The Look

Time Traveling Candy Dreams

If you find that you’re nostalgic–or if you’re feeling blue for the candy coloured fun of the 80s…It’s never too late to colour your dreams. Skin texture of image was edited.

My memories of the 80s have that La Vie en Rose nostalgia, and a good dash of Girls Just Want To Have Fun devil-may-care dancing. When I’m down, I find myself dreaming of the outrageous stylings from The New Romantics/New Wave/Blitz Kids (depending on where you are from) and their Posterchild’s: Boy George and Cindy Lauper! In short: a Boy George made-up face is what my unrequited pre-teen fashion dreams are made of ! And if you’re wondering… having access to fan pop magazines at my local library doesn’t mean that I had any fashion sense or a clue on how to pull off something so complex.

It’s Like a Painting – Within a Selfie

It was on a Friday, of all days of the week, that I took my courage and decided that today is THE DAY. Three hours later I was picasso-ed into New Wave-dom. By 10 am, I was stepping out into the streets of my neighborhood to do my selfies. It took all that was left of my Teenage bravado to take this look to the the local schoolyard! But the need to create some proof of attempting this was my motivation. I got to prance around and do my best Cindy Lauper impression, just me and my 35mm DSLR (and some birds). The results are on my Instagram!

A still from my “video” you can see it on Instagram, my grandma’s sunglasses made an appearance!


I used no reference pictures when painting the look… This is an ode to the suggestive power of all those pictures of Boy George and Cindy Lauper that were lodged into my very young and impressionable brain. But if you’re new to makeup, or to the joys of New Romantics/New Wave aesthetics... here is a moodboard! New Romantics/New Wave/Blitz Kids is a punk inspired makeup style that emerged out of London around 1978-79. Like punk, it’s about creating geometric shapes on the face, but it’s much more colourful!

New Wave/New Romantic/Blitz kids – A Moodboard


I layered cream pencils with eye shadows to get the defined lines that are a trademark of New Romantics. And be prepared do lots of clean-up with concealer: it’s the best way to get your edges in a row. It’s also the best way to correct any wonky-ness and lopsidedness. Make sure to set each layer with powder to get clean lines and yes, even if it’s self-setting pencil!

Since I’m fair: I kept it on the pastel side and swiped the traditional black for a purple shadow Stick by NARS from their Andy Warhol Holiday collection, which you can replace with any purple shade, really! I did use some black eye shadow and black liquid liner to deepen and sharpen some details in the purple parts of the makeup. I used some green on the lower lash line but I’m not happy with how the shade turned out… although it was a great idea!

The line stylings of Richard Sharah in this quintessential 80s song/video

In the late seventies and eighties it was the trending technique to use blush around the eyes: to fade smoky eyes and as a transition shade. I used the Clinique coral shade for my transition. Around the lips, I went for the deep coral pink from Illamasqua: to fade the dark purple lip liner. For my cheeks: I used the cool toned orchid blush: I put mine under the foundation, and then applied a touch more (over the foundation) on the cheekbones. I layered the light coral on the edges of the orchid pink to diffuse it. Finally, I used the deep coral pink as an eyeshadow ( softened by mixing with a vanilla eye shadow).

Lines are everywhere in the more artistic makeup creations of New Wave/ New Romantics. One of the best professional makeup artists of the time was Richard Sharah, he also collaborated with David Bowie. He loved to use squiggly lines in his more intense makeups… The best example of his experimental work is in the Visage video for their hit song ‘Fade To Black’. Liner lips are my tribute to German Expressionism and a nod to the Punk aesthetic that blew up in 1975-76-77 and was reprised in a more New Wave style by bands like Siouxsie & The Banshees and Nina Hagen. I used the purples and blacks to create a line of a similar colour to what is on my eyes. I kept the center clean and I only used a clear gloss with blue reflects: Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Lip in Crystal Clear.

A wonderful documentary about the emergence of the New Romantic look