Pola Negri was the epitome of the "exotic actress." A Polish import, she took the silent screen by storm with her dramatic makeup, ornate jewelry, and penchant for flirtation. Pola was the most popular actress in America for a time, but her career fizzled with the advent of the "talkies." Audiences simply didn't like her deep, thick accent and she further ostracized herself by behaving hysterically after the death of Rudolph Valentino.
It was Pola's love of luxury that captivates me. This woman lived in a mansion styled after the White House, rode in a white Rolls-Royce upholstered in white leather, covered herself in ermine and mink, and enjoyed walking her pet tiger up and down Sunset Boulevard. She decorated her home and dressing rooms with Chinese furnishings and threw a fit if the floors weren't strewn with orchid petals. She also started the trend of bright red finger and toenails.
I'm certainly no makeup expert, but if you'd like to emulate Pola the answer is simple: gobs and gobs of eyeliner, mascara, and shadow. Her eyes were the main focal point of her face, so it's safe to say you should use false eyelashes. Eyebrows should not be overplucked into thin lines, but should retain some of their natural thickness. They were definitely groomed and Pola obviously used an eyebrow pencil. Lips should be dark red, purple, or dark berry. She was one of the first actresses to use pancake makeup; in fact, Max Factor created it for Pola and other actresses like Theda Bara.