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aribasultan's avatar

Mehndi Designs 1 - front

Here's a little cultural experience for all! Mehndi is the art of putting henna (a brown like paste derived from the plant "Lawsonia inermis") on the body in intricate patterns. This is done particularly on the hands and feet of the body, and is only a temporary form of skin decoration, found in cultures of South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. It is also used for hair dye and depending on the quality of the paste (as well as how warm you keep it when initally applied - as heat makes it turn a darker colour thus last longer etc etc) the effect can last from a week or two to several months. It is harmless to the skin and does not wash away instantly using soap, water etc. :D The effect can also be prolonged by using sugar dissolved in water or lemon juice immediately post-application.

But enough babble from me, if you want to learn more I've provided links at the bottom. This particular photo and its accompanying one (Mehndi Designs 1 - back) are of my own hands. I applied the henna design on myself and that of the other girls in my family (i have no sisters, so all cousin sisters, neices etc) for my cousin's wedding. In the particular case of my hands, it usually lasts for months (which in Pakistani culture means that when you marry, ur mother-in-law will love you very much and you'll have a fruitful relationship with the in-laws :hmm: help!! lol but remember, these old wives tales vary per culture)

Anyway, I put this up mostly for a friend and a little project she will soon be partaking - she has some good photography, I suggest you all go check it out :) Hope it helps hun!!

Critique is welcome, though there isn't much point in it since I don't do this professionally nor is it a perminant thing :P Enjoy all!!

<< check 'Mehndi' or 'Henna' on Wikipedia for more information, Alternatively, check out the following websites or just ask me :) >>




Image details
Image size
1280x962px 454.27 KB
PENTAX Corporation
PENTAX Optio 750Z
Shutter Speed
10/600 second
Focal Length
20 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 10, 2006, 9:58:27 AM
© 2006 - 2021 aribasultan
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greatshoyru's avatar
that's awesome, very intricate, and i'm sure the wedding looked nice ^^
aribasultan's avatar
Thank you, glad you like it - yeah the weddings over there are done really glorious and over the top lol But we had fun
th3rdeye's avatar
oooh ditto the left hand comment!
my mehndi is always very pale :( unless i squeeze nimbu
aribasultan's avatar
My suggestion would be to put water with a small percentage of sugar diluted into it, or after applying nimbu to the mehndi, keep your hands nice and warm. Also, try and keep it on overnight if you can.

Heat is the main tool when trying to make them come out dark - my one stayed that shade for quiet a while because I naturally have a high body temperature. Not to mention the radiator helped ^^;
th3rdeye's avatar
ahhh *mental note* i'll definitely keep these tips in mind the next time i apply mehndi....which might be soon, this summer seems to be wedding season
aribasultan's avatar
God yeah, I'm kinda worried about that - its usually this time of the year that every single member of the family asks me to take leave from work so I can attent their wedding ^^;
UsmanBaloch's avatar
aribasultan's avatar
thanks, greatly appreciated :)
nice ariba :hug:
tcz !
Luv :Annanique !
aribasultan's avatar
ma plesure sis !
TheLittleCrow08's avatar
:D This is BEAUTIFUL, very inspirational ^____^ Thank you again for putting these up, they're absolutely wonderful.
aribasultan's avatar
Thank you :bow: and anytime hun, it's always good to get some inspiration at times ;)
D-Angeline's avatar
Wow! This is awesome and very detailed...I :heart: it!!=) How long did it take to complete?
aribasultan's avatar
Usually something like this would take me about an hour because I'm not that good at it, most people can whip something like that up within 10-25 minutes. However, I had been applying henna since about 9:30-10:00 in the morning, on each of my cousin sisters/neices/sister-in-laws etc.'s hands and in the case of the bride, the feet too (the bride's design is always more heavy and decorative so it takes AGES) so I got plenty of practice in by the time it was my turn ^^; Couple that with the leaving it on overnight I'd say just about 14 hours in total :p lol
D-Angeline's avatar
Wow!! That is really impressive and on so many people all, I bet they all turned out really good!=)
aribasultan's avatar
Tell that to them - i had a few complain, but that was only because they drove my head in while I was doing their designs about what they wanted, saw what I done on the next person, then got upset cause they thought it looked better. So apparntly that means I done a bad job on them on purpose ^^; teenage cousins, you gotta love em. But thank you none the less, i certainly hope they turned out alright - I'm nowhere near as good as some of the older ones...hell, one of my neices is better than I am lol.
D-Angeline's avatar
aribasultan's avatar
p.s to all - if you want to see the design on the other side of my hands (not as good or dark i assure you lol) then check the gallery!
chessecake-gal's avatar
omg that is a beautiful mehndi design , whenever i have menhdi done , it never ends up that dark , wish it did though. =).
aribasultan's avatar
Try putting lemon juice on the design when its still freshly applicated - if not mix a little sugar with water and put that on. Also, make sure you keep your hands nice and warm. Always works for me :)
chessecake-gal's avatar
aww thank you for the advice , it will be incredibly useful , thank you. =).
aribasultan's avatar
No problem, anytime - another thing, try and keep the actual paste on as long as possible, if you can put it on the night before, and let it just flake off rather than wash or rub it off. That also helps ^^;

Let me know how it goes! :)
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