20 Makeup Looks Inspired By the '80s That You Can Still Pull Off Today

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

The 1980s were an era of high-octane extravagance. From bold and punkish looks (graphic liner and vivid shadows) to soft detailing (brushed brows and warming blush), the decade balanced notes that continue to define our aesthetic landscape — particularly in recent years. “The '80s were defined by boldness, creativity, and maximalism,” says makeup artist Benjamin Puckey, who cites generous applications of blush, colored eyeliner, and matte lips as just a few signs of an ‘80s resurgence.

Euphoria’s makeup lead Donni Davy has a hack for determining which era makeup trends will make it into the modern realm. “I love looking at makeup ads from that era because ads always reflect what the mainstream is mimicking,” says Davy. “1980s makeup ads show ‘natural-looking,’ non-sculpted, and not super filled in eyebrows; blush placed directly on the cheekbones; and rosy or pink lips.” Additionally, Davy notes that eyeshadow (even bright shades) skewed soft in application, applied in a diffusion around the eyes.

Meet Our Expert

  • Benjamin Puckey is a celebrity makeup artist and global color director at Clé de Peau Beauté.

  • Donni Davy is the makeup lead on Euphoria and founder of Half Magic.

Makeup trends from the '80s ranged from quietly enhanced looks to those so exaggerated they bordered on costume (or blurred the lines completely). The trick to nailing an updated look, in Davy’s book, is to clean things up. “I think 1980s punk looks have been trending for a while, like super, big, exaggerated winged or graphic liner,” she says. “The modern way is to make it look precise and sharp.”

Here, 20 1980s-inspired looks for your next glam.

Rosy Noir

<p>Mike Coppola/Getty Images</p>

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Though Zendaya’s makeup look owes much to the 1930s (and modern Margiela), the gaze-encasing application of fuchsia shadow is undoubtedly 80’s. “Bright eye makeup is back, with vibrant blues, pinks, and purples leading the way,” Puckey says of the ‘80s-inspired detail.

Downward Cat

<p>Leon Bennett/Getty Images</p>

Leon Bennett/Getty Images

“Liquid eyeliners, in black or various colors, were used extensively on both the upper and lower lash lines to create bold shapes like wings and graphic patterns,” says Puckey of his ‘80s faves. Lucy Boynton deftly demonstrates the power of out-of-the-box liner with this downward-facing wing — one that can be interpreted to suit your own gaze.

Gilded Wing

<p>D Dipasupil/Getty Images</p>

D Dipasupil/Getty Images

Touches of metallic gold at the inner and outer corners lend opulence to Emma Watson’s smudgy black wing. Imitate the effect with gemstones and glitter.

Frosted Finish

<p>Gilbert Flores/Getty Images</p>

Gilbert Flores/Getty Images

“While matte finishes were popular, frosty and metallic textures were also widely used,” says Puckey. Adut Akech’s modern interpretation is an all-over drench of luminosity, glowing skin paired with chrome lids and glossy lips.

Colorblocked Shadow

<p>Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images</p>

Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

“When I think of mainstream beauty trends I think mostly of eyeshadow, lots of eyeshadow,” says Davy. Natasha Lyonne agrees, lids pressed in slate gray and neon tangerine. In fact, for Puckey, this look is quintessentially ‘80s. “I particularly love the color-blocked eye look, where you have three rectangles of color in a row, with the middle shade centered on your eyelid and serving as a highlight.”

Turquoise Wing

<p>Steve Granitz/Getty Images</p>

Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Turquoise was a 1980s mainstay, and Lupita Nyong’o’s metallic iteration of the shade is modernized when pulled across lids and into an understated wing. To get the look, reach for Half Magic’s Glitter Pill in Merquoise, the ideal product for a colorful, shimmering cat eye.

Graphic Gray

<p>Arturo Holmes/Getty Images</p>

Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

“The high fashion looks were blended and winged out and upwards, often in a shimmery finish, but it wasn’t this dramatic for the typical everyday mainstream beauty look, where browns and greys were definitely used as well,” muses Davy of the era. Here, Miley Cyrus melds neutrals, shimmer, and drama for an at-a-glance ‘80s look.

Bold Aqua

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images</p>

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

More turquoise, please! Emily Ratajkowski merges the bold hue with a thick, smoked wing for a moment equally at home in the ‘80s and today. This shape can be completed with any color, so expand your palette and make it your own.

Punk Rock Pink



The punk spirit of the ‘80s is viewed through a bubblegum lens by Selena Gomez, shimmering hot pink shadow pressed over lids and at the inner corners. Though the shade is a through-and-through throwback, coupling it with clean skin and a pinkish nude lip keeps the look in the 21st century.

Brooke Brows

<p>Mike Marsland/Getty Images</p>

Mike Marsland/Getty Images

Lily Collins is no stranger to an ‘80s moment, but this interpretation is a bit more understated — it’s all about the brushed-up brows. “Fuller, brushed-up brows were in style, with less emphasis on sculpting or plucking,” says Puckey. Consider the decade’s brush with brows an homage to Brooke Shields, with Collins’ matte lip lending to the effect.

Cool Blue

<p>Steve Granitz/Getty Images</p>

Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Halle Bailey’s icy blue shadow owes something to the ‘80s. Finish your own frosted pastels with a soft and feathery lash to achieve the necessary level of drama.

Era Neutral

<p>Scott Garfitt/Getty Images</p>

Scott Garfitt/Getty Images

Bold colors featured heavily throughout the ‘80s, but natural looks had their place. Brows and strong blush paired with near-matte lips and defined lashes read the right amount of retro.

Iced Eyes

<p>Frazer Harrison/Getty Images</p>

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

This glimmering pastel blue and bold brow would be equally at home in the ‘60s, ‘80s, and today. Davy describes this ilk of eyeshadow as shimmering, heavy-handed, and unapologetic. Recreate the look with Half Magic Chromaddiction Shimmer Eye Paint + Eyeliner in Fairies are Real.

Mob Wife

<p>Karwai Tang/Getty Images</p>

Karwai Tang/Getty Images

As noted, the ‘80s sumptuousness can also be channeled through softer notes, as demonstrated by Sydney Sweeney’s take on mob wife luxury. A shimmering neutral shadow, an overlined lip, and a swirl of blush combine in what’s fast becoming a timeless look.

Coral Lips

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images</p>

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

“Bright lip colors such as fuchsia, bright pink, and red were common, often in matte finishes,” says Puckey of the 80's lip looks. Gigi Hadid’s coral is a perfect adaptation of this vibrant lean, and one that’s trending in 2024.

Colorful Cat

<p>Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images</p>

Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images

“Bold eyeliners in electric blue, jewel-tone green, and purple are becoming popular again,” says Puckey, who notes that pulls across the waterline are gaining favor. Mimic this playful look by combining contrasting hues and creating a double wing.

Pop of Pink

<p>Monica Schipper/Getty Images</p>

Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Bright shadow becomes more wearable when applied with a light touch. Make like Florence Pugh and pull your electric pink shadow into a gentle wing for a simple yet striking look.

Defined Lashes

<p>JC Olivera/Getty Images</p>

JC Olivera/Getty Images

A minimal makeup moment becomes something much more when upper and lower lashes are defined. Swipe on your mascara and see what else is needed — and if you have Jenna Ortega’s freckles, ‘80s rules demand you let them show.

Carnelian Lip

<p>Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images</p>

Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images

Red-orange continues to be a must-wear (as our last two looks will demonstrate). Option one asks that you pair your slightly overlined carnelian lip with a heavy lash and little else.

All-Around Liner

<p>JB Lacroix/Getty Images</p>

JB Lacroix/Getty Images

And finally, Tracee Ellis Ross’ mostly matte red-orange lip plays well with all-around liquid eyeliner — the sort of wearable theatrical makeup borne of the 1980s.

For more InStyle news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on InStyle.