My Kajal Bleeds - Help!

I got this query from Grishma:

I want your help/advice on the best kajal/kohl pencil that DOES NOT BLEED (Sorry about the caps... It just shows how frustrated I am with all the kajal pencils...)

I have tried all variants available in the following brands: Eyetex, Shringar, Maybelline, Elle 18, Revlon, Biotique, Lotus, Himalaya, Shenaz Hussain, Street wear (and forgot a few more brands).

Not one of them stays on my eyes... in just 2 to 3 hours it looks like i have been hit by someone and its just black all below my waterline... So can you pls help. I have tried all variants of Lakme too.. I just have that one kajal to try (the one that you have reviewed)... But the amount i have wasted on kajals... I don't even have a count... Grishma

First of all, thanks Grishma, for the sweet comment. I am really sorry that you have ended up wasting so much money on so many kajals from a whole lot of brands. Makeup can be frustrating at times.

Getting on with your problem, I understand that you are talking about kajal / kohls. From my experience, these *ALWAYS* have some amount of smudging, simply because of their nature. I am yet to come across a kohl pencil that didn't smudge on my lids. So no matter what brand you try, be ready for some smudging - be it MAC, Colorbar or Shenaz Hussain.

So I prefer to stick to eyeliners (which are not the same as Kajal/kohl) from brands like Colorbar (I-glide), Lakme (Eye pencils), Diana of London, Bourjois & Revlon that explicitly state that they are smudge-proof, waterproof and long lasting.

1. Oily lids: Some people have naturally oily lids that cause eyeliners to smudge with time.

Solution: Try using a eyeshadow base / primer. You could also dab a small amount of Ponds Oil Control Concentrate on the lids 2 minutes before applying your liner.

2. Layer the kajal: Sometimes layering the kajal helps it last longer. There are 2 ways I know of layering

a. Apply the kajal first & then with a thin brush layer a similar colored eyeshadow on top. The powder helps the kajal dry a bit and set

b. Make a thin line using liquid liner and then once it dries, apply kajal on top. Since you have already applied liquid below, you will need less of the kajal to line and intensify the eyes. My close friend uses this tip on a daily basis and it seems to work for her.

3. If smudging still happens: Carry a tiny bottle of Lacto-Calamine & ear buds with you. If the kajal bleeds, dip the cotton tip into the calamine, remove excess and gently rub over the area where the kajal has smudged to clean it up.

Using calamine has the following advantages,

a. Not only will it remove the smudge, as it is skin colored it will also provide some coverage over the smudged area
b. It is not oil based, rather it tends to absorb excess oil so it does slow down more smudging by the kajal.

4. Wipe off the eye-cream: If you have used moisturiser or eye cream, be sure to wipe it off with a tissue before you apply kajal. The oil in these creams will cause your kajal to run faster.

5. Switch to eyeliners: Kajal & Kohl have a sentimental value for a lot of Indian girls, unless you can't live without it try & switch to Eye Liners from Brands like Colorbar. They set faster and last longer.

6. Accept the fact that the lower lash line is a watery area: The lower lash line is constantly bathed by the eyes when ever we blink, so your liner is going to be in a watery area. This will make it more prone to smudging, simply because it cannot dry and set itself, unlike liners on the upper lash line. So there will be some smudging.

Do you have any tips that you can share with Grishma to stop her kajal from bleeding?


  1. try maybelline's unstoppable twist up eyeliner in black/brown. it's waxy and drags a bit while applying, but it stays put come hail or storm! costs about 200 bucks. set the line with black/brown eyeshadow.

    other pointers-
    1. don't touch/rub your eyes. you might unconsciously be smudging your makeup that way.
    2. use calamine as stated by tanveer above for setting right any minor smudging.
    3. use your liner sparingly, you don't need to apply lots of it.
    4. set undereye area with a long lasting powder. this prevents smudging to a large extent.

  2. This use use to be my story until I started using the AVON Professional Khol Eye Liner. This has been the best khol that I have used ever since I can remember. The biggest plus point of this is that it does not bleed on my eyes. I use this everyday and have found no complaints so far. I hope this helps Garima :)

  3. I use the Avon glimmerstick liner..and it stays on pretty well. I liked the Lacto-Calamine tip :)

  4. Grishma, I feel your pain. I haven't come across anything that doesn't smudge yet. but wiping off any cream and using a primer/base have worked for me.

  5. Chambor Eye tattoo eye pencils are is really dark..looks jus like kohl...and the brown one with shimmer is oh so pretty..costs 325

  6. i use d VOV extra soft kohl pencil n it does not bleed n stays well..evn wen i wear lenses...

  7. I loved the calamine tip Tanz..u solved the querry with so much of dedication.

  8. very useful tips my opinion Chambor Eye tattoo eye pencils are really very effective.

  9. I feel the pain too...I have had horrible 'raccoon' experiences with most brands of kajal, including himalaya, biotique, lotus, lakme, shahnaz hussain etc...

    Eye liner pencils are better, though most of them smudge too (for me, that is)...however, I've recently come across Chambor Eye tattoo eye pencils...they are great, and smudge minimally...

    I usually use a bit of skin-coloured matte eyeshadow to create a thick line right underneath my lower lashes (extending till the eyebag area)...this doesn't show and also absorbs the smudged liner.....I've started using most kajals too with this technique.

    Hope this helps.

  10. As Tanveer said...kajals or kohls will always smudge! try setting it with e/s..does work..hv tried it...

    @Rima..Can the maybelline liner be used on waterline?


  11. yes HD the maybelline liner can be used on the waterline. however, if you put it there exclusively, it will disappear after a while. the trick to make it stay put is to apply it a little vigorously so that it smudges a bit into the skin. you understand what i'm trying to say?

  12. Gotcha Rima..thanks!!


  13. hey,
    Try the Bourjois Kohl and Countour is like kaajal, not an eye pencil, and it doesnt smudge at all. love it.i was surprised that the MAC kohl pencil smudges bigtime..waste of money!

  14. Hi Tanveer,

    Loved your Lacto Calamine tip. I can probably avoid using oil dipped buds which used to take off the kajal but leave my eye area OILY. :(
    There is this Kajal called Hashmi Kajal, if you can find it in your city. Its actually a Unani Preperation. U can build on the intensity of the coulr too. It comes in a tube and the cap has an attached stick. You gotta apply it like Surma. But its lotttt less messier than a surma.

  15. hey tanz loved ur lacto tip dear:) have to try this one :)

  16. I hav this prob with the 'smudge free' eyeliners!!
    my skin is soo oily that even they smudge..but I agree with Tanveer that layering it with a powder/ eyeshadow base helps..
    nice tips!!:-)

  17. Thanks to all for the wonderful tips. I shall definitely try each one of them till i find something that works for me and get back.

    Btw tanveer thanks for Maybelline Matt Mousse. It works wonderfully well for me and i could find a shade that is close to my skin color finally!!! And i had no clue about skin undertone... I always wanted to wear natural pinks... but i realised that i am warm under tone with yellowish skin... and pinks make me luk awful... Late realisation... But its worth it... Based on your suggestion i purchased Ponds tinted moisturiser... Need to see how well it works for me as i have oily skin...

    Tanveer, just a few things i wanted to share with you and others looking for some hair care tips as i do have the most annoying hair which refuses to behave and all the things i have tried out myself and things that have worked/have not worked/have been disastrous... I just did not have time to look out for mail options or anything. Wanted to share it with you before i forgot amidst my work.. I have grown about 1 foot hair in the last 3 years i guess... Right now my hair reaches my hip... So somethings have definitely worked well for me. Please note that all these are tried and tested methods by me.

    1. For those with dandruff problems/frizzy lifeless hair, soak 1 smaaaaall cup fenugreek seeds overnight in water. Morning grind the soaked fenugreek seeds and grated coconut (1:1 ratio) with minimal water till it forms a fine paste. Apply it on hair and leave it for an hour max and wash your hair like you normally do. For extreme dandruff do this on a weekly basis for a couple of months and trust me people hair becomes soooooooooooooooo soft and lustrous and dandruff vanishes like magic. PS: Mite not work out too well for ppl with color treated hair. So ppl with color treated hair might want to avoid keeping it on for too long.

    2. To reduce the rate of greying hair and to get good lustrous hair and to reduce hair fall..
    Castor oil, coconut oil, Sesame oil (1:1:1). Add fresh neem leaves, mehandi leaves/mehandi powder, fenugreek seeds, fresh amla, curry leaves. Heat the entire mixture on low flame till all of them mix well and a brown oil is formed. If you are not ok with the ingredients, you can filter them out once the mixture is cooled. They can also be left back in the container. Use this the night before washing your hair. This works wonderfully well for lice as well. The oil has a smell which some ppl mite not be very comfortable with but it works wonders for my annoying hair. Also you mite wanna shampoo twice when you use this mixture...

    3. For ppl who wanna go herbal on shampoos and have color treated hair, avoid reetha and shikakai extracts as they sap the color from the hair

    4. If you have a lot of kajals that bleed and you dont use them, then you can use them to cover ur greys during emergencies...

    5. For soft hair (to avoid frizziness) apply milk all over your hair about 20 min before you wash your hair.... It makes hair real real soft to an extent where no conditioner is needed...

    Thanks a lot again Tanveer for the great tips.

  18. Forgot to put my name in the previous comment. Grishma.

  19. Heyyy you can use color bar kajal n its neva smudges !!!!!!!!


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