How to Put Together a Great 80s Inspired Makeover

The '80s look is making a come-back; not that it ever went away for long. For the last 40 years the fashion from this decade has appeared and disappeared from catwalks and highstreets, peeking slyly from the odd celebrity shoulder-pad or finding new fame in shows and films that are a homage to that legwarmer-wearing time.

Use these hints and tips to put together an '80s inspired makeover that you’re not going to want to save for the office Christmas fancy dress party!

Go Big Hair. Then Go Bigger

The '80s was all about the hair, and this is the key thing to focus on in your '80s makeover. Backcomb, and use crimpers or heated rollers to boost hair volume and body. Bigger really is better when it comes to 80s inspired hair, so add mousse or volumizing spray to add as much body and bounce as possible. Try incorporating a quiff or heavily styled fringe, or a side parting for added '80s authenticity.

Perms were huge in the 1980s; replicate the look using heated tongs to create corkscrew curls - and for bonus points, don’t forget to curl your fringe, too. Alternatively, the high side ponytail was another stalwart of the decade - ideally crimped.

Add statement hair accessories to complete the look: ribbons, oversized flowers: again, go as big and brash as possible! Hair scrunchies were everywhere in the '80s, so for a quick and easy option, put your hair into a high ponytail, or half pony, and add the brightest scrunchie you can find for an instant 80s vibe.

All About the Accessories

It’s not just hair accessories that were big in the '80s, accessories in general were a must for any outfit and, as with hair, think ‘statement.’

A killer pair of '80s style sunglasses can take your '80s inspired makeover to the next level: think Aviators, cats’ eyes, or wrap-around styles, all of which were the height of fashion in that decade. Scour second hand stores if you want to go vintage, or browse glasses online for the perfect iconic '80s eyewear styles. Look out, too, for John Lennon inspired round specs, that were very popular in the '80s and have recently found favor again.

Statement jewelry was also popular in the 1980s, with popstars and other celebrities sporting stand-out brooches, chunky necklaces, bangles and oversized hoop earrings. Team eye-catching pieces of jewelry with a pair of aviators and add a pair of fingerless gloves and pop-socks and you’re well on your way to a classic '80s look.

But we can’t leave out the bum-bag, as much as we’d like to. These practical little packs that cinched around the waste were huge forty years ago, so if you’re an '80s makeover purist, you might want to consider adding one to your outfit. But you don’t have to. Really.

Finding the Perfect Outfit

We’ve established that the '80s was the decade of the bold, brash look, and power suits, shoulder pads, legwarmers and colorful tights were all trends during this time. Clashing colors, loud patterns, off-the-shoulder tops and Ra-Ra skirts were on trend, too.

Animal print and high waisted jeans emerged as eighties fashion staples, as did leggings, courtesy of Jane Fonda’s hugely popular workout series - and just about anything that was neon coloured.

The emergence of punk added edge to the crimped hair and pearls, with ripped stockings, gothic accessories, cut-off jeans and Doc Martin’s all in the mix, too - so have fun creating a mismatched look for a truly authentic '80s makeover.

Making Up is Hard to Do

Getting the make-up part of your eighties look is going to take your makeover to the next level. The key words to bear in mind with '80s inspired make-up looks are ‘bright’ and ‘glamorous’. This wasn’t the decade for subtle nude tones and barely there shimmers. Your make-up needs to pop.

For the eyes, blues, purples and pinks are the shades to go for - preferably all at once. Eyeliner and blush can be applied heavily, and consider coral or bright pink shades of lipstick. The natural, thick eyebrows that are on trend right now were also fashionable in the '80s; so there’s no need to reach for the tweezers to get your makeover on point!

The Greatest Shoe in Town

To complete your '80s inspired look, finding the right footwear is important. As with everything else about the decade, fashion-wise, the understated is not where it’s at. Bring your look home with bright, glittery jelly shoes, vintage trainers or pointy stilettos

Canvas shoes and penny loafers also featured heavily on the '80s scene, so go for whichever choice best matches - or rather, clashes with - the rest of your outfit. Luckily, you can easily find all of them in stores and on online sites you can go now and check out - you don’t need to worry about having access to vintage shops.

Channeling Your Inner Eighties

An '80s inspired makeover is a perfect opportunity to have fun with the fabulous flamboyance of the decade; experiment with the various influences and styles to create your own unique take on the times. Incorporate color, accessories, sunglasses and big hair to pull off an '80s look that you might be tempted to wear every day...

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