While ’80s makeup looks have been making a comeback for years, we deem this summer as the official start of our own ’80s revival. Think fuchsia lips, blue lids, and tons and tons of blush. Only this year’s ’80s looks aren’t exactly identical to those you may find in an old yearbook. They’ve been updated with blendable formulas, velvety textures, and, of course, so much gloss, vinyl, and shimmer.
Now, rather than view these looks as gaudy or nostalgic, we’re thinking of them as of-the-moment and creative. Such trends are allowing us to leave no-makeup makeup behind for bolder, more exciting products and shades. Below, find each editor’s interpretation of their favorite ’80s look and the products they used to re-create them.
“I’m currently loving graphic eye shadow looks in bright, unexpected colors—probably because it’s a deceptively minimalist approach to the very maximalist ’80s aesthetic. I counterbalance it with a very utilitarian outfit (like a jumpsuit or jeans and a T-shirt), keep the rest of my makeup very neutral, and that’s enough to be a look.
“Blue is definitely tougher because it screams ’80s in a borderline cheesy way, but I saw it done right last NYFW during Collina Strada’s presentation: The pastel shades of blue were artistic in a quiet kind of way, and I remember thinking, I can do that. I finally put it into practice this past weekend with the help of (an apparently discontinued) Models Own cream eye shadow and my secret weapon, Rituel de Fille Eye Soot ($38) in Pyxis, which lends any color a blue-flecked holographic sheen. I just followed the natural lines of my lid with blending brush, blue magic.”
“I have been obsessed with draping ever since Adam Selman featured the blush-heavy look on his spring/summer 2017 runway. It’s both bold and architectural in equal measure. It’s everything makeup is supposed to be—beautiful, fun, and experimental.
“What I realized after trying it out myself (i.e. having our managing editor Lindsey apply it to me because she might as well be a professional makeup artist), is that it’s shockingly versatile. I’ve always been wary of blush, especially in such bright colors, because my cheeks get pretty red on their own. But I am so enthralled with the way this turned out. I picture wearing it with a neutral palette for a special event or even adding some shimmer to feel more like an ’80s video girl. This time, I used Urban Decay Backtalk Eye & Face Palette ($46), Beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation ($40), and Pat McGrath Labs’ Lust Lip Gloss in Aliengelic ($28).”
“I had an ’80s-themed dance in high school, of which there is still photographic evidence (unfortunately), and since then, I have mostly strayed from neon or bright makeup looks of any kind. I prefer sultry and smoky to anything vivid and bright, but after wearing lavender eye shadow for the first time in my life, I’m tempted to switch teams. I found this silky powder, Catrice Precious Pigments Loose Eyeshadow ($6) in the shade Purple Fiction (props for the punny name!). Because it’s a loose shadow, it goes on sheerer and also gives you more control over the intensity.
I dipped my finger in like the rule-breaking beauty editor that I am (okay fine, I’m just lazy) and applied it directly to my eyelid. The end result wasn’t gaudy in the slightest but a soft, dare I say, pretty wash of hazy violet over my eyelids. I finished with a swipe of Kat Von D Studded Kiss Crème Lipstick in Crush ($19), and my ’80s transformation was complete. And yes, I’m wearing this eye shadow the rest of the day (and probably tomorrow).”
“I wish I could be more experimental with eye shadow colors, but my fair skin and pink undertones don’t allow for it. As such, I stick to taupes and shimmery camel browns just about every single day. But when tasked with trying an ’80s look, I volunteered to do pink lids because you can’t pare down the ’80s—go bold or go home. I used Beauty by PopSugar Be the Boss Lip Gloss in Time After Time ($18)—how apropos for an ’80s look—for a glossy pink-mauve wash of color and loved the results. I’m also wearing it on my lips in this picture (which goes to show how versatile it is).
After a while, my lids felt a bit too sticky, so I’d save the look for a special event, but I had so much fun photographing it and picking up the dimension of the gloss.”