The use of black kajal or kohl as an eye cosmetic dates back to the ancient Egyptian times. Eyes heavily outlined by dramatic black pigment have been a feature associated with the exotic allure of Eastern women for thousands of years, from Cleopatra to modern-day Bollywood queens. Black kajal remains an essential in the makeup arsenal of most Indian women today, with good reason.
However, not all occasions call for the intense drama of pitch black eye makeup, and as a daytime look, this can sometimes look a little dated and old-school. Repeated and constant daily use can even cause unwanted darkening of your eye-area as pigment gets absorbed into the skin over long durations of time.
Move into modern times by widening your colour horizons and experimenting with eyeliners in different hues and shades. Greys and browns are a great starting point. They are dark enough to show up on most skin tones, from cream to dark cocoa, and they provide a rich colour payoff with a softer and more subtle edge than black. Steel greys with a hint of shimmer are especially flattering on brown-eyed ladies, with none of the harshnesses of pure black.
If you’re willing to be a little more adventurous and play around with brighter colours, jewel-toned shades of deep blues, emerald greens, and amethyst purples can lend a pop of playful brightness to your face without making you look like a clown that’s escaped the circus. Purple is particularly pretty on green-eyed gals, while emerald complement shades of brown really well. You can either ring your whole eye in the shade or try out the colour on the bottom or top eye line only.
Lastly, for an elegant evening look, use a silver or gold liner to the inner corner of your eyes in a v-shape to open them up, in addition to whatever colour you’re already using. The wide world of colour awaits you, don’t be afraid to be break free from black and be a bright-eyed beauty!