“[About me and my experience]
I am a clumsy, spasm-inclined chronically ill boy, but I managed to make a nice first attempt, with a few smudges because I globbed the product on a little too thickly and I didn't stop moving to create my artwork: I wanted to keep it a full 24h on, but I understand now why girl getting bridal henna have servants for the day. The instructions only call for 2h, and I soldiered on for 3h45. Next time, I would do it in several stages and do only 2h.
I am a French-Canadian Québécois, so my English is not the best on camera when I'm all nervous, but I made a (pretty long, sorry) video of my experience with the henna kit. Since it's so long, I can't upload it to the server, so here is the link: https://youtu.be/B56x-Ivz2Dg
My principal mistakes were: applying too thickly, not following the pattern to apply the product (I just patted it on), not letting it dry enough and keeping applying more (on hair, you do not want it to dry) and moving too much. I should have made my application in stages, not put all the stencils at once, but because I wanted to keep it so long I didn't expect I would have to take everything off sooner; I am so fidgety and it didn't work for me. I got super sweaty on the inside of my hand too, because I did the mistake of trying to contain it with saran wrap; don't do that. I had trouble with the Zena wristband I made for this reason too: moving made everything smudge, I put too much of the paste and it never fully dried, so the design is unclear and botched, unfortunately.
Before I received my box, I made a small plan on paper to figure out where I would put my stencils, how I wanted everything to look.
The stencils are high-quality vinyl, and the adhesive is high quality: I am unsure of how reusable the bigger motifs are for the skin, but I managed to reuse small rings to try to hide my smudges. You sure could reuse it for art, if you can't for the skin. Keep in mind, I have hairy boy arms, it ruins the adhesive faster. I explain in the video how I shortened my arm hair while still having it look natural for the henna.
The henna is ultra high quality and it oxidized to a very deep rusty brown color on my blindingly pale skin.
Now I have sufficiently experimented with the stencils, I am only waiting to have my hand back to normal so I can experiment again and make it look even better! I tried to mask the mistakes, but I am so eager to do it perfectly this time!
[My final take, recommendations, creative ideas for future designs and thoughts]
I will definitely be coming back for more now that I have more confidence and know what I'm doing with these kits, and my mother-in-law is even asking me for a small cute design for her vacation in the sun this winter. I am happy to encourage this company, an Indian-owned company selling Indian cultural products. It's an important thing to me in this era where everyone is making money off the back of other's cultures and appropriating them with poorly designed and formulated products.
Those designs are all well thought, well-produced on high-quality vinyl stickers, and the henna is formulated with the least amount of ingredients possible - you only have the highest quality of henna to deposit the pigments, no need for dangerous chemicals to help a weak plant, like in some products I have used before in my hair.
I really loved how easy it was for me to combine different stencil designs to create my very own eye mandala, which has a special meaning to me and looks a little more masculine than just flowers. I am looking forward to buying more sheets with eyes of different sizes to see how I can incorporate them inside an already busy design.
For my mandala, I used the half-open eye from the Sun sheet and the Haley mandala. The size of the eye made is perfect, and the ray-like lines in the Haley mandala center became totally adorable small dots due to blocking half the line. I kept the center to be used on another design.
For future designs on myself, I wanted to look at the Yin sheet to do a similar mandala, because the open eye with lashes in the Sun sheet is much too large to fit in the center of the Haley mandala, but the Yin sheet has a smaller version of this design included. I would love to create 2 hybrid mandalas with Haley, having one mandala on each hand, one with the open, sun-like eye, and the other with the half-closed, Shiva-like quiet eye. I could also be using the Bloom design for this application, I think the middle circle is the same size as in Haley. The Fauzie stencil really appeals to me and could make me move the mandalas on the inside of my hand instead - I really enjoy how it looks on the feet too, so it's not set in stone. The rings are so lovely, tho, I would finish the look with them for sure. I love the Haley vines, but the straight lines with dots Fauzie has is my favorite with henna, and what I used to draw in sharpie around my fingers in high school.
The inside of my hands definitely stains darker - but the top of my hand has skin akin to tissue paper, so thin I am surprised the stain is so dark already; I still have time to decide which side of my hand to do the mandalas on. The thickness of your skin influences the stain: that's why my knuckles are darker than the top of my hand.
I would love to use the Jasmine stencil in part, or the lotus from the Sand sheet to tie all my hand design together, as I did with the karma squares. I would use those squares again too: I just have to cut the adhesive a bit less close to the dots ^^'
I am also thinking of altering the center of the Pheonix stencil to have an eye in the center instead of a flower, possibly creating dots around the eye by blocking part of the existing petals. I love the fern-like design and spirals, and adding my own twist will give this very feminine art medium a little bit of masculinity. I love the clover stencil, it is a motif often used to fill spaces, and I would probably want to use a piece at one point.
Someone with different tastes and less of an obsession with eyes might enjoy the smaller stencils in the Yin and Yan sheets to customize the inside of their mandalas. I do enjoy the small moon, triangle and olive branch from Yin, and I could see a pretty mandala completed by the Ohm sign off the Yang sheet. For the more hip crowd, the truth sheet could give you a center of Mickey, Saturn, a daisy, the eye obviously, and I think the doughnut would also fit. Unfortunately, I think the strawberry would be too big for a mandala center. The Dare sheet also has a few designs that would likely fit in the center of a mandala, if not all but the lightning bolt. The Sand sheet is likely to be all the right size too, pour le bonheur des amoureux. I would love to use the lotus or the olive branch myself as little additions, but I am unsure if the pyramid or infinite arrows are small enough to be used as a mandala center.
Overall those stencils are super customizable in the end, you just might need to buy a few to make exactly what you want. You can even use the extra vinyl and some gaps in the vinyl to create lines or your own motif.
I hope my review helps your purchase,
“I ordered a henna kit for my daughter. She absolutely loved it! I didn’t know what to expect, but we were very happy with the quality of the henna and the stencil stickers that were included in the kit. The price was great, the product was great, and our daughter was thrilled. I’d absolutely recommend this to anyone and will definitely purchase this again. Thank you!”