What Was Popular in 80s Makeup?

There are many fads in the 80s. From fashion, music, and makeup. Let us see below for the wonderful facts on how women (and men) wear their make up during that era.

What Was Popular in 80s Makeup?


As with any get up, your hair should also be in place in the 80s. With all the makeup you have on your face if your hair is out of place – you are not fully made up.

Cans of aerosol hairspray were a must-have for every woman in the old days. They need their hairsprays to make sure that their hair, or big hair rather, is in place.

A woman must tease her hair to make it look full of volume or she can also crimp her hair to be in. If she’s not satisfied with crimping or teasing her hair, there is always the salon for perming.

And last, colored hair was also the rage in the 80s since more women go for different hair color e.g. green, pink, or even blue.

Known women who started the trend are Debbie Gibson and Cindy Lauper.


It is customary in those days to put on a heavy layer of foundation. It should be at least two shades lighter than your usual skin tone. That sometimes, what it does is making your face too light, while from your neck down you have a different skin color altogether. It is not a pleasant look for a while then but today this is another no-no as the facial foundation should blend in with the color from the ears, down to the neck.


Some women nowadays know this secret, which is contouring. They also use this during those eras to define facial features. There is also some exaggeration of contouring the nose and jawlines in those days. Blush is the most used contouring makeup that you won’t hear of today as there are available contouring products specifically for defining facial features.


What’s with the fake beauty marks? We will never know for sure. But some women in the 80s just can’t seem to let this one go. When they would go out and party, there should be one fake beauty mark or two.

It must be brought about by Madonna’s influence since she was the one to go for fake beauty marks. A mole on the left cheek will suddenly reappear on the right cheek next time you see her during her performance.


They focused the makeup trends in the 80s on their cheekbones. It should be as prominent as possible and with the use of makeup, women could realize this one. There is just too much color to choose from back then and it should not be a color that is subdued or a color that blends with your skin color, because that is not just a usual happening then. It is like a must that women have it as colorful even in their blush on.

From bright pink or deep plum in their faces, women can easily have their pick.

If you don’t have a strikingly colored blush on, you are not wearing makeup for sure. Blush on should be bright and attractive. They also used blush on during those days as eyeshadows that when a woman has a bright pink blush on, a bright pink eyeshadow would follow.

It is not just making themselves stand out, but it is more of being unique and being able to express themselves with the use of makeup.


In the 80s, the bushy brow is the craze. Women have thick eyebrows and unkempt eyebrows. It is not normal to have a thin, clean, and one lined eyebrow in the 80s. People would think you have alopecia and your hair is thinning, hence, the eyebrows. There is not much being done to women’s eyebrows before with their makeup. Even with the natural full brows that are thick and bushy, a swipe of a brow gel before leaving is all it will get.

And just to add that in those days, Brooke Shields takes the cake in the eyebrow department.


Eyeliners were the in thing in the 80s. It may have been the top industry in those days as you will see many people using eyeliners to highlight their eyes. Tracing the top and bottom of their lids with black eyeliners and making sure they smudge it for the effect that makes some of them a distant relative of the raccoon because that is the outcome they are after. It is more of a goth makeup that we know nowadays but to a lesser degree. We can somewhat call it like a rock-and-roll vibe for sure.


Again, there is a bit of exaggeration with the play in color for this makeup in the 80s. Anything colorful is the craze then. You can see blue, pink eyeshadows and even purple being used every day when there is no party to go to. Just a usual daily makeup. The more colorful it is, the better.

The more popular color in those days to be exact is the aqua color or blue eyeshadows it even has made a comeback in the fashion industry the past years but it has bid goodbye for sure.

They applied the eyeshadow on the eyelid, sides of the eyes, and even under the eyes. They also delved into applying three distinct shades of color to make their eyes look more striking. First, they apply light pink, the middle color is a shade darker of pink color, then they top it with the aqua-colored eyeshadow.

There is also the yellow eyeshadow which can also add color to your face. Bronze was also in play in the old days if you are not more of the colorful makeup follower, bronzing is also an in-thing in the 80s.

There is just no problem with choosing eyeshadows then, as long as you are at ease with wearing colorful eyeshadows you should always go for it.


Mascara is important in the 80s. Again, color is at play here. It is so popular during the 80s that there is even availability of colored mascara. If you think the colorful trend starts with the eyeshadow, you better think again. If you believe that neon eyeshadow exists, you should be able to accept that a blue mascara is also the in-thing in those eras. But wait! There is also green, purple, and even red. I guess it just complete the look and make the women’s get up to stand out. The natural look is just not to be relied on and is a definite no-no.


Lipliners are also applied to a darker shade than the lipstick to emphasize the shape of the lips. There would be a darker shade first to be filled with a lighter color for the lipstick. It is also chic if you have a darker pink shade for your lip liner then fill the lips with pink lipstick as long as the lipliner is a shade darker; you are ready to go.


Wow! How do you know? Colors, colors. There are plenty of colors to choose from for lipstick in the 80s. But you should also be able to see pinks, oranges and fuchsia – oh, and plum! There are also available shades in red but it can be a ho-hum moment for some women to go out just wearing a simple, unnoticeable shade of lipstick.

Besides colorful lipstick, there is also the metallic lipstick which is a frosted look in those days.

If you feel you are overdoing it with the pink lips you are putting on these days, don’t even give it a thought. Just remember, the 80s had it so good with colors.


Did you think the neon nail polish was just discovered recently? Well, just letting you know that it is the one thing that the 80s women started. There is neon orange, pink, green, or whatever color can be called neon in those days. They were just a stand out once applied on the nails that many women follow the trend. Some even had their nails colored uncommon colors of neon just to say they have used every color there is. Most of the women then also have color patterns they followed, that when they were using pink eyeshadow or pink lipstick, neon pink nails were also included in their total get up.

It can surely be told that the 80s were a colorful era.


Yeap. It is not common, but it is possible then. Men also used makeup during those days. They put on a heavy shade of eyeliner to copy a raccoon’s eyes as it will make it more effective. There was Boy George who started the make up trend in men. But in those days, if you go out wearing pink eyeshadow and pink lipstick, you wouldn’t go that far before someone else hit you in the face. It is just a splendid thing that George Michael was a singer and a wonderful one.

Some men dabbled in using foundation, and some used face powder. If you can only check their man bag, you will see some shade of lipstick may be to give their lips a faint color too.

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