Zahra Hankir



A Cultural History


'Fascinating' Nigella Lawson
'Awe-inspiring' Funmi Fetto
'A treat to read' Kassia St Clair

A Sunday Times Style Barometer and New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Pick

For centuries, humans have been drawn to lining our eyes. The aesthetic trademark of icons from Nefertiti to Amy Winehouse, eyeliner is one of our most enduring cosmetic tools: ancient royals and Gen Z influencers alike have harnessed its power.

Through Zahra Hankir’s kohl-lined eyes, this ubiquitous product becomes proof of the stunning variety among cultures across time and space. Exploring intimate conversations – with Chadian nomads, Japanese geisha, Indian dancers, New York’s drag queens and more – Eyeliner embraces the profound significance of its namesake, especially among communities of colour.

What emerges is a delightful and unexpectedly moving journey through streets and stages around the world, and a stirring reclamation of a key piece of our collective history.

Featuring stunning portrait illustrations by Mercedes deBellard

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