7 Things to Know about Kajal Liner ...


If you’ve never heard of kajal liner, it pays to learn more about it before you attempt to use it. For some women, you may have been using it for years without realizing what you were putting on your face. As with anything, kajal liner isn’t right for everyone and you should most definitely talk it over with your dermatologist, especially if you have skin conditions. That way you can use it safely and get the most out of it. Just remember that it might not be right for everyone.

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It Goes by More than One Name

The main reason why you might not have heard of kajal liner is because it is more commonly called kohl liner. It is used traditionally in the Indian culture, but the practice has received some question due to its safety. In fact, in India, the liner is used on very young children, which has led to some medical issues. For you, however, it’s probably safe.


Homemade versus Commercial

When it comes to using kajal, there are two versions. Traditionally, the Indian culture would make their own out of a mixture of soot and oil. Can you imagine putting that on your eyes? Me either. That’s why it’s a better idea to purchase the kind you can get at a cosmetics store. These choices are generally much safer than the kind that people make on their own.


May Be High in Lead

According to the National Institutes of Health, some commercial versions of kajal liner contain high amounts of lead. That makes it important to find out how and where your liner is made. If the ingredients aren’t listed on the product packaging, give the manufacturer a call and ask some questions. You definitely want to be sure that you're choosing a liner without a bunch of questionable ingredients.


It Has a History

In addition to its history in India, kajal was used in Africa as well, and still is. It is believed that the kajal offers protection against the sun and can even ward off infections and keep the skin around the eyes healthy. In both places, kajal is used on children and adults of all ages.


Perfect for the Smoky Eye

Kajal was invented for both looks and protection purposes. It’s the ideal thing for creating the smoky eye look. While the Food and Drug Administration strictly regulates the kohl produced in the United States, products that come from other countries can be problematic. So when you go for the smoky look, choose products you know are safe.

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Several Manufacturers Sell It

According to the experts, you want to stay away from kajal that’s imported from other countries. While they may be authentic, many cosmetic manufacturers make safe kohl that gives you the look you want without all the safety concerns you worry about. M.A.C., Body Shop and L’Oreal make versions that you can use worry free.



The proper application ensures that you get the kajal look you want. The experts at Maybelline have several suggestions for getting the job done right. Start in the lower corner of your eye and move outward. Hold your eyeliner sideways as you line your top lids. Rotate the liner to keep it even. Sharpen your liner as needed because a sharp tip offers the best application.

Did you learn something new? I had heard tons about kohl, but was new to kajal liner until just recently. Do you have any other tips for the smoky eye look?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I agree with both commenters, but I also agree with Eliza. I was raised in Canada in a multicultural home, and under the same roof there were differing opinions on the safety and legitimacy of kajal...

@Serene - you voice my point well however tact and 'rudelessness' is needed on both sides. I was being sincere when I said was interesting but the under current of tactlessness tainted it

" Can you imagine putting that on your eyes? Me either." She says. Can you imagine the trouble of having your brain? Me neither.

I came to read the comments after reading the first entry in this post. "Can you imagine putting that on you eyes?" I thought "yeah..." to my self. When I read on and saw "Me either", I thought I'd better come check some comments before reading on and getting annoyed. From what I can tell, this is culturally insensitive but a great topic.

To the author - if you can't imagine wearing a mix of Soot and Oil near your eyes - I must inform you that that was the original basis of Mascara (a form of which was used by Ancient Egyptians) and refind BY AN AMERICAN using coal dust (effectively soot) and Vaseline (an oil based product). It was invented for a sister called Mabel - hence Maybelline, a product you named! So please stop thowing inflamatory remarks at eastern cultures without looking. at

FYI eliza, if you mention about someone's culture, it might be just a culture for you but it is the culture for the country with the highest population. And indians have great eyes may be just because our elders use to put in the homemade kajal. Believe me you should try once and that may change your opinion. :)

It's actually true though. Kajal from eastern countries such as India or Pakistan is in fact dangerous. It's made of lead and some other ingredients that are extremely dangerous for your skin, especially your eyes. I myself am from Pakistan and recently threw out all the kajal I own from Pakistan. I'm not sure about every brand but a LOT of the brands do have harmful ingredients in there kajal and most do not have a list of ingredients on their packaging. And the manufacturers are usually poorly educated people working in a small shop. I don't mean to be offensive but this is actually true and I recently went to Pakistan and saw the manufacturing area might not even be bigger than your washroom. It's better to buy a product from here where you can read a full list of ingredients and call the manufacturer for details. I apologize for any offensive things said in my comment but I am telling you as it is from what I have researched and seen. I could be wrong.

Commenters are always the more rude lot of the readers. Most of us read, enjoy, and sometimes add to favourite. But the minority seem to be the only ones leaving snarky comments. No tact at all. Sorry, author

Maybelline master kajal makes a great liner that doesn't run too badly. I have it in blue. Makes me look exotic 😊

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