No decade did big quite like the 1980s. From famed mullet hairstyles to neon blue eye shadows, there were lots of mortifying beauty trends we’d be better off forget if they weren’t so hilarious to look back on.
The 80s were all about “the bigger the better.” The earrings were big, and the hair was bigger.
And our makeup? Well, looking back at my old photos you’d think we applied the stuff with a painter’s brush.
There was nothing fun, subtle, or sweet about the 80s. Our hairstyles, makeup, and sense of fashion was a far cry from being shy.
With that said, at Thought Nova, we thought it would be fun to unearth some of these beauty trends and have a laugh at all of the crazy makeup trends, bad haircuts, and ridiculous hairstyles of the 1980s.
1. Heavy on The Eye
If you ever get your hands on an 80s’ fashion magazine, make sure you check out the eyes of the models. Women wore so much heavy mascara on their top and bottom eyelashes. They’d then highlight with a dense layer of black eyeliner on the top and bottom lids.
The makeup effect was like that of a rock star, and would quickly smear off the lids to your face, creating a mess after a night out in the club.
2. Pink and Purple Eyeshadow
In the 80s, pink, blue, and purple were the “in” colors for eyeshadows. And we indeed loved slathering this stuff.
We’d pile on these clashing colors on our faces and wear eyeshadows from eyelids to eyebrows.
The trends back then were all about “heavily accentuating the eyes.” And the more colors you could apply, the better.
Though the aqua color has seen a return in recent beauty trends, it seems everyone has learned their lesson about the horrors of these heavy accentuated eyeshadows. You’d spend a day or two removing the solid makeups.
3. Gigantic Teased Hair
When we remember the 1980s, we think about big, teased hair that banged high up off of our foreheads.
Though there’s nothing wrong with a little volume of hair, it seemed like women, and sometimes men, in the 80s took it a bit too far.
Between the teased hairstyles and the cans of aerosol hairspray, it might have taken a bunch of the 80s to brush those lowly-hanging birds’ nests out.
I don’t know why I thought mullets were cool, but I’d rather forget them altogether. In the 1980s, guys rocking with mullets were so cute.
But now, I see it as one of the confused hairstyles of all times. With straight or permed mullets and some ridiculous hairspray, you’d have yourself a nightmare of the 80s.
5. Rat Tails
And speaking about the confused hairstyles here’s another one: The rat tail. It seems most people in the 80s just wanted to experiment how fast and long their hair could grow.
So, we’d trim a patch and allow it to grow longer than the rest of the hair. Some people would grow the rat tail down the middle, in the back, while others would cut it on the sides.
6. Side Ponytails
Regular ponytails weren’t enough for the 1980s fashion world. So, we made them different.
We started wearing ponytails on the sides. We didn’t wear them low. That would have been too unnoticeable.
So, we wore our ponytails way up high above the eye level and gave them a little bit of a clown.
7. Heavy Blush
Accentuated cheekbones were part of the 1980s culture. We didn’t do it gently, though. Instead, we’d grab an eye-catching pink color or deep plum blush and cake it on.
A bright streak of blush was considered attractive back then. But today, we’d call it an absurd or a freakish look.
We didn’t even pay any attention to what colors would go with our skin tone. We ignored beauty advice and preferred what was trending.
8. Neon Nail Polish
But we did at least one thing right in the 80s. We came up with the neon nail polish trend!
When it first hit the markets, my mom bought me a neon orange nail polish, and it rocked with my neon clothing and fuchsia jelly shoes.
9. Heavy Foundation
The 80s’ makeup guides taught us to buy foundations that were two shades lighter than our skin tone. We didn’t care much about natural beauty back then.
Our faces were just meant to show off shouting colors, but not our natural beauty.
10. Hair Crimping
I’ve no idea what we saw that made us think crimping hair was attractive. But we did it anyway. If you didn’t perm your hair in the 1980s, you most likely crimped it.
Hair crimping was a tedious procedure where we’d take a crimping iron, which made us look like illegitimate lovechild of a hair straightener and a George Foreman grill, and put zigzag patterns in our hairs.
These waffle hair crimpers gave our hair a wacky kink that, when combined with hair clips and colorful scrunchies, was just extreme.
11. Dark Lip Liner
There’s nothing wrong using a lip liner. But, using a lip liner that’s a few shades darker than the lipstick or lip gloss you applied is just wrong.
Although this trend isn’t the most ridiculous or alarming on our list, like gigantic hair and rat tails, it’s still… a no no in the 21 Century.