Is there an eye product more sensuous or alluring than kohl? For three years now, I’ve been convinced there is not—ever since Daphne Hezard told ITG that the key behind her “yeux charbonneux' was Guerlain’s Terracotta Loose Power Kohl . Even the homonym evokes visions of smoldering embers, and a vague, sexy squint.
I always meant to buy the Guerlain version—even telling myself that it was a practical purchase (Egyptians used the dark liner to cool their eyes and trap dirt that blew into their faces). But at $38, it’s just too expensive to justify. Trying to fill the kohl void in my life, I bought a tiny tube of it in a shop on Curry Lane in London. It left a slightly powdery residue that seeped beneath my lower lash line, comparable to Alex from A Clockwork Orange. I immediately stopped using it.
Recently I stumbled on the Maybelline version, Master Kajal, which comes in four colors . Though more stylographic and less ethereal, the formula glides on waxy and smooth, making waterlining a cinch. In a few blinks, it’s like you slept in the stuff. I’ve been layering Onyx Rush and Midnight Brown, lining the inner corners of my eyes like ink, and then watching it feather over my lids throughout the day. Maybe it’s not as iconic as Guerlain Terracotta, but for $8 it ain’t half bad.
Photographed by Tom Newton.