When it comes to beauty trends, the ’80s were all about more is more. And while there are some trends that have evolved throughout the decades, many of the ’80s beauty trends are now reserved for Halloween costumes and themed parties.
With that said, we thought it would be fun to unearth some of these cringe-worthy beauty trends and have a laugh at all of the ridiculous hairstyles, crazy makeup trends, and bad haircuts of Madonna’s favorite decade. Read on for some of the most cringe-worthy beauty trends from the 1980s.
1. Blue eyeshadow
In the ’80s, one of the most substantial beauty trends was definitely eyeshadow — blue eyeshadow, to be exact. And while the aqua color has seen a comeback in recent beauty trends, it seems as if everyone has learned their lesson about the horrors of solid blue eyeshadow that reaches all the way up to their eyebrows. Not a good look.
2. Untamed eyebrows
It’s safe to say that you can always tell the decade by the eyebrows, and the ’80s were no different. Eyebrows in the ’80s weren’t just natural-looking, they were untamed — and quite bushy, to be honest. While we are all for a natural-looking brow, the Groucho brows can certainly stay in the ’80s.
3. Gigantic teased hair
When we think of the ’80s, we instantly think of big hair. And while there’s nothing wrong with a little volume, it seemed like women — and even men — in the ’80s took it a tad too far (much like everything else in beauty and fashion). Between the teasing and the cans of aerosol hairspray, it must have taken all of the ’90s to brush those bird’s nests out.
4. Faux beauty marks
Beauty marks have had an interesting history, to say the least. And while natural beauty marks are a beautiful and unique trait — one that celebrities like Madonna made popular — we can’t get behind faux beauty marks. We just can’t.
5. Feathered bangs
With teased hair came teased — aka feathered — bangs. And they were like the 8th wonder of the world. How did they stay in place? How much hairspray (or glue) was used? Who decided this was a good idea? We have so many questions.
6. Palm tree hair
Another horrific style from the ’80s (and partially into the ’90s)? Palm tree hair. You know, the super high half ponytail that was help in place with an atrocious scrunchie and left your hair to drape over the crown of your head? The name may be clever, but the hairstyle is just … no.
7. Colorful contouring
With celebrities like the Kardashians being so open with their glam routine, contouring has definitely made a comeback in recent beauty trends. That being said, this trend is not nearly as bad as the colorful contouring in the 80s. Between the blush, bronzer, and all the other colors of the rainbow used in ’80s makeup looks, let’s just say we’re happy we left colorful contouring behind.
One of the key components of gigantic teased hair in the ’80s? Perms. You couldn’t get the look you were going for without them. And while chemical perms are usually super damaging to your hair, proof of said perm is enough to scare you away from ever trying that again.
9. Too much blush
In addition to colorful contouring, women in the ’80s loved their blush. And, in turn, they used far too much of it. We’re pretty certain some even used it to replace of eyeshadow (or they applied it awfully close to their eyelids). Let’s just say we’ve learned our lesson. When it comes to blush, less is always more.
10. Crazy eyeshadow
In addition to blue eyeshadow, women used all sorts of different colored eyeshadows. From pinks to purples to yellows, it seemed there was no shortage of color in the ’80s. And they didn’t just put it on their eyelids. They applied these colorful shadows on the sides of their eyes and under their eyes, too.
Let’s just say it: The ’80s was the decade of bad hair. And mullets were a big part of that. Perhaps the most confused hair cut of all times, mullets were not a pixie cut, not yet a long bob. Add a perm and some hairspray, and you have yourself a 1980s nightmare.
12. Rat tails
Speaking of confused haircuts, here’s another one: Rat tails. It seems as if people just wanted to experiment with how fast their hair grew, so they trimmed around a patch of hair. Science experiment, or not, this hairstyle doesn’t make sense and we will forever wonder about its purpose.
13. Heavy foundation
Another trend from the ’80s that wouldn’t fly today? Heavy foundation. With trends like no-makeup makeup and skin care-inspired beauty products, people are steering clear of heavier foundation and allowing their skin to breathe.
14. Hair crimping
If you didn’t perm your hair in the ’80s, you most likely crimped it. And while it wasn’t as damaging as a perm, it was still cringe-worthy. The waffle hair crimpers gave hair a wacky kink that — when combined with colorful scrunchies and hair clips — was just too much.
15. Dark lip liner
There’s nothing wrong with using a lip liner before applying lipstick. That said, using a lip liner that is a few shades darker than your lipstick or lip gloss? Questionable. While this trend isn’t the most offensive on our list — see: rat tails and gigantic hair — it still doesn’t belong in the 21st century.