Kohl eyes for all eyes..
I have always worn kajal ( Indian for Kohl) for as long as I can remember. It is likely that the kajal ( black sooty carbon pigments blended with clarified butter) was my first ever cosmetic product. Although, at the age of 5 or 6, I secretly discovered my mothers Helena Rubinstein mascara tube and knew in an instant, what it was for and how to use it.
The mysterious gaze of Indian women stems from the sooty black pigment in kajal applied to the water line which serves to protect and lubricate the eyes. The soot rimmed waterline contrasts the whites of the eye, enhancing the depth of the iris creating the illusion of whirl pools into one’s soul.
It is the sultry gaze of eroticism that the kohl rimmed eyes represents. Modern takes of this are the variations of the smokey eye look, gradation of colors , clouds of tone on tone effects to enhance the iris.
I am always on the search for the ‘black’. The ‘black’ that draws attention to my eyes, makes my sclera ( the white of the eye pop) and intensify the Black of my iris to make it interesting. Black is black isn’t it? Not quite…
Over many failed purchases and experiments, the kohl I am after is not quite in the market yet. I have set about about testing a few in the market, the shade of black were not quite right nor was the formulation. What I want is a jet black, powdery finish, slight oil to lubricate the waterline and lashes and the wear intensifying through the day. The smear should be sexy not silly, tall order to fulfil for sure.
I realised that I am a kohl eyes, flush cheeks and nude lip type of girl.The kohl on my eyes is not fussy, a slash of black applied on the top lash line, smudged on the bottom lash line and to the water line.
Traditional kohls are powder based (ground up antimony and carbon). Some preparations are herbal ( added camphor or mint) to soothe the eyes. The modern kohl powders are not what I want in my waterline at all, due to the components in it ( nylon -12, PEG, mica, or other particles) which can scratch or irritate. I used to love the Guerlain terracotta Loose kohl, it was what I was looking for to be honest, until one day, I looked at the ingredients and Talc was first on its list. The beautiful Touareg blue made my eyes look Egyptian without trying too hard. Invoking Nefertiri was easy with the loose kohl stick. I am now so conscious of the grittiness that it has taken a back seat on my go to kohl collection.
Paste kohls ( or kajals) are creamier blacks. These come in cone sticks that are used to line the water line and around the lash line. The formulation can be tricky and sometimes I do worry if what I am buying ( it is really cheap) is safe. There are brands that have been manufacturing the stuff for years, Indian women know them so well, like Shingar, Eyetex, or Shahnaz. I cannot comment about Hashmi as I have never tried the brand. The new ones in the market are Lotus herbals, Himalaya Herbals and Blue heaven.
I have come to cherish Shingar ( dry matte black), Blue heaven ( dry matte black with bluish tinge- best for black eyes) and Lotus herbal kajal ( slight sheen black). Today's look, I have Blue Heaven Genius eye kajal, matte black that is slightly camphor-ey. Cools the eyes so well and darkened the lash line in a cinch sans mascare. Can smear lightly, so I carry a cotton bud soaked with eye cream to remove excess smearing if necessary. On the lids, a light application of RMS Beauty Living Luminizer and the cheeks- Laura Mercier Bonne Mine palette Peach Glow Veil. Brows were slicked with RMS beauty Luminizer.
|Kajal with RMS beauty Living Luminizer on Brows and eye lids|
|Blue heaven Genius Kajal stick-image courtesy of Pure Herbal cure|