I was born in the 80s but I’m not an 80s Girl. The music, the clothes, the hair, the makeup–not my thing. I like some movies from that era, but if you send me a Facebook invite for an 80s party, I have to Ignore.
So, have I been excited to write this post? What do you think?
The one thing I have to give the 80s beauty props for is the try-anything philosophy. Neon green eyeshadow and electric blue eyeliner with fuschia lipstick? Sprayed-until-crunchy permed hair? Boy George? People were playing with their looks and into self expression and for that, I can not fault them. But esthetically, the 80s were not a pretty place. So many unflattering looks and styles on so many people. The term “cringe-worthy” comes to mind.
Which color eyeshadows were popular in the 1980s? All of them. Often at the same time. Purple, pink, green, blue and make them frosted. Orange? That’s cool too. If you want to do an 80s makeup look, make sure to apply your eyeshadow up to the browbone and throw some color blocking in to keep it interesting.
Heavy bottom lash eyeliner in navy and hunter green were work appropriate in the 80s. Thick brows, a la Brooke Shields, were also in. These brows were soft but thick, different than the heavy and defined Instagram brow trending (for better or worse) now. Blush was bright, heavy and striped onto the cheekbones. Foundations were full coverage and often lighter than the person’s skintone, with the goal of creating a blank canvas. Lipliner liner was a girl’s best friend in the 80s and overlining the lips was totally rad. Fuschia and hot pink lipsticks were popular, as were orange reds. The 70s punk makeup–lots of black liner and light foundation–continued into the 80s and got heavier than the previous decade.
Nails were long, squoval and often fake (what up, Lee Press On’s?). Neon polish colors were popular with the younger crowd, while frosted raspberries and mauves spoke to the more mature ladies.
80s hair was sprayed with AquaNet and bangs were tall. Perms were popular, as was crimped hair and side ponytails. On women with short hair, the slicked back with gel look was en vogue. Hair bows, headbands, banana clips and scrunchies were all the rage. Things were a little better in the punk scene, with asymmetrical cuts. Mohawks were also very punk.
“Natural” was not the keyword of the 1980s. I think “cocaine” was. The idea seemed to be to play up every feature at once, but not in a flattering way. I think 80s hair and makeup looks are helpful because they show us what not to do.
Have a beautiful day 🙂