way to make eyes pop.

 blue mascara aesthetic
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Graphic Eyeliner: Sharp, defined lines with black liquid eyeliner, often with dramatic wings or geometric shapes.

 Graphic Eyeliner
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Frosted Eyeshadow: Metallic and frosted eyeshadows in silver, gold, and pastel colors.

 Frosted Eyeshadow 80s
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Thick Brows: Full, natural brows, often darkened and defined with brow pencils.

 Thick Brows 80s aesthetic
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Glitter: Applied on eyelids, cheeks, or lips for a sparkling effect, often seen in party or disco looks.

 Thick Brows 80s aesthetic
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Bold Lip Colors: Bright reds, pinks, purples, and even oranges were popular, often in a matte finish.

 Bold Lip Colors makeup aesthetic
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Two-Toned Eyeshadow: Contrasting colors on the upper and lower lids or in the crease and on the lid.

 two toned eyeshadow looks 80s
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Neon Accents: Neon colors are used as eyeliner or eyeshadow for a vivid, standout look.

 Neon Accents
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Metallic Lipstick: Shimmery and metallic lip colors, often in silver, gold, or bronze.

 Metallic Lipstick
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Glossy Lips: High-shine lip glosses, sometimes layered over bold lip colors.

 glossy lips aesthetic
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Smoky Eyes: Dark, smudged eyeshadow around the eyes, typically in blacks and grays for a rock-and-roll vibe.

 Smoky Eyes
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Contoured Cheeks: Strong contouring with darker shades to define cheekbones, paired with bright blush.

 Contoured Cheeks
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Colored Eyebrows: Some adventurous looks included eyebrows tinted in unusual colors like pink or purple.

 Colored Eyebrows
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Highlight and Shimmer: Generous use of highlighter on cheekbones, brow bones, and the bridge of the nose.

 Highlight and Shimmer
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Cut Crease Eyeshadow: A defined, sharp line separating the eyelid color from the crease color for dramatic definition.

 Cut Crease Eyeshadow 80s
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Lip Liner: Dark lip liner, often paired with a lighter lipstick for a defined look.

 Lip Liner 80s
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Matte Foundation: Matte, a full-coverage foundation to create a flawless base.

 Matte Foundation
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Bold Lower Lash Line: Bright or dark colors are applied heavily along the lower lash line for added drama.

 Bold Lower Lash Line
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No matter how many years have passed, the 80s still remain a fascinating era in makeup history, influencing styles even today.

Famous Faces and Their Influence

Madonna’s Signature Style

You simply can’t talk about 80s makeup looks without mentioning the Queen of Pop, Madonna. Her iconic style was a pivotal part of that era.

She popularized thick, bold eyebrows and her signature red lips. As the Material Girl, you often emphasized your eyes with dark liner and mascara.

What’s most fascinating is how your makeup influenced an entire generation to be bold and unapologetic with their looks.

Cyndi Lauper’s Colorful Palette

Another trendsetter who had a significant influence on 80s makeup looks is Cyndi Lauper. She brought a more colorful and daring approach to makeup.

Her bright eyeshadows and vibrant lips became a staple of the decade. It’s safe to say that her daring style taught me that experimenting with eye-catching colors is a great way to make a statement with makeup.

David Bowie’s Bold Statements

Lastly, I must mention the legendary David Bowie. His influence on 80s makeup can’t be ignored.

With bold eyeshadows, dramatic blush, and colorful lip choices, he showed us that makeup isn’t just about looking pretty – it’s a powerful tool for self-expression.

His makeup looks, like the iconic lightning bolt, encouraging others to be unafraid to make their bold statements through their appearance.

Creating Your Own 80s Look

Choosing the Right Products

For your 80s makeup look, you usually begin by selecting the appropriate products. The key to a great 80s makeup look is vibrant colors, so you make sure to choose eyeshadows, blush, and lipsticks that really pop.

You love using a colorful eyeshadow palette with shades like fuchsia, electric blue, and bright green.

Next, you’ll pick a bold blush color that harmonizes with your skin tone. You use a blush similar to the one mentioned in this Ultimate Guide To 80s Makeup Looks.

Finally, choosing a vibrant lipstick is essential! A classic red or deep oxblood like the ones mentioned in this step-by-step guide will complete your 80s look.

Step-by-Step Application Guide

Step 1: Prepare Your Skin
  1. Cleanse and Moisturize: Start with a clean face. Apply a moisturizer suitable for your skin type.
  2. Primer: Apply a primer to create a smooth base for your makeup.
Step 2: Foundation and Concealer
  1. Foundation: Use a full-coverage, matte foundation to create a flawless base. Blend it well using a sponge or brush.
  2. Concealer: Apply concealer under your eyes and on any blemishes or discoloration. Blend it out for a seamless finish.
  3. Powder: Set your foundation and concealer with a translucent powder to keep your makeup in place and maintain a matte finish.
Step 3: Brows
  1. Define Brows: Use a brow pencil or powder to fill in and define your eyebrows. The 80s look calls for thick, bold brows, so don’t be afraid to go a bit heavier than usual.
Step 4: Eyeshadow
  1. Base Color: Apply a neutral base eyeshadow color over your entire eyelid.
  2. Bold Color: Choose a bright color like electric blue or hot pink. Apply it over your eyelid and blend it up towards the brow bone.
  3. Secondary Color: Use a contrasting color in the crease or outer corner of your eye. Blend well to avoid harsh lines.
  4. Frosted Highlight: Add a frosted eyeshadow (like silver or gold) to the inner corners of your eyes and just under your brow bone to highlight.
Step 5: Eyeliner
  1. Upper Lid: Use a black liquid eyeliner to draw a thick line along your upper lash line. Extend it out into a dramatic wing.
  2. Lower Lid: Optionally, apply colored eyeliner along your lower lash line for added drama.
Step 6: Mascara
  1. Colored Mascara: Apply a few coats of blue or black mascara to your upper and lower lashes to make your eyes pop.

You need help with finding the perfect mascara? Check out our article about the best loreal mascara products.

Step 7: Blush
  1. Bold Blush: Choose a bright blush (like hot pink or coral) and apply it generously to the apples of your cheeks. Blend it upwards towards your temples in a sweeping motion.
Step 8: Highlight and Contour
  1. Contour: Lightly contour under your cheekbones, along your jawline, and on the sides of your nose.
  2. Highlight: Apply a shimmery highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and your cupid’s bow.
Step 9: Lips
  1. Lip Liner: Outline your lips with a dark lip liner, slightly overlining if you want a fuller look.
  2. Lipstick: Fill in your lips with bright lipstick (like bold red, hot pink, or bright purple).
  3. Gloss: Apply a high-shine lip gloss over the lipstick for an extra glossy finish.
Step 10: Finishing Touches
  1. Setting Spray: Use a setting spray to lock your makeup in place and ensure it lasts all day or night.
Optional Step: Glitter
  1. Glitter Accents: If you want to go all out, add some cosmetic glitter to your eyelids or cheeks for that extra 80s sparkle.

To add a finishing touch, apply a shimmer or highlighter to your cheekbones, brow bone, and the inner corners of your eyes.


What was the makeup style in the 80s?

In the 80s, makeup was bold and vibrant: neon eyeshadows, heavy blush, dramatic eyeliner with exaggerated wings, bold lips with defined outlines, and glitter accents. The style was theatrical and expressive, reflecting the decade’s energetic and flamboyant spirit.

What were the beauty standards in the 80s?

In the 80s, beauty standards emphasized boldness and glamour. Thin, arched eyebrows, voluminous hair, and a fit physique were ideal. Makeup-wise, bright colors, dramatic eyeliner, and bold lips were favored, reflecting a confident and assertive aesthetic.

Did they have concealer in the 80s?

Yes, concealer existed in the 80s. It was used to cover blemishes, dark circles, and imperfections, although the formulations and shades available were not as diverse as today’s options.

What jewelry was popular in the 80s?

In the 80s, popular jewelry included large hoop earrings, chunky necklaces, charm bracelets, and statement rings. These accessories often featured bold colors, geometric shapes, and exaggerated designs to complement the era’s vibrant fashion trends.

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Luk Endres
Luk Endres

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