Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Praise be to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah shower upon our Beloved Messenger, his family, companions, and those who follow them.
Wearing kohl is one of the sunnas of the Prophet, peace be upon him. It is allowed for both males and females. Unless you will bring undue attention to yourself, it is permissible for you to wear kohl.
Makeup is different. In Surat al-Nur, Allah says, "And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss". (Qur'an 24:31).
Scholars have interpreted the directive to not display beauty and ornaments except what ordinarily appears in terms of ordinary adornment and extra adornment. Ordinary adornments like kohl, henna, or a ring are permissible to wear in public. Extra adornment, like perfume, lipstick, dazzling eye colors, and the like are not permissible to wear in public. In short, any type of adornment which makes a woman look "made-up" and attracts amorous attention is not permissible, as this would defeat the whole purpose of hijab.
And Allah knows best.
Please also see the following link in answer to your question:
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