The 1980s gave us many gifts – The Breakfast Club, Aliens, INXS’ best album – but many of the decade’s aesthetic principles are best left behind. I’m hesitant to draw a hard line against any beauty technique, because there’s someone out there who can pull everything off, but I just don’t think we need to return to matte blue eyeshadow from lash line to brow bone. Or to teased poodle perm hair that looks like a fire hazard. There are more than a few makeup looks from that decade that we can probably leave on the cast-off pile with the neon fishnets and shoulder pads. However, there is something appealing about that 80s grandiosity. Big hair, bold brows and an unapologetic vibe? I’m listening. Worn in a fresher, more modern way, there’s nothing to say we can’t rehabilitate a few key style notes of the decade.
An undeniable 80s signature must be a heavy reliance on blush. Where we now stack bronzer, blusher and highlighter, beauty fiends of that era stuck to the one element. With a dramatic application known as draping, blush went right from the apple of the cheek up to the temple. Huge moves. If you’re keen to give that a go in 2018, try Milani’s Baked Blush in Luminoso, $19. It’s a glowy, peachy pink that lends itself well to most skin tones and will allow you to build up slowly so you don’t give yourself a heart attack.
Another classic of the decade that gave us Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is metallic lips. I’ve spent years side-eyeing the return of this look, but of late, I’ve been forced to admit it can look pretty incredible. Try the fuchsia shade of Fenty Beauty’s three-piece Snow Daze holiday set, $66, for a full Jem and the Holograms moment, or Too Faced Melted Matte-ellic Liquid Lipstick, $33, in the crimson Bitch I’m Too Faced or the coppery Give It To Me. Best worn with fresh skin and minimal eye makeup.
If you’re chasing more of a Joan Jett look, you don’t need me to tell you it’s all about the smudgy eyeliner. For the money, Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner Extreme, $18, is one of the best – it blends well, but stays put once it’s set. Put down some taupe eyeshadow first so you have something to work this creamy pencil into. One caveat: I wouldn’t recommend wearing all of these looks at once.
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