The world today is a little uncertain and kind of scary. Many of us are staying home and distancing ourselves from others. To keep yourself from going a little crazy, you could get creative and practice your makeup skills. Before you get to your at-home work, Netflix marathon, or childcare, get yourself glammed in 1980s style.
1980s glamour eye makeup has made a wonderful comeback in many ways, with the return of bold, bright colors framing the eyes. The Instagram beauty world has played a big part in the revival of playful, rainbow-inspired makeup looks where full-glam is the goal.
We’ve picked the best 1980s eye makeup looks you can recreate at home, with any products you’ve got stashed in your collection. Let’s have some fun, de-stress, pass the time, and get creative with makeup therapy.
What you need:
There’s no need to go out and buy a bunch of new products to try 1980s-style makeup, just make use of what you’ve got in your collection. However, if you find yourself missing a few eyeshadow colors, there are some excellent, affordable options with brands such as Wet n Wild, Colourpop, NYX, and Makeup Revolution.
- Eyeshadow: you’ll need blue shadow, preferably matte cobalt, shimmery turquoise, frosty silver, matte orange or red, matte and shimmer purple. You can’t go wrong with Colourpop eyeshadow, especially their 9-pan monochrome palettes
- Bright blush: bright matte blush in red or fuschia Milani has excellent, affordable blushes
- Black or deep brown eyeliner pencil or shadow: LA Girl has excellent liners for a tiny price
- Liquid eyeliner or matte black eyeshadow and mixing medium or water
- Flat dense eyeshadow brush, fluffy eyeshadow blending brush, small liner brush
- Mascara: the Essence Lash Princess mascaras are great and super cheap
If you need some step-by-step video instructions to help you, turn to the university of YouTube! Search beauty gurus such as Zabrena, Amber Ashleigh, and NikkieTutorials for an easy tutorial to follow. Beware, you may get stuck down a rabbit hole of vintage-inspired makeup tutorials.
The look: matte blue eyeshadow
Celebrity inspiration: one of the most iconic 80s beauty looks involved blue eyeshadow applied opaque, bold, and all the way to the crease. Blue shadow carried over from the 1970s and into the 80s, but in a far more concentrated, heavily-applied fashion.
It was often paired with a red lip, heavy black liner, bright blush, and matte skin. Pop-rock legend Pat Benatar rocked this look, (complete with teased, fluffy hair). Cyndi Lauper also nailed the trend, with over-the-top accessories and crazy orange and yellow hair.
- Start with the eyes first, so you can easily clean away any shadow fallout
- Lay down an eyeshadow base or primer over the entire lid
- With a flat, dense brush, pack blue shadow over the lid and up to the crease
- Take the shadow toward the outer corner to make a soft cat-eye shape
- Take a charcoal or cool-toned brown matte shadow on a fluffy crease brush and buff it into the crease to create depth
- Take the dark crease shade on a liner brush and press along the lashline
- Take a small dense brush and buff the blue shadow along the lower lashline
- Find a shimmery silver or pearl shadow or highlight and buff it into the inner corner and brow bone
- Finish with lots of black mascara on the upper lash (leaving the lower lash clean makes the look fresher and more youthful)
- Apply your go-to base and focus a peachy blush high on the cheekbones and up toward the temples
- For a modern take, go for a fresh pink, nude, or peach gloss. For full 80s, go for a red metallic or glossy lip
The look: pinky-purple eyes and pink blush
Celebrity inspiration: Debbie Harry, forever an icon, was snapped (in the 80s) wearing a rich purple eyeshadow with pink blush draped over the temples and down to the cheeks. Her lips were shimmery-pink and the brows were full and bold. The look is a fusion of feminine, edgy, playful, and rock n’ roll. This is perfect for a spring party, or for days when you just need a little more color.
- Prime and prep the face, and lay down a satin-finish foundation with a full-medium coverage (or simply use your go-to base products)
- Use your finger to pack a shimmery lilac-purple cream or shimmer shade onto the lid and extend it to just above the crease
- Use a fluffy brush to buff a deeper fuschia matte shadow onto the outer corner and through the crease
- Line the eyes with a black kohl pencil, staying close to the upper lash, and along the waterline
- Gently extend the liner at the outer corner and smudge it along the lower lash-line for a smokey look
- Add lots of mascara
- Take a bright pink blush and buff it over the cheekbones and onto the temples, fusing with the outer corner eyeshadow
- Take a clean, fluffy brush and blend any harsh edges of the blush and shadow
- Finish with a silvery highlight dusted over the cheeks, down the nose, and onto the brow bone
- Slick on a pink or nude gloss, done!
The look: Bushy brows, smoky kohl, warm color all the way to the brow
Celebrity inspiration: 1980s Madonna was a hero of the bushy brow and smokey eye. Our favorite look involves orange or peachy shadow applied right up to the brow, with smudgy black kohl surrounding the eye, and unkempt brows. Finish off with matte red lips and a drawn-on beauty spot.
- Make it modern by keeping the skin fresh, only covering what you need to (blemishes, discoloration, dark circles) and letting the rest glow
- Take a matte or satin orange, pink, peach, or any warm-toned shadow you have and buff it onto the eyelid and all the way up to the brow
- Use a clean fluffy brush to blend the edges
- Take a black or dark brown kohl liner pencil and use little strokes to draw an opaque line across the upper and lower lash lines, connecting the lines at the outer corner
- Use a stubby, stiff brush to blend and smoke-out the kohl
- Add LOTS of mascara
- Lightly bronze the outer perimeter of the face, and dust peachy blush onto the cheeks
- Add matte red or brick-toned lipstick
- Dress up in your best punk-pop gear and have an awesome 80s dance party at home with your quarantine buddies
The look: High brow arches, pale shimmer shadow
Celebrity inspiration: when poring over images of Jerry Hall in the 70s and 80s, I found a stunning shot of her with glowy, bronzed skin, rich blush, and pearly shadow. The lips were red and glossy, the crease of the eye was softly blended, and the brow arch was high, fluffy, and soft. I love the undertone of 1970s glamour, with a focus on healthy, glowy skin we all strive for today.
- Apply a sheer-medium foundation, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer
- Conceal under-eye circles, blemishes, and redness with a skin-matching creamy concealer
- Lightly set your base with translucent powder
- Take your go-to satin-finish bronzer on a big fluffy brush and dust it around the perimeter of the face and under the jawline
- Dust whatever’s left on the bronzer brush over the nose and eyelids for a cohesive look
- Take a brick or dark peach blush and buff over the cheeks and upward toward the temples
- Take gold or champagne highlight and buff into the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, cupid’s bow, and temples
- Apply a pearly shimmer shadow to the entire lid and up toward the brow
- Take a matte or satin taupe or cool brown shadow on a fluffy blender brush and buff into the crease and along the upper and lower lash lines
- Apply plenty of mascara and a glossy red lip