Kohl , kohol or kohl (in Arabic : كحل , kuḥl) is a mineral and vegetable powder , used to make up and/or treat the eyes . It can be black , gray or blue depending on its composition. Composed mainly of antimony sulphide, some kohls unfortunately still contain lead sulphide today, which causes serious poisoning.
It is applied using a very thin stick called Mirwed (often made of wood); it is stored in a kohl bottle, called a kholier . This bottle allows you to keep the kohl away from humidity and dust.
Kohl is undoubtedly the oldest makeup in the world, having survived all the ages of antiquity to still be used today even in Western countries.
The Egyptians and Arabs used it to protect their eyes from diseases and external aggressions such as desert sand. It was also applied as eye drops . to prevent and relieve eye infections . Kohl has always been a tool of seduction, it was even given magical power
The Pharaoh and his subjects seem to have been equally won over by the aesthetic effect that kohl gave to their eyes, and women and men used it to apply makeup. There are many examples of this in ancient Egyptian iconography.
Over the centuries, kohl continued to be used by the Arabs and the Berbers .
In the Maghreb, and even today, single people and young girls should not wear makeup, even with kohl (except in cases of eye disease). Since kohl was reserved for married women, young brides sometimes uncovered their makeup on their eyes at the same time as their husbands.
Along with Aker , kohl was, in Arab countries and until the arrival of eye pencil and lipstick, the only makeup available to women to look beautiful.
Traditional recipes for this powder vary from Iraq to Morocco At , each region and each family having its own recipes and variations.
One of the classic recipes consisted of mixing in equal proportions of copper sulfate , Zenjar and some cloves , then reduce the different ingredients in a mortar. In Morocco, olive oil was added. to make it softer on application.
Traditionally, it is applied to the inner edge of the eyelid using a wooden stick called mirwed . After having coated it with kohl, slide the stick between the two joined eyelids and, using a back and forth movement, the kohl harmoniously highlights the eye or eyelid.
Long used as makeup as is to highlight the eyes and make the look more intense. Kohl is today used in “home” or DIY cosmetics as a base for making 100% natural eye shadow and mascara (including oils such as castor oil ).
Muslim men of religion use it in memory of the tradition of the Prophet Mohammed, in order to benefit from the benefits of Kohl (before sleeping).
Kohl helps neutralize redness in the eyes and relaxes the eyes, it is recommended by Arab grandmothers to make a "breck" of unnatural pencils.
It is also used as eye drops for minor eye discomfort .
Arab women use it to brighten the eyes of the newborn .
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