Eye liner

Eye liner or eyeliner is a cosmetic used to define the eyes. It is applied around the contours of the eye(s) to create a variety of aesthetic effects.

Eye liner
Dark teal eye liner along the rim of the eye


Tomb of Nakht
Ancient Egyptian women and men wearing kohl eye liner, from the tomb of Nakht in Thebes (15th century BC).

Eye liner was first used in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia as a dark black line around the eyes. As early as 10,000 BC, Egyptians and Mesopotamians wore various cosmetics including eye liner not only for aesthetics but to protect the skin from the desert sun. Research has also speculated that eye liner was worn to protect the wearer from the evil eye. The characteristic of having heavily lined eyes has been frequently depicted in ancient Egyptian art. They produced eye liner with a variety of materials, including copper ore and antimony. Ancient Egyptian kohl contained galena, which was imported from nearby regions in the Land of Punt, Coptos and Western Asia.[1]

In the 1920s, Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered, introducing the use of eye liner to the Western world. The 1920s were an era commonly associated with many changes in women's fashion, and women felt freer to apply make-up more liberally.

In the 1960s, liquid eye liner was used to create thick black and white lines around the eyes in the make-up fashion associated with designers like Mary Quant. The '60s and '70s also saw new fashion trends which made use of eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara in new ways. As goth and punk fashion developed, they employed eyeliner for a dark and dramatic effect.

Modern usage

A girl wearing eye liner.

In the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, heavy eye liner use has been associated with Goth fashion and Punk fashion. Eye liner of varying degrees of thickness has also become associated with the emo subculture and various alternative lifestyles. Guyliner is also a special style the emo subculture tend to use after being popularized from Pete Wentz, bassist of the pop-punk band Fall Out Boy.

Eye makeup
An eye with brown eye liner under the bottom lashes.

Eye liner is commonly used in a daily make-up routine to define the eye or create the look of a wider or smaller eye. Eye liner can be used as a tool to create various looks as well as highlighting different features of the eyes. Eye liner can be placed in various parts of the eye to create different looks with a winged eye liner or tight lined at the waterline. Eye liner can be drawn above upper lashes or below lower lashes or both, even on the water lines of your eyes. Its primary purpose is to make the lashes look lush, but it also draws attention to the eye and can enhance or even change the eye's shape. Eye liner is available in a wide range of hues, from the common black, brown and grey to more adventurous shades such as bright primary colors, pastels, frosty silvers and golds, white and even glitter-flecked colors.

Eye liner can also be used for showing depression in photographs, such as the famous "Bleeding Mascara".[2]

Different modern uses

Although many users of eye liner use it on a day-to-day basis for a simple definer of the eyes, there are others who use it for more than just an easy eye enlarger. There are many styles of eye liner. Most of them usually revolve around the winged eye liner, which is defining around your top eyelid shape and a line, about halfway toward the end of the eyebrow. It is usually connected to the defining around the top. However today there are some drastically toned eye liner. Nowadays it is also used on the lower lid of the eyes in different colors.

Tight lining

Tight lining is the use of eye liner tight against the waterline under the lashes of the upper lid, and above the lashes of the lower lid. Due to the proximity to the membranes, and the surface of the eye itself, waterproof eye liner is preferred. Tight lining is a technique which makes the eyelashes appear to start farther back on the eyelid, thus making them look longer. Gel eye liner and a small angled brush may be used to create this look.[3]


Headshot of Model with Blue Eyeliner
Woman with turquoise eye liner

Depending on its texture, eye liner can be softly smudged or clearly defined. There are five main types of eye liner available on the market: each produces a different effect.

  • Liquid eye liner is an opaque liquid that usually comes in a small bottle and is typically applied with a small sharp-tipped brush. It creates a clean, precise line. Because liquid eye liner gives a much heavier appearance, it is often only applied to the upper lash-line.
  • Powder-based eye pencil is eye liner in a wood pencil. It is generally available in dark, matted shades.
  • Wax-based eye pencils are softer pencils and contain waxes that ease application. They come in a wide variety of intense colours as well as paler shades such as white or beige. Wax-based eye liners can also come in a cone or a compact with brush applicator.
  • Kohl eye liner is a soft powder available in dark matte shades. It is most often used in black to outline the eyes. It comes in pencil, pressed powder, or loose powder form. This type of eye liner is more likely to smudge.
  • Gel eye liner, which is a softer gel liner, that can be easily applied with an eye liner brush. It can be precisely applied and is much softer than Kohl.
  • Shimmer Liner, which is available in different bright colors applied on the upper as well as lower eyelid.

Chemical composition

Traditional wax-based eye liners are made from about 20 components. About 50% by weight are waxes (e.g., Japan wax, fats, or related soft materials that easily glide on to the skin. Stearyl heptanoate is found in most cosmetic eyeliner. Typical pigments include black iron oxides, as well as smaller amounts of titanium dioxide and Prussian blue.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Studies in Ancient Technology, Volume III, (Brill Archive), p.18.
  2. ^ Thompson, Tina. "Bleeding Mascara: Eyeliner for Depressionistas". Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  3. ^ Kitchens, Simone (12 March 2013). "Tightlining: How-To". Huffington Post.
  4. ^ J. Cunningham "Color cosmetics" in Chemistry and Technology of the Cosmetics and Toiletries Industry Editors D. F. Williams, Mr W. H. Schmitt. Springer. ISBN 978-94-010-7194-9 (Print)

External links

  • Media related to Eye liner at Wikimedia Commons

Beeswax (cera alba) is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, which discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols.

Beeswax has been used since prehistory as man's first plastic, as a lubricant and waterproofing agent, in lost wax casting of metals and glass, as a polish for wood and leather and for making candles, as an ingredient in cosmetics and as an artistic medium in encaustic painting.

Beeswax is edible, having similar negligible toxicity to plant waxes, and is approved for food use in most countries and in the European Union under the E number E901.

Circle contact lens

A circle contact lens, also known as a big eye contact lens and circle lens, is a cosmetic (non-corrective and decorative) contact lens that makes the eye's iris appear larger. It has become a trend throughout East, South and Southeast Asia and is largely produced in Japan, South Korea and China.


Cosmetics are substances or products used to enhance or alter the appearance of the face or fragrance and texture of the body. Many cosmetics are designed for use of applying to the face, hair, and body. They are generally mixtures of chemical compounds; some being derived from natural sources (such as coconut oil), and some being synthetics or artificial. Cosmetics applied to the face to enhance its appearance are often called make-up or makeup. Common make-up items include: lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, foundation. Whereas other common cosmetics can include skin cleansers and body lotions, shampoo and conditioner, hairstyling products (gel, hair spray, etc.), perfume and cologne.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates cosmetics, defines cosmetics as "intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions". This broad definition includes any material intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product. The FDA specifically excludes soap from this category.


The eyebrow is an area of thick, delicate hairs above the eye that follows the shape of the lower margin of the brow ridges of some mammals. Their main function is to prevent sweat, water, and other debris from falling down into the eye socket, but they are also important to human communication and facial expression. It is common for people to modify their eyebrows by means of hair removal and makeup.

Eyelid glue

Eyelid glue, commonly called eye putti (アイプチ, ai puchi), is a type of eye make-up used in East Asia designed to change the monolid (eyelid without a crease). Eyelid glue is a water-soluble adhesive that is easy to remove.

Eyeliner (disambiguation)

Eye liner is a cosmetic used to define the eyes.

Eyeliner may also refer to:

Eyeliner (band), an Indonesian rock band (1998-now)

Eyeliner (UK band), a British rock band (2008-now)

The Eyeliners, a punk rock band from Albuquerque, New Mexico, US

Musion Eyeliner, a high-definition video projection system for stage productions


Ganguro (ガングロ) is an alternative fashion trend among young Japanese women that started in the mid-1990s, distinguished by a dark tan and contrasting make-up liberally applied by fashionistas.

The Shibuya and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo were the centres of ganguro fashion; it was started by rebellious youth who contradicted the traditional Japanese concept of beauty; pale skin, dark hair and neutral makeup tones. Ganguro instead tanned their skin, bleached their hair and used a lot of colourful makeup in unusual ways.Ganguro has a connection to Japanese folklore of ghosts and demons who are depicted with a similar appearance such as those in kabuki and noh costumes. This connection is further underlined by the offshoot style yamanba, named after a mountain witch in Japanese folklore.The ganguro trend started in the mid-1990s and reached its peak by the latter half of the decade; it purportedly became almost obsolete by 2000 when a bihaku craze emerged among young women who wanted to imitate the look of their favourite popular singers, specifically Ayumi Hamasaki who debuted at the time. The ganguro trend faded out afterwards, although its influence can be observed in yamanba and manba styles.

HMS Vengeance (1824)

HMS Vengeance was an 84-gun second rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 27 July 1824 at Pembroke Dockyard. The Canopus-class ships were all modelled on a captured French ship, the Franklin, which was renamed HMS Canopus in British service. Some of the copies were faster than others, though it was reported that none could beat the original.In August 1851 Vengeance, commanded by Captain Lord Edward Russell, left Portsmouth for the Mediterranean. After stops at Lisbon and Gibraltar, she arrived at Malta on 2 October. The ship was nicknamed 'the wind's-eye liner', and was faster than all the other ships except HMS Phaeton. Vengeance's commander during 1851 and 1852 was William Robert Mends. Vengeance returned to England at Christmas 1852, before returning to the Mediterranean with a new second in command, Commander George Le Geyt Bowyear (1818–1903), in the spring. By June she had rejoined the fleet at Malta, and then accompanied the whole Mediterranean fleet under Vice-Admiral James Dundas to Bashika Bay outside the Dardanelles as political tension increased before the Crimean War. In October the fleet moved through the Dardanelles to the Bosphorus and moored at Beikos Bay. In January she visited Sinope, where the Battle of Sinop had been fought the previous November between a Turkish squadron and the Russian fleet, resulting in a Turkish defeat. Vengeance moved to Varna in March, and then took part in the bombardment of Odessa on 22 April. The ship assisted with the transportation of the army across the Black Sea to the Crimea before attending at the Battle of Alma on 20 September.She became a receiving ship in 1861, and was eventually sold out of the navy in 1897.

Joanna Priestley

Joanna Priestley

Joanna Priestley is a contemporary film director, producer, animator and teacher. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Journey to the Centre of the Eye

Journey to the Centre of the Eye is the debut album from English progressive rock band Nektar that came out in 1971. Though formally divided into 13 tracks, the entire album consists of a single continuous piece of music, with some musical themes which are repeated throughout the work. Because of its narrative nature, it has been called a rock opera and/or dense concept album. The story follows an astronaut who, while on a voyage to Saturn, encounters aliens who take him to their galaxy, where he is suffused with knowledge and wisdom. It is usually interpreted as a commentary on the nuclear arms race.


Since the mid-2000s, the term kkonminam (Hangul: 꽃미남; Hanja: 꽃美男; listen kkot/n [꽃] = flower, minam [미남] = handsome man) has been commonly used in South Korea to refer to young men with a great sense of personal style and fashion, popularized by pop idols, who may seem effeminate, in part because they are often shown with make-up, such as eye-liner or lip gloss. Another cause may be that as most of them are in their late teens to early twenties they look rather boyish. Although they are sometimes regarded as Korean bishōnen, their gender is not commonly questioned, nor their sexual orientation.

Permanent makeup

Permanent makeup is a cosmetic technique which employs tattoos (permanent pigmentation of the dermis) as a means of producing designs that resemble makeup, such as eyelining and other permanent enhancing colors to the skin of the face, lips, and eyelids. It is also used to produce artificial eyebrows, particularly in people who have lost them as a consequence of old age, disease, such as alopecia totalis, chemotherapy, or a genetic disturbance, and to disguise scars and white spots in the skin such as in vitiligo. It is also used to restore or enhance the breast's areola, such as after breast surgery.

Most commonly called permanent cosmetics, other names include dermapigmentation, micropigmentation, and cosmetic tattooing, the latter being most appropriate since permanent makeup is applied under sterile conditions similar to that of a tattoo. In the United States the inks used in permanent makeup are subject to approval as cosmetics by the Food and Drug Administration. The pigments used in the inks are color additives, which are subject to pre-market approval under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. However, because of other competing public health priorities in the United States and a previous lack of evidence of safety problems specifically associated with these pigments, FDA traditionally has not exercised regulatory authority for color additives on the pigments used in tattoo inks.

Personal care

Personal care or toiletries are consumer products used in personal hygiene and for beautification.


Shiseido Company, Limited (株式会社資生堂, Kabushiki-gaisha Shiseidō, Japanese: [ɕiseeꜜdoː]) is a Japanese multinational personal care company, that is a skin care, hair care, cosmetics and fragrance producer. It is one of the oldest cosmetics companies in the world. Founded in 1872, it celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2012. It is the largest cosmetic firm in Japan and the fifth largest cosmetics company in the world. Shiseido is only available at cosmetic counters at selected department stores or pharmacists. The company owns numerous brands and subsidiaries worldwide, in addition to its founding label. The company is headquartered in Tokyo, and trades on the Tokyo stock exchange, it is a chief competitor of SK-II.

Thai zig zag scam

The Thai Zig zag scam is a confidence trick where one is falsely accused of shoplifting, and then held by police, or those claiming to be police, until "bail" is paid for the alleged theft. At times those fleeced are shown faked closed-circuit television footage as corroboration. In several cases in Thailand, this confidence trick has occurred at the airport, and thus is sometimes called the "Thai airport scam". Most reports of this scam are dated.

Theatrical makeup

Theatrical makeup is makeup that is used to assist in creating the appearance of the characters that actors portray during a theater production.

Three Sisters Who Share an Eye

Three Sisters Who Share an Eye is the third studio album by Burning Star Core, released on in June 2006 by No Fun Productions. Arthur magazine called it "essential listening from top to bottom" that "blows doors on everything around it."

Venetian ceruse

Venetian Ceruse, also known as Spirits of Saturn, was a 16th-century cosmetic used as a skin whitener. It was in great demand and considered the best available at that time.

The cosmetic's use of white lead as a pigment caused lead poisoning, damaging the skin and causing hair loss. Usage over an extended period could cause death.

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