Henna tattoos have become a popular staple in cultural festivals. Recently I was honored to be part of the 36th Annual Ethnic Enrichment Festival booth for Pakistan held in Swope Park, Kansas City. Over the course of three days I did around 450 tattoos from small to large on children and adults alike. While I have done the festival for the past three years I was pleasantly surprised how majority of my guests already knew what henna is and even how to take care of it. It is always great to see people return to my booth each year and recall how incredible their previous henna tattoo looked and how long it lasted on their body. This tradition of friendship is always a great experience.
This year I experimented with something called jaguar, a Peruvian fruit used by the indigenous population to create pain free tattoos that are midnight blue, almost giving the impression of black. Jagua is slowly gaining popularity among my clients and I have been receiving more requests for this type of temporary tattoo.
I have to say I love that this is a natural product, unlike the dangerous black henna which includes dangerous chemicals that permanently scar your skin. The downside to jagua is that it takes a good 24 – 48 hours to get the rich color that is desired. So, if you are like me and prefer instant gratification, I would say stick to the rich burgundy colors of my pure Rajhistani henna that stains the skin immediately but progressively gets darker.
I am still searching for reliable distributors and learning from fellow henna artists on how to integrate this product into the services I offer but the possibilities are endless. My typical dual tone stain was a strategic science of mixing the pure henna powder with essential oils to vary the color of the stain from light orange to burgundy rich crimson henna. With the jagua there is no end to creativity. I did several designs this weekend that I took my breath away. Including this stunning freestyle phoenix tattoo that just evolved with incredible detail. And the full arm dragon motif tattoo that had a lot of powerful character.
As always I love working with children, their excitement inspires me. I hope to see more of the new friends I made this year at the festival next time. As always, you can find our henna booth at Kansas City Cross Roads on First Fridays on Baltimore and 19th Street near Town Topic. Or during open house gallery events at the Paper Birch Landing Art Gallery. I am available year round anywhere in Kansas City, Kansas and MO (KCMO) for private events and parties. As always I encourage you to book early.