Friday, August 26, 2016

Henna Tattoo & Those Patterns from the Internet!

Recently I had my first ever (in 18 years ) client walk out with out paying for their completed art work. I was pretty amazed. (Photos on this page are all those from that day. You can see they are bold designs and each client was happy with her purchase.) 

I do custom freehand henna. When I began to learn the art form I was happy to copy patterns from a book of a photos. However, it is quite clear to any henna artist that working from a pattern is not as easy as creating an original design. 

The purpose of henna is to make a woman’s hand (or hands and feet) more lovely. I will ask if you prefer floral, tribal, or traditional henna, or I may ask you to show me samples of styles you like. 

Every hand is different. Every batch of henna paste can be different due to the henna crop, the recipe, the acidity of the lemons used to make the paste or the age of the essential oils.  Sometimes the paste may come out a bit thicker than I like. 

I have become good at creating a consistent paste that is easy to work with and often gives a very fine line.  Sometimes if I add another brand of henna to the paste it may be harder to work with for some patterns people bring in. 

Lately clients have been coming in with photos from Pinterest. Some of those photos show henna tattoo, many are photos of Jagua ink which is a very different product.   

Many of these photos show very lovely but very complex and time consuming designs that do not cost $15.

Most people choose a design style that costs between $15 and $30 dollars. These designs are original, fit the hand, match the style requested and all can be accomplished in 5  to 15 minutes. 

As there is often a line for henna, I do not offer complex art on Saturdays. I do take private appointments for complex henna, but I need several days advance notice. 

To the story - the woman who did not pay for her art did so in a very cunning way. She came in with a photo from the Internet. It was a photo of art that was too big for her hand and too big for the paste I had that day.

I explained that I could not do that pattern, but I would use that pattern to a design that was as close to her request as was possible. She agreed. I was sure to stop after each element of the pattern was completed to ask if she liked the design.

She agreed with each choice as we went on. I explained that due to her small hand size the flower she wanted would not fit as was shown in the photo and that it would have to be drawn closer to her thumb than was pictured.

When the design (from the Internet) was complete, a $30 design, she said “I don’t like it.”  I have never had a client say “I don’t like it” to me before. 

I advised her that if this was true she had best hurry to a wash basin and get the henna off her skin at once! I had made a very fast staining paste.  She was going to have a henna tattoo on her skin no matter what. 

I was using Jamila henna and some from Yemen. The Yemeni henna was more coarse than I expected, and so I did many bold designs that day.

If you are new to henna, the time to say stop is when you first notice you don’t like the design. There is no point in continuing as henna must be washed off very quickly to prevent a stain on the skin.

I would never use a paper towel or tissue to remove the paste for a complex design that ran from wrist to fingers! That  would have left a smeared stain. 

I take pride in my work and could not bring myself to “take my art back.”  I advised her of the location of the closest clean bathroom and watched her walk away, out the door and to her car!

She made no effort to hurry to remove the paste. 

It was an odd experience.  I really do not know what to think, however, I will now be quite sure to refuse to do a henna tattoo from a photo when I see that the pattern will not fit the hand. 

I realize many people in my town are not familiar with henna tattoo. They think the paste on the skin is the finished product. Some think the henna paste on the skin is black henna. Many do not know that the paste stains the skin and takes 48 hours to develop.

I hope the woman enjoyed her art. Perhaps she did not understand that what you see (paste on skin) is not the finished product. I suspect I will never know. 

I offer Walk-In henna every Saturday during the warm season in Jacksonville, Florida. I am happy to work from Midnight Sun in Five Points between 12:30 & 5:00 PM. Please feel welcome to come in, and to bring that photo from the web. 

We will work it out. However, henna will always be different that the photo. Always. Promise! 

© copyright Ann George Studios, Inc. All mehandi by Ann George. 
Some patterns are from the web! (yep, it can be done.) 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Henna Tattoo - Paste On & Paste Off - This is Henna Tattoo

Here is a photo of a lovely peacock henna tattoo. Notice that the henna picture on the right looks like black henna - of course it is not.  

The photo page left is henna paste on the skin. The photo on page right is a photo of the henna paste on the skin.

As you will see from further posts, henna takes a different color for each person. Natural henna tattoo, which is drawn on the skin, will always be a reddish brown.

All colors of skin accept henna tattoo.  Your aftercare determines whether you get dark color or not.

This is a photo of paste on the skin (again page left) and a good finished color on page right.

Those who will keep oil on the skin after the paste has come off will get far better color than those who do not.

As well, those who let their design get good and hot - who spend time in the sun, or use the plastic glove provided will also get a darker stain.

It will always take 48 hours for the finished color to show up. Good aftercare information is available on my site - as well as on this blog.

As you scroll down the page you will see that each client chose her own stye, and that some had a darker finished color than others.

Some clients will give have a more red stain, other more brown and still others may get a black cherry read.

I have fresh henna powder and use a very find mix of organic lemon juice, "henna tea" and essential oils to give you a fine dark color.

I always welcome "after" photos from my clients. It really helps people understand what henna tattoo really is.

The final tattoo is a traditional pattern. I enjoy doing traditional henna style very much.

All the henna on the page is  freehand tattoos, however sometimes clients bring in a design from the web.

Often these designs are done in a body paint, but sometimes they are henna tattoo.

Please enjoy the designs here, or go window shopping for others.

I offer walk in henna tattoo at Midnight Sun, 1055 Park Street, Jacksonville, Florida each Saturday. Just walk in between 12:30 & 5:00.

Designs start at $15. I am not open any other day of the week. Private parties and corporate events may be scheduled.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Black Henna? No such thing! Henna paste on & paste off! The real color of henna tattoo.

I receive so many calls from people wanting black henna. It is surprising to me that after all the public service announcements about the dangers of "black henna" that people are still confused about this topic.  There is no such thing as black henna. th
To the left is a photo of henna paste on the skin.

This paste on the skin can appear to be black henna.

I make fresh henna paste for my clients. This assures you will have the best finished color.  How well you care for your design determines the quality of the finished color.

Keep the paste on for at least 3 hours. The longer the paste stays on the darker your finished color will be. If you will walk in the sun, or at least stay active so that your blood circulates and you are warm, the henna will give a better color.

Also, after you take the paste off, please keep a layer of olive or coconut oil on the design area. This will keep the henna warm, and keep water out of the skin.  Keep your hands out of chlorine water, avoid scrubbing your hands,

If you take good care of your henna tattoo you can have a finished color that looks like this!

This is the color about 24 hours after the paste has been removed.

Henna takes 48 hours to give its darkest stain on the skin. Many clients will sleep in a sock or mitten to help get a dark color.

I offer you a plastic food service glove to help you "sweat" the henna design.

This is an art form that comes from very hot climates - Africa, India and the Middle East. Air conditioning is not common.

In the USA we seem to think that 72 degrees is the ideal temperature...... however 85  - 95 degrees is the best temperature to keep then pores open. If you sweat a bit, this is also good, it keeps the paste moist on your skin.

If you scrape the paste off and do not see color right away, do not be alarmed. Many people have a very light stain at first.

Please: No Lotions, No Hand Sanitizers! No petroleum products on your skin before or after henna. These often chemical products will pull the color away. Natural lotions only.

See you Saturday at Midnight Sun. 12:30??

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Henna Tattoo Tips & Aftercare.

I am very pleased with the results of my 5 minute test of my henna paste. Henna powder harvested 2015 stains very quickly, giving a deep reddish brown on my finger tip with no special care taken at all.

After care.
If you want to get the best henna tattoo possible here are very helpful pointers!
  1. Be sure your hands are clean!
    1.  Do not wear body lotion.
    2. Do not have hand sanitizer on your skin.
    3. Leave your henna paste on at least 3 hours.
    4. Remove your henna design by gently scraping the paste from your skin.
    5. Use olive or coconut oil to remove any excess paste.
    6. Keep a natural oil (not grape seed) on your henna for the first 3 days.
    7. Put oil over your design before taking a shower.
    8. Keep your henna out of water (chlorine in tap water can bleach the color.)
    9. Remember -  heat is good for henna. Walk in the sun, sweat a bit. 
    Henna works by penetrating the layers of the skin. The longer the paste stays on the skin the darker the finished color will be.

    • How long will my henna tattoo last? 
    If you follow the instructions above, you should get very good color because you are taking care to keep the stain in the skin. The complete design should show for at least one week. Henna will then begin to fade as skin cells regenerate. 

    • How long will it take to do a henna tattoo?
    In general a $15 design can be done in 10 minutes or so. The time it takes to apply depends on where you want the henna tattoo, how complex a design you choose, how large a design you choose. 

    If you are on a budget - just tell me how much you want to spend and what style of henna you prefer. I am sure to create something you will enjoy and can easily afford. 

    • What else should I know?
    Henna is for the hands and feet. You will always get your best finished color there. The henna will provide a lighter stain on the arms and legs. I prefer not to do the back nor the upper arm. I will - however you will not get the same deep stain as you would on your hands. 

    I look forward to decorating you this year!! Henna is offered most every Sunday from 12:30 - 5:00 in the lovely ambiance of Midnight Sun, 10055 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL. 32204.

    Saturday, March 26, 2016

    Rainy Day Henna? and it's 75 degrees? Call to see if there is henna today.

    I realize that many people think that the photo on the left is "henna tattoo." 
    It is - the first part of the process. This is a photo of henna paste on the skin. 

    Henna is not black! A henna tattoo begins with with application of paste on the skin. The photo page left is the beginning of a process and not the finished henna tattoo. 

    Henna is a Heat Activated Body Art. 

    This means that is needs to be warm outside for the dye that is in that henna paste to stain your skin. Henna is most often applied in Africa, India and cultures of the Middle East. It is hot there. Few places have air conditioning. 

    A good henna tattoo happens when it is at least 85 degrees, and you are prepared to sweat a little bit. When it is hot, your pores open and the stain can penetrate your skin more deeply. If you are glistening - the paste will not dry up as fast, rather it will stay damp and active. 

    If it is raining hard, that is heavy thunderstorms,  I do not come out to offer henna. Bright, hot, sunny days are best for a sucessful henna tattoo. Hot cloudy days will do, but 90 degrees is a good hot. 75 degrees is not hot. I now have a very good crop of henna that makes a paste that leave a good stain if left on only 5 minutes (on the palm) on a 75 degree day. 

     Rainy days make it more likely the henna paste you see above will get wet. Water ruins the process. In fact, putting oil on your skin after the paste comes off help you get a good henna tattoo. 

    If you look at the second picture- you will see good henna tattoo. The black paste on the skin and the finished henna 48 hours later (the reddish brown colored stain) on the right. 

    This dark color is a quality color. This is what henna is all about. This kind of color takes fresh powder, a good paste, and client who is willing to take care of their process and a bright, bright, sunshiny  day! 

    I hope this helps all who are waiting for henna. The reddish color you see is what we are waiting for. 

    All too often I hear people say "henna doesn't work on me." If you have poor circulation, then you may not get as dark a stain as a young, healthy person. 

    However, if you follow the instruction on your after care sheet, and wait with me for the weather to heat up just a bit more.... we will make some art! 

    I look forward to the start of henna season!!