Silent Film Makeup: What Was It Really Like?

The silent era was rich in many ways, its finest films offering beautiful cinematography and exquisite lighting as well as talented actors and poetic storytelling. It was also supremely unique, preserving an era of history that can never repeat itself. Truly, no art form today can possibly boast an equal wealth of…painted-on eyebrows?

Among other details.

White makeup, darkened lips, heavy black eyeliner–these are some of the more blatantly old-fashioned elements of silent films that can throw modern viewers for a loop. So what was the goal behind early movie stars looking a little more mime than man? Continue reading