Mehendi (HENNA) TIPS - Bridal Makeup
is Mehndi ?
art of Mehendi has existed for centuries. The exact place of its origin
is difficult to track because of centuries of people in different
cultures moving through the continents and taking their art forms with
them and therefore sharing their art with everyone along the way.
Some historical evidence suggests that Mehndi started in India while
others believe it was introduced to India during the twelfth century
A.D. I personally feel that it would be hard to argue the fact that it
appeared as an art form in Egypt first.
Proof has been found that henna (MEHNDI) was used to stain the fingers
and toes of Pharaohs prior to mummification over 5000 years ago when it
was also used as a cosmetic and for it's healing power. The
mummification process took 70 days and as the Egyptians were diligent in
planning for their deaths and their rebirth in the afterlife, they
became quite obsessed with the preservation process. The Egyptians
believed that body art ensured their acceptance into the afterlife and
therefore used tattooing and mendi to please the gods and guarantee a
The henna used for Mehendi comes from a bush called Lawsonia Inermis
which is part of the loose strife family and is grown in the Sudan,
Egypt, India, most of the North African counties, The Middle East and
other hot and dry places. The bush is also grown in Florida and
California for his ornamental appearance and often grows to be quite
large, ranging from six to twenty feet in some cases. The lance- shaped
leaves from the bush are harvested, dried and then crushed to make the
henna powder. Henna is used for hair dye, as a skin conditioner and as a
reliever for rashes. The art of mehndi is referred to as henna or mehndi
depending on where you are and which name you feel came first. No matter
what you call it though :- the art form remains essentially the same as
it was centuries ago. It is beautiful the way it stains the skin!
Mehndi is not the huge commitment that tattooing is because of its
temporary nature. For people who are too scared to endure the poking of
a needle or are too ambivalent to commit to wearing the same permanent
design forever :- mehndi is a wonderful alternative. I would suggest
that anyone who is hesitant about getting a permanent tattoo :- try
walking the streets with a henna design for a couple of weeks first. It
helps you discern if you can accept the constant backward glances and
whispers that you often hear when you are in public as a decorated
person. Henna also allows you to play around with designs until you find
one that you are comfortable with and then you can get it permanently
etched into your skin if you want to. Some people like permanency while
others are much more comfortable with temporary forms of body art.
Regardless of how you use henna to decorate your body ; the main idea is
to have fun.
Mehendi designs have traditionally fallen into four different styles.
The Middle Eastern style is mostly made up of floral patterns similar to
the Arabic textiles, paintings and carvings and do not usually follow a
distinctive pattern. The North African style generally follows the shape
of the hands and feet using geometrical floral patterns. The Indian and
Pakistani designs encompass more than just the feet and hands and
generally extend further up the appendages to give the illusion of
gloves and stockings which are made up of lines, paisley patterns and
teardrops. Lastly, the Indonesian and Southern Asian styles were a mix
of Middle Eastern and Indian designs using blocks of color on the very
tips of their toes and fingers. All of these styles remain popular today
but have also been joined in popularity by Celtic designs and Chinese
symbols. The point once again is to have fun with designs and experiment
with them until you find something that you feel really passionate
In India, it is used at celebrations like weddings and other special
occasions which are traditionally associated with transcendence and
transformation. It is used for worship and work but not for the sake of
vanity. It is traditional for the bride to get together with her friends
and have them spend hours applying the henna to her skin and give her
marriage advice in tandem. The patterns used for weddings are much more
intricate and time consuming (than the everyday wear) and therefore the
bride's friends have lots of time to give her advice on erotic
activities for her wedding night, sexual pointers and tips during the
hours that it can take to complete the design. The bride's henna must be
more beautiful and intricate than anyone else's of course since it is,
after all, her special day. Another interesting fact is that the bride
has good reason to look after her henna for she is not expected to
partake in housework until the henna is gone. This means that she will
not be rubbing, scrubbing or tubbing a lot unless she really loves doing
work at home.
How to Apply Mehendi?
You can make your own powder by drying
henna leaves in shade. It might take weeks for them to dry to a crisp
and you need to grind them thoroughly. You may also buy henna powder
from the market.
1. Henna powder sieved through a muslin cloth.
2. Well strained strong tea decoction.
3. Eucalyptus oil (few drops).
4. Strained lime juice.
5. Sugar (one table spoon).
Take the henna powder in a bowl, add the tea till it becomes a thick
paste (similar to a dough). Add eucalyptus oil, sugar and lime juice and
mix well to make it into a smooth and thin paste.
Leave it covered over night or during the day if you prefer to apply in
Make a cone....
Take a thick plastic cover or use any thick freezer bag - cut it into
shape of rectange 7" X 4". Twist one corner of the cover to make a cone.
Tighten the tip to make tiny hole. Hold the tip and fill the paste and
tie the broader end tightly with a thread.
You also get readymade cones from the market.
Let imagination fly...
Now have fun. What ever you draw is beautiful and is a master piece in
You should leave the mehndi to dry on your skin and keep it on
for as long as possible (4 to 6 hours if possible - you may go to bed
also with it). Scrape it after that. The color will become deeper if you
leave it untouched by water for another 4 to 6 hours. A deep color may
last up to two weeks. The coloration varies from person to person.