Nostalgia Series – Jai Kajal Review

A long time back – at least twenty-five years back when I was 10, in the days when there were no malls, cosmetic counters  or Revlon and Maybelline.

Those were the days of surreptitious sales where ladies would flock to the houses of anyone who got back from ‘abroad’ to see if there was any imported random brand lipstick, Yardley talcum powder, compact powder or rouge for sale. Eye shadow or eyeliner was a bit uncommon in those days.

For those who did not have access to imported cosmetics – Lakme, Ponds or Cuticura face powder and Jai Kajal formed an indispensable part of their daily grooming.

So today I just recalled how I used to wear Jai Kajal till I was 15. I stopped using it only when Lakme launched a Kajal pencil around that time. So I rushed off to my chemist this morning to check if it was still available. Lo and behold! They had it! It’s not Rs 1.50 anymore; it’s about Rs 10 now for 2.5 gms that will last a long time.

Kajal 4

How to Apply

I used to rub my little finger in the pan and apply on the waterline carefully.  But I find that this gives just lines the waterline very finely. I don’t like using hard substances around the eye so that rules out using a matchstick or toothpick. I tried a Q-tip and it worked very well. It’s absorbs the kajal well and will not damage the delicate eye area.

Q tip

I am so glad I discovered this again. It’s the blackest most beautiful kajal. It gives a beautiful smudged look and surprisingly does not smudge. Thus time, I used a concealer brush to just set a little powder below the eye area and I was fine! I have used Jai kajal for over 5-6 years and I know that It will smudge however if you rub your eyes. Do don’t touch your eyes.


I usually reapply without cleaning. I love the smoky smudged Kajal look especially when I am wearing a sari or a suit.

The little dibbi is very easy to carry and can be tucked away in any corner of your handbag. And the best part is – no sharpening! You may just have to carry a Q-tip around or just apply with your finger.

The benefits of using an ayurvedic kajal over a cosmetic kohl or eye pencil are far greater. The main ingredients of an ayurvedic kajal are Karpur (camphor), coconut oil in a waxy base. The detailed ingredients are here. If you have sensitive eyes, this is certainly what you should use as will cool and soothe the eyes without any reaction. If this is good enough for new born babies, it’s good enough for sensitive eyes.


In fact, wearing kajal in your eyes just before going to sleep is recommended  if you want to wake up with beautiful eyes. I shall have to try that for a few days to see the results! You can even make kajal at home, I may do a DIy on making kajal if I have the time next week.

This is going to be a staple in my vanity from now.  I love rediscovering things that used to part of my grooming routine many years back.



7 thoughts on “Nostalgia Series – Jai Kajal Review

  1. Question about surmas/kohl/kajal: do they migrate to the sinuses? I fear that a surma I am using gave me a sinus infection. When I blow my nose, I see black substance in the phlegm.

    As you can see from my website, I have tried many kajal, surma and kohl from India (although I am from North America)

    Thank you

  2. @ Froofrooritables..Hi….Many people think that Kajal, Kohl, Surma and Eyeliners contain one and the same thing but this is totally wrong.
    Surma, Kohl contains more percentage (33%) of lead while eyeliners consist of chemicals.
    Kajal has got the least percentage of lead (7% or less) so it’s not at all harmful for eyes. Also while preparing kajal in pure form, by ancient traditional Ayurvedic method; medicinal herbs that are cooling-soothing and beneficial for eyes are also mixed.
    Ayurveda believed that Kajal acts like an umbrella, absorbs the heat and shields eyes from harsh rays of sun.
    Chinese researchers recently did a lot of research on kajal produced in India prepared by traditional methods. They too agreed on the fact stated in Ayurveda.

  3. Jai Kajal does not have lead, not even 7%.
    Had to bring out my little dibbi. Its ingredients are as follows:
    Bhimseni Karpur (Borneol) 0.8%
    Coconut Oil 63.2%
    Kajali (Carbon Black) 5.6%
    Karpur (Camphor) 2.4%
    Wax and petroleum jelly remainder

  4. Ahh I love this article so much! I live in the UK but my mother is Indian and I would like to start wearing real kajal made from natural ingredients. Do you know of a trusted indian site that would ship this to the UK? Thank you so much!

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