Nigeria’s Traditional Eyeliner is both Dangerous and Beautiful

Nigeria has one of the most beautiful make up eyeliners in the world, but it is also very dangerous. It’s called Tiro or Kohl, used as mascara and medicinal purposes.

Tiro can be used as makeup ,but also for the cleaning of the eyes. Many people believe it kills germs and cleans dirt form the eyes, and even stop blood flowing from wounds. The problem is that the eye-liner is full of lead, and with constant application can be harmful.

“Tiro is used for the eyes and many people grind other substances into it, even houseflies,” says one market seller.

It can be bought in in the traditional form that looks like charcoal, or a more modern version that looks like lipstick. It is used by everyone from young children to old adults.

Tiro can also be found across the world, often known as Kohl. In Nigeria it is especially popular amongst the Hausa and Fulani people in the north.

You use it by grinding the powder and then brushing it lightly over your eyelids. Have you used tiro? What do you use it for – fashion or medical reasons?

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