The 1980s brought in a new type of glamour that the world had not quite witnessed before. Hair and make-up trends were in direct contrast to the previous 1960s and 1970s. Here are 4 ways that the 1980s glamour was totally awesome!

1980s Glamour girl.
1980s Glamour. More is more in the 1980s! Photo by: Lora Lynn/Pinterest

The 1970s ended years of political movements involving the Vietnam War, counter-culture protests, Hipsters, and the Watergate scandal.  The 1980s ushered in opposites, including conservative Reaganomics, Yuppies (young urban professionals), and a new 1980s glamour.

The 1980s was a decade when more was more, and then you could pile a little more onto that.  Big hair, lots of make-up, and fashionable shoulder pads defined the time.  Movies ranged from Top Gun to Pretty in Pink to St. Elmo’s Fire. Valley Girl was a movie, a movement, and a character emblematic of teenage girls.

The 1980s made various statements with unique style, beauty, and glamour. Here are 4 ways you may remember feeling totally tubular back then or seeing a hilarious photo of your mother looking totally rad.

Gigantic Hair

1980s Glamour. Girl with very big hair.
1980s Glamour. Gigantic hair. Photo by: ILoveRetro/Pinterest

Gigantic hair may be the number one glamour trend from the 1980s. The bigger the hair, the better.  From Tina Turner to Whitney Houston to Jon Bon Jovi, very voluminous hair was the in thing. If you did not have colossal hair naturally, then you had to resort to artificial means. We’re talking perms and crimping. The perm process would provide said user with a frizzy, curly look. Letting your hair curl up by drying naturally was even better. 

Should you not choose the perm route, crimping was another top choice.  I had naturally curly hair, but I was a crimper, too. Demi Moore and Madonna crimped their hair, and so did every teenage girl at the Mall.  A crimper iron looked similar to today’s flatirons, but it had crimper plates. 

Feathered Bangs

1980s Glamour. A vintage can of Aqua Net from the 1980s.
1980s Glamour. A can of Aqua Net from the 1980s sells for $12.99 on Ebay today. Photo by: Ebay

While we are on the subject of hair, feathered bangs were definitely a 1980s glamour trend. Hairspray was our friend to get those bangs as hefty and high as possible.  If the bangs stood straight up, you were doing something right. Then we’d take a can of Aqua Net hairspray and use until the hair wouldn’t move.  At all.

Crazy Eye Shadow

1980s Glamour. Woman with bright eyeshadow.
1980s Glamour. Eye shadow made a statement in the 1980s. Photo by: ClickAmericana

I’m not sure the world was prepared for those eye-popping eye shadow styles of the 1980s. They were excessive. The boldest, wildest eye shadow colors were applied in heavy coats to create a slightly crazy, but fun 1980s glamour style.  Blue eye shadow was a massive trend, but I never settled for just blue. Bright pinks, yellows, reds, greens, you name it, were available and encouraged. The shadows were also applied in angular shapes.  To recreate this 1980s glamour look, don’t forget to rim the inside of your eyes with eyeliner and complete the look with a colored mascara!

Bright Lipstick and Bold Blush

1980s Glamour. A woman wearing bright make-up.
1980s Glamour. Bold lipstick and blush ruled the day. Photo by: ClickAmericana

Since more is more in the 1980s, bright lipstick continued the 1980s glamour trends. Colors of red, pink, orange, and purple, adorned the lips of men and women in the 1980s. Sometimes the lip color matched the eye shadow shade, sometimes it clashed, but it always made a statement. Lip liners were very much in vogue as well. The lip liner was often darker than the lipstick, so the lips made a very dramatic impression.

Blush was bright, colorful, and not at all subtle.   Like the rest of the 1980s glamour styles, bold colors of blush were applied heavily and angular. More is more, after all!


The 1980s were a very unique moment in time. While they are entertaining to look back on from today’s more subtle styles and trends, the 1980s were a fun fashion time. It was a good decade in which to grow up if you enjoyed fashion experimentation and make-up trial and error.  The 1980s glamour trends were totally awesome!

Don’t forget to check out our Kickstarter campaign to help Aroono get off the ground! We need your help to help entertain you as writers, and while I’m at it, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, so you get access to content every day to your mailbox!