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    Temp Tat News — henna designs

    Design ideas for Halloween--Free!

    Design ideas for Halloween--Free!

    Believe it or not, we, here at Earth Henna, may not be as big as, but like that retail behemoth which seeks to be "...the Earth’s most customer-centric company”, we think about our customers a lot. We pride ourselves on having the best products on Earth, and in providing the best customer experience ever. Unless you're being unduly mean and nasty to us, we're going to take care of you and make sure you walk away happy! Which is why, as special days and holidays approach, we put on our thinking caps and try to come up with ideas that will put a smile on your face. 

    I bet you can guess which special day is coming up, right? Yes, in a couple of weeks, on October 31, that day which celebrates all things dead, lots of people are going to be thinking about what frightening things they'll be doing that night, and, most importantly, what they'll be wearing. Well, we're not in the costume rental business, but, as purveyors of Earth Henna temporary tattoos, we do fall into the fashion accessory category, or in this case, costume accessory.

    Think about it, there are so many ways to enhance your costume with henna or jagua or white henna tattoos! As we brainstormed ideas for Halloween, we came up with a plan I think you'll love: a free download of Halloween-themed designs! Check it out.

    All you have to do is click here, and you'll be able to download and print this stencil sheet. I can see that crow filled in with black jagua gel, can't you? Or the hat, or cat. And what about that cute ghost? Seems to me white henna was made just for this design! 

    If you already have your Earth Henna jagua, henna or white henna kit, then you're good to go. If not, just head on over to our website, where we've got a 20% off sale going until October 31st. Just use code ALLTREATS20. Because this year, at Earth Henna, our theme is No Tricks, All Treats. Happy Halloween!

    Yes, There Is Such A Thing As Black Glitter

    Yes, There Is Such A Thing As Black Glitter

    Black glitter almost seems like an oxymoron. If it's black, how can it produce a sparkling effect? When you think glitter you visualize shimmery silver, like what comes in our White and Silver temporary henna tattoo kit. You imagine gold, red, any color, really, but not black. But that's what so cool about the black glitter we found. It has the unique characteristic of looking on the skin like a really cool black design but with a super subtle hint of glittter. (You can get our kit, which comes with black glitter here.)

    White henna tattoos are the newest addition to the temporary body art mania. As everyone probably knows by now, "white henna," just like "black henna," doesn't exist. Natural henna designs are made from the crushed leaves of the henna plant, so you start out with a green powder with which the henna paste is made. When the paste is applied to the skin, it leaves a dark, rich, reddish brown stain that lasts 7-10 days. The "White henna" mix is made of white body paint and medical grade glue. It has the same consistency as the henna paste and is applied just like henna from a soft-squeeze plastic applicator bottle outfitted with a fine tip. People refer to designs made with this mix as "white henna" because the tattoos created with it look just like henna tattoos.

    This can be very confusing because "white henna" does not stain the skin; it dries in five minutes and sits on top of the skin. You set it with cornstarch and it lasts one to three days and peels right off. It's temporary body ornamentation for a special occasion. It's like wearing jewelry, only you don't feel it as much as you would a bracelet. You kind of forget you have it on--that is, until someone tells you how gorgeous it looks! We came up with "White Lace" tattoos to try to address the "white henna" confusion. But no matter what we call it, everyone still calls them white henna tattoos. So, we give up. Call them whatever you want! 

    But back to the subject at hand: black glitter. So the cool thing about white henna tattoos is that if you want a sparkly look, instead of setting your design with cornstarch, you can use glitter instead. Our kit comes with silver glitter. But one of our favorite customers asked if we could come up with a kit just for his company, which sells our kits on Amazon. That's when we found our black glitter! We're totally in love with it. You can't find our freehand white henna kit with silver and black glitter options anywhere else but on from USAtoZ. Check it out. Black glitter is the newest, most exciting thing going. We know you'll love it as much as we do.

    Back in April, SOMA magazine referred to our black jagua tattoos as "dark and deviant." Bet they'd come up with something just as sexy for our black glitter tattoos!

    5 Things I Learned from Henna Tattoos

    5 Things I Learned from Henna Tattoos

    I've been in the temporary tattoo business for 20 years now, and along the way, I've learned a few things. Here are just five of them:

    1. People are looking for meaning in their lives

    Even though they're temporary--whether they're getting a henna tattoo or a jagua tattoo or a white henna tattoo--people care about what goes on their bodies, and they want it to mean something. Preferably, something with weight, like the very popular yin/yang symbol, which speaks to our universality in its representation of the shadow/light or negative/positive aspect of all things.

    2. Everyone loves body art

    Whether you're 6 or 60 years old, I don't care who you are, you love body adornment, even more so if it's temporary. I've been at enough events, where the most unusual suspects, like an 80-year-old grandmother or a biker dude, will sit with an artist and ask for a butterfly on the chest or barbed wire around a bicep. Cosmetics, jewelry, permanent tattoos, and piercings haven't come and gone. They've stuck around ever since they first showed up. A temporary tattoo is just the latest iteration (in the west) of a new way to decorate the body, and I'm here to report that, if given the chance to enhance their bodies with an artistic creation, people will go for it every time.

    3. People believe in magic (or they want to)

    Magical beliefs abound around henna and jagua tattoos. In India, all brides have their hands painted with henna before their weddings because they believe that the darker the stain comes out, the longer the love will last between the couple. The henna plant is also believed to be infused with the positive power of the saints. In the Amazon jungle, Indigenous people believe that staining one's body with the juice of the jagua fruit will keep away evil spirits. In other words, you will be lucky and enjoy protection from the gods. It is my firm belief that these mythical beliefs play a big part in the popularity of henna and jagua tattoos. They're all-natural, and contain the power to bring me luck? Sign me up!

    4. All-natural products come with a price

    Oh, how I wish I could guarantee all my customers that they will get a specific color when they paint their bodies with henna or jagua! Of course, the majority of users will obtain beautiful, dark, rich stains on the skin, as long as the henna paste or jagua gel is of superior quality to begin with. However (don't you hate howevers?), these are natural products working with our natural body chemistry. So, there are many factors that might work against you getting fabulous color, like body temperature (chilly types should drink a hot beverage during the application process to ensure success); lifestyle (chlorinated pools or hot tubs will reduce the life of your tattoo); if you're an obsessive hand washer, and your design is on your hand, ditto. Extreme stress or fatigue can also be a factor. Not to worry though! If you got light color, for any number of reasons, just trace over it, or just try it again. Next time will surely be the charm.

    5. Henna tattoos rock!

    This goes for jagua tattoos too. And I'm not just saying that because I sell henna tattoo kits and jagua tattoo kits. It's just that, in all my years of watching people get a henna or jagua design drawn on their body, the end reaction is always a big fat smile. Mind you, sometimes people don't pay attention to the aftercare instructions provided, and end up with a transfer of their jagua tattoo on their face if their hand leaned up against their face while sleeping. Did we say jagua tattoos last two weeks? The good news is that the stuff that transfers from one part of your body to the other by mistake won't last that long, only 2-3 days. And! There are concealer products made just for hiding tattoos (like if you have a big meeting and you look like you have a black eye!). But, mistakes aside, if 5-hour long waiting lines for henna tattoos (like at Vidcon), and big, huge smiles are any indication, I'm telling you, henna tattoos rock!


    History Of Mehndi And Traditional Uses Of The Henna Plant

    History Of Mehndi And Traditional Uses Of The Henna Plant

    Everyone once in a while someone asks me how the whole henna body art tradition started, so I thought I would share part of the answer here with an excerpt from my book MEHNDI, The Art of Henna Body Painting--the first book on henna in the United States (she said without bragging)!

    "Believe it or not, the practice of mehndi started out as an answer to the need for air-conditioning in the desert. The henna plant, whose botanical name is Lawsonia inermis and which comes from the Loosestrife family, has several medicinal properties, chief among them its ability to cool down the human body. When the desert people of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Gujarat became aware of henna's cooling properties, they dipped their hands and feet in a mud or paste made with the crushed leaves of the plant. Even when the mud was scraped off, they noticed that as long as the color remained visible, their body temperatures stayed low.

    Eventually, some women grew tired of bright red palms and found that one large central dot in the palm of the hand had the same effect, while being more pleasing to the eye. Other, smaller dots were placed around the center dot, which gradually gave way to the idea of creating outright artistic designs. To that end, a thin instrument made of silver or ivory (in India) or wood (in Morocco), then most commonly used for applying kohl to the eyes, became the instrument of choice for henna applications, and it is still in use in desert villages today. Only in the last 30 years or so have the popular Indian cone and Moroccan syringe, both of which are able to deposit the thinnest filaments of henna onto the skin, come into play as modern counterparts of the simple stick."

    Today, while most henna artists prefer to use soft squeeze plastic applicator bottles otherwise used for silk screening, which come in our Earth Henna temporary tattoo kits, some still love using the Indian cone. What's your favorite way to apply a henna tattoo?

    * Photo from Le Henné, Plante du Paradis by Michèle Maurin Garcia

    Frequently Asked Questions About Jagua

    Frequently Asked Questions About Jagua

    For all you pros out there, this information may be old hat but lots of folks still don't know what jagua is and how it works. So I thought I would reprint this chapter titled Frequently Asked Questions about Jagua from my book Jagua, A Journey into Body Art from the Amazon.

    Is jagua the same as black henna?

    No. Black henna does not even exist, although there are some who insist on arguing the point. For example, on the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles, many artists openly offer “black henna tattoos” even though the natural color of the stain obtained from the henna plant has always been and will always be reddish brown. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I believe they’ve bought some shady supplier’s story when they swear that there is a brown henna plant and a black henna plant, even though at this point in time, they should know better. So-called “black henna” doesn’t even necessarily contain henna. Mostly, the concoctions used are made from black hair dye containing a potentially dangerous chemical called para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which seems to be safe on the scalp but not on the skin. This substance can be found in photographic developer, printing inks, lithography plates, black rubber, oils and gasoline. Lucky people don’t suffer any physical reactions from it. Many people, however, do sustain serious rashes, permanent scarring and long-term health problems when exposed to PPD.

    Finally, henna is a plant. Jagua is a fruit.


    How does jagua work to stain the skin?

    Indigenous people in the Amazon squeeze the pulp of the fruit to obtain the juice. At first it looks clear like water, but 30 minutes after being exposed to air, the oxidation process turns it black. In some cases, they mix it with charcoal, then apply it to their skin either with their fingers or with fine sticks.

    Transporting the fruit, juice or extract to the United States and packaging it so that it can be applied to the skin (with easy applicators, as opposed to sticks) is a little more complicated. The jagua fruit extract is used as a base, with other natural ingredients added to it to keep it fresh and safe from bacteria while in transit or stored for sale. Once it is applied on the skin, the gel takes 30 to 45 minutes to dry. Two hours later, the dried gel is peeled off, leaving a gray stain, which grows darker over 48 hours to a dark blue-black stain. This stain lasts approximately two weeks.


    Does the stain disappear completely?

    Yes. It gets lighter and lighter as the skin exfoliates, and disappears completely.


    Does it hurt to get a jagua tattoo?

    No. The skin is never pierced and it does not hurt. The gel is applied, like henna, on top of the skin, and it only penetrates the uppermost layer of the skin. The application of jagua gel to the skin is 100% pain-free.


    If I keep the gel on my skin longer than two hours, will I get a darker stain?

    Two hours is sufficient to obtain the darkest color. Leaving it on longer will not yield a darker or longer-lasting stain. Leaving it on overnight is not recommended.


    Are there any side effects to using jagua?

    No. As with anything else in the natural world, however, allergic reactions are always possible, depending on the individual (think peanuts or strawberries). After selling the product to thousands of people, my impression is that it is safe. The only time we heard of someone having a reaction, it turned out the person was on serious medication of various sorts. It is known that certain drugs can sensitize the skin to things such as sunlight and certain topical preparations. Therefore, we recommend that people taking medication check first with their doctor before applying jagua (or anything else, for that matter) on their skin. In addition, it is always prudent to do a small patch test first before attempting a full-size tattoo. Like with all products, it is important that people read instructions, as well as all warnings labels before using.

    Something else to consider: jagua is a fruit. Anyone with sensitivities to fruit should definitely do a patch test first.


    Aside from the color it produces, does jagua differ from henna in any way?

    Yes. Unlike henna, which is best mixed into a paste just before use, the jagua gel is sold pre-mixed and ready to go; no other preparation is required. In addition, the jagua gel does not need to stay on the skin as long as henna; as previously mentioned, two hours is sufficient. Jagua takes a little longer to dry than henna, depending on the size of the design.

    Henna has a very distinctive, earthy scent; jagua is virtually odorless. Finally, henna grows in hot, dry desert climates; jagua prefers it hot, moist and tropical.

    Note: In the similarities department, henna and jagua are both organic substances, which means they are, by nature, somewhat unpredictable. They refuse to be pigeonholed! For example, different people may obtain different results because henna and jagua interact with each individual’s body temperature, skin type, lifestyle, “time of the month,” or even state of mind when the products are applied. Occasionally we’ll get calls from people saying something like, “My husband got great color, but I didn’t!” Since it’s obviously not the fault of the henna or jagua, all we can say is, “Try re-applying it over the initial design.” Sometimes a double application is what it takes.


    How long does the jagua gel stay fresh once you open the bottle?

    The sooner you use it up, the better. If it is refrigerated, however, it should stay fresh and maintain its potency for up to two months.


    Why is the jagua gel sometimes black, sometimes gray, and sometimes brown?

    The juice may change color, depending on the season. Regardless of the gel’s color, it still stains the skin blue-black.


    Why does the gel sometimes look marbled as it dries?

    Again, it depends on the season; but regardless of how the gel dries, the end result is still the same: a blue-black stain on the skin.


    Do jagua tattoos show up on dark skin?



    Can I use it anywhere on my body?

    Yes—just make sure to keep it out of your eyes.


    Are there certain areas of the body that stain better than others?

    As with henna, the stain is darkest on the hands and feet. Biceps seem to stain a little lighter, but not by much.


    Once my jagua tattoo starts to fade, is there any way to restore it to its original color?

    Yes. Simply retrace over the design with more gel once the design has disappeared.


    Does jagua permanently stain fabric, wood, and other porous surfaces the way henna does?

    No. With fabric, if you wash it right away with soap, the gel will come off without leaving a stain. We have gotten jagua gel on our blond wood table and concrete counters, and it washes off with a damp cloth, even after several hours. However, it does stain the skin, and quickly! If you get jagua on your hands as you apply it, wash it off immediately or sooner!


    If I want to remove a jagua tattoo, what should I do?

    There is no quick fix. You can rub it gently with soap and a washcloth to lessen the staining effect. Gently rubbing mineral oil (baby oil) on the area several times a day will make it fade more quickly, but it will still take a few days to disappear completely.


    What can I do to help my tattoo last longer?

    Avoid chlorinated pools and soaking in hot tubs. It may be useful to apply a layer of petroleum jelly to the tattoo before swimming or showering.


    Is it safe for pregnant women and children to use jagua?



    Do I have to be an artist to work with jagua?

    To make beautiful designs on the skin, it helps to be an artist or to know how to draw. However, if you are like me and can’t draw even a crooked line, there is help. Our kits come with stencil transfers that make it easy enough for a 10-year-old to make beautiful tattoos. Various types of stencils can also be found in art stores and on the internet.


    Which do you prefer, henna or jagua?

    What I like is irrelevant, of course. Different strokes for different folks. But since I get this question a lot, I thought I would include it here, and answer it too! Since I have never been interested in getting a permanent tattoo, I am more drawn to henna because it is so obviously not a real tattoo. Plus, I love its earthy, reddish brown color, which reminds me of that beautiful red dirt in Hawaii. I think henna is fabulous and jagua is cool. Or is it that jagua is fabulous and henna is cool? Gulp…I can’t decide.