The art of wearing mehendi is centuries old tradition of adorning women's hands and feet with ornate designs that are more like temporary tattoo. And Arabic women wear mehendi designs to feel sensuous and attractive in their own ways — gently swaying their hands while belly dancing, on special occasions like weddings and Eid, or when they just feel like making their hands and feet look a little more attractive.
Arabic mehendi designs have a free flowing style. They are not as intricate and detailed as Indian mehendi designs. Bolder lines are used to enhance the overall look of Arabic mehendi designs for a darker finish. Minimalist look is the mantra and key to perfecting Arabic mehendi designs. Unlike Indian mehendi designs, Arabic mehendi designs don't cover the whole hand, usually are more spaced out, and have scattered patterns. One can wear these designs whenever one wishes to. They are simple to apply and don't take much time. Children love wearing Arabic mehendi designs because they are not complicated, and look very appealing to them as they can make out the shapes and styles very easily.
Although pre-prepared mehendi cones are readily available in the markets, but nothing beats the fresh aroma and the color of freshly made mehendi paste. Home-made mehendi paste's color is darker, and stays on the skin for longer. It also assures no addition of chemicals and other substances that may in turn make your skin itchy.
Step 1: 1. How to Prepare Paste
To make fresh and aromatic mehendi paste at home, you will need —
1. Dried Mehendi Leaves
4. Lemon Oil
5. Clover Oil
6. Eucalyptus Oil
7. Sugar Syrup
8. Tamarind Paste
1- You can choose to grind the dried mehendi leaves in a grinder to get the powder. But we suggest that you use a grind stone to make the paste. Grind the leaves on the stone, occasionally sprinkling water to make the grinding a lot easier. This process may be a little time consuming and tiring, but the texture and the feel of the mehendi will be a lot different in the latter.
2- To this paste, add little bit of lemon juice that results in chemical reaction, releasing the dye in the mehendi paste.
3- Boil coffee in water until it become very dark and smells simply divine. Add this coffee to the mehendi paste and mix well.
4- Then add one part of sugar syrup to five parts of mehendi paste. This gives the paste some smoothness, and prevents the mehendi designs from cracking while being applied.
5- In the end, add all the oils and mix well for a silky finish.
6- Cover the paste and leave aside for a while. Make sure there are no air gaps or bubbles in the paste.
7- After 24 hours, the paste is ready for filling the mehendi cones. If you think the consistency of the paste is too thin, add a little dried mehendi powder.
Step 2: How to Make Mehendi Cone
1. Thick Cellophane Paper
4. Rubber Band
1. Cut the paper into 6 X 7 inch rectangles, and start making the cone.Secure the cone by taping the free edge of the cone.
2. Fill the 3/4th of the cone with mehendi paste. Twist the open end of the cone, and tie it up with a rubber band.
3. Very carefully cut the tip of the cone for squeezing out mehendi paste for application. Remember, if you cut the tip too small, you will not get the bold lines for Arabic mehendi designs. If you cut too thick, you will not be able to draw intricate designs.
Step 3: Draw Your Design
There are various tutorials and designs available online. Start up with simple mehendi designs and keep on learning more traditional way to flaunt your hands with intricate designs.
Step 4: Things to Remember:
1- For better results and darker color effect, you must wear the mehendi for a minimum of four hours.
2- You must buy body art mehendi for mehendi designs, and not the ones that are readily available in the markets for the application of hair mask.
3- Do not mix mustard oil in the paste or apply it on the design. Mustard oil makes the skin itchy and has a burning feel.
4- If you are allergic to citrus, you may choose to substitute lemon with flat Coca Cola or Pepsi.
5- When adding coffee to the paste, make sure it has cooled down before you add it. Heat ruins the paste and the henna stain doesn't get darker.
6- Apply Mehendi Oil before application. It contains terepenes and hence results in darker stain.
Image Credit: nthelp.com, beauty and Lifestyle Mantra .