It seems that every time I open my computer I see another beautiful photo of henna body art. What used to be reserved only for the most special occasions is gaining mainstream popularity. Now, in addition to more traditional Mendi designs, white henna has also burst onto the internet. I’m sure many of you have probably already seen the white henna photos flooding the internet.
Henna can seem like an intimidating art form to try (making henna, the dangers of black henna, what is colored henna), but I can't even begin to tell you how much joy Henna Body Art has brought into my life. I am happy to share all the information I have gathered on my journey.
Can henna be white?
First, we must set the record straight. There is no such thing as white henna. Henna is extracted from the henna plant, also known as Lawsonia inermis. The henna plant can only produce red, brown or maroon colored stain. Henna will never stain black, white or any other color. If you see henna in any different color always know that you are not looking at pure henna.
Henna is made by mixing henna powder, which is the dried ground and sifted leaves of the henna plant, with essential oils and lemon juice. This henna paste is what artists use to create the brown/maroon designs.
Then what is white henna?
When you look at those amazing images on Pinterest, make sure you remember that the name white henna is really a nickname because while they look like henna designs (Mendhi artwork), it is not henna they are using at all.
My favorite one to use for a white henna style design is the Colorini body inks. Colorini is an Israeli product made by Ybody. It is an alcohol based ink, and unlike henna it does not stain the skin, instead, it sits on top of the skin like paint. Just like airbrush tattoos without the compressor, you can use Colorini to create stunning designs in rainbow colors.
Since Colorini is an alcohol based product, it is easy to correct any mistakes that you may have made while designing. It can also be used like watercolors it you thin the ink with 98% alcohol and use it with a paint brush.
How do I apply “White Henna”?
To get a henna style design you need to to use a fine tip applicator. I tried filling a henna cone with Colorini in it and it was just too hard to control. Even with a super tiny hole at the tip of the cone - I needed a lot of ink to fill the cone so it would sit comfortably in my hand and it simply did not work well. The best applicator for Colorini I have found is the freehand pen.
The Ybody freehand pen can hold a little bit of ink at a time in it and you hold it just like a pen or a marker, so it is much more comfortable.
Colorini can be poured into the freehand pen and when you are done with your design, pour the rest of the ink back to the glass bottle. Fill the pen with rubbing alcohol and squeeze it out through the tip to make sure it is clean and ready for the next use. Because the pen isn’t airtight, don’t store your ink in the pen for more than a day or two or it will dry out.
The freehand pen has a super fine tip so you can get those fine lines that are so beautiful, and it works well with the Colorini if you let gravity pull the ink out of the pen onto the skin. Just make sure that your tip is always clean and have a tissue on hand to clean any access that may come out. You have to move quick to get the best results, but when you do, the results are beautiful.
You can always add some glitter in matching colors to add an exciting finish to the design, or finish off with temporary tattoo setting powder to get the look of a real tattoo, especially with black or navy blue Colorini, if that is the look you are going for.
Colorini will last about 3-5 days depending on how careful you are, and will certainly get the crowd's attention!