That ’80s Show: How To Get Into Pre-Fall’s Totally Radical Look

Heading into pre-fall 2023, the '80s was the season's top beauty influence. Here, our best tips on how to get into the groove

Circling Back

Photo: Courtesy of Dior

Musical greats Boy George, Cyndi Lauper, and Madonna were the forerunners of this trend in the eighties, with swathes of different colours circling their eyes. Makeup artist Wee Ming advises a more modern approach by using  just one flattering colour like pastels for light or pale skin and bright ones for medium to dark skin tones. Another trick she has in her kit for beginners who want to explore more intense shades would be for them to apply some of it on their hands first to sheer it out.

Photo: Courtesy of Tod’s

“Products with pigments like red, purple, and yellow can stain if too much is applied so you’ll want to work in thin layers,” she says. As compared to the emo eyeliner look from spring/summer 2023, Wee thinks that the appeal lies in how it makes eye makeup fun. “You can care less about what colours you choose if you’re feeling experimental or you can even try out different kinds of shapes,” she says. If you want to colour outside the box, try using medical tape to form a shape before shading it in.

Byredo Remembrance palette, $162

GXVE Eye See In Colour in Danger Zone, $48

Dior 5 Couleurs Couture in 233 Eden-Roc, $116

Chanel Les 4 Ombres in 68 Délices, $110

Tom Ford Beauty Eye Colour Quad Eye Shadow Palette in Hazy Sensuality, $145

Shade Union

Photo: Courtesy of Max Mara

Who knew that brown lipsticks would be able to impart a subtle but sexy focus on your lips as compared to reds? Makeup artist Sha Shamsi personally tried the trend herself in the ’80s when she was a model (“eye makeup and blush colours then were such strong statements that we drew brown lips to tie a look together”) and her method of making it look modern is simple. Use a formula that is moisturising instead of matte, and to give it a more social-media-friendly dimension, “add a tiny bit of gloss, shimmer or glitter to the centre of lips for some shine.” Another way it can look dated, in her opinion, is if you’re using the wrong shade. Fairer skin tones should opt for taupe hues, medium skin tones can consider red or orange undertones, and darker skin tones should explore pale browns, coffee, or tan colours. Brown shades with pink undertones, however, “are universally flattering”.

Photo: Courtesy of Moschino

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Cocoa, $37

Givenchy Rose Perfecto Lip Balm in 117 Chilling Brown, $57

MAC Cosmetics Locked Kiss Lipcolour in Posh, $49

Fenty Beauty Icon Velvet Liquid Lipstick in Bread Winn’R, $43

Hourglass Unlocked Satin Creme Lipstick in Shore, $66

Also read: Welcome To The GRAZIA Beauty Black Book 2023

Sweeping Beauty

The blush sculpt trend worn by the likes of Kate Bush in the eighties is back. But is more really more in this case? Makeup artist Larry Yeo’s modern take on the trend involves softly sweeping the cheekbones up to the temples with a blush that has beige-brown or brown-pink tones, instead of reds, which may make you look feverish, or ones with too much brown, as it’ll end up leaving you looking dusty. “Powder blushes are best for oilier skin types but you’ll want to use a synthetic brush, which gives you a lighter and more controllable application,” he tells us.

“Liquid, gel, or cream blushes are better for dry skin types because they hydrate dry patches without emphasising it. If you don’t like the sheen, just blot it off with a tissue paper.” You might be tempted to go bodacious with other parts of your face, but our advice is to keep it simple. Yeo adds that “pushing the look over the limit by adding excessive eye makeup or heavy eyebrows will make you look incredibly dated; instead, you want to let the blush sculpt take full focus.”

Drunk Elephant O-Bloos Rosi Drops, $56

Rare Beauty Positive Light Precision Highlighter Brush, $32

The Body Shop Freestyle Multi-Tasking Colour in Flow, $33

Dior Backstage Blush Brush No. 16, $65

NARS Cosmetics Orgasm Four Play Blush Quad, $65

Stroke Game

Photo: Courtesy of Erdem

A look made famous by Brooke Shields in the eighties and revived by Cara Delevigne in the early noughts, the beauty of a bold brow is that “you can immediately look put together and confident like you know what you’re doing in life,” says makeup artist Priscelia Wong. The match point, however, is ignoring the previous rules of using a darker coloured brow pencil in contrast to your hair colour. “You can match the colour of your brow pencil to your hair colour, but avoid colours that are orange. If you have naturally black or brown hair, go for a cooler-toned brow pencil or a chocolate-toned one if you want a stronger look.” For the application, Wong proposes starting with light strokes from the start of the brow before going heavier towards the brow arch and end. Next, tap the entirety of the brows with your ring finger to blend out any harsh lines and to soften things out. 

Gucci Beauty Stylo À Sourcils Waterproof Brow Pencil in 6 Noir, $75

Kose Esprique W Eyebrow Pencil & Powder in GY002 Grey, $32

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony, $35

Clé de Peau Beauté Eyebrow Gel in 102 Dark Brown, $54

Augustinus Bader Eyebrow and Lash Enhancing Serum, $230

Fringe Benefits

Photo: Courtesy of Chloe

As chic as it looks—and it certainly has since Jane Birkin popularised the look in the eighties—the true advantage of a wispy fringe isn’t just how its softness seems to pull the face into full focus while making the eyes look a little wider and lips a little fuller. According to hair stylist Christvian Wu of ARX Salon, the wispy fringe of today, with its textured look, suggests that “there is a certain DIY quality to it that will make you look and seem a little more relaxed”. Despite what you might be encouraged to do on TikTok, Wu recommends having a hairstylist cut it instead. “Lengthier faces can have it cut more bluntly and shorter ones should ask for softness. You should also always ask for texture because it makes the final look feel less intentional and more natural,” he advises. “Your hairstylist should also be cutting your hair while it’s dry so you’ll never have it done too short.”

GHD Unplugged Hair Styler, $505

Ouai Fine to Medium Hair Treatment Masque, $61

Aveda Scalp Solutions Stimulating Scalp Massager, $56

Jung Beauty No Wash Keratin Treatment Essence, $44

JVN Embody Volumizing Foam, $46

Read more: GRAZIA’s Best of Beauty: 10 Best New Products of the Week