As you may already know, mehendi a.k.a henna is an age-old custom that’s a symbol of fertility. But did you also know that it’s also a great de-stressor? Mehendi application is proven to calm nerves and prevent headaches and fever. Amazing right?! Add some eucalyptus oil and lemon to the henna mixture and you’ve got darker color with some great medicinal ingredients thrown in. Hectic wedding ceremonies bring ’em on!
The Makeup Artist
The market is abuzz with mehendi artists especially during the wedding season. What’s important to remember is that every mehendi artist has her own unique style. As the bride, you obviously have some ideas about what kind of designs you want so find the artist who’s an expert in just that. Do your research, ask for their portfolios, do a test session if you have the time and finally pick the artist you’re most comfortable with. That’s not all. Get your mehendi artist to mix the henna themselves instead of bringing a ready mix which often has lots of chemicals that can irritate your skin. You don’t want itchy hands on your big day now, do you?
If you thought mehendi was just about putting designs on your hands, think again. There are several styles ranging from Indian to Pakistani, from Arabic to Rajasthani. Each style is different and unique (and gorgeous) so before you start looking for your mehendi artist, do a quick Google search and set your heart on one of these styles. You can also put white mehendi, embellished glitter mehendi, and mehendi with peacocks, hearts, flowers, cutwork, and initials. OTT? Pfft. It is your wedding, after all.
As it turns out there are things you must do before you even begin with the application. Wash your hands and feet with soap before you sit down and rub on some Eucalyptus Oil mixed with a carrier oil like Olive Oil or Coconut Oil to darken the color. Wear something super comfy, find a place without hustle-and-bustle that’s got enough natural light but isn’t directly in the sun and get comfortable with a whole lot of pillows, ‘coz you’ve got a long way to go. P.S.: Don’t forget to make a visit to the loo before you start.
To get the darkest color, it’s best to apply your mehendi 48 hours before your function and keep the mehendi on for at least 8-12 hours. Pro tip: The warmer you are, the darker the color. Warm some cloves in a pan and hold your hands over the steam works wonders every time. Once the mehendi has dried, dab a mix of lemon juice and sugar onto your hands and legs with a cotton ball a few times. After you have scraped (and not washed) off the crusty mehendi, apply some Vicks, Tiger Balm or even Mustard Oil to further darken the color and design. Voila! You’ll have the darkest, most beautiful mehendi any bride could ask for.
Don’t drink too many liquids immediately before or during application so you won’t feel like answering nature’s call in between your session. Avoid washing your hands as far as possible. You can use gloves to protect your hands while you’re bathing. Don’t use a hair dryer to dry your mehendi faster as the blast of air can cause the design to smudge. Don’t move around too much during application and until the mehendi has dried so it doesn’t smear. Trust us, there are just as many must-don’ts as there are must-dos. But follow these to the T and you’ll have all your wedding guests going ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over your mehendi.