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How to Do 80’s Makeup For Everyone

How to Do 80's Makeup
80’s Makeup        

Do you love the flashy, punky look that dominated the 1980’s? Are you going to an 80’s themed dance and need to look the part? Getting that red 80’s style is easier than you might think; a few hair accessories and some bright eye makeup might be all it takes!

Let’s start!

1. Start with a clean face and apply some toner and moisturizer.
This will help give you a clean “canvas” to work on. Even if you have very oily skin, some moisturizer is a good idea; choose something lightweight or gel-based.
How to Do 80's Makeup
2. Apply primer, if desired, then foundation and powder.
How to Do 80's Makeup
Face primer is not absolutely necessary, but it will fill in any pores and wrinkles, and make your makeup appear smoother.
  • If you have oily skin, try a liquid or powder-based foundation. If you have dry skin, try a liquid or cream-based foundation.
  • If you have oily skin, focus your powder on the T-zones: your nose, forehead, chin, and cheeks. If you have dry skin, go easy on the powder, or skip it entirely.
3. Go heavy on the blush, especially in the hallows of your cheeks and just in front of your ears.
This will help contour your face and bring out your cheekbones. You can also try contouring your face instead, which was also very popular in the 80’s. Contouring is ideal for a darker, punk, or gothic look.
  • To contour your face, choose a bronzer or foundation that is 2 to 3 shades darker than your skin tone, and apply it to either side of your nose, your temples, and the hollows of your cheeks.

How to Do 80's Makeup

4. Apply some bright eyeshadow using an eyeshadow brush and make it the focus of your look.
Use a medium shade all over your lid, and a lighter shade across your brow bone. Finish off with a darker color in the crease.
How to Do 80's Makeup
  • For a standard 80’s look, choose bright colors, like orange, red, purple, blue, neon green, or hot pink. Blue was especially popular.
  • Use darker colors for a punk or gothic look. Punk and goth were popular during the 80’s.
  • Eyeshadow does not have to cover just your eyelid. You can make it shaped like a lightning bolt even. This was David Bowie’s trademark makeup when he played Aladdin Sane.
  • Consider applying some eyeshadow primer first. This will make those bright colors stand out even more. Simply apply the primer over your entire lid, from lash line to brow bone, then brush on the eyeshadow.
5. Don‘t be afraid to go crazy with the eyeliner.
How to Do 80's Makeup
You can do a simple eyeliner or a thick Gothic one. You can even use the eyeliner to draw a bold shape across your eye, such as a lightning bolt.
  • The eyeliner does not have to be black. It can be a different color, such as bright purple. Blue and teal eyeliners, especially on the lower lash line, were very popular.
6. Add some volumizing mascara to balance your eyeshadow and eyeliner.
Position the brush at the base of your lashes, close to the lash line. Then, comb upwards, towards the tips of your lashes using a wiggling motion. The 80’s look is all about the eyes, so you will likely be wearing a lot of eyeshadow and eyeliner. A good, volumizing mascara will help balance the look and open up your eyes.
  • Mascara does not have to be black. If you want a bright, wild look, try purple, green, or blue mascara. Bright blue mascara was very popular.

How to Do 80's Makeup

7. Keep your eyebrows full and bushy, but also well-kempt.
Pluck away any stray hairs, and comb through your brows using a brow brush. If your brows are thin, fill them in with eyebrow pencil or brow powder. Thick, bushy brows were popular during the 80s.
How to Do 80's Makeup
8. Apply a brightly-colored lipstick that goes well with your eyeshadow color.
Try to use a frosted lipstick color, if you can. It will make your lips appear fuller; the frosted look was also very popular in the 80s. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with different, bold lipstick colors, such as hot pink or purple.
  • If you want to do a more punk or gothic look, use a very dark purple or red, or black.
  • Lip gloss was popular too, but mostly among younger girls. If you’d like a younger, more youthful look, go for lip gloss.

How to Do 80's Makeup

9. Consider setting your makeup with setting powder or setting spray to make it last longer.
This is essential if you are going to a party.
How to Do 80's Makeup


  • Look at celebrities and models from the 80s for inspiration. David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust, Madonna, Farrah, and Siouxsie Sioux are all great examples of 80s fashion.
  • Paint a heart or star on your right cheek for a signature retro touch.
  • If you don’t like bright colors, you are in luck. Punk and goth were also popular during the 80s, and they were all about dark colors -especially black.
  • Be unique. You don’t have to follow this exactly.
  • Make sure to wash all makeup off before going to sleep. Failing to do so will clog your pores and cause acne.
  • Don’t go overboard on the colors, or you will end up looking more like a clown. Try to match your lipstick, eyeshadow, and/or eyeliner. This will help tie your look together.