The Idiot's Beginner's Guide to Mehndi

   I love Mehndi.  That might not sound quite so odd being that I'm Indian, but as a youngster I absolutely hated the stuff. I think...

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I love Mehndi. 

That might not sound quite so odd being that I'm Indian, but as a youngster I absolutely hated the stuff. I think that was probably down to the fact that nobody in the family could do it properly at the time, so I used to end up with two big brown circles on my hands. They were meant to be the Sun. Oh and also the scent that used to linger once the mehndi had developed into it's rich brown shade.

It's all changed now though, I can't get enough of the stuff. No longer can I detect that lingering smell, not sure what kind of mehndi my family used but the stuff I get is practically odourless. Although I kind of like the idea of tattoos, I'm incredibly fickle so would never get one done as I know that as I grow older I will undoubtedly ask myself 'Why?', particularly as wrinkles begin to take hold of the designs! So mehndi is the next best thing.

Now I'm no artiste, and even though I have steady hands when it comes to applying eyeliner, when it comes to mehndi it's a completely different story. I'm hopeless! But where there's a will there's a way, and I've found a workaround that almost makes me look like a pro with the mehndi cone!

So if, like me, you're not so hot with a cone in hand, you'll love this little cheat I recently re-discovered:
 
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SECRET WEAPON

Mehndi stencils! Sweet, sweet nostalgia. I purchased mine off eBay on the cheap. I recall seeing these everywhere when I was younger. They come in the form of stickers which can be stuck onto your hands, feet or pretty much any part of your body! Once you've done that, you just fill in the gaps with your Mehndi cone. Sounds simple, right? 

WRONG! The hands are far, far too small (unless you're 5 years old!) and the feet are even worse! So as usual I found myself having to adapt them a little to work for me. I just seperated the digits from the main part of the hand and stuck them on individually. Also, from the stickers it's pretty clear what areas of the body they are actually intended for but I found that they can be easily used elsewhere.

In the photos above, I've used the sections intended for the ankles on my wrists and you can see that it doesn't look out of place! 

Once I've filled in the gaps I let the mehndi dry to the touch. The next step is to apply a lemon juice and sugar mixture to the dried mehndi and wrap around the area in cling film, with the stencil still in place. I'd then leave this on overnight whilst I sleep and unwrap it in the morning. I tend to find that the combination of the lemon juice/sugar mixture and leaving the mehndi on overnight results in incredibly dark mehndi!

I always apply mehndi at night just before bed as I find that the longer it's left on for, the better. The lemon juice and sugar makes the dried-up mehndi stick to the skin much better, the cling film also seals the area restricting break-off during the night.

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I have to mention the Mehndi cone that I use. I've no idea who makes it or what it's called as it's all written in Hindi. All I know is that back in India it costs 10 Rupees per cone, and that it's pretty darn good! Over here in Manchester, I buy two for £1 from Anand Fashions on Wilmslow Road. I'm there every week hauling on their jewellery and bindis!

I find that one can never have enough bindis, they only really last for a day and because they're so small they always seem to disappear. If you live in Manchester or are just passing through I highly recommend you check out Anand Fashions.

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So there you have it! The Mehndi was a lot darker however I took the photos a couple of days later and it's still looking good! 

Next up I will be attempting to use the stencils all over my hands. How do you girls apply your mehdni, any hints and tips?

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25 comments

  1. I used to also hate the stuff when i was younger but now i loves it! i wish i could do it good but i always get it done by someone else :)

    great post lima! love the secret hehehe

    have you tried glitter henna?

    :)

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  2. It's strange how we start appreciating the things we used to hate when we were younger.

    Oooh I've been looking into getting Glitter Mehndi, will make my weekly trip down to Anands and ask them. Itching to try Black Henna too but all that controversy around it.. *insert appropriate emoticon*

    xo

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    Replies
    1. try the glitters here
      http://www.hennabyafruza.co.uk/ they are a bargain and they are the perfect consistency....I would Strongly advise against black henna....I brought a cone from a shop and without realising it was black mehndi...I was stuck with the pattern for 2 months and it not only numbed my hands...I had to literally peel off my skin...NOT NICE!

      :)

      Happy Hennaing

      http://diaryofamehndigirl.blogspot

      Delete
  3. I've never liked mehendi, I only like it when it's freshly applied and drying, once that's off I don't like the red/orange stain. I love the Ash Kumar Glitter henna *thingies*

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    Replies
    1. I totally get you :)

      Going to check out the Glitter Mehndi!

      xo

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  4. I love it! I've been immersing myself in youtube videos for the last few months in an attempt to brush up my skills :) At the moment I use ready made cones that I get from eBay but I'm tempted by trying to make my own cones so that I can get a finer line..

    I've loved using henna on my feet this summer - it looks really pretty along the sides of each foot..the colour seems to take there very quickly.

    Your comment about the circles made me chuckle...I recall having that done...it put me off too! :)

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    Replies
    1. My sister's got a youtube channel where she does Mehndi, will have to tweet you the link, she's actually prety good! *shameless plug*

      Oh aye, agreed! Mehndi looks oh so pretty on the feet.

      xo

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    1. It is a fab skill to have, these ladies hands are stable!

      Hahahaha!! I've been wanting a tattoo from the age of 16, 11 years later, I've still resisted ;)

      xo

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  6. omg i cant believe thy actually make this!
    this'll come in handy for sure! definitely a thumbs up for me

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    Replies
    1. Definitely give eBay a go, they had loads of these stencils flying about.

      xo

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  7. Wow awesome design loved it Halima :)
    Following you via GFC :)

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  8. lovely design...i love mehandi..

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  9. LOVE IT! I've always wanted to have some henna but :( I know nobody to do such beautiful designs...well until now mwahaha. Love this guide, such a helpful share.

    LOVE YOU LimaMonroe xoxo

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  10. Hi,
    Thanx for commenting on my blog.For a stenciled design, your mehandi didnt turn out too bad:) Personally i love the smell of henna (even though i too am not so great when it comes to applying it my self).

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  11. I've always wanted to do this. I think it's so pretty. thanks!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  12. Wow nice! That does make it so much easier! I was at a picnic this past weekend and one of the girls had just gotten this done for EID and it was so pretty!

    I'm glad to hear I'm not the only who has a hard time with strong air con during the summer. That's why I always carry a scarf or cardi when I go out :)

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  13. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    Lovely blog!!

    Hugs, Brittany, xx

    http://polkaanddots.blogspot.co.uk/

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  14. I'd love to try this, I really like how it looks. So special and exotic :-)

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  15. This looks beautiful, I may have to get myself some stencils!

    take a look at my blog? http://bethanyxalice.blogspot.com xxx

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  16. Your new header is to die for!!! And thanks for the idiots guide, lol... the stencils will definitely come in handy!


    Sarah
    Eyeshadow Addicts Anonymous

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  17. Lovely! These stencils are such a good help, I think I could never do this freehand! I remember Henna tattoo sessions with friends when I was younger because they were so fashionable here in the 90s. After that Europe never really rediscovered this hype, it's a pity actually.

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  18. Stencils!! No way, what an awesome idea. And your make-up is sick!
    X

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  19. Ugh I really want this but I don't have the money for it right now
    I love mehndi and tattoos so much
    It's funny because when I was a kid, I was scared of mehndi cuz I was like omg is it some weird religious symbol. haha.

    ReplyDelete