Since ancient times, mankind, and especially its beautiful half, has a desire to make its face more attractive and brighter. So, some cosmetics for make-up are known since time immemorial. Among them - antimony for the eyes, black stone, crushed into powder. This type of cosmetics was especially popular in the East. The inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula use it as a liner and eye shadow. So, antimony for the eyes: how to apply, make-up photos, useful properties - all this we will consider further.

History of origin

Antimony for the eyes (kohl, kayal, kajal) is a powder from a natural stone substance. It is usually diluted with oils or a water-oil solution. The word itself comes from the Turkish language and translates as "blackening", "rubbing".

Sources say that for the first time antimony for the eyes was discovered in Egypt. It was there, thousands of years before our era, that man was already instructed to look in a certain way. Thus, Egyptian noble women actively used natural means to emphasize their beauty. On ancient sculptures, for example, the queen Cleopatra is always depicted with a bright make-up - densely surrounded by black paint eyes and pointed eyebrows.

In this country, antimony for the eyes has been used since the 20th century BC. The Egyptians called her "mastim", diluted the powder with oils and plant juices, after which the eyebrows and eyes densely inked with the help of thin sticks or special brushes. They also used malachite green powder as shadows.


Antimony for the eyes, reviews of which went far beyond Egypt, soon became the most common means for make-up. In the 19-18 centuries BC it was already used everywhere in the north of Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula.  Tips on how to use antimony for the eyes, how to cook it, were passed from mouth to mouth, from mother to daughter. At that time, each type could meet its recipe for the preparation of this cosmetic. Many women were able to prepare several kinds of antimony - for bright eye makeup, to protect from the scorching sun, for treatment, for children and so on. For the preparation used a mixture of animal fat, medicinal oils of almonds, osmy and the powder of antimony. They applied it, like in Ancient Egypt, with a stick or a brush.

Use antimony for the eyes

Most likely, the product has become so popular due to its healing properties. Even now, when there is a vast assortment of cosmetics for eye make-up on the shelves, antimony remains popular in the East.

The hot climate, the proximity of the desert and frequent sandstorms demanded special attention from the people of the Arab countries for sight. Antimony medicinal for eyes has become an excellent protective agent. It is not a secret, for example, that even Bedouins - wanderers of the desert - actively use this tool. In this case, antimony is applied to the eyes not only by women, but also by men, and even by children of all ages. The crushed stone powder contains a natural sunscreen, so the black band along the inner edge of the century is so popular in the Arab countries.

With antimony in the East are associated and ancient beliefs. So, it is applied to babies immediately after birth, in order to protect them from the evil eye and evil spirits.

Healing properties

It is proved that antimony and natural oils that are part of its composition have properties that are useful for eyes. Since antiquity in India and the Middle East, it is used to maintain vision, treat inflammatory diseases, for example conjunctivitis, and also as an antihistamine. Indian antimony for the eyes often contains "kapur kachary" - a remedy more commonly known as camphor. It is a natural anesthetic, a substance that helps to anesthetize and cool the inflamed area. In addition, camphor helps to fight bothersome insects.

In the East, the powder on the basis of crushed stone is used by both women and men, while the latter is more popular white antimony for the eyes. Use it and as a means of strengthening the eyelashes.

Antimony in the Middle Ages

With the spread of Islam in the Arab world, coal powder has only strengthened its position. So, it is known that the Prophet Muhammad used it himself. In the legends it is written that he advised to bring antimony eyes for luster and growth of eyelashes. It is also known that the Prophet had a special box in which he kept antimony: ". every time he looked at his sleep before going to sleep, first on three circles of the right eye, then on three circles - the left one, "says the scripture.

Arab women, who were obliged to wear dark veils covering the body, head and face from the eyes of outsiders, tried to emphasize even more that what could be shown. Not surprisingly, in the art of make-up, they have achieved virtuosic mastery.  Bright and graphic lines, highlighted eyebrows and densely surrounded by antimony eyes - so we know the classic oriental make-up.

Modern Make Up

In Western civilization for many centuries, this treasured powder remained accessible exclusively to the nobility. Only those who had access to the eastern countries could obtain antimony for the eyes. It was not possible to buy it in an ordinary shop, as well as other foreign products. Fortunately, in the modern world, the borders between countries are very transparent, and almost every woman can afford any cosmetic. Not an exception - and antimony for the eyes, a photo of which is presented in the article. You can find it in online stores, oriental shops and Ayurvedic departments. There, this tool is presented in several forms.