What to expect?
If you fancy something a little less intense than the real thing (needles, ouch!), you might want to consider a henna tattoo. Applied with a nozzle to make application easy, the paste (a mix of henna plant, eucalyptus oil, lemon and sugar) is painted straight onto the body. Henna only stains your skin when it’s wet, so by re-wetting the pattern you effectively darken the stain. It takes about 20-40 minutes for henna to dry, in which time the skin is often wrapped to ensure maximum life out of your tattoo. If your henna artist has spent hours doodling away, it is perhaps advisable not to skip this step! Once the henna is dry and begins to flake off, the skin will be left with an orange stain that will gradually darken - lasting up to five to ten days.
Whatever you do, don’t wash the henna for 24 hours after it is applied as it will smudge and all your hard work will go to waste!
Know before you go
- By layering on tissue under some cling film, you are trapping a layer of air between your skin and the bandage, keeping the henna warm and allowing sweat, hence darkening the design. Whatever you do, don’t wash the henna for 24 hours after it is applied as it will smudge and all your hard work will go to waste! Cool fact: the oldest known tattoo was found on the 5,000-year-old frozen body of a Bronze Age hunter nicknamed Ozti the iceman.
Is it for me?
If you’re a bit of a girl when it comes to pain but really like the idea of adorning your body with some artwork, temporary henna is definitely the way to go. The only downside is that it won’t last all that long, as henna fades after five to ten days, but then again, if you are a fickle character you can always pick a different design and start again!