Kohl is an ancient eye cosmetic widely used in South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and West Africa to darken the eyelids and eyelashes. It is used mostly by women, but also some men and children in certain cultures. Kohl was originally used as protection against common eye ailments. Darkening around the eyes was believed to protect them from the harsh rays of the sun.
Kohl has been used in India as a cosmetic for a long time. Mothers would sometimes apply kohl to their infants’ eyes soon after birth. Some did this to help strengthen the child’s eyes and others believed it could prevent the child from being cursed by the evil eye. In India today, it is used by women as a type of eyeliner that is applied around the edge of the eyes. It is often worn for special social and religious occasions.
Kohl and kohl inspired “smokey eye” looks are very popular around the world. Many women prefer to use waterproof formulas which will last longer and not smudge as easily. Often used for a big night out, the black smokey look can really make the eyes pop and there are endless tips, which can be found on beauty blogs, on how to get the look using different make up techniques.