I love kajal eyeliners. I was first introduced to them when I was learning Professional Makeup Artistry many moons ago. You’d be surprise by the many looks you can achieve with just one small dab of this stuff.
Kohl eyeliner, also known as Kajal eyeliner, is essentially made from soot and other natural ingredients with a purpose of soothing, cleansing and protecting the eye against infections as well as the sharp sun glares. It closely resembles pencil liners but this crayon has a softer texture.
Kajal is used in India, Egypt and Middle East and is one of the oldest types of eyeliners used. In North Africa, it was used by people of all ages and genders as it was believed to protect the eyes from infection and the desert sun as well as moisturizing and protecting the skin around eyes. Egyptians, who we believe pioneered it, made many other colours such as malachite and lapis lazuli. In India, it was traditionally made from camphor, vegetable oil and ghee.
I’ve always preferred using kajal over eye pencils. Kajal glides easily unlike eye pencils but you need to be careful while using it and not press it too hard onto your eyes to avoid looking like a panda.
Pros of Using Kajal Eyeliner:
- Very intense smoky smouldering look compared to ordinary eyeliner.
- Protects your eyes from infections.
- Can be used for inner eye rims since they are free from any irritant ingredients soft enough to not poke your eye while applying unlike pencil liners.
- Easy to apply because of its creamy texture.
- Needs very little product to give intensity.
- Can be removed more easily as product is softer compared to ordinary eye liner.
Cons of Using Kajal Eyeliner:
- It is difficult to use especially for newbies, takes a lot of practice.
- May look messy if not applied well.
- It is not easy to get an authentic brands in the market that is made from the right natural ingredients.
Unfortunately, due to their popularity in Ayurvedic practice, there are MANY brands that are selling kajal eyeliners with harmful ingredients with heavy metals and lead giving kajal a bad name. It is terribly difficult to know which ones are authentic and which ones are garbage. This includes popular brands in the market that have been used by many Arabic and Indian women for years. My personal favourite has always been Shahnaz Husain which is so difficult to purchase in stores now since the pandemic so I have resulted to buying them online which was like finding a needle in a haystack! Here are kajal eyeliners that I recommend from experience using them.
These are definitely pricier than the ones that you find in convenience stores and that’s because they don’t compromise the ingredients with heavy metals.
As mentioned above, very little product is needed to give the desired smoky eye effect. Just draw on your eyelids gently and evenly spread it out with your ring finger. I will usually use the kajal as a eyeshadow base for smoky eyes. If you want an intense look, draw it along your water line. Kajal eyeliner is a staple in my makeup kit as I find I can adjust it’s intensity according to how much product I put on my lids.
There are many sites shouting the dangers of kajal and while it is true that majority of the kajal you find have toxic chemicals, other products such as shampoos, lotions and multivitamins are not spared from false advertising too. Know your ingredients and purchase only if you trust the product.
This post has been updated and contains affiliate links.