80s Makeup Tutorial

Ah, the eighties. The decade MTV was launched and the keyboard had its moment. The decade Madonna unveiled her iconic cone bra and Freddie Mercury sang the song that would one day be Lady Gaga’s namesake. The decade where everything was big, if not bigger: big hair, big shoulderpads, and most importantly, big make up (for men and women alike – I’m looking at you, Boy George). For some tips on how to recreate that big old eighties look, read on!


The following makeover is inspired by this image


  1. Using your finger, sweep liberal amounts of Rimmel London Glam Eyes Mono Posh Peacock across the eyelid for a vibrant base.
  2. Use an eyeshadow brush to dab a thin layer of Posh Peacock eyeshadow around the lower eyeline, then apply black eyeliner to the eyeline itself.
  3. Using an eyeshadow brush, softly apply Estee Lauder’s Camouflage Pure Color Eyeshadow (or any other khaki shades you have) around the Posh Peacock eyeshadow. Begin at the inner corner of the eye, then draw along the browbone and finish by sweeping upwards.


  1. For definition, apply Barry M’s Electric Blue Liquid Liner to the upper and lower eyelids.
  2. When applying eyeliner to the upper eyelid, begin drawing from the inner corner and continue along the eyeline in one fluid motion. Without stopping, keep drawing past the outer corner of the eyelid and follow the lower edge of the Peacock eyeshadow. Then, bring the line to an end with a feline flick.
  3. Draw another line parallel to the line below. Starting from the inner corner of the eye, draw along the crease of the eyelid, then follow the lower edge of the khaki eyeshadow. Finish with a long, distinctive flick (this should echo the flick of the line you’ve already drawn, but needs to be a lot bigger.)


  1. For a dramatic look, match the shape of the brow with that of the eyeshadow using Benefit Brow Zings (the hard angle brush is great for definition.)
  2. Tidy any straggly hairs, but unless you permanently want to look like Grace Jones, avoid going crazy with the tweezers. Instead, preserve your eyebrows and simply conceal the end of your natural brow line with L’Oreal Touche Magique Rose Beige (or any other light concealer).
  3. To make eyebrows really stand out, use an eyeshadow brush to apply Estee Lauder Pink Flash Shimmer (or any other shimmery white shade you have) along the top of the khaki eyeshadow. This white strip should travel directly beneath your newly fashioned eyebrow and cover the end of your natural brow line.

Finishing touches

  1. Studio Mac Fix Powder Plus Foundation comes in a variety of shades, is easy to apply and creates a smooth, even appearance.
  2. If one thing was big in the eighties, it was blusher (still looking at you, Boy George.) Suck in your cheeks and fill in the concaved areas with Benefit’s Dallas or Benefit’s CORALista, or a mixture of the two – both are included in Benefit’s trio blusher set Powdertime Lover. Continue applying all along the cheekbone and right up to the hairline.
  3. Whack on a pair of false eyelashes and plenty of Rimmel 1-2-3 Looks Mascara for ultimate XXL eyes.
  4. Bright lips are a must. Mac offers a range of sizzling pink lipsticks, any one of which will truly complete your 80s makeover.
  5. With regards to your hair: crimp it, curl it, perm it – do whatever you want, but whatever you do decide, remember to make hair BIG (a la Cyndi Lauper, Cher, Kylie, Madge, Louis XIV of France etc.)

Thank you Georgie for sitting still for more than two minutes!x



Add yours →

  1. stunning! Looks like something from a really cool fashion spread. I’d be scared I’d sweat it all off if I went out dancing though haha xxxx

  2. Here’s some great info from Vinyl Kitty, a member of the makeup-forum.com, who commented on this makeover:

    Default Re: ’80s Make Up Tutorial

    Very nicely done! Just a little historical note, the richly colors and dramatic looks of the 80s were a sort of cyclical backlash to the “natural” look of the 70s. While the modern take on 80s make up largely focuses on eye make up, it was not unusual to have lots of color on the cheeks and lips as well. Often color palettes used analagous (on the same side of the color wheel) color schemes, such as blue on the eyes, orchid on the cheeks, and purple on the lips. Eyeshadow patterns often had a winged or angled shapes (such as yours) or vertical patters (i.e. stripes of color). Keep up the great work!

  3. Brilliant make-up tutorials Heledd – just been having a sneaky peek at your site! everything looks amazing! xx

  4. Hello, just wondering who the model is that you used because her side profile looks EXACTLY like me. It’s almost uncanny…. I am really curious to see her whole front view to see if we look similar from the front as well!!

  5. Thats soo cool! tried it out and it looked well cool 😛 i did it with a vibrant purple and a navyish blue and grey eyeliner which looked really good too 🙂 great for the school 80’s/70’s fancy dress day!

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