THE 1980S ARE back in fashion - and that translates to makeup, too. But before you slap on bright purple lipstick and a thick circle of eyeliner, this autumn/winter look is a toned-down version of that questionable fashion decade. Joyce Beauty's division manager Alice Wong says the new season's lip colours are rich, neutral tones such as soft beige and rose, or the 'seductive appeal' of red-pink or a deep berry stain. For your peepers, 'powerful smoky eye shadow in golds, grey, amethyst or turquoise' will do the trick. She says this harks back to the 80s, with its heavy, smudged eyeliner, but this can be too strong for Asian women. 'Try a slightly understated version by using a thin, soft eyeliner,' Wong says. In a nutshell, it's a 'play of contrasts, and strong eyes or lips form the basis of the look'. By contrast, Lane Crawford cosmetic concierge Clifton Kwan says the main theme is bold glamour. Colours are either strong (purples and berries, for example), or neutral (matte nudes). 'The glam look is creating a lot of room for exploration in terms of colour.' Kwan says. 'Expect to see reds, fuchsias, deep mahoganies, browns and purples.' He says to choose between the 'glamorous look' or the fun and colourful. 'The first entails dramatic, smoky eyes, thick eyeliners and lots of mascara. A must-have item is black eyeliner to create the smoky look. For fun and colourful, we expect to see greens, blues and purples - the colours of jewels. Think about the 70s and 80s, with the Twiggy look.' Unlike other trend-watchers, Kwan says that the eyes and lips can be bold at the same time. 'That's the difference compared with previous trends,' he says. 'Usually people wear nude lips with heavy eyes, or vice versa. This season you can see that eyes and lips clash to create an even more dramatic look. It's all about playing with colours, looking glamorous and having fun.' Foundation remains natural, dewy and light, Kwan says. 'We like to see the skin looking radiant and glowing without having a lot of obvious makeup.' Although glossy lips will always be in style, he says we'll see more lipstick and plumpness. Kwan also expects the retro makeup trend to continue into next spring/summer. But although eyes and lips are emphasised, cheeks have a light blush. Wong says this stems from the Paris couture catwalk shows, where there was a mixture of natural, glamorous and dramatic - but the focus was either on lips (red or pale) and eyes (smoky or neutral), rather than on summer's rosebud cheeks. Hong Kong-based trainer for MAC Cosmetics Fiona Kwok agrees that red lips and neutral eyes or smoky eyes with pale lips will carry through to next spring/summer. For the base, it's 'definitely more matte'. If you have very dry skin, go for a liquid foundation and set it with loose power to get the matte look. 'People with oily skin or combination with an oily T-zone can use an oil-free foundation,' Kwok says. Cheeks should follow the rest of your face. 'If it's red lips, then everything else is pared down. For smoky eyes and pale lips, go for a more contoured cheek and use a neutral powder or cream, such as peach.' Britain-based fashion and beauty site www.handbag.com says colour addicts are in for a treat. 'Backstage makeup pros took inspiration from [singer] Debbie Harry in order to create an iconic eye ... vivid plum at Gucci, midnight blue at Versace, smoky black at Rochas or inky flicks at Valentino,' the site says. 'A look this strong needs nothing more than lip balm and creamy complexion. Just let your eyes do the talking.' Not into red lipstick? It says to use something like an orangey-red gloss. US-based www.absolutelygorgeous.com says the most dramatic focus is on the eyes. 'Use coloured mascara instead of jet black to give lashes lots of soft volume. Apply concealer to your eyelids and dust with powder. This is a makeup trick used by the pros to ensure that shadow stays put and looks smooth.' Makeup artist Elke von Freudenberg says this is the first time in years that autumn makeup is completely different from summer. She also loves the new smoky eyes - not in standard black, but in softer, grey tones. Put away anything that contributes to shine or dewiness. 'Matte skin gives an elegant, refined look from head-to-toe, and if your skin isn't matte, your look won't work.' And don't forget your nails. OPI has a new range to celebrate its 25th anniversary. There are 'warm brick reds and sweet toffees to lighter, earthy shades - wheat, sand, cement, grey, moss', says its artistic director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann.