Kw-logo-smaller

Temporary Body Art

Shawn Syse spends her free time coloring people's bodies. She's not using a needle like tattoo artists or even ink. Shawn uses a mixture of crushed dried henna leaves, lemon juice, eucalyptus oil and sometimes a strong dark tea or even coffee. Henna or mehndi is a temporary tattoo with a history that goes back thousands of years. Over 5000 years ago it was used on Egyptian mummies and as a healing medicine in the Middle East.

Shawn and her husband own Mehndi2DyeFor in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 31 year-old has been a professional henna artist for about four years. At one time she wanted to get a tattoo and found out about henna instead. She became fascinated with the art and began practicing. First it was a hobby and now it's a profession. She did finally get her tattoo - a circle of suns and moons around her ankle.

Most of the couple's work is done at private parties, corporate events and festivals. At any number of festivals Frank and Shawn are up at 7am and off to set up at the festival grounds. "Working at festivals is a lot about educating the general public to the art of mehndi and exactly what it is, how it works, how long it lasts (about two weeks), what's in the paste, and so forth. We spend a good part of the day creating beautiful designs one after the other, many times hours without breaks."

"Typically we are most asked to henna hands, ankles, tops of feet (and soles too), ankles, wrists, lower backs, backs of necks, shoulders and backs. The strangest place I have ever hennaed was the middle of a guy's face, like where your third eye would be or where someone would wear a bindi (the red spot worn by Bramin Hindus,)" explains Shawn. She says the most common tattoo is a toss up between armbands and anklets.

Henna art is usually made from 100 percent natural ingredients and only comes in different shades of brown/mahogany/dark orange. "Any other colored hennas you see on the market today, including black henna, are actually not henna at all but some type of food coloring that will rub off and ruin clothing," warns Shawn. "Some black hennas, which are not henna at all, include toxic chemicals that can cause internal organ damage, burning, blistering and permanent scaring." Her advice is to stay away from black henna and have your designs done by a reputable artist, who you can contact if you have any type of reaction.

The artist doesn't plan on drawing on people for the rest of her life. She's going to culinary school to become a chef. As much as she likes henna the passion to cook is much stronger.

Do you have a favorite artist? Is there a type of art you really love?

Related Stories
56 Comments

latest videos

F989512215656

Pick Your Fave Fake Product. Vote!

  • Fake fingernails.
  • Fake teeth.
  • Fake tattoos.
  • Fake fur.

related stories

Random in the forums

_Sehaar143
_Sehaar143 posted in Electronics:
I phone 
reply 11 minutes
_Sehaar143
_Sehaar143 posted in General:
A®ies 
reply 13 minutes
cookiemonstertia
10
reply 24 minutes
shae508
"hugebear" wrote:"shae508" wrote: "hugebear" wrote: [Yay thank you and its so enjoyings and its loved for sures :D :D ] Me request is Look back and smile Personal History It's been so long now The memories have faded slightly All colors have turned a bit grayer All these days are A bit duller Sitting here Silly old me My old mushy mind Always focused on those memories The ones that made me cry And laugh The ones that made me smile The ones that make me mad They're all part of me My personal history With noting left But staring at the ticking clock My mind Takes a walk Back to the days of old When my limbs We're quite as cold The memories Of me Of everything Even now I look back And smile  Because They're all I have left My own, personal history Thats epical Shae and thanks :love (Thank You!)
reply 24 minutes
Prin12
Prin12 posted in Say Anything:
7
reply about 1 hour

play online games