Madonna 80s Makeup


Madonna 80s makeup inspired many girls and young women to adopt a specific look: lots of black eyeliner, mascara and red lipstick.

Madonna in the 1980s

When Madonna hit the music scene in the early 1980s, people didn't know what to make of this woman with the religious name and sexy persona. As was the custom of the day, Madonna draped herself in tons of costume jewelry (some of it religious in nature), leggings, off-shoulder shirts and funky two-toned hairstyles.

Throughout the 80s, her look evolved; she wore many of different hairdos and she gradually became more toned and fit. Whether she was writhing around on a stage in a bridal gown or rolling around in beach waters while wearing a tight denim dress, she was sure to get noticed.

That applied to Madonna 80s makeup looks as well. Legions of young fans flocked to emulate this big music star in clothing style and cosmetics. Like everything 80s, her makeup was done to excess, but you can recreate this look today without looking like a complete throwback if you do it carefully.

Get Madonna 80s Makeup Look

Do you want to look like Madonna circa the 80s? If so, there are certain cosmetics you'll need to pull off this retro look. Make sure you have:

  • Foundation
  • Loose or pressed powder
  • Eyebrow pencil
  • Black eyeliner
  • Black mascara
  • Pale eyeshadow
  • Light colored blush
  • Red lip liner
  • Red lipstick

Madonna's skin is pale, although there are pictures of her from this era that show her looking even paler through the use of makeup (usually when she wore the shorter, bright blonde hair color). Whatever type of formula you use, make sure it matches your skin tone. If it's too light for your complexion, it can be very obvious. To get that Madonna's 80s look, follow these steps:

  1. Apply foundation to your face and follow up with powder. Blend well.
  2. Brush your eyebrows upward, using eyebrow gel if needed to hold them in place. Fill in sparse areas with a pencil.
  3. Brush a light color eyeshadow over your lids. This can be nude, taupe or another color that closely matches your skin tone.
  4. Apply black eyeliner in a heavy line on upper and lower eyelids.
  5. Curl eyelashes and apply several coats of mascara.
  6. Brush pink or peach blush on cheeks.
  7. Line your lips with a lip liner and fill in completely with a red lipstick that flatters your complexion. Choose blue-based reds for cool skin tones and orange-based reds for warm.

The Softer Look

As the 80s wore on, Madonna embraced a softer makeup look and left her thick black eyeliner behind, for the most part. Her makeup was still dramatic, but not as heavy. Although it seems like a lot of makeup to wear, she simply wore a variation of a classic look: lined eyes, smooth skin and red lipstick, a makeup look that many women can pull off.If you want to copy Madonna's softer look, stick to a classic face, but keep it light-handed and try these tips:

  • Use a damp makeup sponge to give your foundation a transparent quality instead of the matte look that was so popular during that time.
  • Wear lipsticks that are iridescent or moisturizing instead of the dry, matte lipsticks that defined 80s makeup.
  • Wear navy blue or chocolate eyeliner instead of harsh black. Apply thin lines to the top and bottom of the lids, avoiding the inner corners.
  • Apply one or two coats of mascara, combing through lashes to avoid clumps.

Modern Day Retro

While some women want to leave their 80s fashion and makeup behind, you can borrow from this decade for a dramatic look from time to time. Even Madonna looks very different today than she did when she first started out as an ambitious young singer with the ironic name that didn't quite fit her public persona!

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Madonna 80s Makeup