Festival Henna

Please join me and partake in natural henna art this weekend at the Wildflower Music Festival Saturday June 29, 2013 in Chico, California. Junior Toots is headlining, proceeds from this event will go to Wildflower Open Classroom school in Chico. I’m hosting a giveaway for 2 tickets on my facebook page this week. It should be a beautiful day on the green! See you there!

Join me at our local markets this week;

Thursday Night Market in downtown Chico, California from 6-9 pm on Broadway Street between 3rd and 4th streets.

Chapman Farmer’s Market at the end of Cleveland Avenue, by the Community Park on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway 2-5:30 pm.

A sweep of florals and paisleys in henna for a naturalista.
A sweep of florals and paisleys in henna for a naturalista.
Sisters together for henna, naturalistas for life.
Sisters together for henna, naturalistas for life.

Summer is your perfect time for henna! Henna is the naturalista’s body adornment of choice. Temporal, yet steeped in ancient tradition and purely natural, made by hand from the leaves of the henna plant and infused with artistic skills. Purely natural henna stains last 7-10 days; as your skin exfoliates, your henna will gradually fade away completely. Henna stains your hands and feet the best, your henna stains will be lighter elsewhere.

 

Advertisements

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 for everyone

There are so very many styles of henna design, I think just about everyone can find something they like. I got into henna because I have a tendency to love all things natural, ancient, and tradition based. I loved the look of henna hands, yet I only found henna artists locally a few times a year. Since I have always been of a creative mind I thought I would give henna a try myself. I got a few books, ordered my henna powder from a natural plant dye company and got to mixing. Needless to say, I experienced serious frustration as the henna making its way onto my hands looked nothing like the incredible and exotic image in my head. So I set to practice practice practice and left odd marks of henna on my family for a few years. I am so thankful for my gifts of patience, serious focus power and creativity…because all these years of study and practice have paid off. I’m still practicing! I have lofty goals for my future and I know I can improve my skills in application and design. I am just so completely fascinated by henna, such beauty derived from a simple leaf.

But enough about me. Henna is certainly a type of beautification. You don’t necessarily need a special or formal occasion to justify henna adornment. This is purely my opinion, others have different viewpoints and reasons for henna times. I can respect traditional henna cultures and their use of henna for auspicious occasions. I can also respect traditional cultures who love using henna as a part of their beautification regime. I liken henna as beautification similar to manicures. A simple act of beauty can make a lady’s week brighter. Setting aside time for personal adornment will slow you down in the best way possible. I hope to see you pop up in my email with requests for henna, whether it is a private appointment or a henna party for 6. Come ladies, embrace henna adornment. Try something new, which has some pretty ancient roots with our sistren thru the ages. Contact us and arrange your appointment, I have a few options for you. 

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.

Prenatal belly henna with handmade natural henna paste


We met in Bidwell Park Chico California for her 2nd prenatal belly henna session. A wandering photographer asked if we would mind being his subject matter.
We met in Bidwell Park Chico California for her 2nd prenatal belly henna session. A wandering photographer asked if we would mind being his subject matter.

A special time in a woman’s life, 9 months of care and nurturing, ending with the grand finale of a beautiful, bouncing baby bundle to cuddle, draw your eye and heart for hours on end.

Prenatal henna is a popular Western idea forming from the ancient art of mehendi. Mehendi is the art of painting intricate henna designs upon skin using the henna plant as an all natural skin dye. The henna is mixed into a cooling paste,  applied by hand using a small, handcrafted cone. The natural henna paste will be left upon the skin for at least 4 hours, or longer for a deeper design stain. Once the natural henna paste is rubbed off, a bright orange stain will appear, deepening to a brownish red tone over the next day or so. This henna stain will last 10-13 days, depending on your skin care and your particular skin type. Henna is much like a watercolor, able to leave beautiful stains on all skin types and tones. The natural dyes found in the henna plant leaf bind into the topmost layers of your skin. As you exfoliate naturally, your henna design will fade away entirely. Care for your skin as you usually would, moisturize freely.

Her prenatal belly mandala henna design, first thing in the morning on the festival grounds.
Her prenatal belly mandala henna design, first thing in the morning on the festival grounds.

A few pregnancy henna ideas…

Natural henna design for your maternity portraits, apply your henna 3 days before your photo shoot to capture peak henna stain color tones. Sometimes it is best to have your baby shower belly hennaed before your guests arrive, as they WILL want to hug you, and wet henna smudges. Even better, book a private henna session for your prenatal henna with a friend or partner to share in the experience. Just because.

Check out some prenatal henna artistry inspirations from flickr…