Unlike permanent tattoos and their home making, about which we have talked in a previous article, henna temporary tattoos can be made by anyone.
The preparation of the paste to be applied onto the skin is very important, and choosing the right ingredients is fundamental; you will need:
- very good fresh henna powder, which has not been too long in the open air, well winnowed in order to remove potential lumps and get a smooth and uniform paste. Very good henna powders are from Yemen, Morocco, Rajastan and Pakistan.
- essential oils with terpenes (such as lavender), which make colours brighter.
- sugar. Yes, you read well: a tea spoon of sugar per 10g of powder will help making the paste smoother.
It´s important, while mixing, to take the water to the boiling point, checking that the paste obtained has good consistency, neither too thick nor too liquid: it has to be smoothly flowing without dripping.
Tea can be added to henna when they both cool down, or even lemon which, being acid, improves the oxidation of henna, making the colour stronger, and then boil it all again adding more henna powder to keep its consistency.
After that, the paste must be left resting for the night, covered, in order to release the color.
When the paste has reached a reddish color, it´s ready to be applied, and for doing this you can use an empty soft cone just like the ones used in pastry making for decorations, with a very small hole for greater precision and more complex patterns.
Henna ready plastic bottles can be found on the internet for this purpose.
Once finished drawing, henna must be left drying out on the skin for at least 4 hours, though 7 are advisable. The longer you wait to remove the exceeding color, the more the color gets darker on account of henna oxidation and the drawing lasts.
Pay great attention not to prepare henna wearing your favourite clothes: if it gets on a tissue, it´s almost indelible!