20 Hilarious & Embarrassing '80s Beauty Trends (PHOTOS)

20 Hilarious & Embarrassing '80s Beauty Trends (PHOTOS)

No decade did big quite like the '80s. From neon blue eye shadow to the famed mullet hairstyle, there were plenty of mortifying beauty trends we'd be better off forgetting if they weren't so hilarious to look back on.

So while we understand that "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," these 20 beauty trends were epic fails.


Image @ ABC

  • Colored Mascara


    Image via Maybelline

    Maybe she's born with it. (The green, blue, yellow eyelashes.) Or maybe it's Maybelline.

  • Big Hair


    Image via MsBlueSky/Flickr

    The ultimate '80s motto: bigger is better, especially with hair. Don't forget to finish off the masterpiece with a can of Aqua Net.

  • Blue Eyeshadow


    Image via CoverGirl

    Lots of it. All the way to the eyebrows. There was also yellow, green, and red shadow if that was more your speed. Bonus points if you coordinated your colored mascara.

  • Baby Oil


    Image via Johnson's Baby Oil

    How else would the '80s gal achieve her bronze glow? Dermatologists everywhere are weeping.

    More from The Stir: 20 Beauty Products From the '80s Every Girl Was Obsessed With (PHOTOS)

  • Rat Tails


    Image via Rugby Hair/Flickr

    There really are no words. But if we were going to describe it, this thin chunk that hung down the back of the neck looked exactly like a rat's tail (hence the name).

  • Sweat Bands


    Image via Goodhousekeeping

    Best kept for the jazzercise class. On second thought -- don't. There really is no acceptable place to sport a sweat band.

  • Hot Pink Blush


    Image via ABC

    There was no such thing as subtlety when it came to the 1980s, especially when it came to hot pink or dark red blush.

  • Side Ponytail


    Image via Big Bopper Magazine

    Bad hair day? No problem. Whip those locks into a bad-ass side ponytail, high atop the head for full effect.

    More from The Stir: 20 Cringeworthy Fashion & Style Trends of the '90s (PHOTOS)

  • Scrunchies


    Image via ABC

    These fabric-covered elastic hair ties were the perfect complement to the side ponytail.

  • Mullet


    Image via Jerome Levitch/Corbis

    The iconic hairstyle for the '80s man. Admit it, you dated at least one guy who sported the mullet.

  • Dark Lip Liner


    Image via Redbook

    Celebs like Madonna loved the dark lined lip look with or without lipstick. After all, why should your eyes have all the fun?

  • Feathered hair


    Image via Columbia Pictures Television

    Girls wanted to be her. Guys wanted to date her. Everyone wanted to channel their inner Farrah Fawcett with the feathered coif.

    More from The Stir: 11 Mortifying '80s Beauty Fails We Wish We Could Forget (PHOTOS)

  • Flat Tops


    Image via People Magazine

    If your man wasn't sporting the mullet, he may have been more the Vanilla Ice type, opting for the flat top style (complete with parachute pants or perhaps a pair of overalls). 

  • Press-On Nails


    Image via Amazon

    Back in the 1980s we didn't have a Jade Nails on every street corner. Luckily, there were press-on nails: quick, painted talons to suit every big occasion.

  • Crimped Hair


    Image via Just80sfashion/Tumblr

    Girls across the country fired their curling irons by crimping their hair (and destroying their locks in the process). Texture is good. Crimping to achieve the frizzed-out tresses, not so much.

  • Huge Earrings


    Image © Nick Elgar/Corbis

    Door-knockers. Neon Plastic Hoops. Feathers. Dainty they weren't. Let's just call them statement pieces, shall we? 

    More from The Stir: 18 Cringeworthy Fashion Accessories From the '80s (PHOTOS)

  • Mood Lipstick


    Image via Amazon

    How we loved our tubes of green glory that ever so subtly turned to a deep shade of burgundy as the day went on. Genius.

  • Dark Rimmed Eyeliner


    Image via Vogue

    Call it the "smokey" look of the '80s, but the thick black eyeliner on the bottom of your eyes was all the rage, and instilled fear in parents everywhere.

  • Huge Hair Bows


    Image © Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

    What better accoutrement for big hair than big accessories? Stars like Madonna and Rosanna Arquette wrapped up their manes with giant tulle bows.


  • Perms


    Image © Raul Vega/Corbis

    When it came to perms during this decade, poofier was better. Just take a look at Dolly Parton's bountiful bouffant. 

    More from The Stir: How to Get The Perfect Party Hairstyle: The Stacked Topsy Tail Braid (PHOTOS)

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