From ancient times, humanity, and especially the beautiful half of it, has had the desire to make their face more attractive and brighter. So, some cosmetic makeup products are known from time immemorial. Among them - antimony for the eyes, black stone, crushed into powder. This type of cosmetics was especially popular in the East. Residents of the Arabian Peninsula use it as eyeliner and eye shadow. So, antimony for the eyes: how to apply, makeup photos, useful properties - we will look at all this below.

History of origin

Antimony for eyes (Kohl, Kayal, Kadzhal) - powder from natural stone substance. Usually diluted with oils or water-oil solution. The word itself comes from the Turkish language and is translated as "blackening", "rubbing".

Sources claim 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 ordered to look a certain way. Thus, Egyptian noble women actively used natural means to emphasize their beauty. In ancient sculptures, for example, Queen Cleopatra is always depicted with a bright make-up - eyes that are thickly outlined in black paint and eyebrows are emphasized.

In this country, antimony for the eyes has been used since the 20th century BC. The Egyptian women called her “mastic”, diluted the powder with oils and plant juices, after which they thickly blackened their eyebrows and eyes with thin sticks or special brushes. They used malachite green powder as shadows.


Antimony for the eyes, reviews of which went far beyond the borders of Egypt, soon became the most common makeup product. 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 prepare it, were passed from mouth to mouth, from mother to daughter. At that time, each kind could meet its recipe for the preparation of this cosmetic product. Many women were able to cook several types of antimony - for bright eye makeup, for protection from the scorching sun, for treatment, for children, and so on. For the preparation used a mixture of animal fat, healing oils of almond, usma and antimony powder itself. Applied it, as in ancient Egypt, with a stick or brush.

The use of antimony for the eyes

Most likely, the tool has received such a distribution due to its healing properties. Even now, when there is an extensive range of eye makeup products on the shelves, antimony remains popular in the East.

The hot climate, the proximity of the desert and the frequent sandstorms demanded from the inhabitants of the Arab countries a special attitude to vision. Antimony therapeutic for the eyes has become an excellent protective agent. It is no secret, for example, that even the Bedouins - wanderers of the desert - actively use this tool. In this case, antimony is applied to the eyes of not only women, but also men, and even 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 Arab countries.

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

Medicinal properties

It is proved that antimony and natural oils that are included in its composition, have beneficial properties for the eyes. Since antiquity in India and the Middle East, it has been used to maintain vision, to treat inflammatory diseases such as conjunctivitis, and also as an antihistamine. Indian antimony for the eyes often contains “kapur kachari” - a tool better known as camphor. This is a natural anesthetic, a substance that promotes anesthesia and cooling of the inflamed area. In addition, camphor helps fight pesky insects.

In the East, both women and men use powder based on crushed stone, with white antimony being more popular for the eyes in the latter. Use it as a means of strengthening the eyelashes.

Antimony in the Middle Ages

With the spread of Islam in the Arab world, coal powder only strengthened its position. So, it is known that the Prophet Mohammed himself used it. In the testimony recorded that he advised to bring antimony eyes for shine and growth of eyelashes. It is also known that the Prophet had a special box in which he kept antimony: ". each time he looked before sleep, first on three circles the right eye, then on three circles - the left one, ”the scriptures say.

Arab women who were obliged to wear dark blankets covering the body, head and face from the eyes of foreign men, tried to emphasize even more what was possible to show. Not surprisingly, in the art of makeup, they have achieved masterly skill.  Bright and graphic lines, highlighted eyebrows and densely circled with antimony eyes - this is how we know the classic Oriental makeup.

Modern make-up

In Western civilization for long centuries, this coveted powder remained available exclusively to the nobility. Only those who had access to Eastern countries could get antimony for the eyes. Buy it in the usual shop was not possible, 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 product. No exception - and antimony for the eyes, photos of which are presented in the article. You can find it in online stores, oriental shops and ayurvedic departments. There this tool is presented in several forms.