Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kajal Mahal

("mahal" meaning love in Filipino, not expensive)

I was at Festival mall since I was supposed to get a TCA chemical peel last Wednesday when I saw a mini-bazaar, so I went around. My gaze stopped at this stall with richly-colored fabrics and jewelry plus shimmers here and there. Seeing it was a stall that sells imported goods from India, I immediately thought... BOLLYWOOD! Since I'm realy obsessed with the Bollywood style, I went up there and checked out the merchandise. I let my fingers run through the fabric and then I asked the girl,

"Do you have kohl liner?"

The girl's face went blank. What the hell was kohl eyeliner? Then I rephrased it to "eyeliner" and then she was like, "Oh yeah!" and she showed me this box full of tubes which what look like lipstick, except the content was much slimmer and of course, black. Something like this:

I read the label and it said "kajal", which is actually means "kohl" in South Asia. I tested it on my hand and it was soft enough. It glides smoothly, almost like butter. A tube of kohl costs around Php 100.00 and I didn't hesitate buying one and also a pack of bindis for 50 pesos.

Kohl pencils have been famous for creating the vampy and super smoky eyes. Aside from the aesthetic value, kohls actually are being used to protect children from "evil eye" and also

"Darkening around the eyelids also provided relief from the glare of the sun".
(source: Wikipedia)

Quite rare in the Philippines, we had to settle for the expensive and commercialized kohl pencils to get the smoky eyes we want. However, here's how the traditional kohl performed. I tried it on myself and I was surprised to find out how effortlessly it glides on and how easy it could be smudged to give that super smoky look. Here's how it looks like on my eye (using a camera phone):

I just had to set it using a matte black powder since with our humidity, kohl pencils could slide and travel, especially if you have oily lids or doing heavy makeup, so better be safe. It's also easy to use since it glides on smoothly and since the traditional Indian kohl are used for infants, it's okay fo those with sensitive eyes. As one model told me when I used it, "It's goos and wet wipe proof, and it doesn't bleed out." It's a pain to remove though since it's almost waterproof. For me personally, I had to rub on some of my Paul and Joe Cleansing milk (but not too much) for it to really slide off. Softness-wise, it's okay and I didn't get any ouchies or pricks.

My obsession for kohl pencils happened for a reason. I'd sure scout other Indian tiangges or stalls that sell kohls, maybe in different colors. I could say these traditionals kohls really are value for money - aside from being dirt cheap (100 pesos!), they really perform well! I sure can't wait to go back to Festi soon where I'd stock on more stuff, maybe more bindhis as well and accesories. A box retails for around 900 so it would also be great to get a friend or be a group of friends to share a box. Or, try and ask a friend from India to get some as well for you!

1 comment:

Beauty Brains said...

as scientists we are concerned about using dangerous cosmetic ingredients. And kohl can indeed be dangerous - some brands have been proven to contain high levels of lead because they`re made with galena (lead sulfate) or similar compounds. In fact, in January 2007, the state of Maryland banned the Hashmi brand of kohl because they claimed it contributed to lead poisoning in children. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to tell if any given product is contaminated with lead or not.