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1810 -Kohl Staining The Eyes As Practiced By The Arabian, Turkish, & Circassian Women

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1810
Kohl Staining The Eyes As Practiced By The Arabian, Turkish, & Circassian Women
1/8 oz
Loose Powder

As many of you know this has been a long time in coming. I have spent a total about about 3 years working on regency kohl.. the debate on whether or not to bring it public raged in my mind for quite some time and many of you said you wanted to try it... so here it is. We have two forms. This form is a powder. It's not lead powder so no worries there. Original recipes for "Real Kohl" and other recipes from the period suggest to either used powdered lead or take a copper pot and build a fire under it. The soot as a result of the flame would then be scraped off and either used as a charcoal or a sort of lamp black or mixed with various fats and used in a semi liquid paste state. We decided to go the charcoal route because we know it's been used throughout history and we know it's ok for the eyes.

Historical texts will always tell you that it is a wonderful remedy to help see clearly and to brighten the eyes. Well there is some truth to that. Most of us when we look in the mirror have red eyes. Our eye whites are not clear and white. But using the charcoal - it will clean your eyes and remove impurities which causes the whites to redden and yellow. This is one of the "tricks" that help the eye look blue or give the blueish tint they keep talking about.

I was hesitant to bring these out to the public for a few reasons-

1. If you are using this historically - less is more--- It was used for darken the eyebrows, or the eyelashes and if you use it as per the 1810 receipt for eyeliner- please note that less is more..... it should be there but not noticeable or perceptible by others. If you have your eyes lined like the Turkish women or the 1990's - you are doing it wrong. I'm nervous about women who want to use this in the historical manner because I want to make sure they don't get to carried away with it. So with that said- obviously use it how you want- but if you are seriously using it historically- please use it discreetly. It will take a while to figure out how to apply it. A eyeliner brush or the wood end of a match work the best. If you have questions - Ask. We will eventually get some how to and step by step videos out for you which will help. Remember this will be very different from any powdered eyeliner you have ever used- so please be patient.

2. It's all natural with no chemicals and it's good for your eyes but...its not waterproof. In all reality it's not the end of the world and really- waterproof makeup is a pretty new concept ( although many of us don't realize it) The upside it's all natural- and has no chemicals that current liners do and it stays on pretty well.. I have worn it in pretty hot/humid weather and as long as you don't rub your eyes it's fine. Which is something we don't think about- but historical women would not be rubbing there eyes... It's un-lady like :)

3. It's different and will take some getting use to. But that is the same with all historical cosmetics. So be patient. The cool thing is you can either use it as a powder or add fats or oils or waters to it to make it into a different type of liner. The choice is yours. :)

TIP: Historically they talk about breathing on the ivory pin- so wetting it to grab the powered kohl. If you want a really smooth line.. mix a little of this with water to make more of a liquid liner :) Works really well.

Here is what the 1810 Recipe had to say:

"The Arabian women, and the Turkish women, particulary the Asiatics as well as the Circassians, have a method of staining their eyes…Travellers tell us that the Turkish and Circassian women stain the whites of their eyes with a blue cast, but they do not inform us in what way this is effected. It is done as follows- They take the purest black lead in very fine powder; and breathing on an ivory pin, about the thickness of a straw, made for this purpose, dip it in the powder so as thinly to cover it with black. This pin they put into the corner of the eye twords the nose; and, shutting the eye-lid at the same time,and turning up the sight or pupil of the eye… they gently draw the ivory pin to the other couner of the eye; when the black, adhering to the eyelids,within the lash- that is, between the ball of the eye and the roots of the hair of eye-lashes- if nicely managed, forms a fine black line and …imparts to the white of the eye an agreeable tinge of blue.. The great art consists of not putting too much color on the pin point; if only very little be used, it is not perceptable by others, while the effect is most pleasing… by preventing the reflection of the sun..use it to save their eyes from the glare... Some personal who have weak eyes, rub this black the whole outside of the eye-lids also up to their eyebrows, and all over the outside of the eye.... This has the worst effect than even a black eye in St. Giles's; and therefore though it certainly is a very great preserver of the eyes, he does not seriously recommend this latter operation to be adopted for the sake of beautifying the face. "

So basically in the above section they tell you who wore it- what they made it out of and how to apply it. That less is more if you are using it to beautify the face in the historical 1810 manner, but cautions that like this gentleman who was traveling and had weak eyes- he rubbed it all over and although it helped the eyes for traveling- they caution you not to do this second option for the sake of beauty.

How should you apply it:

The easiest way is to take your kohl powder and:
1- Use a wooden toothpick or match-make sure the ends are not sharp ( round the edge if needed) Historically they used an ivory pin which means that the line it would have produced would have been very very tiny.. the larger your applicator is and the more round it is the thicker your line will be. The best reproduction tools I have found for historical purposes are bone needles and bone awls. I hope to eventually have some reproduced applicators in the shop. Until then these are some options :)
*************
2- before applying the Kohl- you many want your applicator to soak in oil. Historically they say breathe on the pin to wet it... You will have to find what works best for you
*************
3- With the soaked or wetted end, dab your applicator into the powder and be careful not to get to much on the end- remember what I said about number 1 and the difference in size of lines.
*************

4- This is the part that needs practice: before applying to eye, put kohl end into the inner corner of the eye, closest to your nose, then close your eye that you are applying it to.
*************

5- with your eye closed ( this is very important)... slowly and firmly drag your applicator across the seam of your closed upper and lower eyelid. Don't poke your eyeball! Once that is finished repeat with he other eye. They say traditional Kohl is applied around 3 times but because we are going for a historical look. Once should do the trick as long as it's even :)

ENJOY!
1810
Kohl Staining The Eyes As Practiced By The Arabian, Turkish, & Circassian Women
1/8 oz
Loose Powder

As many of you know this has been a long time in coming. I have spent a total about about 3 years working on regency kohl.. the debate on whether or not to bring it public raged in my mind for quite some time and many of you said you wanted to try it... so here it is. We have two forms. This form is a powder. It's not lead powder so no worries there. Original recipes for "Real Kohl" and other recipes from the period suggest to either used powdered lead or take a copper pot and build a fire under it. The soot as a result of the flame would then be scraped off and either used as a charcoal or a sort of lamp black or mixed with various fats and used in a semi liquid paste state. We decided to go the charcoal route because we know it's been used throughout history and we know it's ok for the eyes.

Historical texts will always tell you that it is a wonderful remedy to help see clearly and to brighten the eyes. Well there is some truth to that. Most of us when we look in the mirror have red eyes. Our eye whites are not clear and white. But using the charcoal - it will clean your eyes and remove impurities which causes the whites to redden and yellow. This is one of the "tricks" that help the eye look blue or give the blueish tint they keep talking about.

I was hesitant to bring these out to the public for a few reasons-

1. If you are using this historically - less is more--- It was used for darken the eyebrows, or the eyelashes and if you use it as per the 1810 receipt for eyeliner- please note that less is more..... it should be there but not noticeable or perceptible by others. If you have your eyes lined like the Turkish women or the 1990's - you are doing it wrong. I'm nervous about women who want to use this in the historical manner because I want to make sure they don't get to carried away with it. So with that said- obviously use it how you want- but if you are seriously using it historically- please use it discreetly. It will take a while to figure out how to apply it. A eyeliner brush or the wood end of a match work the best. If you have questions - Ask. We will eventually get some how to and step by step videos out for you which will help. Remember this will be very different from any powdered eyeliner you have ever used- so please be patient.

2. It's all natural with no chemicals and it's good for your eyes but...its not waterproof. In all reality it's not the end of the world and really- waterproof makeup is a pretty new concept ( although many of us don't realize it) The upside it's all natural- and has no chemicals that current liners do and it stays on pretty well.. I have worn it in pretty hot/humid weather and as long as you don't rub your eyes it's fine. Which is something we don't think about- but historical women would not be rubbing there eyes... It's un-lady like :)

3. It's different and will take some getting use to. But that is the same with all historical cosmetics. So be patient. The cool thing is you can either use it as a powder or add fats or oils or waters to it to make it into a different type of liner. The choice is yours. :)

TIP: Historically they talk about breathing on the ivory pin- so wetting it to grab the powered kohl. If you want a really smooth line.. mix a little of this with water to make more of a liquid liner :) Works really well.

Here is what the 1810 Recipe had to say:

"The Arabian women, and the Turkish women, particulary the Asiatics as well as the Circassians, have a method of staining their eyes…Travellers tell us that the Turkish and Circassian women stain the whites of their eyes with a blue cast, but they do not inform us in what way this is effected. It is done as follows- They take the purest black lead in very fine powder; and breathing on an ivory pin, about the thickness of a straw, made for this purpose, dip it in the powder so as thinly to cover it with black. This pin they put into the corner of the eye twords the nose; and, shutting the eye-lid at the same time,and turning up the sight or pupil of the eye… they gently draw the ivory pin to the other couner of the eye; when the black, adhering to the eyelids,within the lash- that is, between the ball of the eye and the roots of the hair of eye-lashes- if nicely managed, forms a fine black line and …imparts to the white of the eye an agreeable tinge of blue.. The great art consists of not putting too much color on the pin point; if only very little be used, it is not perceptable by others, while the effect is most pleasing… by preventing the reflection of the sun..use it to save their eyes from the glare... Some personal who have weak eyes, rub this black the whole outside of the eye-lids also up to their eyebrows, and all over the outside of the eye.... This has the worst effect than even a black eye in St. Giles's; and therefore though it certainly is a very great preserver of the eyes, he does not seriously recommend this latter operation to be adopted for the sake of beautifying the face. "

So basically in the above section they tell you who wore it- what they made it out of and how to apply it. That less is more if you are using it to beautify the face in the historical 1810 manner, but cautions that like this gentleman who was traveling and had weak eyes- he rubbed it all over and although it helped the eyes for traveling- they caution you not to do this second option for the sake of beauty.

How should you apply it:

The easiest way is to take your kohl powder and:
1- Use a wooden toothpick or match-make sure the ends are not sharp ( round the edge if needed) Historically they used an ivory pin which means that the line it would have produced would have been very very tiny.. the larger your applicator is and the more round it is the thicker your line will be. The best reproduction tools I have found for historical purposes are bone needles and bone awls. I hope to eventually have some reproduced applicators in the shop. Until then these are some options :)
*************
2- before applying the Kohl- you many want your applicator to soak in oil. Historically they say breathe on the pin to wet it... You will have to find what works best for you
*************
3- With the soaked or wetted end, dab your applicator into the powder and be careful not to get to much on the end- remember what I said about number 1 and the difference in size of lines.
*************

4- This is the part that needs practice: before applying to eye, put kohl end into the inner corner of the eye, closest to your nose, then close your eye that you are applying it to.
*************

5- with your eye closed ( this is very important)... slowly and firmly drag your applicator across the seam of your closed upper and lower eyelid. Don't poke your eyeball! Once that is finished repeat with he other eye. They say traditional Kohl is applied around 3 times but because we are going for a historical look. Once should do the trick as long as it's even :)

ENJOY!

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1810 -Kohl Staining The Eyes As Practiced By The Arabian, Turkish, & Circassian Women

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