Tuesday, 7 May 2013

What Is a Kohl Pencil?

The kohl pencil's roots go back to ancient times when thousands of years ago Egyptians mixed a paste of lead sulfide or antimony sulfide to use around their eyes. Pencils made of the substance provide a more convenient way for modern women to use this dark-colored cosmetic. Does this Spark an idea?


Kohl was used from 4000 B.C.E. by royalty and both men and women commoners in Egypt to guard against eye disease, protect eyes from the sun and ward off evil spirits, reports Smith College Museum of Ancient Inventions. They also used it to make their eyes look bigger, a precursor to the kohl pencil's common cosmetic use today.


Kohl pencils are used to line the eyes; the kohl usually lines the lower lid of the eye, under the lashes, and sometimes is used to line the upper lash line as well. The look is often termed "smoky" when describing the makeup's style.

Expert Insight

Fashion editors consider the look created by kohl pencils dramatic and mysterious. Allusions to Cleopatra and Kate Moss are often made when a woman is sporting this smudged, heavy kohl look on her eyes.

Fun Fact

Two popular culture appearances of kohl are when U2 includes it in the song, "Miss Sarajevo," by asking, "Is there a time for kohl and lipstick?" and when Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of the Caribbean films heavily outlines his eyes in it in each film.