3 of the Most Iconic Eye Looks from the '70s, '80s and '90s

Farrah, Madonna and Courtney!
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Farrah, Madonna and Courtney!

Last month, I put together a trio of iconic eye looks from the past century, highlighting '20s beauty Clara Bow, '50s dream girl Audrey Hepburn, and '60s babe Twiggy. I asked if you wanted a continuation of the series, and the xoCrowd voted in favor of such an endeavor, and so here I am today.

This time around, I'm focusing specifically on the latter half of the century, so prepare yourself for some color and grunge. 

1970s: Farrah Fawcett

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We'll start this rodeo off nice and slow with Ms. Farrah Fawcett, who was basically personified summer sunshine. This blonde bombshell was a no-brainer for my '70s pick, especially since her look is still so wearable to this day. It's very natural and goddess-y, and particularly ideal for these hot and lazy summer days. 

For this look, I opted for a dewy foundation courtesy of SkinFood Peach Sake BB Cream. I followed up with a generous dusting of Napoleon Perdis bronzer under my cheekbones, across my forehead and down my nose. The dewier and the bronzier, the better. 

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For my eyes—the star of the show—I applied Urban Decay Potion Primer in Greed, which provides a shimmery base. I created the rest of the look with my Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, starting with Naked 2 (matte brown) up to my socket line, then adding Faint (medium matte brown) to the crease to create depth. I blended this out, then finger patted Venus (shimmery cream) to the center of my eyelids. 

Next, I applied a very thin line of liquid black liner courtesy of Stila Stay All Day, then used a black pencil liner on the outer corners of my lower lash line, blending out with an angled eyeliner brush. Finally, I swiped on some Benefit They're Real Lengthening Mascara in black. 

Farrah's brows were thick, but natural-looking. Unlike today's super arched brows, they were more horizontal and subtly rounded. I used Chella Tantalizing Taupe Eyebrow Color Pencil to create this shape. 

To maintain that bronze-y vibe, I smeared a thin coat of Hard Candy Fierce Effects Daring Lip Gloss in Just Glow on my lips.

1980s: Madonna



I had way too much fun recreating this Madonna look. The key is to not think too hard about what you're doing, and to blend like a MOFO. 

For my base, I went with Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation, which provides a clean, matte effect. With a heavy hand, I applied highlighter on my upper cheekbones to create some dimension.

After applying Benefit Air Patrol shadow primer to my entire lid, I grabbed my Urban Decay Electric Palette and a fluffy shadow brush. I started with Savage (pink) on the upper, outer corner of my eye, then moved in with a mixture of Freak (green) and Thrash (yellow) to the interior corners. I was pretty messy and generous in the application process. 

Next, I applied Gonzo (electric blue) to the interior lower corners of my eyes, then applied Jilted (orchid) to my outer lower corners. I blended all these colors together with a clean, fluffy blending brush. For more dimension, I patted on Revolt (shimmery silver) on top of the blue. 

The intensity is real.

The intensity is real.

Next, I applied black pencil liner on my upper and lower lash line, then went in with an angled eyeliner brush to soften. I picked up a little more blue when blending out the bottom lash line for a subtle effect. Finally, I applied a healthy coat of black mascara to my upper and lower lashes. 

Madonna's brows were messy AF in the '80s, so I went in like a whirlwind and drew on haphazard, scraggly, thick brows. I'm wearing Milani Matte Orchid on my lips, and also drew on Madonna's beauty mark with a brown eyeliner pencil. 

1990s: Courtney Love


Oh Courtney, grunge darling with eyes that gave Medusa a run for her money. This look was actually very simple to create. I started by applying a thick and messy coat of a pliable, jet-black pencil liner on my upper and lower lash line (Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Liner). I blended it out with a Q-Tip and the tiniest bit of baby oil. I reapplied and smeared several times to get that lived in look, and also extended the liner to my outer corners. 

Once I was pleased with the smear, I applied a thin, but messy, coat of liquid eyeliner to my top lashes, then swiped on some mascara. For brows, I filled in just enough to create a natural-looking, but unkempt, look. 

To maintain that Courtney vibe, I was slightly messy with my lipstick application, too. I applied Burt's Bees Napa Vineyard, then went in with Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids lipstick in Orange Edge on top. 

  • Which is your favorite look of these three?
  • Would you wear any of them out of the house?