10% discount offered on bookings made for Eid (for R100 and over)

Ramadan Mubarak to all who are keeping their fast this month! It certainly is a time for reflection, inner peace and being aware of the suffering of people less fortunate than ourselves.
As we progress through this month, we need to be strong and keep our faith. Eat nourishing, slow energy-releasing foods early in the morning, and conserve your energy throughout the day. (Have a look through my other posts too, there are a few stories that'll relax you and help conserve your energy!)

I'm offering a 10% discount (per person) to everyone who makes their bookings for Eid, for R100 and over.
The usual group discount applies; when you come over in a group of 4 or more people, you get a 20% discount, if each person gets their henna done for at least R100.
Quote "henna-is-never-black" to let me know you've seen the discount on this post.
Within Pietermaritzburg I will travel to you; if you're out of PMB, I would appreciate if you come to me, that way you save on travel fees (this is a great opportunity to come in groups!)
You're more than welcome to make your usual appointments for bridal mehndi, wedding-night-before parties, engagement henna, etc.

I wish you all everything of the best. Stay strong, and may the almighty Allah shower peace, prosperity and success upon you!

Who's in line to be adorned with my new designs? *ear-to-ear grin*

These designs are (hopefully) in keeping with the times; I wanted to create something that's modern, while incorporating some traditional elements.

Moroccan-Indian fusion inspires me, mostly because it poses a challenge to me. Proportion, fine lines and checkerboards were all part of the learning process.

A modern take on an Indian design; the traditional checkerboards are there, but different fillers are present in other areas.

Something lighter! I love the heaviness of the finger designs and how the lighter flow of the paisleys offsets it. I did these designs in felt-tip because I wanted to work much more quickly, and ideas were coming to me quickly. I chose a felt-tip that represented the flow that could be achieved with a real henna cone.

A shortened version, brought to life.

Growth is always important. When you look at work from when you first started out (no matter what profession you're in), to looking at the work you recently do, and there's quite an improvement - you've certainly grown. (If you haven't? There's certainly room for growth!) I feel I've made an improvement in the past three months, and this only makes me more confident that I can give you better designs, and better quality work.

Here's a design I drew out in March 2015:

I feel that it lacked some finesse, seeing as my cone control wasn't quite there, so three months later I decided to try and recreate it. (Also, pardon the outline; I did that with my left hand!) Here's the completed design, done yesterday (4th June):

The main elements are still there, but with the practice coming in handy, it's a bit more refined. Three months is a lot of time to get those hand muscles working! (I haven't used a hand grip strengthener but I think I should invest in one.)

I've been testing the waters with other social networks and so far I've invaded four - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Blogger. You know what to do!
Check out more of my work on my Facebook group
Follow me on Twitter: @lydimehndi2015
Follow me on Instagram: lydimehndi
My Blogger profile is this very website! Info about bookings and contact details are in the top bar. I look forward to giving you unique designs, while using my safe mix of mehndi!

Things you should not do (Applies to brides too!)

Watching somebody wash their henna design off is probably the most painful thing I have ever seen. Not for the person washing it off, but to the henna artist whose work has just gone down the drain. Literally.
On that note, I feel this post is going to be a bit of a rant! Bear with me; I won't include flowery language or anything offensive. I understand some of you might not agree with some of the points outlined here, and I completely respect that. Or you might be enlightened. One of the two.

To get your design to yield a gorgeous colour (just like the ones you see on Google searches), the first step, in the initial stages, is to keep as far away from water as possible.

All down the drain.

I'm sure you're asking, "how come? Wouldn't it just be easier to get it off, and it will still darken in the process?" The answer is no, if you've had a mix of natural henna applied to you. If you've had a paste applied where you washed it off and it still darkened considerably within a few (or so) hours, you've had the instant mehndi applied to you...or as I like to call it, Chemical Cocktail Mehndi.

"But I've had this applied quite a few times to me and I've never had a reaction before. You're talking garbage, Lydi."

Change that to "I haven't had a reaction YET." It's very possible you've had it applied 9 times, and on the 10th application, BOOM! If your skin could talk, it would most certainly be using flowery language. Or some parts begin to peel in places as the design fades. (Also, I'm not even talking about black henna because I'm sure you all know by now, that stuff is DANGEROUS. It's like using printer ink on your hands. Not good.) Natural mehndi starts off as an orangey colour (or dark-orange colour, the longer you keep it on), and slowly oxidizes over 48 - 72 hours to a reddish-brown colour. What happens is a Michael addition reaction between your skin and the staining molecule in the mehndi, hydroxynaphthoquinone (I think we'll lovingly refer to it as HNQ for now). It's also conveniently a condensation reaction! Meaning:

Keratin + HNQ ---> Keratin-HNQ-complex + water (you guessed it!)

If you add water (i.e. washing the mehndi off), you are reversing the reaction and it makes the darkening process almost useless.
Now I don't want to turn this into a lab report, but simply put: don't reverse the reaction by coming into contact with water. When doing hygienic rituals, a layer of baby oil (or vegetable oil, even) can be used to create a barrier between your skin and (brief contact) with water.

This brings me to the second point - there are things worse than water.

Just doin' my nails.

Acetone! Removing your nail polish (even putting some on) will cause your design to fade immediately. Your skin exfoliates heavily upon contact with nail polish remover and your design goes with it.

And the third and final point (and I'm sure everyone will agree with me on this one):

That's right; none of this! Your 'get out of jail free' card.

Mehndi doesn't have to be a burden; in fact, when you've got this stuff on, it's a one-way ticket to no-housework-land. Brides especially, if anyone asks you to do the housework while your mehndi design is still there, just tell 'em it's a big fat no! If they protest, let them know (gently) that it's tradition for a bride not to do the housework with mehndi on, cos it has been a tradition for several generations.
Anything that involves exfoliation of your skin, be it scrubbing, swimming, chopping tomatoes, hand-washing clothes, rock-climbing or operating heavy machinery, should be avoided for as long as you'd like your design to last. You'd most likely get good colour for the first 3 - 5 days after darkening, and it'll fade completely in about 20 days.

P.S. In my last post, I said I'd include some of my portfolio designs. The photos above shows one of them; my next post for sure will showcase a few others.

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