Eighties chic? Totally. Among the matted mullets, shameless blush and fluoro exhibitionism lie the classic beauty icons whose looks transcend time and trends. We pay homage to these unsung beauty heroines while you get the know-how to master their signature looks.


1. Michelle Pfeiffer’s sleek chic ’do


Michelle Pfeiffer brought eye-watering elegance to the razor sharp tongue of Elvira in 1983 in Scarface. With a wardrobe of slinky satin dresses and a body to latest-fad-diet for, she even made chain-smoking look chic. But that hair.  With a blunt cut and soft full bangs, this is the ultimate lob for the ultimate retort: “Don’t toot your horn honey, you’re not that good.”

Get the look: Using a medium round boar bristle brush (like the Ibiza G3) direct the hairdryer down the shaft of each section while keeping it taught. Gently roll the hairbrush inwards while drying the ends and repeat for several seconds away from the heat to cool and set.

2. Isabella Rossellini’s aubergine eye and merlot lip


Model and actor Rossellini graced many a beauty ad during her 14-year reign as the face of Lancôme. This 1988 shot takes the beauty myth that a dark eye and lip must be mutually exclusive and throws it right out the fenêtre. The secret to bold eye/lip equilibrium is a clean complexion, paired back blush and a harmonious colour palette.

Get the look: Press an aubergine eyeshadow such as MAC’s Shadowy Ladyacross the lid, working more intensely into the crease then blend and diffuse upward toward the brow. For a merlot lip, try Lancôme’s Rose Nocturne applied with a square-ended synthetic brush to create bold definition.

3. Madonna’s sculpted socket


When Madonna shot with legend photographer Steven Meisel for her Like a Virgin album cover, the sculpted eye makeup was less 1984, more timeless classic (we’ll forgive the hair). This look is about creating the illusion of a deep socket and wide come-to-bed eyes. Does this ever go out of fashion?

Get the look: Using a small domed brush (such as this one from Illamasqua), lightly sketch a dark matte eyeshadow slightly above the natural crease while looking straight into the mirror. For a natural-looking deep socket, fade the colour toward the inner and outer eye by blending well with a small blending brush.

4. Pamela Ewing’s warm apricot cheek and lip


Ah, the 80’s wouldn’t have been the same without primetime soap opera Dallas: wealthy oil barons, gold diggers and trophy wives meant there was plenty of glamour to tune in to. Female protagonist Pamela Ewing was the 80’s drama series queen of apricot-hued polished perfection.

Get the look: Using the tip of the ring finger, apply a deep apricot such Stila’s Convertible Colour in Camellia to the apples of the cheeks and blend outwards and upwards along the cheekbone. Dust with translucent powder to mattify. Using a lipbrush, apply the same colour to the lips and for a soft apricot sheen.

5. Brooke Shields’ handsome brow


When 14-year-old Shields landed her first US Vogue cover in 1980, her trademark full, untamed yet soft brows became the envy of women everywhere. Throughout the decade, the model and actor became the epitome of handsome-chic. And the coveting of these eyebrows has yet to abate.

Get the look: Use a brow powder duo such as the one by Laura Mercier. Apply a lighter amount of powder to the inner eyebrows in soft strokes and build up the intensity in the mid brow. Watch the how-to GIF on brow defining here.

6. Kim Basinger’s glamorous bedhead bob


Kim Basinger’s character in 9½ Weeks might have indulged her penchant for silk blindfolds, ice cubes and literal food porn, but it’s the hair that made this 1986 movie. Basinger’s bedhead bob exudes an enviable timeless glamour with soft texture, full volume and gentle movement.

Get the look: Smooth a small amount of styling cream such as Bumble’s Brilliantineinto palms before working into semi-dry hair. If hair has a wave allow it to dry naturally, or blowdry and use a hot tong to create movement and volume.


Story by Sarina Zoe. 

Comment (0)

  1. July 2, 2014

    I wasn’t around in the eighties, but love Brooke Shield’s hair – and eyebrows! And with Cara, they are making a comeback!

  2. August 28, 2016

    Such a creative article, loved it! x

  3. August 28, 2016

    Always wish I could pull of the bold brow like Brooke Shield