Get The Look: 80s Punk Make-Up Guide

The punk subculture of the 1980s had some fantastic looks but one of the most important aspects of their fashion was their make-up.

Get The Look: 80s Punk Make-Up Guide

Make-up is often overlooked when people want to pull together a vintage outfit. Without make-up that is also appropriate for the style and time, the look will just look inauthentic.

So, it’s super important to get the make-up right – especially if you are going for an 80s punk look! 

Here is our DIY make-up guide to the 80s punk look. Follow the steps and advice below to get the perfect make-up for your outfits. 

The Step-By-Step Make-Up Process

First, let’s quickly go over what steps you should take to do your make and in which order. 

  • Always start your make-up process with a nice clean face so first, you need to wash your face and pat it dry. Use moisturizer and  let it soak in. Then, you can start your make-up. 
  • First, apply your foundation and/or powder. This is to help even your skin tone and give you a good basis to build from. 
  • Your next step is to add contouring and highlights. Where you add your shadows and where you add your highlights depends heavily on the shape of your face. Blend it in and then move onto the next step. 
  • Now, address your eyes and eyebrows. Fill in your eyebrows if you desire, add your eyeliner and let it dry. Then, get creative with your eyeshadow! 
  • Once your eyes are done you can move onto your lips. Use lipstick (or gloss, if you prefer) and fill them in to make them pop. 
  • Finish off with a setting spray and your face will be done! 

You should follow this process for all kinds of makeup, including 80s punk style. However, where 80s punk make-up changes from today is in the colors you use, the harshness of your contouring, and how thick and stylistic your eyeliner is! 

Extend Your Eyeliner

If there’s one make-up feature 80s punks are known for, it’s the eyeliner. 

80s punks do not do their eyeliner like everyone else. They use pure black liquid eyeliner to completely outline their eyes and then, take the flick, and extend it so it’s super long and sharp.

Some punks even stretch the end of their flick right back until it meets the hairline.

To master 80s punk eyeliner, you will need to do a lot of practice. It requires a really steady hand to get the line straight and sharp, which is necessary for the whole ‘tough’ punk aesthetic.

Some 80s punks got even more creative with their eyeliner and drew points on the inner corner of their eyes, lightning bolt shapes around their eyes, or triangle drops on their bottom eyelid.

So, just follow these simple rules – keep the eyeliner thick, black, and razor sharp! 

Use Neon Colors

To contrast against the dark eyeliner, you need to add really bright eyeshadow. Think of Cyndi Lauper – bright blues, oranges, reds, purples.

Use neon palettes to really make your eyeshadow pop and match it to whatever crazy colors you are wearing in your hair, accessories and clothes. 

80s punks loved to use color in their hair and make-up instead of their clothing, so take advantage of this and blend some really bright colors together!  

Go Bold With Your Lipstick

Just like with their eyeshadow. 80s punks loved to use bold colors for their lipsticks too. Most of the time, they wore red but some wore purple, blue, and sometimes even black lipstick.

The point is to make your lips stand out rather than blend in – so avoid using any nude or blush tones for your lipstick. 

As for gloss, you can use it if you feel that your lips are too dry for lipstick but most 80s punks stuck with bold, matte lipstick. 

Don’t Soften Your Features

80s punks wanted to look tough and to get this effect through their make-up, they would use really harsh contouring to make their faces look sharper and meaner. 

To achieve this, try using a lighter highlighter and powder for your face than normal, and use a darker contour for your shadows. This will drastically up the contrast in your face, making your angles look sharper. 

When it comes to blending, only blend slightly. The sharper and straighter the lines on your face are, the better. However, not blending in your contour at all will just look silly. 

Final Thoughts

So, those are all the rules you need to follow to perfect the 80s punk look!

Make sure you use bold colors for your lips and eyes, get creative with that thick black eyeliner, and try to heighten the contrast in your face to make your features appear sharper and tougher. Then, you will look just like an 80s punk! 

Willa Price
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