1.21.2009

The Myth of the Kohl-Rimmed South Asian Eye

One of my many delusions is that I have small, beady eyes. While they are surely not huge, I have to admit that I have pretty normal-sized eyes. A bit close-set for sure, but other than that, they are pretty average. Which is why I am always enraged by the myth of the kohl-rimmed South Asian eye. Makeup advice for the South Asian woman usually focuses on enhancing an inherently large, almond-shaped, doe-like, deep, dark, beautiful, sultry, smoky, and exotic pair of eyes. Such windows to the soul I do not have, and I resent any advice mandating that I play them up.

Note that I hail from a family of non-liner/kohl wearing women. The mom believes liner makes her daughters look like cat-eyed freaks, and she was not much of a liner/kohl wearer during her time. The elder sis thinks liner on the lower rim can look dirty, and the younger one still perceives lip gloss as pink goop, so I can't imagine what she thinks of liner (although both sisters have gorgeous eyes). So I admit that I bring some anti-liner bias. But I just don't think every South Asian woman has made-for-Sharpie-lined eyes, and there are other ways to enhance your looks. At the very least, eye lining should be tailored to the individual and work with the rest of your makeup without being the focus.

My liner woes typically center around ensuring minimal under-eye mess and minimal sharpening-of-my-nose. I've worked around this by only lining the outer corner of the lower rim when I want, and the whole way only for dressier times. A thin line on top (smudged or not) with a good coat of mascara is good enough definition for me, and is infinitely more fool-proof.

Agreed that for more dramatic or fun looks that include eye shadow, more liner action is necessary. When it comes to them, I have no objections. As for everyday makeup, I think it is possible to do away with the lining and see what else can brighten up a "South Asian" face or enhance the eyes without such stark definition. I'm currently experimenting with a smidgen of shadow in the crease instead - will keep everyone posted on what other things I try before I declare again my love for some eye liner or another...

2 comments:

ss said...

i thought i was the only one who felt this way:) glad to see it's not just me

Suman said...

It's not :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

 
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