Friday, February 17, 2012

Mosha Katani Sormeh~ Review & Swatches

A little while ago I took the plunge and ordered Mosha Katani's loose Kohl or Sormeh. I had read some good reviews on it and heard that it was supposed to stain and last all day even on the waterline. I kinda should have realized this was too good to be true. *sigh* 
I mean it's alright. The two shades I got were smoke (a charcoal-grey shade) and Nude (a... light tan nude). The smoke shade works fine for the top lashes and alright for tightlining but I've used better. The nude shade nor the smoke shade either last long on my waterline. Plus it's not great for fallout. Its better than some but not especially good either for that- honestly I've tried better.

I got the what I believed to be "full" size (I'll get to that in a minute), and a travel size. Both sizes come with a brush and a case as well as a slightly strange "evil-eye" dangly. The case on the "full" size is beautiful. A red gem-like bottle with a good stopper. The travel size is slightly easier to work with though as you can actually see the brush as you dip it in the powder and easily tap off excess.

The reason I'm going on about the travel size versus the full size is that the travel size is significantly cheaper ($16 USD for the travel size versus $28 USD for the full size); AND the travel size has TWO TIMES the amount of product in it. At first I didn't realize this fact. Then I thought it was obviously a mistake. It's not. Though the brush with the larger version is obviously more expensive to create (and if I'm not mistaken real animal hair- which I don't like and again didn't realize until I received it) I found the smaller brush with the travel size actually worked better. One of the bristles on the large version brush was doubled over or looped which was weird to work with too.
The travel size cap is difficult to get on securely as well, especially if you try to leave the "evil eye" bead on.

Another slight issue I had was that the grey in the powder form gets a good two shades darker when you apply it. I was hoping for a distinctly grey shade, not a charcoal, unfortunately especially when I use it for tight-lining or on the waterline it gets slightly wet and isn't what I hoped at all.

The full-size bottle case and brush
Into the full bottle
Travel size set (Is that animal a shrimp/crab or an elephant?)
I tried to use the grey as an eyeshadow and that didn't work either. It doesn't blend AT ALL, which is expected I guess since as a liner you wouldn't want it to smudge. The only way I haven't tried it is wet, which I suppose I should, but that takes much more time and I'd prefer to just use gel or liquid liner at that point. They also don't "stain" which I was actually hoping for as it would make it easier to do my eye-look the next morning or at least so it would last all day. If I tightline it does a little bit but again I've used better (Urban Decay's perversion eyeshadow a matte black to be exact). 

The nude shade is alright but it isn't as opaque as I thought it was going to be and it doesn't last on my waterline at all really. Mac's chromographic pencil in NC15/NW20 stays longer and isn't as irritating to apply as this is. I may work to set the pencil with, I've yet to try this method yet though.

The shades themselves are completely matte, and do seem to "dissolve" or clear away quickly if you get them in your eye (which I've done every time I've attempted this). This is good as shimmer or sparkle would irritate your eyes and is never recommended for use in the waterline or tight-line.
L-R: Smoke, Nude
L-R: Nude, Smoke (Super bright light)
L-R: Smoke, Nude (Super Bright Light)
Good things now. Mosha Katani (the woman who sells them on etsy) is very friendly, fairly quick in responding to questions on her facebook and is constantly posting pictures of fashion looks done with kohl. Shipping was also crazy fast, like a couple days which was great. Shipping was expensive though.

I purchased my two shades during a 20% off sale and everything was still a stretch for my budget, so you can see why I'm not thrilled with my purchase overall. I certainly wouldn't have paid full price, ESPECIALLY internationally. International shipping is $12-$15 dollars (more if you order more than one item). That's crazy high in my opinion and I'm glad I have an address in the US I can send to, and it was still $7.50 USD. Just ouch.

Overall, I'm just kinda disappointed. The full bottle does look lovely but is kinda difficult to work with and the travel version has a fiddly cap to deal with. The shades aren't what I was hoping for and they don't last on me. I was hoping for more from the product, what the claims were and the high praise they received. I'm starting to think powdered kohl may just not be for me.

Sprite Rating: 4/10- points for lovely bottle and very fast shipping. Lost points for not living up to all the claims.

Would I buy it again? No I would not. The price was too high for the type of product I received, plus the fact the more expensive version has half the amount of product really bothers me.


  1. Good review! Sorry it didn't work for you. I do at times mix it with some squalane or even argan oil to make it easier to apply. I also wipe my waterline before application.

    Did you rub the bottle? Didn't your genie appear? :-P

  2. I just purchased the "full size" bottle myself. Received it today & am wearing it (got the black). I think a bit of the misconception (just a general statement, not directing this at YOU personally) is that you're paying extra for the Limited Edition red glass bottle & the "travel size" is a more plain, boring, compact size bottle that would fit in your purse/bag easier. The red glass bottle is HUGE & I certainly wouldn't drag that around with me, if I had a smaller bottle instead. But I totally agree that getting 2x the amount in the travel size bottle doesn't make any sense. But again, you are paying extra for the red glass. The red glass bottle is charming, I guess, but now that I have it, it's just too big to be practical.

    The dangly charm thing looks cute in the pics, but it's annoying as heck. Always falls off & I have to go searching for it.

    I do not like the brush. I just used my own flat angled brush & applied the sormeh DRY. Just pushed it into my lashes & waterline. I do love the way it looks, kind of smoky. But I can achieve basically the same result with a black gel liner, or probably just a black eye shadow (haven't tried eye shadow yet, but use black gel liner for this ALL the time.) However, I do love the fact that it is super, SUPER finely powdered. That means less eye irritation for me. Eye shadow generally kills my eyes if it flakes into them. Didn't find that to be an issue YET with this sormeh.

    Wish I hadn't paid extra for the dumb red glass bottle. Wouldn't recommend that to anyone. Stick with the travel size bottle if you really want to try it.

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    1. Hi! Thank you for the review. Actually,if you are a Mideastern or Neareastern or etc etc dark eyed loving asian girl -- this is what has been very hard to find in conventional smokey eye packages in western shops. The ban on mystery kohls from Pakistan has had me searching for the best and thank you for those arm tests! I grew up with that kind of blending matte black kohl and this is just it. I think that animal is supposed to be a peacock on the bag. And the eye thing well, it protects against the evil eye! so if it keeps falling then you better take it as a sign. This was enormously helpful! Now I can decide if this is the long lost kohl powder of my dreams! I use it with a stick applicator like guerlain and I make sure the waterline is wet/moist so it can stick and be dark. That's how we grew up loving it. And if you cry, or if it is an insanely hot day, well it actually looks better. Thank you!