Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gaia Henna

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I know the coolest people.

My adorable friend Candice is seriously cool.

She is a belly dancer and she does henna art. She's got three kids and a husband, yet she still manages to teach belly dancing, perform, and paint beautiful designs on people! She makes it look easy! (Of course, we all know it's not!)

Part of my Summertime tradition is to visit the Ogden Farmers Market as often as I can and I always stop by and see Candice in her henna tent. If I have the funds I get some henna done for myself. I like to just let Candice do her thing and she's always done something gorgeous.

Candice put up a call on Facebook for volunteers to get free henna if they let her do bridal hands, wrap it properly, and document the first few days for her. She's trying to build up her portfolio and of course I jumped at the chance!

I went over to her house back at the beginning of October and she spent hours painting my hands. When she was done my arms looked like this:

It's traditional in Bridal Henna to hide the groom's name somewhere in the design, you can see that Candice did "Eric" right where my wedding ring goes! 

 To make the design last as long as possible Candice made a concoction of warm lemon juice and sugar, applied it to my arms and hands, then put paper towels down, and wrapped the whole thing in plastic wrap.

I felt like a mummy!

I kept the plastic on all night and the next morning I got to peel all the dried henna paste off to reveal the staining underneath. That part is a lot of fun!

The day I peeled it off it was a little light, but by the next day it had darkened beautifully.

I after that it slowly faded over the next few weeks. I got so many compliments! Everybody thought it was very pretty and really interesting. I'm not one to shy away from conversations with strangers, and having beautifully decorated arms was definitely an ice breaker!

Over Spring Break I took Betty over to see Candice and we both got a little henna. Candice wanted to show us how much darker the henna is on parts of the body with thicker skin, so she did the back of our right hands and the palms of our lefts.

On my right she did a design based on an Art Nouveau enameled brooch.

My left was more traditional.

Betty's right: 

On her left she asked for something "Steampunk" and Candice rose to the occasion! How cool is this?!

Candice's company is called Gaia Henna. She's available all the time, not just at the Farmers Market. You can hire her for parties, bridal showers, or just to have something pretty done. (She does amazing work on pregnant bellies that look great in pregnancy photo shoots!)

For more information you can find Gaia Henna on Facebook and Instagram. Candice is also trying to raise money to get her business off the ground, if you feel like supporting her you can donate here.

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