Wedding henna and volcanic rocks

Mehendi mandalas in henna, the color of love

One afternoon last January I took a ride downtown to the La Rocca Vineyards Organic Wine Tasting Room to provide henna artistry for a beautiful and intimate  wedding. Henna, or mehendi as part of marriage rites is an enduring tradition, and mehendi is applied for many celebrations in India. Mandalas were chosen for their hands, a classic India style motif. Mandalas are sometimes thought to represent the universe or the cosmos,  mandalas are also some of my favorite motifs for henna.

I love this wedding henna photo, the atmosphere is completely steeped in Chico, California! Life up here in Northern California is relaxed and casual, we’re all striving to live as one with nature, and that has a profound effect on our community. Purely natural henna is a marvelous compliment to our local lifestyle, even if the henna plant doesn’t grow here! I’m here to cultivate henna as adornment just for you, what inspires you?

yours truly,



A Mystical Halloween Henna



My Earth Day 2013

Happy Earth Day, friends!

  An early afternoon in Bidwell Park, the jewel of my city. I saw only one piece of litter to be contained and crews of volunteers cutting back and digging the blackberry plants which are wildly proliferate in our area. We sat under the trees around the Nature Center to celebrate natural life in Bidwell Park. A happy day.


The color of natural henna

Purely natural henna is a woman's best sepia toned accessory . Natural henna paste dyes the top layers of your skin, as your skin exfoliates naturally, your henna stain will fade away entirely.
Purely natural henna is a woman’s best sepia toned accessory . Natural henna paste dyes the top layers of your skin, as your skin exfoliates naturally, your henna stain will fade away entirely.

Natural henna stains are variable, you can see something of an ombre effect with the fingertips being the darkest point of the henna stain.  It is natural to see the the stain lighter as it moves up the arm. Sometimes the stain stays consistent as it moves up the arm, a trait of henna paste, body chemistry and more. Purely natural henna is made from powdered henna leaves, tea, cajeput essential oil, and sugar. A simple recipe, natural and safe. Henna is known to have been used as skin adornment for ages, times when chemicals were unknown. Even now, the naturalistic essence of henna is one of it’s most appealing attributes. Henna stains typically last anywhere from 7-12 days, depending on body placement and skin chemistry.

To achieve your quality henna stain, you will need to be patient and slow down for a few hours at least. Your henna artist will apply the henna paste upon your skin, typically the paste will be dry 15 minutes after the paste is laid. Henna is known for having a cooling effect, you’ll want to adjust your environment. Now that you have your design, you will want to keep it intact for 4-8 hours, depending on your commitment to quality henna stains. The longer you leave your paste on, the more skin cells the henna paste can reach.

I have applied my purely natural henna paste in an Arabic floral motif on my hands. I will leave this paste intact for 6 hours for quality henna stains.
I have applied my purely natural henna paste in an Arabic floral motif on my hands. I will leave this paste intact for 6 hours for quality henna stains.

During this time you will want to do something that doesn’t require much activity which could effect your henna paste, wherever it is placed. Settle yourself comfortably and daydream, nap, wax poetic, talk with a friend, or watch some films. Have one cup of hot tea.

After your natural henna paste is rubbed off, your new henna stain is revealed. This is my favorite part of henna, as your skin reveals a deep layer of bright orange designs and the essence of the essential oils mixed into your paste are intoxicating. My henna paste has undertones of cardamom, lavender, and cedar essential oils, a clean woodsy scent with the cajeput oil. However, you’re not quite done with your aftercare. Avoid direct contact with water as long as you can. You may need to get creative and ask for assistance from your roommates or family. If you can’t avoid water, it’s fine, you’ll still get a really nice henna stain. If you avoid water you’ll get a better quality henna stain. Your henna stain will progressively become darker as it oxidizes. 24 hours after your stain is revealed will be your mature henna stain color.

A few hours after rubbing the natural henna paste off my skin.
A few hours after rubbing the natural henna paste off my skin.

Henna is and was, meant to be purely natural.. Your skin is your largest organ and a beautiful canvas. Nothing compares to the look of purely natural henna stained skin, connect with an ancient beauty. The henna on your skin may fade away, yet the artistry of henna will remain and grow.

henna style

purely natural henna hands
purely natural henna hands

Purely natural henna style in California. Henna is made from the leaves of the henna plant, a small shrub grown throughout Southeast Asia for skin decoration. Skillfully applied by hand for best results. Always check your henna artists’ portfolio for consistent skill and style in her designs. This henna is at day 4, after plenty of chores and hard work.

Rain Henna

It rained this week for the first time in maybe, 5-6 months. Deep and heavy rains, the earth smells fantastic now. After some adjusting, I don’t mind at all.

The season may be changing, however you can still indulge in henna for your self with a private appointment, with friends for a henna party, or consider your future wedding henna. Please contact us  for availability. Experience purely natural and artistic henna with Henna Trails.

Wedding Henna in Black and White

Last February, Jahlelah and I sat down one evening and began the meticulous application of her bridal mehendi. Months prior, we had consulted over her design possibilities. I presented her with Indian bridal mehendi books, and a few of my own henna designs, as well as links to portfolios of some very talented bridal artists in the US. Soon I had an idea of what designs  appealed to her and the length of her henna. We knew she liked the idea of the mehendi appearing as netted gloves, her henna would start below her elbow and down to her fingertips. Solid fingertips would be the most dramatic. We took a motif inspired by some lace she had, added a mandala motif from Asha Savla’s Vivaah mehndi book. Her heart palm was inspired by the work of Henna Lounge and the mandalas were added around that motif. A design this structured takes time to finish, as every part needs good symmetry between both hands. While it was meticulous work, I really enjoyed the particular meditation working on such a scale brings. 

Jahlelah and Lance’s wedding was a beautiful reflection of their community. Heartfelt, family oriented, and handmade.  Best wishes to the happy family!

Purely natural henna adornment for all brides in Chico California with Henna Trails. Artfully designed and applied mehendi using only the finest henna paste, mixed in house for rich stains. Bridal henna is priced by design complexity rather than hourly. Contact us to schedule your 30 minute bridal consultation.

Ombre henna hands

I am often thrilled with idea of henna designs focusing on your fingers. Visualize your striking allure as your henna fingers fly with tasks of even the everyday sort. This past summer I have been drawn to the revival of ombre thanks to pinterest and my favorite sweater in 5th grade. Ombre refers to the French term ombre referring to shade, hence the single color shade gradation seen on fabric and more lately. Here is a lovely pinboard of ombre in various mediums. Eventually while researching ombre dye techniques and trying my hand with fabrics, I decided to explore ombre henna. Admittedly, it is not for everyone…it is a somewhat shocking look. My ombre fingers were met with mixed emotions. I enjoyed them, they took a fair amount of time and complete mindfulness as I timed each layer of henna carefully.

A pinterest inspired idea certainly called for a tinted mason, or kerr canning jar. Too much! But I love it anyway, kindly please keep pinning or curating all the amazing and awesome aspects of life here on our earth and beyond.

morning light and dusk of henna hands

When I first began using henna I was inspired to make it a part of my personal style, much like a token bracelet or charm true to your soul. All my life I have been inspired and enchanted by worldwide traditional styles and lifeways, henna was one of those amazing traditions which caught my eye. I understood that more and more mehndi was findings its way in the west and the possibility of coming across it had me on the lookout at every festival and gathering I attended. When I would find the henna artist, I would have one small henna design, and then quickly come back for more, because “henna is like that.” But even that wasn’t enough for me, as twice a year was far too long a wait. I went to the library to see if any books were available locally and none were there, but we ordered Loretta Roomey’s book, “Mehndi: The Timeless Art of Henna Painting” from another library. I loved it and understood how to make my very own henna paste, saw achingly pretty photos of henna hands, read about traditions and pattern meanings.  I needed to actually own this book so I ordered it from a local bookseller. I still love my henna hands, I look forward to the times I set aside for my own mehndi style. These photos were snapped by my husband with our dinky point and shoot Nikon. He has a great perspective and understands  my vision. I have yet to work with alot of professional photographers, so we try to make up for that by styling and shooting the best possible photos we can.

Dusk in the air, crickets begin their songs, the sun becomes quiet and her henna darkens. 12 hours and 24 hours of henna oxidization reveal deep rusty red and deep cherry red henna hands.

Light of a new day reveals deep red henna hands

All this light contrasting beautifully with the henna hands…would you consider henna for your wedding? I would love to help you realize the bridal henna of your dreams.

Chico, California.