Beauty, Lifestyle

If you’re a kid of the 80’s you will TOTALLY remember this

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
June 27th, 2018

Ah, the 80’s. They were FUN weren’t they? It was the decade where it seemed to be party time ALL THE TIME and no one was interested in anything remotely neutral because: how boring. From hair to make up to brows, everything revolved around the three B’s – Bigger! Brighter! Bolder! There hasn’t been a time, before or since, that has rivalled the joy and let’s be honest, the sheer tackiness, of the 1980’s. And it was glorious.

Come take a look back at the beauty trends that dominated the decade where more was… never enough.

The goal here was to basically colour in as much of your cheeks as possible with the most unnatural, unflattering shade of chalky, powdered blush you could get your hands on. Go wild and take it all the way up to the side of your head so it meets your eyeshadow. On the upside, you could do your make up in the car on a bumpy road and no one would know the difference. Just colour over your mistakes.

blush aside, Heather Locklear’s hair was the bomb.

You know you owned several of these and if the truth be told, I reckon you’ve still got one floating around in a lonely corner of your bathroom cabinet. Your mum DEFINITELY does. The trick with these babies was to the get the angle just right, so when you shoved them into your skull put them in, you got a bit of a ‘puffy’ effect. You could use these anywhere on your head, but most notably on the sides or the front to get a real pouf going on that fringe. Also, beware if you tried to use one that had lost a few of the comb bits – they hurt like all shit to take out.

Everyone had a side comb. Everyone.

The full 80’s brow has sorta come around again, but the big difference between an authentic 80’s brow a’la Brooke Shields and a 2018 brow is the effort and maintenance. 80’s girl didn’t need no powder or pencil or brow gel or any of that shit. They just let ’em grow long and strong and wild. Like their pubes. Whatta time to be alive!

brooke shields and her caterpillars

Who even were you if you didn’t have a mullet at some point in your life. I’m not sure who came up with this concept but gee whiz we had a lot of fun with them. I URGE you to type 80’s mullet into Google. You won’t regret it. The Lost Boys also has an excellent selection. I used Andre Agassi for this pic because a) the 80’s vibes are at full strength with the mullet/peroxide/beard/headband/earring combo and b) he was married to Brooke Shields (above) and I like to daydream about how hairy their children would have been.

Mullets were even acceptable at Wimbledon

We all wanted looooong nails in the 80’s. If you weren’t blessed with the natural variety, you could just trot down to the local chemist and get yourself a pair of stick-ons. You’d then slather them in the only nail polish worth knowing about – Cutex. So many shades of pink and purple colours, most of which were more frosted than a Christmas movie.

The was 1000000% the back cover of a Cleo mag I reckon

The WORST of the worst in my book. I mean, my eight-year-old self totally rocked a Blue Opal lippie to the junior disco like it was nobody’s business, but this trend was just fugly x infinity. I fear it may be making a comeback under the guise of ‘metallics’,  but I urge you to just swerve that shit. For the love of lilac.


Nothing said ‘bad boy in disguise’ quite like a rat’s tail. Think of it as the much younger, understated version of the mullet, whereby just a thin segment of hair was left to grow long, plaited and then whipped around in lightening fashion by it’s owner. This look says ‘You can take me home to meet your mum, but I’m also a bit of a wild thang.’

This guy was most def from the wrong side of the tracks.


There were two rules when it came to getting your 80’s shadow perfecto – 1) make it as bright as possible and 2) take it all the way up to the browbone. No blending necessary. Find the most neon palette on the shelf and GO. FOR. YOUR. LIFE. Natural Smatural.


Equipment needed: a small, stiff round brush, a hairdryer and a shit tonne of hairspray. Put those three together and whamo! You’ve got the ultimate 80’s fringe as seen on our model below, DJ from Full House. Use the brush to get the height and volume on the high bit, then blow dry forward to get the fringey bit to annoyingly hang right in your line of vision. Suffocate yourself with hairspray and you are queen of the school yard.

Don’t pretend you weren’t jealous of DJ’s fringe

Like, everywhere. Smother your eyes, cheeks and lips in pinky goodness and you’re a lil’ bit of 80’s perfection. Forget whether this colour palette suits your complexion, it don’t matter – and for the love of God, make sure those lips and nails were as frosty as possible. Extra points earned for coloured mascara, like the purple lower lashes in the beauty below.

This look is a fail because her nails should have been pink too.

Rock stars and models/actresses still go hand-in-hand like the 5000 gin and tonics they probably smashed every night after a gig. Matching bouffants teased to within an inch of their lives were the epitome of 80’s chic and sharing hair prodz saved time, money and precious bathroom real estate. If you had all this, you’d really made it, just like Tommy Lee and Heather Locklear. Honourable mentions go to Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger, Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova and of course, Simon and Yasmin LeBon.

can you even imagine the hair in their shower drain?

Blue eyeshadow was neither flattering nor practical, but it was the default setting for chicks in the ugliest decade on record. Like all 80’s eyeshadow application, don’t stop at the crease – take that shit all the way up to your eyebrows. No blending, no fading. Just blue all the way.

this is full commitment to blue. PS – do ya think this is kim cattrall from satc?


Side Pony: This was my jam. Gather all that hair over to the side, set it as high up as possible and walk around like you’ve got a teased and/or crimped trunk growing out the side of your head.

All ready for the disco! Is this Winnie from The Wonder Years?

Mood lipsticks: Not sure what colour to go? Put your faith in the magical mood lippie, which will select the perfect colour for your, um, mood. Hint: It was always pink.

What colour are you feeling today?

Crimping: Everyone wanted to be Jules from St Elmo’s Fire, didn’t they? She was a bit fucked up, but her hair was 80’s perfection. Half up, half down, crimped and a pineapple pony on top.  Onya Demi. PS – Those bow earrings are BANG ON.

demi’s st elmo’s fire days were hawwwttt

Hair removal revolution! Genius or just plain torture? The Epilady was the first at-home hair removal product that removed your hair from the root – and it hurt like a motherfucker. Think of an elastic getting caught in your hair and then tearing it out as you pull away. This made you cry, but left you silky smooth for weeks.

Torture device that gave results

Scrunchies: Cheap. Versatile. Ugly. Available in all colours and textures. Whack it at the top of a pony or wrap it around a bun like the pic below. Another frightening wannabe comeback.


Bows: Whether it was fastened to a clip or attached to a hair tie, ‘the bigger the better’ was the mantra when it came to bows. Extra points if it was made of velvet or velour, double extra points if it had some sort of cheap diamonte attached to it.

I don’t know who this woman is, but i love her

The 80’s summed up in one pic. Brows – check. Peroxide hair – check. Fake beauty spot – Check. We love you, Madonna. Second only to Desperately Seeking Susan, Who’s That Girl? was an 80’s masterpiece.


We had an awesome chat with Sarah Harris a little while back and she was everything we expected and more. Have a listen in podcast form below then head here to subscribe to our channel.

If you’re up for watching the our vids with Sarah, you can check them out in bite-sized chunks here, or have a watch of the full chat below.