Body art has always fascinated me. In the Philippines, you know it’s time for the renowned Sinulog Festival in Cebu when henna artists take it to the streets. And you can easily spot a henna artist crowded by a throng of onlookers amidst the busy fanfare armed with blunt-tipped ink syringes.
Henna tattoo or body art is done by applying henna paste to the skin, giving it a red-brown stain (this color varies with the proportion of the powder and water in the mixture).
Most local artists use pure henna powder blended with a mixture of lemon and sugar to prevent or at least limit skin irritation. But then, this body art is painless and temporary —you won’t likely regret having it. The inked pattern will darken over a few days and will last for a couple of weeks.
Though less intricate at the commercial level, street henna can take fifteen minutes at most. The larger ones, of course, will take longer and pay more.
Henna body art or mehndi is also worn traditionally by grooms and brides in some Mediterranean countries with a wrist-full of colorful bangles.
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