Mid-Week Match-Up: ’80s Teen Products Then and Now

Dep hair care products then and now

Dep hair care products then and now

This week Mirror80 spotlights teen grooming products from the 1980s in all of their shiny glory. But we’ve often wondered what happened to these multi-hued treasures. Are they still out there, or did their remains end up on the shelf of a TJ Maxx in the early-mid ’90s? You may be surprised by our findings…


We’ll start with Dep hair care products, which displayed labels featuring bright colors in crazy-appealing combinations, such as teal, fuchsia, purple and yellow (pictured above, left). We have to admit, it’s hard to top these. Which is why today’s more subdued packaging may look a bit calm in comparison (pictured above, right). Furthermore, rather than being marketed to teen girls among other prospective customers, the products are now primarily targeting men needing extra hold due to their active lifestyles. We did’t see that coming!


Next we have Caboodles (pictured below), which captivated many an ’80s teen with an assortment of colors and finishes more tempting than the nail polish aisle of your local drug store. But are Caboodles still out there? And if so, how have they transformed over the years? When it comes to present-day Caboodles, there’s a little something for everyone, including those in search of nostalgia!

Caboodles from 1990 (left); Caboodles from today (middle and right)

Caboodles from 1990 (left); Caboodles from today (middle and right)

Compare the vintage items (shown above, left) with the updates (shown above, middle and right). The newer pink and purple cases have been updated with clear handles, but rounded corners reference the days of yore. Furthermore, a large assortment of current offerings tempts those with modern sensibilities. Items such as specialty cases and train cases (like the metal-edged pink number shown at the bottom right) add contemporary allure to this beloved line of beauty organizing products. Hats of to Caboodles of California for recognizing their roots while branching into new territory. I must say I’m still partial to the retro Caboodles–a classic never dies!

Malibu Musk

And then there’s Malibu Musk, which rocked it in the ’80s with its Walkman- and jam box-evoking presentation, complete with buttons and dials (pictured below, left). While we think it’s time for a reissue, we understand the elaborate packaging may have faded with well…Walkmans and jam boxes. Which is likely why Malibu Musk is keeping it simple this millennium with a spray in a sleek can (pictured below, right). A can that is an exact replica of its 1980s predecessor (below, far left). If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! But I can’t help but wonder how many teens are using Malibu Musk these days…

Malibu Musk yesterday and today

Malibu Musk yesterday and today

Interesting how some products that thrived with the ’80s teen crowd have faded into oblivion, while others are reviving, and still others continue to aspire to “impulse buy” status at Walgreen’s. No matter what, their glorious run in ’80s packaging heaven will always be remembered by enthusiasts of the decade of decadence!


  1. Jan Griffiths says

    I still have my big blue and teal Caboodle I got at Drug Emporium back in ’84. I do remember the Malibu Musk, and I’m glad the packaging still looks the same. Dep packaging was a lot cooler looking back then.

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