Once upon a time, we'd only bring up '80s makeup and beauty in reference to clashing blue eye shadow and big (I mean BIG) hair. We'd scoff at unflattering high school photos and promise history would never repeat itself. That is, until now. Modern designers have started sending their pieces down the runway adorned with bright, flashy lips; dark brows; and lots of glitter. (Think Madonna's inimitable "Burning Up" video.) And following a few seasons of no-makeup makeup, we're absolutely ready to bring the funk. With that in mind, we tapped L'Oréal Paris celebrity makeup artist Sir John for tips on how to bring the past and present together in a way that feels authentic and fresh.
Keep reading for the current trends that give a nod to '80s makeup along with tricks to pull them off today.
"These have made a major comeback and are definitely a nod to the '80s," says Sir John. "You can do the look dialed up with shadow or dialed down with some liner like L'Oréal Paris Infallible Smokissime in Purple Smoke ($5)—it's my fave. Make this look wearable by pairing it with a pale pink or peach cheek and a sheer gloss. It is super fresh and romantic."
"Wild, natural brows are a trend in direct contrast to the Instagram brow," explains Sir John. "It adds a sort of boyish element to your overall makeup look—and is easy to achieve. Take a small brow pencil like L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer ($8) and fill in your brow. Using a pencil helps mimic natural brow hairs. Then finish with a clear brow gel to brush up your brows and give that edgy vibe."
"Ladies in the '80s loved to rock a full face of makeup," muses Sir John. "That means eyes, lips, and blush. Full-faced makeup is definitely a look that has come back but is a bit modernized." That's where draping comes in. Thanks to Marc Jacobs (and his lovely Air Blush Soft Glow Duo, $42), this technique is everything again. It sculpts your face to enhance your natural features, but instead of learning to contour like a Kardashian, all you need is blush.
"Embrace similar color families where applicable or even utilize your lip product as your blush," Sir John advises. "I love to use the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss ($8) on lips, then take a bit and tap onto the cheeks for a light flush."
Sir John says, "Pink lips are another big '80s makeup trend happening right now. I love to take trends from different eras and modernize them. For this, the modern hack is utilizing matte formulas. There's a great drugstore option—Collection Exclusive La Vie En Rose ($9)—which features six pink shades that work for every skin tone, from deep to fair. When wearing pink lips, it is important to make sure your cheeks and lips are in the same family. They don't necessarily need to be twins but should be related. The matte finish will make the look more anchored in the moment."
"I love that you can embrace glitter in so many different ways," explains Sir John. "You can rock a full-on glitter lip or use your shadow to bring in different textures and shimmers. Choose a palette that features a couple different shades. Don't be afraid to add a little glint to your look!" He warns, "Just be careful with loose glitter—especially if you are a contact lens wearer!"
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.