The Weekend Post #85: Mum’s ’80’s Makeup

All too often I give my Mum her standard weekend check-in phonecall and she tells me from the other end of the line how she’s having a clear-out. After living under her roof for a grand total of twenty something years I know that all this means is that she is emptying the contents of her cupboards, crying, laughing or both at the relics she finds and packing it all away again without as much as a birthday card from her sixth birthday making its way into the bin bag. Yup, she’s a hoarder. I happened witness one of these episodes last weekend and while getting roped in to read a Fathers Day card my sister and I had gone a bit ‘Blue Peter’ with back in the day, I stumbled across her sorting through her makeup bag. Now my Mum’s not massively into beauty bits (spot her here), but she has the uncanny ability to hold onto things well past their welcome and amongst the more recent Anna hand-me-down additions, I spotted some gems from her youth nestled inside. So we sat, swatched and chatted all things ’80’s.

Let’s just address the jaw-dropper first. Miss Selfridge did makeup!?! And my Mum’s word on it was that it was really rather good. Two eyeshadows still remain in the depths of her stash; the Eye Colour’s in Sort of Peach (the one you can see open), and Rent A Cloud which is weirdly similar to my favourite eyeshadow of all time MAC All That Glitters. But apparently it was all about the colour when my Mum was in her teens – blues, greens, heck peach on the eyes – I’m fascinated. There’s a well-worn Rimmel Eye Spy in there too in the the shade Matte Pink, which my Mum mentioned was her daily go-to. And then her most cherished item of all, Estée Lauder’s Re-Nutriv Lipstick in Half Apricot that she slicked on for her wedding day back in ’87. It always makes me laugh how my Mum’s a peachy lip lover too – maybe it just runs in the family, huh? 

The item though that stood out to me the most was the St Michael (what we know as M&S) Faceshaper Kit – an ’80’s lesson in contouring featuring three blushers, a highlighter and a how-to chart of where to place them all on the cheek. The dent in Rose is a teller that it was my Mum’s favourite and there’s a hefty amount of the highlighter gone too. My Mum told me she used to stripe them on, with very little blending involved and head on down to the Pink Coconut in town (again, surprisingly it’s no longer called that).

A colourful blast from the past which my Mum has assured me will never make the bin bag cut. And who knows maybe twenty years down the line I’ll be giving the same lecture, ‘There were these things called BB Creams and everyone went wild for them’


  • Love your post ideas! My mom always loves to borrow my make up ever since I really got into beauty and such. She says I make her buy too many products :p

    Velia | Cocoamourr

  • Shrutilaya

    I basically stalk your blog, awaiting a new post on Sundays.

    My mom always looked so elegant and well turned out. Her make up was always perfect. Still is. 🙂

  • Harriet

    Wow these are amazing! Love the little ‘how to’ on the contouring kit. Sadly my mom never wore make up until recently so there’s no way she would have anything like this.


  • Nia

    I had the St Michael cheek tin too 🙂 what a blast from the past!

  • I remember using some of my mum’s Miss Selfridge makeup when I was younger and my favourite past time was giving people ‘makeovers’. Not even my dad was safe from a 6 year old me, wielding a sponge applicator laden with electric blue eyeshadow. She also had quite the stash of Barry M Dazzle Dust which I think you can still get hold of now x

  • Jodi A

    I remember the Miss Selfridge make up, it didn’t last long – both on the face or in stores! The displays were always wrecked and you were lucky to find something that hadn’t had someone else’s finger marks in it! Eugh! (I’m only just 29, promise!) Spectacular make up was my fab back in the day 🙂

    Jodi xx

  • yourdailybreak

    Always love seeing what makeup used to look like. My mum still has some old make up tucked in her back corner and it’s so fun to see what she used to use! xo

    Your Daily Break

  • sara

    Are they still useable? Haha.

  • Zoe Bennett

    This is so strange as only yesterday I did a post about my the contents of my mums makeup bag haha 🙂
    Zoe x

  • Makala Johnson

    Ahh how sweet, a love of peachy tones obviously runs
    Through your family lol

  • wow this is amazing to see makeup for ages back its weird but i love these kinds of things to see what it was like 😛

  • Martyna

    I love to go through my mother things and find those oldies everyone forgot about, that’s how I got the best pieces in my wardrobe! xx

    Martyna | NEON MIZZLE

  • Anna Blush

    These are so cool! I’ll have to ask my Mum if she’s got any old make up goodies hanging around x

    http://anna –

  • Oresiri teru

    aww this is cute

    Love Oresiri

  • Cass

    amazing that she has kept these, I love seeing what people used to use!

  • Zuzik

    My mom was never much into makeup. She uses just a foundation, mascara and a lip gloss on daily basis. That’s why she can’t understand my make up obsession 😀

    Blu Button Box

  • Hannah

    The colours are kind of on trend…

  • Call It Vanity

    My Mum still has all her old make-up too! what particularly stood out was a pure gold chanel lipstick….gotta love that.

    Mayah x

  • sarirah

    Interesting read, I love stuff like this. I’ve been holding on to some 20-something year old Elizabeth Arden makeup from my mum for a similar kind of post. Funnily enough she was into the darker/bolder shades that I love when she was my age. In the genetics, eh? 😉

  • roshkud

    I love this! My mum has an old miss selfridge blush too and some rather dodgy looking eyeshadows, I used to love playing with them when I was younger

  • So fascinating to hear about makeup from the past. My Mum is/was a devoted Chanel and Lancome girl and I love having a look into her box of treasures past. xx

  • Shevasherapy

    Wow, your mom sure loved color! I remember digging into my mama’s makeup bag when I was little and she had this yellow and purple eyeshadow duo that you’re supposed to wear together. I can’t imagine working that look! Haha

  • hannah

    such a fun and interesting post! thank you!! xx

  • Anfal

    such a interesting read to see makeup from the past! Maybe I need to check with my mother and see if she has any goodies lying around!

    x x x

  • Emily Allen

    Wow its so interesting to hear about how people used to wear makeup in the eighties, as if selfridges used to do their own makeup line I wonder why they stopped :p So nice to read a more personal makeup post Anna xx Emmi

  • Talisa Lauren Tossell


  • Katie xo

    Ha this post was brilliant, crazy what stuff you find!

    Katie xo

  • Georgie

    Oh so cute, the miss selfridge makeup… Just wow! My mum is a huge Estee Lauder & Clinique fan, I love when she does a huge clear out. I may have to feature her is my blog. This is a super cute post!

    Georgie x

  • Georgina

    Loved this post 🙂

  • Danielle

    Love this! I would love to look through my mom’s makeup from the 80s, but she has gotten rid of it haha. She always had a lot of Estee Lauder.

  • Coco

    Your mum is too cool! Hope she doesn’t use her makeup relics any more though!
    Coco et La vie en rose
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  • Emily

    I actually love the look of that contouring palette, both in packaging and the products themselves. What great colors!

  • Lauren Lequime

    I loved this post so much, I love the look of the 80s, this was so interesting! x

  • Adorable! This is so cool that your mom still has her makeup from the 80’s! Your last line about BB Creams cracked me up! 🙂

  • Celina

    Wow this is neat and very adorable. I mean, just look at that packaging!
    My mom never wore much makeup so she doesn’t have many products for me to look at although I do remember her having an adorable little perfume that she never used but kept for the packaging.

    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

  • Jo Cannon

    I still have some Miss Selfridge makeup knocking around somewhere. I also had an Estee Lauder lipstick in that exact same packaging. And I used to go to a nightclub called the Pink Coconut. Your mum isn’t from Derby is she?! x

  • Lauren B

    I love the packaging! It would also be good if Miss Selfridge did makeup again!


  • Pippa Jones

    I love the contouring kit! Such a retro thing!

    Pip x

  • Paola Ysabel

    Pretty awesome post 🙂 so vintage!

  • Look at all this treasure! Gold!! Such an amazing time when we come across retro items.
    <3 Carolyn

  • Amy (HausofAmy)

    Such an awesome post 🙂 Love it! x

  • this is so neat! see, sometimes hoarder ways pay off 🙂 I also think it’s sweet she still has the lipstick she wore at her wedding

  • Katie Jane

    Love this! I also have some Miss Selfridge eye shadows around somewhere!

  • Joyjoy5

    Great post!

  • Shell B

    I love this post! Makes me remember when I was little going to my grandparents and looking at my nanas old makeup, I bet she doesnt have any of it now, I can still remember the perfume smell of the eyeshadows and powders etc. I love the way you write Anna and I think you have a talent for blogging 🙂 xx

  • Ada Strauss

    Wow, they look so cool! I remember some of my mom’s really old makeup, super interesting seeing how much (and how little) things have changed.

    my beauty blog

  • hazel mae

    How lovely 🙂
    It’s nice to see what our mothers used to be like back in the day I think

    Slightly Skint Blog

  • Sarah

    Oh my gosh! My mum had that EXACT face palette! I remember playing with it when I was little. I even remember the smell of it. Incredible x

  • Vicki Jones

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! Rent-a-cloud was my favourite eyeshadow ever I actually cried in Miss Selfridge when I found it was discontinued, Dont suppose you’d be interested in selling it? Holds fond memories for me