It’s that time of the year when henna artists everywhere are booked and busy as Eid Al-Fitr approaches. Born out of tradition, culture, and aesthetics, henna is central to the festival celebrated by Muslims to mark the end of Ramadan, and every year, it sees women’s hands adorned with arabesque and floral designs. While there’s plenty of inspiration to go around for the classic curlicue-heavy patterns, those looking for something unique can’t go wrong with one of Azra Khamissa‘s designs. The chiropractor and accessories designer turned henna artist and entrepreneur has come to be known for her contemporary take on the tradition, with patterns that are minimalistic but also conversation-starters.
Having been in the industry for over five years, the Dubai-based creative has witnessed how henna has evolved in recent times, especially since celebrations are back in full swing after being toned down due to Covid-19. “This year the henna trend has really picked up!” shares Khamissa with Vogue Arabia. “There are a lot more businesses that have started incorporating the minimal style and aesthetic into their work, and I’ve noticed a lot more girls wearing henna too.” For Eid, the Canadian-South African creative suggests finding a design that matches your style and outfit, and to “search online using the hashtag #hennaart or go over to my page @dr.azra or @azrahenna to get inspired.”
Also in Khamissa’s arsenal are a few pointers she swears by, such as her tips for those applying henna on themselves. “Use pen first, then apply henna after,” she advises. “You can also use tape, it is a great way to make perfect lines and has been used traditionally in Africa for decades.” Once applied, there are also a couple of things the designer suggests can be done to ensure a deep color pay-off. “Use 100% natural henna, which you can find on our website Azra.ae, and try to keep it on for at least two hours,” she says. “I’d also recommend steaming your hands to add extra heat after it has dried to get an even darker stain.”
Below, take a look at Vogue Arabia’s edit of henna designs by Azra Khamissa to try this Eid al-Fitr.
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