MAKEUP || An Ode to Synthwave

I've probably said this before on the blog, but I'll say it again without apology: Music is really important to me. Whether we r...

Synthwave 80s Retro Makeup Look 4

I've probably said this before on the blog, but I'll say it again without apology: Music is really important to me. Whether we realise it or not, we use it within our own minds as a way of determining time, and we associate memories, both good and bad, with particular tracks, albums, genres or even eras, whether those are memories about a specific moment in time, or something more general.

There's always music playing around my house, particularly when I'm working on something for the blog or Instagram, as I find it gives me more focus than silence, and much more focus than if I have a TV show on in the background.

Some of my readers will most likely be aware already that my style is heavily influenced by music, and in particular, a genre known as Synthwave, but others may not necessarily have a clue, or even know what Synthwave actually is, so I thought it would be good to explain.

Synthwave incorporates all the good things about 80s music, the epic synths, classic rhythms and beats and even the occasional guitar riffs, but leaves out most of the truly awful bits. And because the producers are using modern music production techniques, sometimes incorporated with 80s gear, it also gives the tracks a more polished, futuristic element to it.

I was only a toddler in the 80s, so all my impressions of the 80s comes through secondary sources, but it seemed like a lot of fun to be around at that time. The fashion, make-up and style were more experimental and fun and carefree in comparison to the 90s and today. It seems odd though, given the well-documented struggles of the era, with Thatcherism strangling large parts of the UK and racism and homophobia much more open and vocal than it is now, that the 80s still retains that image of fun.

Synthwave 80s Retro Makeup Look 1

From a musical point of view, the 80s seems to be the last great era of invention, with the advent of rap, synth and acid house. Whenever I listen to an 80s house music track that came from the Chicago scene, I can't help but imagine the excitement people would have felt hearing this incredible new sound for the first time, where you go in to a record shop (do they even properly exist anymore) or a club and genuinely don't know what kind of sounds to expect. Even the more mainstream music scene had the likes of Blondie, Joy Division, Bowie, Simple Minds, Talking Heads all making groundbreaking music. From the 90s onwards, it feels like we've moved on technically, but the inventiveness seems to have been lost a little.

But back to Synthwave, and to sum it up, a good Synthwave track leaves you pining for the 80s we never had, one where everything was fun and carefree, but without all those inequalities and flaws. You could even say that it gives a sense of false nostalgia, for a time that should have been, but never was. So here's my ode to Synthwave:

Synthwave 80s Retro Makeup Look 3


Kat Von D Lock-It Hydrating Primer
Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation - M57
Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer - M25 (under eye concealer)
Makeup Revolution Luxury Banana Powder (setting powder)


Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel - Strike


Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour & Highlight palette 
Lime Crime HI-LITE Opal palette - Pink (highlight)
Sugarpill Pressed Eyeshadow - Dollipop (blusher)


Synthwave 80s Retro Makeup Look 2

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner - Infinity (eyeshadow base, waterline & dots - Review HERE)
Models Own Holochrome palette - Deep Sea (lid - Review HERE)
Sugarpill Pressed Eyeshadow - Poison Plum (crease and lower lash line)
Phees Makeup Shop Luxe Holographic Highlighter - BUZZ (inner corner - Review HERE)
MAC Eyeshadow - Carbon (lower lash line)
Demure Lashes - Rarity (top lashes - Review HERE)
Daiso Lashes (bottom lashes)


Barry M Lip Liner - Dark Pink
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick - Backstage Bambi

If you want to sample some Synthwave for yourself, there's a YouTube channel dedicated to it, with new tracks being added daily. They have over 1,000 videos so you've got loads of catching up to do! 

Link *HERE*


You Might Also Like


  1. Wow! These pictures are amazing! I am not the biggest 80s fan... but a glitter eye...hell yeh!
    Claire x

  2. Loving the pictures and your style is on point! The lashes looks gorgeous with the eyeshadow making your eyes really stand out!

  3. You totally incapsulated synthwave perfectly in your makeup look! I am the same music follows me everywhere and my husband already has the girls singing and dancing to Bowie! X

    Amina xx |

  4. You look fantastic and I love these earrings! Music is so important to me too, I love so many different genres and it completely lifts my mood x

  5. I love everything about this post. I can completely relate - I absolutely love music and it just fuels everything I do. For me it's always changing, I go through phases all the time and jump around to what I'm in the mood for. I was raised on folk rock from the 60's and 70's and then discovered 80's pop and rock myself and I just absolutely love it. And I know exactly what you mean about feeling nostalgic for a time that you never experienced. Music is just so transcendent in that way. The 80'd really were a great time for music, it was probably one of the best things about that era. I was actually supposed to go to an 80's themed party but it got cancelled because of the hurricane. ANYWAY, love this post!

  6. This whole post is literally eye porn to me. I need a moment. why you so talented 😭

  7. I'm so glad I found your blog and IG, you are incredibly talented! This look just encapsulates everything 80's and brings back so many good memories. Thank you so much! X

    Lisa |

  8. Your make up looks INCREDIBLE!!

  9. I love music too and the 80s offered us an impressive array of songs that remain popular today. I love the make up and hair you featured... it's all good!

  10. This look is absolutely stunning! I love the pinks and those earrings are amazeballs!

    Tarnya xxx


Fashionicide 2023