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BEAUTY FLASHBACK TO THE 80s

I often wonder how much of the tips and tricks I share – and that now remain on the internet forever – will bring about more than a chuckle from the next generation of style followers.

Remember that piece of advice from a 1955 article in Housekeeping Monthly? There were lots of gems contained within on how to be a better housewife and support your man.

This was just one of them:

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives.

Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

As a 2012 wife, the only ribbons around here get wrapped around a pressie (if I’m feeling fancy) and by the end of the day I’m more about getting the makeup off than freshening it up.

Then this 2012 wife last weekend found herself reaching into the second hand book bin at a convenience store at a tiny beach north of Sydney.

 

I didn’t have to reach very far because the book that had caught my eye was indeed a large tome of coffee table proportions.

Blazoned across its front under the words, The Great Aussie Beauty Book (by Ursula Hufnagl, in association with Debbie Coffey), was an image of sun-kissed Aussie beauty posing and pouting like she was on the set of Bold and the Beautiful wearing a white one-piece featuring Australian flag-shaped maps of Australia.

Snorts and smirks about maps of Tassie aside, I realised that a $2 investment in this 1984 gem would indeed offer up a nostalgic look at how beauty advice was dished out in the 1980s.

And yes, I feel old when I describe looking back on the ‘80s as nostalgic.

1984: I love wearing haircombs at night but find that halfway through the evening they start to slip out. How can I prevent this?

 

2012: If you still have haircombs loitering with intent behind the scrunchies in your bathroom cabinet, it’s time for an intervention.

 

1984: I’m forty-five years old and literally woke up one morning with five more wrinkles. What can I do?

2012: No, grimacing to strengthen your jaw and neck muscles or blowing air into your cheeks so they puff out will not smooth out your lines. Embrace them. They say that you are mature enough to know all the lyrics to Echo Beach.

 

1984: Brighten your appearance when going out after work by bending over for a few seconds to give your face a pep-up rush of blood.

2012: Go out after work to a dimly lit bar where it looks like you’re walking around with an Instagram filter across your face.

 

1984: When you’re over thirty, don’t follow every trend that comes along. Styles that look great when you’re young can seem painted when you’re older.

2012: Thank goodness 50 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 30. A pop of bright lippy is the easiest way to look fresh when you’re not.

 

1984: A beautiful body isn’t complete without firm, healthy breasts. Don’t despair if you were at the end of the line when all the decent sets were handed out!

2012: Despair. I’ll show you despair. It’s realising that no amount of pressing your palms together while flexing your chest muscles will make a razoo if those boosies have fed a baby or three. Get thee to a bra-fitting expert instead and strap them in.

 

1984: Greasy hair, dowdy clothes, grubby fingernails and body odour are definitely out for the spruced up Bruce of the eighties. Why not give him a bubble bath and lavish him with attention, cleansing his face and shampooing his hair?

2012: Why not? Because the ’80s were not the ’50s. And there’s the little matter sharing the bathroom real estate. I’m not a good sharer.

All food for beauty thought, isn’t it?

 

What did you inflict on yourself beauty wise in the 1980s that now makes you shudder?

Me? It would have to be the torture that was having my hair streaked.

 

 

MORE ARTICLES BY NIKKI PARKINSON

My Sunscreen Wardrobe

The Super Simple Smokey Eye

Cult Beauty Product: BB Creams


*Nikki Parkinson was never allowed a Barbie doll as a child. Her politically correct mum thought Lego and Tonka trucks were more fitting. Now the Queensland-based blogger advises women what to wear and put on their face for a living. The former journo and magazine editor manages an award-winning blog Styling You – offering real world fashion and beauty advice for busy women. Don’t tell anyone but she’s secretly a closet dag who likes nothing more than relaxing at home with her family… but open a champagne bottle and she can have her heels on and hair done in minutes. You can follow Nikki on Twitter @stylingyou and Facebook.

 

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31 Comments

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  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Simone Johnston

    Nikki that is too funny and I am sure that a lot of us children/teens of the 80’s will be nodding and internally cringing at this.

    For me it was spiral perms. Really, why didn’t anyone tell me how bad it was???

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      I know! My spiral perm was done on a very short bob so I had horizontal hair until it grew out!!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Zohra

    Nikki, those hair combs NEVER stayed put in my fine hair. I so wanted to use them!

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      I had thick hair and they never stayed in without bobby pins!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Mrs Woog

    HAVING YOUR HEAR STREAKED!!! Putting that cap on and having the hairdresser pull out whispy bits. Pure torture x

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      I would have to take Panadol before every session! Could have cried when they invented foils.

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    SawHole

    Agree. Strap those buggers down.

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      Only way … short of surgery!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Fiona

    Mine would be that I plucked my eyebrows SOOO thin, NOBODY informed me that they would NEVER grow back and now it costs me a bomb every month to try and wax, tint and shape the sparse hairs that left there to look like some semblence of eyebrows!!!

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      Ah, yes, thankfully I modelled mine on Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon. Only thing that saved me from that!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Lisa

    That book sure has some giglle worthy material in it,I am very glad that 50 is the new 40 etc etc,and I’m with you on the getting my makeup off part ,when my husband gets home he is more likely to see me in my pjs and the makeup of,and if your man stinks tell him to get clean ,no man is sharing my bed stinky.
    I did the spiral perm and I have curly hair ,go figure it took 2 years to grow out and looked like a triangle and I sunbaked like mad and had streaks that were more suited to a tiger and I’m sure I owned the same leotard in the pic,for areobics:)

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      Triangle hair! Love it Lisa x

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    bigwords

    Yep, streaks for me too. Brassy blonde hair is not a good look and man, it hurt.

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      But we thought we were HAWT!!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Aeron Winters

    For me it was the spiral perm. I had hair that was well past my bra strap and ended up with it just touching my shoulders when it was done. I couldn’t even touch it when it was dry or I ended up looking like bozo the clown. It had to be wetted down, picked and gelled just to sit properly all day. Actually, may the worst was when I decided I had had enough of the spiral perm and got my hair chemically straightened, after bleaching it…oops, big no no. I ended up shaving it down to a number two all over, bar a small fringe front and back.

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      Oh Aeron, that is some hair torture story!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Jane

    I had a brief fling with aerobics and bought myself an exercise outfit. When I switched to yoga in 1987, I showed up for my first class in electric blue lycra tights and a matching blue and pink stripey leotard with the bum missing…. and the perm. I still blush.
    BTW if you want to keep the combs in your fine hair, slide another comb in behind first one. Useful to know, because they will come back!

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      Oh yes, the leotards without bums in them … remember them well. And thanks for the comb trick, I’d forgotten that one. Really, really hope I don’t have to remember it again though!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Lydia

    Oh dear… the cover of The Great Aussie Beauty Book is strangely familiar….!! eek!! Seriously… 1984? I was in year 11 and would have been so in love with that sort of thing back then. I’m sure I had it.

    But I have to say that I really dislike all the 80s stuff now – it’s so naff – I cringe too, Jane, when I remember what I wore to yoga. And work. And on the street. And to parties. And…. and….

    I saw a dress in an upmarket boutique the other day. It had the same retina-burning grandma-ish floral print that I remember from a dress I had in the 80s. It brought bacj some horrible memories. The only thing different was that this ‘new’ version was not a batwing tshirt dress with massive shoulder pads (yes, I kid you not… in a TSHIRT dress! MASSIVE shoulder pads. Quelle horreur. But it went well with my blonde streaked bob with spiky – really spiky! – fringe and combs holding the sides up).

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      They can try to re-create the ’80s but they couldn’t come close to the “gems” that we paraded ourselves in. I could work a good fringe in my time too – with half a can of CFC-full hairspray!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    tintin

    Aaw I don’t know..I think the 80’s were kind to those of us heavier on the bottom balanced out by super wide shoulder pads

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      There is that redeeming advantage of the shoulder pad, yes!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Mary

    I had a friend who plucked out all her eyelashes because she read that they will grow back longer. OUCH. They didn’t of course. They also don’t grow back at the same time so she had ages of being embarrassed becuse unfortunetly mistakes on your face are hard to hide and mascara just made it more noticable.So many people looked at her trying to work out what was wrong. We could only laugh every time we looked at her. When she got married she wouldn’t let her husband see her without makeup because she had freckles on her face. She went to bed after him and got up begore him. She also turned up bright orange one day, overdoing the fake tan. I haven’t seen her for many years so I hope she isn’t still suffering for beauty.

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      Oh Mary, that poor, poor girl. I hope that beauty is not her slave now too!

  • Reply November 8, 2012

    Jane

    I did plenty of silly things in the 80’s and some in the name of beauty, however the silliest would be the expensive purchase of tablets to tan my fair skin. My Dad laughed and then despaired that I could have been so stupid. My skin had an orange hue to it, my poo turned orange and I recall squeezing a zit and that was orange too.

    • Reply November 8, 2012

      Nikki @ Styling You

      I remember those tablets – oh my – orange poo!

  • Reply November 10, 2012

    Engineer Mum

    I’m half Asian and I permed my hair. Twice. Why???

  • Reply November 11, 2012

    YY

    can’t remember – it’s either denial or early onset of dementia!

  • Reply November 11, 2012

    YY

    Oh god! I do remember something! Adam Ant war paint on the cheeks!

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    THE EYES HAVE IT

    [...] Beauty Flashback to the 80s [...]

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