This is something which has now grown synonymous with bellydancing and the middle east.
The oldest recordings of ‘eyeliner’ being worn are back in the days of Ancient Egypt. It was worn by both men and women and was, of course, organic! Embers are believed to have been taken from an extinguished fire and applied to the upper and particularly the lower eyelids. This served many purposes; in the sun the sand of the desserts were blindingly bright and the application of black kohl adsorbed this light thus protecting the retina from burning. Kohl is believed to have repelled sand qnats, a member of the Ceratopogonidae or “midge” family from the eyes… ewh! Kohl was also seen in later years of ancient Egypt as a status symbol and something of beauty.
Many other peoples around the middle eastern basin have been reported to have used kohl liner for hundreds if not thousands of years! Not to mention the more well known Kajal used in Pakistan. Everyone loves the liner!
Today eyeliner is popular the world over, worn by women (and men) of mainstream culture and subculture alike and as with many things, it changes with the latest fashion. Be it a change in the thickness of the line, the shape and technique of application or the current shade of preference (depends what’s the new black!) In context liner can even be used to artistically convey emotion.
There are now many different types available and each can achieve a very different ‘look’ There are soft kohl liners, harder powder ones, liquid eyeliners with brushes, felt tips and gels. Most require a great degree of accuracy in application and lots of practice! Personal taste and ease of application seem to be the deciding factors in which is worn. My current personal favourite is Colorsport 24 hour eyeliner in black, now available in Boots for £6.99! This has a felt tip wand and if you have liner experience you can achieve a variety of different looks, it stays put even under the pressure of hot lights and even hotter dancing nights! On some occasions I prefer to use a dark mauve eyeshadow which gives a creamier dreamier finish when I desire a change from strikingly stunning bold lines! If going for a dramatic colour eyeshadow liner I personally recommend MAC eyeshadows as their pigments are awesome! For very sensitive skin Jane Iredale is good, she does skin care and makeup in one!
Fortune favours the bold & the brave ladies so flash life your best smouldering, sultry peepers and be adventurous with your costume and everyday make up!