Stéphanie Sin is a freelance make-up artist based in Melbourne who creates beautiful henna patterns for her customers. In this interview, she shares essential tips for beginners, including how to choose beautiful, good quality henna that is safe for your skin and health.
What attracted you to henna body art?
Henna makes me happy! I have always loved the way it looks and the smell of it. I love the endless possibilities of Henna: you can draw on every part of the body and create different patterns every time. It is such a beautiful art and a meditation for me every time I henna someone. I like that, in traditional culture, henna usually represents joy and happiness, and this is exactly how I feel when doing henna.
What is henna powder made of?
Henna powder is made of leaves from the henna plant, which are dried and mixed until you get a powdery consistency. That is the base, and then you need to mix that powder with liquid and essential oils in order to make your own henna paste.
How do you recognize good quality henna?
A good quality henna paste makes a great stain after application. Good natural henna will need 48h-72h for dye release. Indeed, the stains need a few days for oxidizing (the process which turns them darker). An already made henna paste will stain in 30 minutes on your skin because of the synthetic chemical compounds they put inside. Also, if you buy the cone at the shop, you don’t know how long it may have been sitting on the shelf! Fresh henna needs to be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Is henna good for your skin and health? Are there any side effects?
Henna is good for your skin and healthy as long as the Henna paste is homemade, fresh and 100% natural. Henna is a natural antiseptic and also acts as a natural sunblock. If you do experience a reaction, it is more likely caused by an allergy to the essential oils in the paste, or the citric acid if the paste has been mixed with lemon juice. There are quite a few suppliers in Australia that sell fresh Henna cones, good for beginners.
What are the risks of buying pre-mixed henna paste?
There are lots of pre-mixed henna cones made with chemicals, preservatives, and dyes. You can recognize them by the smell and the packaging. When you go to the shop, you don’t know how long the cones have been sitting on the shelf and they also might have been exposed to different temperatures. STAY AWAY FROM THEM!!! Just use them for practicing on paper.
Would you recommend buying organic henna?
Yes, I would definitely recommend buying organic Henna because you know that it is 100%natural and won’t affect your skin and health.
Which organic henna brands would you recommend?
I would definitely recommend organic Rajasthani henna powder from India. Jamila powder from Pakistani is also a good one, but it’s just natural (not organic).
Which tips would you give to beginners looking to buy henna for the first time?
There are a few suppliers in Australia. You can ask them any question you have if you are not sure how to make your own henna paste. Some henna kits are available too. They are quite good for a start, as you’ll find all the ingredients you need to prepare henna. Or you can also buy some fresh henna cones, freshly mixed and coned for you, ready to use. There are heaps of tutorials on Youtube, with step-by-step instructions on how to make the best Henna paste and obtain the best stains. I am a self-taught Henna Artist, I have learned everything through Internet, Youtube and Instagram. Best way to improve is experimenting! Practice makes perfect!
About Stéphanie Sin
Stephanie Sin is a 28-year-old French Makeup and Henna Artist who immigrated to Australia in 2011. She studied makeup in Switzerland and has been freelancing since then. Stephanie discovered henna last year only, and has quickly become passionate about the product and the culture around it. As a truly talented artist, she loves using her creative skills for any occasion and spends most of her time drawing, photographing or even cooking! Stephanie also works as a make-up artist for a world famous brand in Melbourne.
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