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How to get awesome & authentic on-trend ’80s eye makeup, like multicolored eyeshadow

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Woman with multicolored eyeshadow and big 80s earrings
How to get the trendy ’80s eye makeup styles

Adapted from an article by Jerie Jayne, Herald and Review (Decatur, Illinois) September 19, 1980

How to apply eyeshadow

The new look in eyeshadow is the way it is being applied.

Use three colors of eyeshadow. Blend each vertically in a fan shape.

Starting with the inside of the eyelid nearest the nose with dark color, apply with an upward motion. Next, apply a light highlighter and then a darker color again.

Contemporary colors are browns and muted sages.

“Whether you use a cream or powder depends on what you want to do,” says Ida Stewart, vice president of Estee Lauder Inc., a worldwide perfume and cosmetic company. “Creams blend better and more brilliant in color. Powders are more subtle.”

Start with a gentle eye makeup remover, and let it set to make sure the eye is clean. Apply shadow lightly and carefully, then reapply and daub with loose powder.

80s rainbow eye makeup in Mademoiselle from June 1985

Eyelashes and mascara

Next is mascara. Today’s look is a combination. On the bottom of the upper lash, apply blue mascara with quick strokes upward. On the top use brown or black to give the eye shape and form.

“Blue makes the white of the eye look softer and bluer. It also makes blue eyes stand out more,” she said.

On the bottom lashes, use black or brown.

Thickness of mascara is a matter of preference and what is appropriate for the occasion. There is a difference between a party and the office.

How to use eyeliner, ’80s-style

Eyeliner (pencil or liquid) uses the same principle. The purpose of eyeliner is to shape the eye.

The eyeliner should be applied in a fine line at the base of the lashes to make lashes look thicker. Use blue with the lower ones because it reflects light, and black or brown with the top ones.

Removing eye makeup is essential. Knowing the right way can prevent wrinkles. Use a cream eye makeup remover. Most women put it on and scrub back and forth. The only thing they do is stretch their skin and smear the product into the eyeball.

Work from bone to bone. Put the cleanser on fingertips, spread the cream down from the eyebrow to underneath the eye. Hold the cream for a few moments on lashes to let it work. Wipe up until the eye is clean.

Vintage 1985 fashion makeup

How to get those ’80s brows

Eyebrows should be crisp, thin and neat. The wild and woolly look is out.

Women with glasses should avoid eyebrow pencil because it can give them a double rim look. When using an eyebrow pencil, the color should be no darker than the darkest part of the hair.

To draw an eyebrow, hold the pencil at the side of the nose. Start where the point hits. Dot the eyebrow, following a natural arch as the pencil is moved across the eyebrow. Always keep the base of the pencil on the side of the nose. Stop when the pencil point reaches the end of the eye.

Cosmetics are good manners

For women with dark circles, creams work best. Try to match the color of the face and blend in cream to hide circles. For sparse eyelashes, try false eyelashes. Today’s are natural looking and easy-to-apply.

“Makeup has become something a woman just doesn’t do without,” says Mrs Stewart. “It’s like deodorant. When people first started using it they wore it just when they went out. Now they wear it whether they go out or not.

“Cosmetics are becoming a whole part of living. You wouldn’t go out in old worn out clothes. So why not dress your face up too? Cosmetics are just good manners.”

Revlon '80s makeup from 1986


A closer look at retro ’80s makeup: Multicolored eye shadow for the layered/rainbow look

By Shelly Kern, The Daily News (Lebanon, Pennsylvania) April 8, 1986

Eyes are the facial features that are noticed first. “That’s because one’s expressions and feelings are seen through the eyes and the mouth,” explains fashion and beauty authority, Christine Kunzelman. “And for centuries, large eyes have been considered a cherished asset.”

Actress/model Vanessa Williams with stylish 80s eye makeup
Actress/model Vanessa Williams with stylish 80s eye makeup

How to get big ’80s eyes

To enhance and create the illusion of large eyes, Kunzelman offers these tips:

— To mask dark circles near the eye, dot eye disguise (opaque, light-colored coverup) with a fingertip. Use outward motions from the edge of the eye.

— With a large make-up brush, dust all around the eye with loose translucent powder. This will set the eye disguise and prevent creasing.

— With a navy-blue eye pencil, line the inside rim of the eye. This will make the whites of the eye appear whiter. Omit this step if you wear soft contact lenses.

— With an eyeliner brush, apply medium shade eye shadow. Apply as close to the lashline as possible following the natural contour of the eye. This will make eyelashes appear thicker and darker. Use only powder eyeshadows and avoid ones that are frosted. They will make the eyes appear puffy.

— With an eyeshadow brush apply a soft pink, peach or yellow powder eyeshadow to eyelid — only up to the eye crease. This will make the eye appear more open.

— With an eyeshadow brush, apply a medium gray or neutral powder eyeshadow into and slightly above the eye crease following the natural contour of the eye.

— With mascara applicator, move from the inside corner of the eye with a sideward stroke and apply black mascara. Light and colored shades of mascara do not make eyes look larger. Note that this year it is fashionable to use lavender mascara at the base of the eyelashes. The rest of the eyelash should be black. This will enhance one’s eye color.

— With an eyeshadow brush, apply dark or bright colored powder eyeshadow at the corner of the eye to form a “C” shape.

— With a dark shade eye pencil, Stay as Close to the lashline as possible. Follow the “C” shape at the outer corner of the eye. This will add definition to the eyes.

Paulina Porizkova for Revlon - '80s eye makeup tips

Kunzelman also suggests:

— Let each coat of mascara dry before reapplying.

— Use a different brush for each eyeshadow color.

— Clean brush after each application. Clean by wiping brush with an alcohol-moistened tissue.

— Do not match eyeshadow to eye color. Contrasting colors will intensify one’s eye color.

Vintage 80s eye makeup - Rainbow colors of eyeshadow from Max Factor Maxi

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Gradational eyelids: Marbled makeup in shadow compacts

From the Los Angeles Times (California) December 5, 1986

We are living in the dawn of a new age of eye shadow.

First, there was the kohl age — Cleopatra and all that. Then there was the grease and crayon age, which reached its height during the Twiggy era.

Then there was the pressed-powder age, with all its endless variations on the same old theme. “Here are the new colors for fall!” “Here are the new mix-and-match compacts for spring!” Right.

Frankly, it was getting to be a bit of a rut.

But wait.

The newest & most fashionable eyeshadows for ’86

Astute readers of fashion magazine advertisements will notice a truly new look in the world of eye shadow in the next few weeks.

The latest pressed powders are dappled and stippled in the case, like little tablets of multicolored granite. Or two or three shades are blurred together like runny watercolors.

Retro 80s rainbow eyeshadow 1986

The real newness of all this is more in the presentation than in what it looks like on your eyelid. Once brushed on, the colors all smudge together for a smoky effect with subtle highlights.

But packaging is the heart and soul of makeup. Would you buy a new eye shadow if it came in a boring, generic box? You wouldn’t, and cosmetic companies never forget it.

Also, these new gradation eye shadows help you achieve a gradational eyelid, and that’s a much fresher, more interesting look now than monochromatic sweeps of color.

“I was inspired by all the marbles in Milan,” says Geri Cusenza, creative director of the Woodland Hills-based Sebastian International, which manufactures cosmetics and hair products sold in beauty salons. “The textures of architecture are very important in fashion right now.”

This trend is so strong that Sebastian sold all its 65,000 new eye shadow kits to salons within two weeks. They cost $40 for a palette of 12 shadows.



1986 Maybelline Blooming Colors makeup


Cover Girl colored eyeliner makeup tips from the '80s with Christie Brinkley - 1987 (2)

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Jewel box makeups: Authentic ’80s eye makeup tips & tricks from 1982

The prettiest faces for spring glow with the clear colors, the depth and fire, of gemstones

Ruby red retro ’80s makeup

This season’s reds, in lipsticks, blushes, are soft yet brilliant, never harsh. Team with vivid eye makeup for jewel effect.

Marcia’s cheeks and lips are in ruby tints, eyes have sparkling turquoise on lid, glimmering gold beneath brow, sapphire under lower lashes, gently extended just beyond corner.

Fashion, Marisa Christina. 18k gold necklace, Henry Dunay. 14k gold earrings, H Jack Gordon.

'80s makeovers - cheeks and lips are in ruby tints


Amethyst & purple makeup in the eighties style

Rich shades, subtle when applied, give the jeweled look. A new spring touch: darker-than-usual color — deep rose shadow — as eye highlighter.

The romantic face — Catherine’s is all violet and rose. The pretty light/dark shading, as of amethysts themselves, is achieved by intensifying the blush in cheek hollows, keeping the under-eye cheek area light.

Fashion, Levino Verna. Diamond necklace and earrings, Harry Winston.

'80s makeovers - The romantic face

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Opal-tones in awesome ’80s makeup

Seemingly muted, these spring makeup shades of blue, peach, ginger have iridescent undertones that catch the light. We used two lipsticks: copper for deep color, then peach, to brighten.

Opalescent color lights up Barbara’s face. Eyes are the shimmery focal point with soft silver on outer half of lid, sapphire blue under lower lashes.

Fashion, Ron Lo Vece, Ltd. Diamond necklace and earrings, Van Cleef & Arpels.

'80s eye makeup


Coral pink in retro ’80s makeup

Newest corals are sunnier, softer, used in new combinations – here, with pastel violet, pink.

Stunning! That’s Cynthia in warm sun-burnished shades. To get the all-over glow, start with blush on cheeks but don’t stop there – blend at temples, chin, tip of nose too.

Fashion, Muney Designs, Inc. 14k gold necklace, Krementz & Co. 14k gold earrings, McTeigue & Co.

'80s makeovers - Cynthia in warm sun-burnished shades


More vintage ’80s looks: Aziza’s eye Shadow Trio makeup

Aziza demonstrates how to get a weekend of eye looks with one Shadow Trio.

1982-Aziza eye Shadow Trio makeup

You can get terrific eye makeup mileage from just one Aziza Shadow Trio.

And it’s easy to use because the three shadow colors are coordinated to work together perfectly.

To see where each shadow color should go for the different eye looks, just follow the diagrams.

80s eye makeup how-to - Aziza eye shadow trio

Incidentally, for her Saturday night eyes, our model is wearing our Heather Plum Trio. It’s from a collection of 23 Aziza Shadow Trios, all smashing.

So go ahead. Pack a Trio you love and get a whole weekend of eye looks plus some others you invent yourself. And, of course, finish up with a beautiful mascara from Aziza.


How to wear multiple shades of eyeshadow for a stylish ’80s look (1985)

From the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Florida) October 16, 1985

QUESTION: I’d love to wear several eyeshadow colors for an interesting makeup effect. Can you give me the basics?

ANSWER: Here’s a foolproof plan: Select three shadows in the same color family (preselected trio compacts are available at the cosmetics counter).

First, apply the medium tone on the entire lid area, from lashes to crease. Then brush the deepest shade into the crease for added depth and definition. The palest hue goes on the brow bone as a highlighter.

The key to beautiful eye makeup 1s careful blending; you shouldn’t be able to see where one color ends and the next one begins. To create this soft, muted effect, gently smudge shadows with a clean cotton ball, or sweep over the lid area with a brush.

More on color: stick to the neutral color families until you’ve mastered makeup application. Vivid colors only multiply your mistakes.

And never use white to highlight the browbone: it’s much too harsh. Instead, choose pale neutrals and pastels to complement the other shadow colors you’re wearing.

Maybelline makeup from 1985 - Purple eyeshadow

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