Jem 80’s Glam Rock Tutorial

Hi Guys & Dolls!

I’m so excited about today’s tutorial!! JEM! There’s a reason why Jem and the Holograms is so enduring despite being sort of lo-fi cheesy kids show: it was geared toward girls, everyone had cool hair and makeup, and cute boyfriends with cool names like Rio. Sure, the songs were really cheesy, But it’s for that reason that we still treasure it. It’s a classic 80’s Icon, and it makes a fab costume. But before I go on let’s get real- the Misfits songs really were better.

I remember begging my mom for Jem Dolls but she wouldn’t buy them since they weren’t “real” Barbies. While I was in my teens I was helping a friend clean her room when we ran across her collection of Jem Dolls; Ironically she never has Barbies, just Jem Dolls! And I’m not ashamed to say that we stopped everything and played with dolls all night- boo-ya!

This is a great last minute costume since all you really need to sell this is a 80’s looking outfit, pink hair and this makeup tutorial; I opted for a pink off the shoulder top, a black cami and Black skinny jeans. I wore a  wig since my hair is too short for Jem (though just the right length for Jerrica). You could try to hunt down a great wig, or you could spray your hair pink! There are a lot of options with this one so go nuts and let your inner 80’s glam rocker run wild!


The main “ingredients” of this makeup are the Base, the Eyeshadow and the Glitter  and the Lipstick or Gloss. Below are photos of several options to give you an idea that there are so many different ways to do this with things you can pick up at a drugstore or makeup shop near you, or better yet makeup you might already have! I can’t list everything shown, but think of this as inspiration.

To Make the shadow pop and look great in photos a base is ace! Cream Bases, Water-Activated Face Paint- even Lipstick! Just make sure whatever base you use, that you also use a good eyeshadow primer to prevent creasing and a good makeup remover to take it all off!

As you can tell from the top row Milani has you covered for Hot Pink shadow at the drugstore. I used the shadow in the center of the picture (Dollipop from Sugarpill) and the shimmery Milani shadow (Must Have Fuchsia).

GLITTER GALORE!!! I used the Pink in the square jar(Pretty In Hot Pink by Lit Cosmetics)- it’s hot pink but it reflects a sort of violet glow-very cool!

For this look a light-bright pink would be the most authentic but don’t let that stand in your way if you want to rock deep Magenta or even Purple. I opted for the long slim tube in the back (Milani Haute Flash Lipgloss in “Flashy”); it’s a frosty pink- so 80’s.

The Wig I bought from (if you do visit the site the one review of this wig is actually me!)

Here’s a List of everything I used to create this look


Urban Decay Primer Potion

Milani Shadow Eyez Pencil in “Winter White”

Sugarpill “Dollipop” Eyeshadow

Milani Liquif’eye Auto-Propel “Purple” pencil

Sugarpill “Poison Plum” Eyeshadow

Physician’s Formula “Ultra Black” Eye Booster/Liner

Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara

Andrea “305” Half-Lashes


Make Up For Ever Full Coverage concealer

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation

Ben Nye Neutral Set Powder


Milani Haute Flash

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial! It may not be as easy as touching an earring and saying “Showtime Synergy” but I hope my tips and tricks will make is a sinch for you to recreate this costume. Happy Halloween!!


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Cora (vintageortacky)


  1. Brenda Farmer
    October 28, 2012 / 11:12 am

    That is Truly Outrageous! Great costume and thanks for bringing back a great childhood memory!

    • Renee
      November 5, 2012 / 3:28 am

      I love your video’s so much you are such a inspiration to girls that want to do makeup!
      I am also a bigger girl and you’ve tought me that no matter who or what you look like we are all beautiful!! luv Renee

  2. October 28, 2012 / 11:58 am

    lol…love it and the pink makes your eyes just pop. Great job JEM! lol

  3. Sara
    October 28, 2012 / 1:06 pm

    This is so awsome! the lips are great on you!

  4. rufus*
    October 28, 2012 / 1:21 pm

    Love love love it!!! And you’re right…the misfits were way cooler:) very fun look.

  5. October 28, 2012 / 7:22 pm

    I’ve always felt that I love Jem ATH so much that I want to adopt this as my daily look! Gorj <3

  6. Joanna
    October 29, 2012 / 5:18 am

    Looks outrageous and stunning!

  7. October 29, 2012 / 7:36 am

    Love this! Although I think you might just rival Jem for most “Truly Outrageous” Cora. Totally wish I had hung on to my Jem doll.

  8. Andrea Medina
    October 29, 2012 / 11:16 am

    amazing! love it, love your videos you seem like a really sweet person!<3
    greetings from Mexico!

  9. trumpette
    October 29, 2012 / 2:24 pm

    OMG!!! I had Jem dolls – I loved Jem! Awesome Halloween costume – you totally rock, Cora!!!!! Too many exclamation points!

  10. October 30, 2012 / 11:35 am

    Pretty ! and blonde hair suits you well 😉

  11. Sarah-Elisabeth
    October 30, 2012 / 1:38 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this! My nickname in high school was Jem because I wore a lot of pink, dyed my hair, and actually watched the show lol

  12. November 2, 2012 / 1:05 am

    This is some thing I need to do more research into, many thanks for the publish.

  13. Tabubilgirl
    November 8, 2012 / 12:15 pm

    Thanks for all of your Halloween tutorials this year. They’re fantastic for inspiration, and enjoyable!

  14. December 5, 2012 / 8:57 pm

    I Loved Jem when I was little..

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