5 Reasons You Should Use Kajal Eyeliner Instead of the Regular Kind

Smoke show alert 🔥

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Whether it's the remnants of last night's smoky eye or a fresh, deliberately lived-in application, there are certain women who elevate eyeliner from two quick slashes on the waterline to cool-girl status. While partying all night with rock stars is one explanation, we suspect that kajal liner, otherwise known as kohl, is their secret.

For thousands of years, women have used the cone-shaped, super-rich black pigment to define the eyes and today there's a slew of untrained-hand-ready iterations available everywhere—even at the drug store. Here, let celebrity makeup artist Kira Nasrat tell you why kajal should be your new jam.

A little bit goes along way

It can be little intimidating at first, but the rich, dense pigment requires far less product and layering, which is great for your wallet and patience. Plus, the kajal is inherently more smoldery, which gives it a laissez-faire feel.

It doubles as an eyeshadow

Or an eyeshadow base. "I use it in the waterline top and bottom and whatever product gets on the bottom lash line I blend it with a small pointed brush for a subtle smoky eye," explains Nasrat.

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It's totally wearable during the day

"In the day time you can add some in your waterline and allow it to settle giving it a subtle smokey effect that's daytime appropriate," she advises.

It can take you from day-to-night real quick 💯 

"To bump up the eyes from day to night draw the kajal across your eyelids and use your fingers tips to blend—this way it's not perfectly blended and looks more smudged than blended," she says.

There's a Different Kind for Every Skill Level

If you want to go full-on kajal, you can opt for Nasrat's go-to by Guerlain.  "It has a precise tip for creating a cat eye or you can create a perfect effortless smokey or smudged rock 'n' roll eye," she says. 

If you're a bit antsy about working with the kajal, MAC just dropped their new Modern Twist Kajal Liner, which is a twist-up pencil that's waterproof and glides on smooth. Lastly, if you're in the market for an option that will deliver, but won't break the bank, there's Maybelline's Master Kajal long-lasting, essential-oil-infused formula with a tug-free applicator.

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1. Maybelline Master Kajal by Eye Studio Cream Kohl Eyeliner, 

$6.50; drugstore.com.

2. MAC Modern Twist Kajal Liner, $17; maccosmetics.com.

3. Guerlain Khol Me Kajal Eyeliner, $41; violetgrey.com.

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Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.