'80s Makeup Trends That Are Making A Major Comeback

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Have you been embracing the '80s fashion revival? Even if you haven't started experimenting with '80s-inspired style yet, you should at least consider it, as looks from the bright, bold '80s are unapologetically coming back. And fashion isn't the only aspect of wild '80s returning to the spotlight. Hairstyles from the '80s are making comebacks, too, along with the decade's daring makeup. But before you try to make yourself look like a time machine just returned you from the '80s, remember that the looks from that era were notoriously maximalist with exciting colors and textures. "Forget less is more — with the '80s, more is definitely more, and making a statement is always the way to go," Joanna Angeles, the head stylist for Tobi, told InStyle.


So, get ready to ditch your understated, minimalistic makeup looks meant only to enhance your features. If you want to embrace makeup trends from the '80s, go bold or go home. It's time to play with vivid colors and over-the-top vibes because, as the stylist discussed, less is never more regarding '80s looks!

Bright colors on the eyes

As exciting as it can be to flaunt a smokey eye or intense black eyeliner wings, these well-liked dark looks aren't the vibes to explore when you're going for more of an '80s-inspired appearance. Instead of reaching for gray eyeshadow and black liner, go for happier-looking, more vibrant options. "These looks are fun, playful, and complement all skin tones ... Use lighter/brighter shades and gradually blend out for this ... Anything too dark or smokey will make the eyes look heavy/smaller," Steve Kassajikian, Urban Decay's global makeup artist, told IPSY. The '80s eye makeup was about embracing everything big, bold, and bright, so be sure to use vibrant shadows to make your eyes appear bigger and more playful.


Thus, anyone ready to start trying '80s makeup will need some eyeshadows in bright colors. If you don't have many — or any — vibrant hues in your eye makeup roster, consider investing in a colorful eyeshadow palette, such as the I Know That's Bright NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette, available for $19.99 at Target. Featuring neon pinks, blues, reds, and other hues, this palette offers every color you'll need to create '80s-inspired eye makeup and has 4.5 out of five stars with over 1,000 ratings.

Lots of pink and purple makeup

Most bold and light colorful makeup hues are excellent for '80s-inspired makeup, but two colors are particularly ideal: pink and purple. "Wearing defused pink or purplish highlighter over blush at the highest part of cheekbone and brushing up to the side of the temple gives an instant '80s feeling ... Also, layering a purplish-pearl or sparkle on the eyelids can shift the look to the '80s," Kanako Takase, a makeup artist who also happens to be Addiction Tokyo's global creative director, told Allure. So, if you've been looking for an excuse to experiment with more ultra-girly pinks and purples, take the '80s makeup comeback as your sign to just do it. 


If styled correctly, lilac highlighter is a living dream for that purple-intensive '80s flair, so be sure to check out purple highlight options like the r.e.m. Interstellar Highlighter Topper in miss neptune iridescent lavender, selling for $22 at Ulta, with 4.5 stars and an 83% recommendation rate. You should also consider stocking up on bright pink and purple eyeshadows, such as the ColourPop Jelly Much Gel Eyeshadow in No Rest for the Vivid hot pink with a blue duochrome flip, available for $9 at Ulta with 4.9 stars, and the e.l.f. Liquid Metallic Eyeshadow in SuperNova purple, selling for $6 at Target with 4.3 stars.

Colorful mascara

Not only should your eyeshadow and highlighter be colorful and bold when working on '80s-inspired makeup looks, but you should also consider adding a pop of color to your lashes with colorful mascara instead of more classic black or brown mascara. "Colored mascara is one of the easiest ways to play around with '80s makeup ... Bright blue mascara still looks good today, but there are so many other options as well ... Lately, I have been loving a pop of neon orange ... navy blue or burgundy mascara is also really pretty," Dana Arcidy, a makeup artist, told Woman & Home.


While it helps to add an exciting splash of color to your eyelashes, don't forget that colorful mascara is still mascara. So, it will also add length and volume. Thus, colorful mascara is a win-win for '80s looks, adding more color to the eye area while enhancing your lashes. One bold blue mascara option is the L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara in cobalt blue, available for $8.99 at Target with 4.1 stars. If you want something even more daring, consider the Focusnorm Waterproof Fluorescent Colored Mascara in orange, selling for $7.73 at Walmart. Or, if you're looking for a more understated spin on colorful mascara, check out the Maybelline The Falsies washable mascara in navy blue, available for $12.99 at Walmart with 4.3 stars.


Blue eyeshadow

Blue isn't only perfect for mascara in '80s makeup trends! Blue eyeshadow and liner are just as effective for conveying the famously loud '80s energy as pink and purple options. But the blue look doesn't have to be too bold if that's not your style. "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 ... I just followed the natural lines of my lid with blending brush, et voilà — blue magic," beauty editor Victoria Hoff said in Byrdie.


Whether you want to rock a more subtle application of blue or fully embrace the '80s with lots of vibrant eyeshadow, you'll need good-quality blue shadow. So, you may want to invest in a blue palette, such as the Juvia's Place Olori 2 Eyeshadow Palette, featuring various shiny, bright, dark, and light blue shades, selling for $15 at Ulta with 4.6 stars and an 85% recommendation rate. If you want to elevate the look even further, add blue eyeliner like the Amazon's Choice NYX Professional Makeup Mechanical Eyeliner Pencil in Gypsy Blue, available for $6.49 with 4.5 stars and over 110,000 ratings.

Rock a bold lip

While getting your eye makeup right is crucial for creating lively '80s looks, you can't forget about your lips. Anyone who genuinely wants to look like they just jumped out of an '80s movie should rock a lip as bold as the rest of their makeup! For example, @emmieraines — a makeup artist with over 240,000 TikTok followers — posted a video of her eye-catching '80s makeup. The look consisted of dauntlessly sparkly, vivid blue eyeshadow, long lashes, and shiny-ish hot pink lipstick that appeared just as loud as the bright blue eyeshadow. So, you'll also need striking lipstick if you want to truly master the '80s makeup.


If you want that vibrant hot pink look, check out the best-selling NARS Lipstick in Schiap vivid pink — matte, available for $26 at Kohl's with 4.2 stars. If you'd prefer to go orange rather than pink for an equally eye-catching look, one option is the Maybelline Color Sensational The Loaded Bolds Lipstick in Orange Danger, selling for $9.25 at Walmart with 4.1 stars.

Lots of blush

One last touch that everyone who wants to nail the '80s makeup trends should incorporate into their look is a lot of blush. While more modern makeup enthusiasts tend to worry about wearing too much blush because they're afraid of looking clown-ish or too over-the-top, '80s makeup was all about embracing as much blush as possible. For instance, @ainomagdalena shared a TikTok video creating a slightly more demure spin on '80s makeup, but she still didn't hold back on the blush. The bright pink was arguably the boldest aspect of the look, proving that blush is one of the most crucial aspects of '80s makeup.


One blush option that can help you achieve that bright '80s look is the e.l.f. Putty Blush in Bora Bora, selling for $7 at Target with 4.5 stars and over 2,000 ratings. Or, if you want to try something a little different and lean more into the purple side of '80s makeup trends, consider using a purple blush like the Cloud Paint Seamless Cheek Color in Wisp soft lilac, available for $20 at Glossier with 4.6 stars and about 5,000 reviews.