Before barefaced was a thing: 7 awesomely '80s makeup ads


This week the Daily Mail reported that a growing army of British women are asking doctors to zap tiny red “thread veins” off their faces to look more naturally beautiful in “barefaced” selfies.

Wait, what? Aren’t #bareface or #nomakeup selfies meant to combat our culture’s ridiculous ideals of perfection? Taking a “natural” selfie started as a rebellious gesture, a show of pride in one’s perfectly imperfect beauty. The trend wasn’t supposed to make us more self-conscious.

As a virtual shower for our souls, for this week’s Throwback Thursday feature, we hearken back to a time when the concept of going “barefaced” was as laughable as the notion that jeans might not always be pleated. When colors were just as bold as Margaret Thatcher’s Sermon on the Mound. I am, of course, talking about the 1980s.

And now let us present seven of the most awesomely ’80s makeup ads, full of every goddamn color you can think of—because if barefaced selfies require the removal of BLOOD VESSELS from my face, I’d much rather slather on some Maybelline.

1. Don’t worry, ladies. You, too, can have makeup for every occasion!

Whether it’s riding a horse or catching up with your gal pals! Thanks, Maybelline!

2. No, seriously, think of a life event—they’ve got the color for it.

Wanna check your watch? Or do aerobics at home? Or open a window? Maybelline and this amazingly catchy jungle has you covered.

3. But why stop there? Match your lip color to your outfit!

Counting the number of lipstick shades out there can be hard, but wearing lipstick that’s the exact same color as your entire outfit is easy as pie.

4. Don’t forget to take your sexual innuendos to the next level!

Was that last commercial too tame? Try Ultra Slim by Maybelline. They may be using a car as a metaphor, but between highlighting the vaguely phallic shape of lipstick to playing up the already heavy connection between cars and female sexuality, they might be selling something else here.

5. If all else fails, remember that makeup is best suited for military conflict situations.

Car not suggestive enough? How about L’Erin’s lipstick ad? Don’t let the war trope fool you!

6. Of course, you don’t have to be dirty if you’ve got Christie Brinkley.

For Clean Make-Up CoverGirl—complete with a knock-off Michael Bolton theme song!

7. If your polish is sticking out like a sore thumb, it’s safe to say you nailed it.

We all know no makeup application is complete without coating your (pointy) nails in some super glossy polish. And of course, using those nails to pluck photos of dudes off your vision board like petals off a rose. Thanks, Cutex.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin