Pirates of the Caribbean

If you’re expecting this to be a beauty break-down of Keira Knightley from the swashbuckling adventure comedy, then think again. Johnny Depp‘s smouldering guy liner teamed with his Caribbean sun glow and countless pirate accessories, made Keira Knightley’s English rose beauty seem pathetic.  Guy liner as seen on Russell Brand, Robert Pattinson (A la Twilight), and of course Mr Depp, is not a recent phenomenon.  Indeed, black eyeliner can be traced all the way back to the Egyptians in 10,000 BC who used black eye Kohl to protect their eyes from sunlight. In the 1920’s King Tutankhamen’s tomb was found, along with it they found eye kohl, thus the eyeliner was introduced to the western world. Throughout the sixties eyeliner was all the rage. When David Bowie exploded on to the music scene looking like a woman/man hybrid, an acceptance of guy liner was formed, to the point of admiration. When Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper began their rein as rock gods in the seventies, guy liner was seen as a vital accessory of heavy metal.   Holding the liner  flag in recent times is the crazy-eyed piano-playing comic Tim Minchin, who sports unruly ginger hair teamed with black rimmed eyes.  

Tim Minchin

In Pirates of the Caribbean, Depp’s character Jack Sparrow is presented as a form of rock star of the seas. Depp himself has said that he based the character on Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who incidentally is also known for his love of guy liner.  Make-up artist Ve Neill used an ayurvedic eyeliner stick more commonly found in India. This is basically Kohl that gives a thicker look than your average drug-store eyeliner. Here you can see Neill applying the eyeliner to Depp.

In ‘make-up artist magazine’ issue 43, Neill revealed how Depp was the easiest one to make-up out of all the characters as they basically kept him as he was.  After darkening his eyes, she used MAC foundation on a torn sponge and dotted it sparingly on Depp’s skin. The incredible dreadlocks Depp was sporting was a wig Neill had made, she also glued braids in to his goatee. For the all-important false wounds and scratches she used Skin Illustrators in particular areas.


Depp is the type of actor to go to extreme lengths to keep his character realistic by changing his physical being. For this role, a dentist put gold and silver caps on Depp’s own teeth. To make each of the caps reflect differently, three different karats were used. Originally the caps were located on his front teeth but these had to be removed as the studio did not approve of them. However, his loyalty to the character meant that Depp refused to lose them completely and instead had the caps moved to his side teeth. The end result was a character who made the entire film worth watching. Depp’s ability to slip in to character with the aid of costume shines through, and never has guy liner been so alluring.

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