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Making Your Own Henna Paste
There are many recipes for making your own henna paste. Here is a basic one. Feel free to try any different variations that you come across. In the end, most people come up with a personal combination of ingredients that stain their skin the darkest.
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons black tea or coffee
3 teaspoons sifted henna powder (do not skip the sifting step!)
1 teaspoon eucalyptus oil
strained juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
Boil the cup of water and make your tea or coffee. Let it steep for a few hours. Strain to remove any particles or tea material. Put henna powder into a plastic or glass bowl and add eucalyptus oil, BUT DO NOT BLEND! Slowly add the tea/coffee about 3 teaspoons at a time to the powder and stir with a small spoon. Use the spoon to press the powder and water together. Do not worry about lumps. Allow to sit for anywhere between 6 and 12 hours. Really. The longer you let it sit, the smoother the mixture will become as all henna particles become absorbed. If you are impatient, after six hours you can smooth out any remaining lumps with a spoon.
After you paint your design, you want to wait until the henna is dry enough to not be runny (it will look kind of flat), but not cracking. You want to dab the barest amount of lemon-sugar glaze on the henna to keep it moist. Using a cotton swab or ball is a good way to apply just a bit. Then you want to leave it on as long as you can humanly stand it
After scraping off the mud, try not to get the skin wet for several hours to help the color set better, about 4 or 5 hours. Traditionally the henna is left on overnight. If you use the lemon-sugar glaze, the henna will actually stay on overnight and the bits that do come off will wash out of your sheets. The less you wash the painted area, the longer the design will last. Swimming, hot tubs, dish-washing, etc. will all cause designs to fade more quickly. Applying lotions or creams to the skin can also result in less color retention.
Please note, you can not remove a henna tattoo. The stain soaks into the skin and must wear off over time. Scrubbing and other actions which remove the outer skin layers may lighten the color somewhat, but you will not be able to wear a henna tattoo for a week and then just "get rid of it" because you are tired of it. The marks will be on your skin for two to three weeks or longer.
You can now get an eBook on henna, written by the Body Art Editor. It contains more information on the history, has design samples and more info for a long-lasting design. Or you might like to look at some recommended henna books.
Content copyright © 2013 by Rae Schwarz. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Rae Schwarz. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Rae Schwarz for details.
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