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Image: Marc by Marc Jacobs New York AW15

For the longest time, liquid eyeliner has proven to be the most popular amongst us precision-loving ladies. From sharp, downward sloping thin lines that K-Beauty idols like IU are well known for, to shapely, winged out cat-eyes seen on 2ne1’s CL.

Now, a new kajal eyeliner trend is taking over. The kajal, otherwise known as kohl, was a makeup staple used centuries ago in Egypt, as it was believed to protect the eyes from the sun and bacterial infections. Traditionally, they were made with lead sulphide, soot and oils, and widely used in India, the Middle East and South Asia.

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Image: Burberry London AW15

Fast-forward to the Autumn-Winter shows 2015’s fashion month, where soft kohl pencils were drawn on both the models’ upper and lower lids (Marc by Marc Jacobs) or smudged out for an effortless smokey eye (Burberry). The contemporary kajal is a versatile, creamy pencil eyeliner that you can use for a variety of looks, all with a safer modern formula.

The cone-shaped variety of kajals has a self-sharpening ability: Use the sides of the tip to line your eyes, and they will naturally stay in shape.

Sounds cool? Now check out these three ways of using the kajal, and our favourite ones that’ll fit all budgets to buy now:

The kajal can look pretty intimidating at first, so start light. An easy way to transition into using a kajal is through the graphic eyeliner look. Start by sweeping them at the end of your eyelid, like what was seen on the models at the Suno show. 

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From top: Suno, DKNY New York AW15

Adventurous makeup mavens can try – if you dare – more dramatic, abstract lines drawn above the crease line or a larger almond shape all around the perimeter like those seen at DKNY. 

For once, the smoky eye seems a lot easier to achieve than the precise, thin eye line. YSL Beaute Makeup Creative Director Lloyd Simmonds walks us through the minute-long process with the brand’s upcoming release, the Couture Kajal.

He says: “Use the tip or point of the Couture Kajal and place it directly on the inside lash-line. Then close your eyes on top of the pencil. With your eyes closed, drag the pointed end of the crayon back and forth between the lids. Smudge it to perfection afterwards using your fingers or a brush, then clean up any excesses with a Q-tip and eye makeup remover.”

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Image: Burberry London AW15

If you’d like to stick to the pencil type of kohl eyeliner, then try this method used backstage at the Burberry show: Line your upper and lower lash line, then use a brush to smudge out the harsh edges and top it off with eyeshadow.

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Image: Burberry London AW15

WATCH: Korean beauty guru Pony shows you exactly how to recreate the look

If you’re going for a full-on smoky eye then try using your kajal pencil as an eyeshadow base instead of your usual eye makeup primer.

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Image: Diane von Fursternberg New York AW15

Simmonds says: “Normal eye bases are generally a neutral shade, providing a slightly wet surface to allow the eyeshadow on top to adhere better and therefore last longer. If you use your Couture Kajal instead of the eye base, not only are you preparing it for the eyeshadow on top, but you’ll be adding depth and mystery thanks to its intense dark, deep colours.”


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YSL Beaute Couture Kajal, available in four colours; The Body Shop limited edition Kajal Eyeliner, available in three colours; Sleek Kajal Eyeliner, available in two colours; M.A.C Technakohl Eye Liner, available in nine colours; Burberry Effortless Kohl Eyeliner, available in four colours; Color Show by Maybelline, available in nine colours

Still can’t live without liquid eyeliner? Then take a look at these six best eyeliners for drawing sharp and thin lines, or if you want more colour to your look, try out this Korean pastel eyeliner trend!