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Eyeliner pencils in different colors

Kajal ( Hindi काजल kājal), also Kohl , Khol, Kohol ( Arabic الكحل, DMG al-kuḥl ) is a black eyeliner that is applied above and especially below the eyes .

Kajal in the Indian tradition

Indian woman with black eye rims

In Hindu worship kajal, which is made from the soot of burned clarified butter , plays an important role in awakening the goddess. While reciting mantras, the priest smeared kohl on the statue's eyes with a plant stem, which means the external sign for “bringing to life”.

The custom of putting on make-up dates back to the Stone Age . Kajal has a long tradition , especially in hot countries like Egypt and India . The black border is also said to deter flies and other insects. The Egyptian pharaohs and their wives also used kajal for religious reasons, as the eye was a symbol of the sun god Re .

The outline makes the eyes appear larger. Depending on its composition and application technique, kohl irritates the lacrimal glands and makes the eye appear moist and radiant. However, an eyeliner applied inside the eyelashes damages the oil glands ( meibomian glands ) with the consequence of later, irreversible tear film disorders; therefore the eyeliner should only be applied outside the eyelashes. This is especially true for contact lens wearers.

Cabbage in the Arab tradition

In Egypt, cabbage was used in the form of a black powder, which was kept in alabaster bowls and applied with a thin stick made of silver, ivory , horn or wood. Besides black, green was a common color. It consisted of soot, galena , manganese oxides , black iron oxide and magnetite ; The finely rubbed gemstone malachite was used for the green color , as this (poisonous) copper compound had an antiseptic effect and was supposed to prevent eye diseases.

Kajal in the modern age

From a regulatory point of view, eyeliner - including wax-based kohl - is a cosmetic product . Together with face make-up, lip and nail care, the products are assigned to the decorative cosmetics market segment.

Today kajal consists of various vegetable oils (such as almond oil , coconut oil , jojoba oil ), waxes ( beeswax , candelilla wax , carnauba wax ), fats, glycerine , talc , mica , vitamins , charcoal (from burned butter fat) or iron oxide pigments . It is usually offered in the form of an eye contour pencil or as a liquid or gel that is applied with the help of a brush (usually called liquid eyeliner). A wide range of colors is available.

In the western world, kohl is mostly worn by women. In some sub- and youth cultures, however, it is also popular with men.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Kajal  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Kajal  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Alfred Lucas: Ancient Egyptian materials and industries. 3rd edition (1945), Kessinger Publishing, Kila MT 2003, ISBN 0-7661-5141-7 , pp. 42-46 & 99-107.
  2. Wilfried Umbach (Ed.): Cosmetics and hygiene from head to toe. 3rd, completely revised and expanded edition. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim 2004, ISBN 3-527-30996-9 , pp. 316-336.