It didn't start off this way. No, it's not like I've never ever dressed up my eyes with kajal. Just like most Indian girls, it was my first (beauty) weapon of choice, dating back to when I was thirteen. From eighth standard to twelfth, I was a gawky teenager with braces, dangler earrings and a thick black line under my eyes. It was just one of those things - a gaggle of girls would step into the bathroom, borrow each other’s sticky lip glosses and smudgy kajals, while gossiping about the high school world they lived in. Sounds familiar, right?
When I look back at my old photos, I can exactly tell when my awkward years ended. It was the year I stopped wearing kajal!
So if you’re wondering why I do not wear kajal any longer, it’s because no matter what I tried, at the end of the day, it would smudge. Instead of making me look and feel better, mid-way through the day, it looked like someone had given me a black-eye. I was constantly cleaning up the smudged off kohl from under my eye. There is not a single beauty hack to keep my kajal intact, that I didn’t try. I used liquid eyeliner to finish up the look, to try and make sure I was left with a clean, gorgeous eye makeup look. Well, that never worked. It would take me time to work the liquid eyeliner to precision and I'd always end up messing it up. Then I tried dusting on some loose powder under my eyes, to help absorb the oil. That didn’t work either.
The one thing that kinda helped was when I started investing in waterproof, long lasting products. Sure, they stuck on, but at the end of the day, I would also be using the strongest makeup removers to get rid of it. Can you imagine how the products took a toll on my skin? Especially the sensitive skin under my eyes!
Image : Bhumi & Simran Photography
It wasn’t until I reached college that I decided to give it up... During those day, everyone was sporting the out-of-bed pajamas and messy hair look, so it wasn’t such a hard task to switch. Sure, I was at the receiving end of questions about if I was feeling okay and if I was down with fever (We should really stop with those!). But it was for a very short time - everyone got used to my new look. I realised, that for my face type and skin tone, it just didn’t suit me. But somehow, just because everyone was doing it, I went along with it.
The plus point of giving up kajal? My cat eye flick is always on point! I can proudly say that I’ve mastered the art of drawing on a gorgeous feline flick. Also, It doesn't mean I’ve given up on makeup! Brow pencils, eyelash curlers, mascaras, eyeshadows - I make full use of all the other products that help dress up my eyes. On a regular day, I apply a light cover of foundation on my face and I'm good to go. If I'm in the mood to dress up, I apply my regular foundation and apply a thick eyeliner on the upper lid.
And my go-to hack for making sure no one asks me if I’m looking unwell? A dab of concealer that lights up my under eye area and instantly brightens up my face. In retrospect, I might have never succumbed to the peer pressure of drinking alcohol or smoking funny things, but somehow, I got pressured into believing that I needed kajal to feel pretty. As we always say, looking gorgeous and feeling pretty, is all about what suits you. Who would've thunk that letting go of a simple beauty habit, would be SO liberating!