Kajal – What It Is, How To Wear It

It’s hard to find an eyeliner that stays put on the waterline, doesn’t smudge, and maintains its dark hue without wearing off. Usually you can find something that satisfies one factor, but seldom do you find something that covers these bases and comes with additional benefits to boot.  That’s why I absolutely love kajal.


Better known as Kohl to Americans, kajal has been a staple for decades for our sisters in Asia, Africa and some parts of Latin America.  Heck, wearing kajal is practically a custom for many Indian women, not just because it’s a tradition, but also because it’s such a popular method of enhancing the beauty of the eyes.  Some formulas of kajal even boast side effects of longer, fuller lashes.  If there’s one drawback though, it’s that kajal can smudge if not handled carefully, leaving behind unsightly dark circles. It’s not the end of the world, with a little practice your kajal will look fresh and beautiful all day long.


Application Tips

  • Dust a bit of pressed powder below the eyes before applying kajal to prevent smudging.
  • Apply with a light hand.  Traditional kajal is designed to cover a lot of space with very little effort, this is great for super-fast application, not so great for avoiding smudges and smears.  Take your time and remember a little goes a long way.
  • When in doubt, reach for the waterproof kajal to avoid smudges and dark circles.
  • Try using a lip brush or a small eyeliner brush to apply your kajal, this extra control will add up to fewer smudges.


The staying power of kajal really can’t be beat, and I’ve never found any other eyeliner that makes my eyes actually feel good in the way kajal does.  Most eyeliners leave my eyes feeling itchy and irritated, especially if I’ve done my waterline or tightlined my upper lashline, I never have this problem with kajal.  I’ll admit it took some practice with the traditional variants of kajal, compared to the pencil-style varieties available from high-ened retailers, but once I got the hang of it I haven’t looked back since.



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