Recently while in San Diego, I visited the San Diego Zoo and in the children's section with the face painters and the glitter tattoos there was a girl doing Henna Tattoos. My friend Lea and I decided that we wanted to get Nancy Drew Henna Tattoos and so we did!! It was a lot of fun and I would do it again.
Henna is a paste made from the crushed leaves and twigs of the henna plant. When this paste is applied to the skin and left for a few hours it leaves an orange or maroon stain which fades away in 7-14 days.
Traditionally, Henna was used to adorn young women's bodies for social and holiday celebrations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Henna was considered a blessing and applied for joy and luck as well as beauty. It was considered a divine experience to adorn your body with Henna. Now a days, henna has become a fashion statement.
It was really gunky just after application and we were supposed to let it dry for an hour before we could touch it at all. We were also to be careful about getting it on our clothes. It is a dye after all! And if you smear it, it could smear the design. Once the paste is dry, it starts flaking off. For the best color, we were told to leave the paste on as long as possible. The hard outer shell part would flake off and then you would be left with the light orange image like in the photo to the right. You can see some of the "shell-like" or "scab-like" parts still on my skin there, but most of it has flaked away. This photo was taken the same night that we had the tattoos applied. The Orange would deepen in color and become mostly brown by the second day.
The previous photo was taken at a party the next night after having our Henna Tattoos for one full day. As I said, I would definitely do it again. The bottom photo is my tattoo after one full week and you can see it is fading away. Mine lasted for about a week and a half. Fourteen days after it was applied, it was gone.