We’re a fair few months off Halloween and your invite to the next fancy dress party seems to have been lost in the post, but there are other reasons to emulate your favorite 80s icons. Please step into our time machine and join us for a journey all the way back to one epic decade: the 1980s. People were slapping bracelets on their wrists, bobbing their heads up and down to Queen and Blondie on their Walkman, and trying to defeat the ever-challenging Rubik’s Cube. Along with those ’80s trends, people were also doing a lot with their makeup. After crimping hair into those perfect bends or feathering their bangs, it was time to apply that iconic ‘80s makeup.
Who did everyone turn to for inspiration? None other than the singers, movie stars, and models who were busy making a name for themselves in the entertainment industry. These beautiful legends set a precedent for makeup lovers everywhere, and their choices were a major departure from the natural, groovy style of the 1970s. For us, ’80s makeup looks are everything … literally. What we learned is that you can never have too much of any product, especially when it comes to your cheeks (You can never have too much blush, right Madonna?). Though we wouldn’t follow these stars’ makeup tutorials today, we love looking back on these epic ‘80s makeup looks from your favorite entertainers of yesteryear.
Oh, Madonna, you defined ’80s beauty. The lighter-hued face powder, dark cheeks, deep red lips, overly filled-in brows, and that fake beauty mark … need we say more?
2. Grace Jones
Blue eyeshadow came and went as a trend in the ’80s. But we can now admire it in this oh-so-chic image of singer and actress Grace Jones in 1985.
3. Princess Diana
Diana Spencer was a royal ’80s icon. We’re most impressed by the exaggerated blush to highlight her cheekbones and super shiny gloss.
4. Cyndi Lauper
If there’s one person you can turn to for the most outrageous style (now and then), it’s singer Cyndi Lauper. She did it all: overdone eyeshadow, foundation, blush, and lips. Her makeup is so wild that we almost didn’t notice her crimped yellow hair and animal print fascinator.
5. Molly Ringwald
Were there any ’80s movies that didn’t feature Molly? Her feathered bangs were so in, and so was that deep red lip color.
6. Olivia Newton-John
7. Jane Fonda
You can’t mention the ’80s without talking about Jane Fonda. During this decade, she became a fitness icon, and undoubtedly became an inspiration for women everywhere (I mean, who can resist that orange lip shade?).
8. Brooke Shields
Bright colors were all the rage, but so were pastels and natural, bushy brows. If we’re talking about bold brows, we have to discuss Brooke Shields. She made a name for herself because of her modeling and acting chops, but those arches are iconic.
About a decade before forming the most epic couple with David Bowie, Iman donned an extravagant red dress and posed for these glamor shots in 1981. Regarded as one of the most popular fashion models of all time, it’s unquestionable that everyone was copying her look.
10. Debbie Harry
What’s more ’80s than your dress coordinating with your eyeshadow and blush? Blondie’s lead singer did just that at comedian George Burns’s 85th birthday in 1981.
11. Christie Brinkley
Whether she was doing aerobics or hitting the red carpet, Christie Brinkley had the ultimate ’80s beauty routine: Smokey eye, bright pink cheeks, and a matching glossy lip.
Even in black and white, you can tell the British-Nigerian singer has that strong eye shadow and lipstick combo down. We saw her rocking the bold red lip in her music video for “Is It A Crime,” but her beauty routine was anything but criminal.
13. Daryl Hannah
The actress sported long, bold lashes and a matte red lip to the 60th Annual Academy Awards back in 1988. And these aren’t necessarily beauty-related, but we can’t stop gawking at her over-the-top statement earrings.