Peace everyone! It's been a looong while since I posted last lol.
A lot has happened since then. And if you've been following me on YouTube you know that my mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer, I was pregnant and had a baby and so many other things.
But back to the topic of this post, which is Hennagua. Hennagua also known as Hengua, is a relatively new thing in the henna community. Hennagua is basically Henna powder mixed with Jagua juice. And for those of you that don't yet know what Jagua is, it's a fruit that grows in Central and South America, that has been used by native tribes for hundreds of years for food, medicinal purposes, and body art. Jagua stains a blue/black color on the skin. Henna stains a reddish/brown color. So when you mix Henna powder with Jagua juice it yields (generally) a black stain. Hennagua can also yield maroon and violet shaded stains. It all depends on how long you let Hennagua paste dye release (or not). And how long you leave your Hennagua paste on.
Even though I know a lot is about Henna and Jagua. I still have a lot to learn about Hennagua. I plan on doing a video for my YouTube channel soon about Hennagua along with some tips, so keep your eye out for that. Thanks for reading and until next time :)
The Henna Swap Challenge! This is a challenge where two Henna Artists of two different styles, swap and apply the design from the other participating Artist. One of the main goals of this particular challenge is to step outside of your comfort zone. Another goal is to test your skills and to come to appreciate other artists work. This challenge was inspired by a Henna Artist on Instagram @mehndikajoeyhenna, that called Henna artist to do designs outside of their own comfort zone. Only difference here, is we had two artists swap for designs outside of their comfort zone.
In this particular Henna Swap Challenge, HMW Art and I drew up designs especially for one another. She drew up one for me, and I, for her. Make sure that you check out the video that Shahema from HMW Art, did on her channel, of the design I drew up for her! And make sure that you Like, Comment, Share and Subscribe on both HMW Art and Beleza Artistica videos for this Henna Challenge Collab.
I gain so much insight and respect for Shahema's work. It was an amazing experience. And hopefully we can get this hashtag #hennaswapchallenge rolling and have other artists partake in this challenge as well. Please check out both of our videos. And don't forget to like, comment, share and subscribe. Love you all!
The link to HMW Art's portion of the Henna Challenge:
The link to my Video:
The Warm Tone Cool Tone Project
Hey everyone! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted something on this blog of mine :). But I’m here now. And it’s to let you guys in, on this project that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. It’s one where I have Henna on one hand and Jagua on the other. One, being a warm tone (Henna) and the other, a cool tone (Jagua). Hence the Project name Warm Tone Cool Tone.
As you guys have probably seen, in my particular style (or not, lol), I like things that contrast one another. I feel like it’s just so beautiful, interest, balanced that way. And when I started using Jagua I started to form this idea in my mind that I wanted to do a project one day using both Henna and Jagua. I was hoping that I would be the first one to try this concept of Henna on one side and Jagua on the other but I was beat to the chase by another Henna artist, Debi Varvi. I saw what she had done and was like, “Ah man *snaps fingers*. She beat me to it”. But it was so AWESOME!!! And Here is a picture of Debi Varvi's work.
Even though, I was not the first one to try this concept, I wasn’t deterred from my attempt at it. And after some time, and Major trials in my life, I felt like it was time to finally bring my idea to fruition. I didn’t have a particular design in mind and did not plan it out beforehand. As always is my style, of flying by the seat of my pants and hoping that I come out on the other side with a winner, lol. And, to film these things on top of that!? I just might be the Evel Knievel of Henna, or, just someone that aspires to be that, lol.
I started with the Henna since I knew I had to sleep with the paste on overnight. And, because, Jagua only needs to be on for a maximum of 3 hours to stain the skin well. The night before I had already decided that I wanted to do something that was mainly on the fingers but, had little idea of what style I would do it in. So there I was, all set up to film and do henna. Then it came to me! For the Henna, I would do a Native American inspired Henna design. Yes! So I started, and also threw in some other cool Henna techniques along the way. Two and a half hours later, I was done! It always takes me longer to do Henna designs on the fly, but I love it so much in the end.
Then, the following morning, I started on the Jagua for my right hand. Non-dom (non-dominant) hand is fun because my left hand kinda has its own flow and style. I should make a post about it… later ;). I already knew for this project that I wanted to have both designs to have the same base design flow. So what was left? To figure out what style it would have. Again, after I was all set ready to film and do Jagua, it came to me. Khaleeji style Jagua. It was kinda crazy while filming, because it was daytime, and I usually film late at night, when everyone is sleeping, lol. So while I was filming and Jagua’ing, peeps (my kids and husband) in my house were running around, asking me for things, bumping the table, and making messes and so on. I almost scrapped the mission but, I kept pushing forward, through the adversity and impossible odds and got it done! Yes!
After the stains were mature, I did the Warm Tone Cool Tone photo shoot. Here is a photo from my photo shoot below. Make sure you check out the video too :)
So now that you know, I hope that you can have a better appreciation for this project as a whole. And I hope that you enjoy it. Thanks for reading. I know it was a long one, but, I know that you’re a trooper ;) Love ya
I've been really digging on the two toned look, as of late. I mean, two is kinda better than just one right, lol. It's just that two tones really bring a different interest to a henna design.
I'm aware that there are at least two ways to do the 2 toned look. One way is to do a henna design... Then when the henna design matures you fill in the open most parts of the design with henna. Then wipe it off, thus leaving behind an orangy, more fainter, yet noticeable contrasting stain, like this picture (borrowed from beachcombersbazaar.com) below.
Or Like how I have done. When I do a henna design, then remove the paste after 2-3 hours, leaving behind a orangy fainter henna stain. Then right after that, I go back and go over certain lines again with more henna, Then I seal it, and keep the 2nd coat of henna on overnight. I do this for henna designs that a lot of detail to them. And once I wake up take the dyed henna paste off, and it's had time to oxidize... The stain looks like this picture (below far right)
I will eventually do, the fore mentioned way, to acheive the two tone look. It seems a lot easier, lol. But until then, enjoy this video of a geometric design that I made in to a two tone design :) Thanks for reading :D
So you may be wondering, "What is Hennagua?" and "How do you do it?" Well, Hennagua is a term my sister came up with (thanks sis;)). Basically, it's when you use Henna and Jagua together, to give a two-toned effect. I usually do it one of 2 ways.
Method 1, is to do the Jagua first, let it sit on the skin for 3 hours, then wash it off and let the Jagua stain mature (The reason I do this, is so that I can see clearly where the Jagua is, so that I can figure out where to apply the henna). Once the Jagua stain is matured, I then apply the henna and let it sit on the skin for 6-8 hours (most times for me, that is overnight). And of course, once I remove the dried henna paste, I rub in some shea butter, coconut oil, etc. The resulting stain of Method 1 is my favorite, and that is because it yields more defined lines and distinction between the Henna and Jagua. It looks like this (picture left).
I'm still working on different methods that could possibly be better for a Great and Easy Hennagua stain. And I will try to let you all know when I do. And, hopefully if anyone out there is willing to share a better method I'd love to hear it/ see it. Let me know. If you all want to see how to do Method 2 and the 3 different types of results I got from it, watch the video below. Thank you for reading! More posts coming soon (inshAllah).
Ok so a lot of people have been asking me what Jagua is. So I thought... Why not make a blog about it?
Genipa americana aka Jagua is a fruit that grows in the South America. Extract from the Genipa americana fruit, is used to make Jagua gel for Jagua Body Art. It only stains the top layer of skin (just as Henna does). Unlike the chemical ppd in Black Henna, that penetrates all the layers of your skin , then seeps into your blood stream getting carried to your vital organs such as you liver and kidneys. Jagua usually comes premixed or in small kits, where you then just add water. It's a good alternative to "Black Henna" and the closest to all natural ingredients (that I know of as of yet).
I heard a bit about Jagua in the beginning of my henna journey. I was still getting use to henna at that time. So I just kinda put the Jagua curiosity, to the side for a later date. So just in the past couple of months, I had decided to look more into Jagua. A lot of this renewed curiosity with Jagua came about with a lot of people asking me if I could do "Black Henna". Of course I would never do "black henna" so people would just go get their black henna done by someone else, even after I would inform them of the dangers of it! So I remembered Jagua, and decided to finally give it a go. One of the things I found out about Jagua, from before, is that it has a higher allergy rate than Henna does. People with allergies to strawberries and melons have a higher risk of having an allergic reaction to Jagua. So that kinda put me off, but I did a patch test and I was fine, thank God, lol.
So I have had a chance to use it on a few clients now, and they all seem to love it! I have converted a couple Black Henna users. But the price is the thing that holds a lot of people back, as Jagua is significantly more expensive than Henna or "Black Henna". But I believe that if something is better for my health in he long run, I don't mind paying more for it (personally).
I have much more info in my YouTube video "Jagua Demo". Check it out and don't for get to Like, Share and Subscribe :D
Ever since I started Beleza Artistica, I've only heard a hand full of people actually say the name of it, lol. But none the less when people see the name they automatically see it as unique.
When I decided that I wanted to start selling my work and doing henna as a service, I wanted to pick a name that I could grow with. A name that was unique and captured the essence of what I do in two words. At first I thought "This shouldn't be hard". Needless to say, I was wrong lol. I would write down a whole list of names, only to find that someone had already took it. It was so frustrating, day after day, coming up with names, but to no avail. So after trying English names, I started looking into different languages to find my name. Spanish, Swahili, and Portuguese.
I decided to go with Portuguese, since one of my grandmothers had a lot to do with my love of art. She was of Portuguese decent. I remembered her tell me about how she grew up only learning a few words of Portuguese, because her father was made fun of for speaking his language, as a young lad when he first came to America. He didn't want his children to be made fun of (like he was) so he never taught her or her siblings the language. So, I thought it be a good way to pay homage to that part of my heritage, by choosing a Portuguese name.
So then I started trying to find words that sounded pleasant to the ear and ones that captured the essence of what I do. That took me a few more days on Google translate (lol) and also doing more research on the words as well. I didn't want to rely solely on Google translate, cause I've seen it be wrong before lol, so I check it with other resources as well. Portuguese is a very interesting language. It sounds like Italian mixed with Spanish and I had also found, in my studies a while back, that there are over 1,000 Arabic and Arabic inspired word in the Portuguese language. Then after a couple weeks, I had found it! I had found Beleza Artistica! There are also 2 pronunciations of Beleza. The Brazilians pronounce it a little bit different than the Portuguese, but only slightly.
So go ahead and say it lol! It has a truly beautiful meaning behind it... Beleza Artistica means Artistic Beauty. And those are the 2 words that sum up what I do, what I hope to convey, and how, I hope, others will perceive my work. I hope that others enjoy my work as much as I do, cause it is truly my passion. And I want to thank all those people out there for reading. Til next time...
It's that time of year when its warm, the days are long. People are getting married and everything is good. Summer time brings many festivals. I've been trying to do as many as I can. Why? Because I wasn't very confident with my skills last year, but Alhamdulillah (all thanks and praise is due to God) this year I am a bit more comfortable with my skills and henna making abilities.
I've been racking up lots of pictures that I want to share, so I said,"why not post them here on the good ole' blog"! So without further ado... Here are some pics!
Every now and then I have a client tell me that their henna stain wasn't satisfactory. Anything from a henna stain that didn't last long, to weak henna stain, or worse, the stain not showing up at all.
There's not one cut and dry answer, to why these henna flukes happen. They just do, and it is due to many variables such as a persons skin chemistry, if the person washes they're hands multiple times a day, if they swim (because the high levels of chlorine in pool water, lightens the henna stain) if you exfoliate or scrub the henna stain. Other reasons could be, if you remove the henna paste too soon, if you remove the henna paste with water, and temperature also plays a role in the henna stain process. If a person tends to have cold hands, feet, it effect the henna stain, or if the temperature is cool/cold in the room your working in.
After your henna artist has done all that they can on their side, as far as henna paste goes and after care advice, etc. It's up to you, the client, to make sure that you do as much as you can, on your side, to get a desirable stain.
So here are the do's and don'ts to taking care of you Henna Stain:
1. Don't Take off henna paste right away! Why? Because if you do, you probably won't get a nice, deep henna stain. Natural henna takes time, it's a natural dye that comes from the leaves of the henna plant, that dyes only the top layer of your skin. So be patient, relax, leave your henna paste on for at least 2-3 hours. But it is best that you leave it on for 6-8 hours if you can.
2. Don't Remove henna with water! Why? Because it hinders the henna stain process. After waiting your 2-3 or 6-8 hour period of leaving your henna paste on, remove your henna paste by gently picking or rubbing it off with your fingers. Don't worry if you have some henna flakes here and there that are still on your skin, they will come of with some oil (more info about this in the "Do's" section). Wait 12 hours (if you can) after you remove your henna paste, to have your henna stain, come into contact with water. And if you can't wait 12 hours, at least apply some oil, i.e. olive oil, coconut oil, coco butter, shea butter, to protect the henna stain from the water. Do this even days after to aid in the longevity of the henna stain.
3. Don't Exfoliate Skin, with the Henna Stain on it, with Scrubs, Loffas, Body Scrubs etc! Why? You shed Thousands of dead skin cells everyday and because henna only stains the top layer of skin, scrubbing it (the skin with the henna stain on it), will negatively effect the longevity of your henna stain.
4. Don't Use Harsh Soaps (Or Any Sops For That Matter) on your henna stain! Why? Because, as stated above you shed thousands of skin cells everyday and since henna only stains the top layer of skin, using harsh soaps dry out your skin accelerating the rate in which your skin exfoliates. So (if your henna stain is on you hands) if you do dishes, wear gloves. And whenever you wash your hands make sure you moisturize them often. Same thing for showering, don't scrub the henna stain directly, and apply some olive/coconut oil/ or coco/shea butter on the henna stain before you shower.
5. No Swimming in highly Chlorinated Water i.e. Swimming Pools! Why? Because Chlorine lightens henna stains significantly. Try to avoid swimming in swimming pools if you want your henna stain to stick around for a while.
1. Do Keep Henna on as long as possible. To insure henna has a long enough time to stain skin properly.
2. Do Keep Henna Paste Wet. The longer the henna paste stays wet, the better the outcome for your henna stain. So make sure you apply a lemon sugar mixture or some type of seal over your henna design to keep it wet. The henna paste will eventually dry, but the purpose behind this is to slow that process down to give the henna more time to do it's job.
3. Do Keep Your Henna Warm. If you are a person that has cold hand/feet etc., make sure you keep your body warm during the time you get your henna done, to even, the hours after you get your henna done and are leaving your henna on to do it's work. Henna needs to be warm to efficiently stain your skin. So if it's cold outside drink some tea or hot coco, get under a warm blanket, turn up the heater, etc. And if it's already warm/hot outside, your good :) but don't have your henna in direct sunlight, as this may effect your henna stain.
4. Do Remove Henna Gently with fingers in a circular motion or by gently picking it off with fingers. And remove any stuck on pieces of henna with olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, or any other natural oils or butters.
5. Do wait 12 hours to have you henna stain come into contact with water. If you can't wait 12 hours, at least apply some oil, i.e. olive oil, coconut oil, coco butter, shea butter, to protect the henna stain from the water. Do this before and after showering and before and after wash your hands (if henna is on your hands). Do this even days after, to aid in the longevity of the henna stain.
At the end of the day, henna takes differently to each person it is applied. Henna is also more than the stain you get at the end it an experience to be enjoyed and shared. I hope this helps post helps someone out there. And happy henna'ing everybody!
Going back one decade and some years ago I was a budding little artist. It seemed like everyone liked my drawings and other art work. I wanted to be an artist of some sort when I grew up. My up bringing was rich with all types of art, so it was the natural choice. But after sometime I felt like I kept drawing the same things over and over again and became bored with drawing. By that time I was 14 years old. So I took a break from drawing, arts and crafts. but for years after that, every now and then, I would try drawing something but just couldn't find the motivation or inspiration. Artist's Block, is what I had. But I needed a creative outlet for my emotions. So I turned to poetry.
There was a time (around 14-15 years old) I decided that I wanted to focus heavily on writing since it had been a struggle for me since elementary school. So I thought it would be good to start reading the Dictionary and Thesaurus so that I could expand my vocabulary to make my writing more interesting and captivating. In doing that, I became very fond of reading. There would be days that I'd be so entertained reading, I'd be gone for hours reading, lol. There was never a shortage of books in our house. I learned a lot, about how to write, just from reading! Which really got me inspired. And I just want to say, Thank you to both my parents for always encouraging me and my sibs in our studies and interests, and supporting us.
Around 15, I got in to activism and going to rallies for justice and peace. When I was 17, I even gave a small speech and preformed a poem at a rally at The Colorado State Capitol once. At that point in my life, I thought I had found myself and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. But I soon came to find out, there was much more left in my journey.
Years seemed to fly by after marriage and kids. After that I felt like time had run away with me. I looked back at the times that I was known for being an artist, a poet, and wondered, "why did I ever stop?" "Why am I so uninspired?" "Where do I go from here?"
When I went to the Caribbean back in 2012, I reconnect with myself in so many ways. And when I came back, with henna cones in hand, My Artist's Block was lifted! Alhamdulillah (All thanks and praise is due to God). Something that seemed as if it were lost forever, was brought back to me. I can not thank Allah (God) enough.
I've learned that what I do today, may not be what I will do tomorrow or for the rest of my life. But all those things help, to make up, who I am and who I will be. As long as I am alive, my journey in this life will continue. There will be times when I am up and times that I am down, but I just hope that Allah (God) will make my journey end in a place of happiness, joy and peace inshAllah (God willing)
Thanks for reading.