In Their Eyes, Oracular: 1920’s Vintage Vamp Makeup

Darlings, just a quick post today on this lovely vintage vamp makeup tutorial. This look from the silent film era began emerging in the mid-1910’s and continued to play strongly into the post-WWI emphasis for heavier makeup and more sexualized beauty.  The dark eyes, evoking the sinister sexuality of the female vampire (or “vamp”), are also a nod to the vogue for Orientalism and all things exotic at the time, deliciously embodied by the striking Theda Bara in the banner pic above. Hope this gets your creative juices flowing for Halloween, my dears…we have just 68 days to go!

For your inspiration, here’s a whole gallery of lovely vamps of the silent film era, notably Nita Naldi, Pola NegriLouise Glaum, Musidora (aka Irma Vep) and, of course, more Theda Bara. If you let these dark ladies inspire your Halloween look, think draping fabrics, exotic jewelry and headdresses, and flowing dresses or scarves to complete your attire.

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The Aviatrix

Categories: Costumes & Makeup, Makeup Tutorials

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

25 replies

  1. Those eyes are great! We’ll all be wanting the 1920’s Gatsby Glam before the year is out…….Now for a stunning 20’s beaded frock for New Years Eve ….hhhmmm -Deb

    • Thanks, Deb! I’m disappointed that Gatsby’s not releasing until Christmas, but what a perfect time of the year for gorgeous, sparkly dresses. It will be an Art Deco New Year for certain!

      By the way, thank you so much for being my 1,000 comment on the site – I love to know that people read and enjoy the posts here. Cheers to you, darling! 🙂

  2. Very cool. You know, I just did a photo shoot yesterday with a “crazy & beautiful” concept with some great eye makeup – I think you might like. 🙂

  3. I love that look. I wish I could bob my hair to look like the woman in the photo but my hair just won’t behave that way. I love that Theda Bara vamp look. I would wear it every day if I could but I think it’s probably a little too much for most work venues. Sadly.

  4. Very cool! Theda Bara is my favorite silent screen actress…

  5. Great post! I love this! I am seriously considering going with a 1920s look for next year’s zombie walk.

  6. That was amazing watching that !! Loving the 1920’s look !!

  7. I really like the silent movie vamps! Well done. 🙂

  8. Heh, I like too! You should watch Bollywood sometime, esp some of the movies from the 70s (and google Helen – she is an absolute rockstar). Make-up, esp how the girls’ eyes are kohl-ed, is still the “moral” anchor in some mainstream Indian films, telling you if she is a good virtuous girl or ‘vamp’!

  9. Love this article so many great idea’s here that I want to try – thx so much for sharing this. No to decide shall I go with for Halloween?


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