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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Henna Classes/Workshops for Spring Quarter

Simply Henna 101 Workshop in Orlando
The Spring Henna U extension classes are scheduled and available for registration! This spring we are offering our basic henna class, Simply Henna 101, and a henna technique lab, Utilizing Negative Space in Henna Design.

Both henna workshops are offered on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Beachcombers Bazaar in Orlando, FL.

Each henna class is limited to only 14 people, so get your ticket fast!

Simply Henna 101 is at 1:00-4:00.

Utilizing Negative Space in Henna Design is at 5:00-6:30.

Simply Henna 101 Workshop: The Science & Art of Mehndi

Henna Level: Beginner to Moderate
Only $40 and contains a complete henna kit with over $30 worth of product.

An in-depth introduction to the basics of henna tattoos. Both the science and the art of henna will give you everything you need to be comfortable doing henna. You will learn the science of henna and how to mix your own henna. We also cover the art of henna and spend nearly 2 hours doing hands-on practice.

Utilizing Negative Space in Henna Design Lab

Negative Space Design Lab:

Henna Level: All Levels
*If you are a beginner, you should take the Simply Henna 101 Workshop first. Basic henna information will NOT be taught.
Only $15 and all supplies are included.

This class focuses on how to use negative space within a henna design (arguably the most important part of henna anatomy). You will learn to use negative space in creative ways and to consider the use of negative space in every henna tattoo you do. This lab focuses on expanding your henna vocabulary and is nearly all hands on.

You can register for both henna workshops here.

Can't make it to this one? I do a set of henna classes once a quarter, so keep an eye out for the summer quarter henna classes!

I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Organic Wood Earrings at a Discount

horn rocker tattoo style tribal fake expander earrings
Rocker Tattoo Style Tribal Earrings
You don't need to stretch your ears to wear the amazing tribal earring styles that are for gauged or stretched ears. Split expander earrings are specially made for normally pierced ears and Beachcombers has a MASSIVE selection of tribal earrings.

Not only is there a huge selection of wood earrings, but many of them are currently on sale and even on clearance! 

Get wood, horn, or bone fake expander earrings from only $9.99-29.99, even intricately carved styles! There are even wooden fake plugs for only $9.99 and fake taper earring styles.

handmade fake expander earrings Buffalo bone
Hand carved bone fake expander earrings
Earring styles are available in men's earrings and women's earrings, though all are considered unisex earrings.

All Beachcombers earrings are for normally pierced ears. There are no expander styles and no gauge sizes to worry about.

Tribal earrings are hand carved in Bali and designed by our Master Carver, Wayan in wood, horn, and bone. They are beyond awesome!

Shop Fake Taper Earrings Here

All materials are responsibly harvested, using specially grown trees and off-cuts for wood, and a special program that give artisans access to domestic water buffalo horn and bone to ensure wild water buffalo are safe and that all parts of domestic water buffalo are used and not wasted. I'm down with that!

Woop! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Product Spotlight: 12 Indian Glass Bangle Set and Bracelet Display Stand Gift Set

12 Indian Glass Bangle Sets and Bracelet Display Stand Gift Set

For a stunning way to jumpstart your glass bangles collection and effortless display your collection at the same time, look no further than the 12 Indian Glass Bangle Set and Bracelet Display Stand. This bracelet set and display stand not only is a great deal for any jewelry lover’s collection, but it also makes the perfect gift for just about any occasion.

This gift set is absolutely beautiful. You simply won’t be able to get enough of these handmade glass bangles. They are truly stunning. The handcrafted workmanship is quite impressive. Each glass bangle is uniquely custom made with excellent design and detail. One glass bangle set is prettier than the next and always offers something different. Even the display stand is uniquely handmade.

The wooden bangle stand by itself is something to admire. It’s sturdy and beautifully well-made. It is hand carved with intricate detail. The wooden stand is so pretty, you may want to add a touch of India to your room d├ęcor and leave it out on display for all to see.

The 12 bangle set with display stand is a great value for the price. You get 12 sets of handmade glass bangles, made available in 12 vibrant colors that are pre-selected and beautifully matched. Exotic and fashionable, these glass bangles are great to wear with any outfit -- day or night. You can layer the bangles with other bracelets, mix and match the colors or wear them alone. These glass bangles from India will be a great addition to your jewelry collection or make an excellent gift to someone special.

Knowing your bangle size is extremely important. At Beachcombers, we recommend that you wear the smallest size possible for the best look, but larger bracelets are popular for special events such as weddings. There are several ways to find your bangle size. Try our bangle sizing kit or use a printable sizing template. Be sure to measure yourself before you place the order. If you have a color preference you can also add color requests to the comments box during checkout. If you need help with sizing for yourself or for sizing a gift, contact us at beachcombers@shopbeachcombers.com.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Henna Design eBook: 10 Sangeet Hands

New Henna Design eBook 10 Sangeet Henna Hands
New Henna Design eBook
 If you are in the henna world, you likely know of Neeta Sharma, Mehndi Designer. She is one of the best wedding henna artists in the US, and she recently taught at Henna University 2014: Bridal Boot Camp. I'm happy to announce she created a henna eBook for Beachcombers based on the concepts she taught at Henna U!

"Ten Sangeet Hands" features 10 henna designs that are perfect for parties. Each design is unique and looks intricate and even difficult, but they aren't! Each design only uses a few actual elements that repeat to create a henna design that looks great, yet is easy to do, much like the exercises Neeta had us do at the Beachcombers Henna conference.

Samples of 10 Sangeet Hands Henna Design eBook
Samples from 10 Sangeet Hands Henna eBook

On a more artistic side, these henna designs are spectacular. They are varied enough that you can bring bring ONLY these 10 designs to a mehndi party or sangeet and guests will love them. They focus on tradition Indian styles with a modern Gulf fusion. You are about to have some new favorites for your party and festival books!

It's a bargain at only $4.99. Only .50 a hand!

Purchase 10 Sangeet Henna Hands here.

Congratulations to Neeta for another artistic success!

You'll be happy to know that Neeta has plans on creating more henna design eBooks for us, including some larger full-size books. Woop!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How to Use Henna for Hair

Henna as a natural dye has been used by humans since ancient times. Perhaps henna's long history of use has played a part in lending it a mystical, almost other-worldly quality. Henna, however, is quite down-to-earth and is used by people around the world to enhance both special ceremonies and daily beauty. In some countries, even favorite animals are hennaed during special celebrations. Henna is not only popular for body tattoos, but organic henna for hair can be a colorful, safe dye. However, henna dye prepared for hair is formulated slightly different from henna prepared to dye skin.

The Shades of Henna 

True, undiluted, natural henna powder produces a rich reddish-brown color. Commercially prepared henna is sold in varying shades which are produced by, in the best case, mixing natural henna with other natural dyes to produce various shades of red, brown, and even darker shades. So-called clear henna is actually not henna at all, but rather a natural substance sourced from an entirely different plant.

Some henna, however, is mixed with various chemicals to produce specific "designer" shades. Henna for hair bought in the forms of cake, paste, or other premixed formulas generally has at least a trace of additives and chemicals mixed in with the henna and should only be purchased from trusted sources to make sure it is safely produce the expected hair color.

The hair colors produced by henna hair dye can range from orange to auburn to even darker shades, depending upon the strength of the henna and the original shade of the hair.

On Using Henna 
Henna Powder for Hair: Professional BAQ Jamila Henna 100 grams 2013

Henna powder is the purest form of henna. It is mixed with water to produce a strong, rich, long-lasting dye.

Packages come with instructions for mixing, for specific amounts to use, and for timing. As henna is natural, hair may need to be saturated with the henna for several hours in order to produce the desired color.

A Word of Warning on Henna 

It is extremely rare, but there is a slim possibility of henna powder for dyeing hair. It is specifically dangerous to a population of people with a specific health condition called G6PD deficiency. Much more common than allergic reactions to henna, are physical responses to other substances and chemicals sometimes mixed in with henna powder. It is wise to carefully read the label and available information on any package of henna dye for hair. Only purchase from trusted sources. Henna in the form of powder is usually the purest form available, but only if you get it from a trusted source. For safe, henna hair dye solutions, visit ShopBeachcombers.com.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Adding Sugar to Henna Powder

Slow drying henna paste mixed with sugar
Soft flexible henna paste with sugar
Adding sugar in your henna? We're not going to eat it are we? No, we are not going to eat our henna, but adding sugar to your henna mix can be helpful, especially if you are in a dry climate.

Let's start with a quick rundown of the basics of mixing henna powder.

*Detailed instructions to mix henna powder are here.

Technically you only need a good quality henna powder (like the current crop of Organic Rajasthani henna...AWESOME!!!!) and liquid (lemon juice is my preferred liquid for a stable long-lasting henna). Though it's not absolutely needed, high quality essential oils are highly encouraged.

  • Quality Henna Powder
    For henna to be used on the skin, you must use fresh high-quality body art quality henna (BAQ). Never use hair henna and never use random henna powder that you find at a grocery store. Hair henna is a lower quality henna powder and nearly always has metallic slats or chemicals added to it (even if it claims to be all natural). Random henna powder from a questionable source is rarely stored properly and therefore not fresh.
  • Lemon Juice
    Obviously, you need some sort of liquid to make your henna powder into a paste. Lemon juice is a great acidic liquid that allows the lawsone dye molecules to be released from the henna in a slow controlled fashion. A nice slow controlled dye release leads to a stable henna paste that doesn’t demise too quickly.
    You can use water, but it will cause the dye to release quickly leading to a less stable henna. Water is a good option if you need to mix henna in an emergancy becuse it cuts dye release time in half.
  • High Quality Essential Oils (Lavender & Tea Tree)
    Both lavender and tea tree oils have monoterpene alcohols which will help release more of the lawsone dye in henna resulting in a darker stain. Adding these oils also adds a lovely scent to your henna. Essential oils are very strong. Use the minimum amount of oil you need to create a good mix. Never add more than 1 ounce of oil per 100 grams of henna.

Henna paste on a tummy tuck scar for coverage
Notice the henna is not cracking and falling off even on a "bendy" area like this?
So let's talk about sugar. What kind of sugar are we talking about here? You can use a number of different types of sugar but the easiest and most common type of sugar for henna is regular old table sugar. Raw sugar is fine as well, but don't use powdered sugar as it has an anti-caking agent that can interfere with your henna. If you really want to get creative, fructose or small amounts of molasses will work too, but if you are new to mixing henna, start with plain white table sugar.

What does sugar do for your henna?

One of the most common issues with henna that I hear is the henna cracking and falling off the skin too early. As you know, leaving the henna on the skin as long as possible will yield substantially longer lasting and darker henna stains (ideally 4 hours or more). If the henna is falling off in 20 minutes you will see poor stain results.
  • Allows henna paste to dry slower
  • Helps henna stick to the skin better
  • Makes the henna more flexible so it doesn't crack as much
  • Often means there is no need to "seal" your henna design
  • Creates a stringier texture to your paste (great for draping clean henna lines)
Dark henna stain using henna paste with sugar
Great henna stain color using henna paste with sugar and no sealer
Convinced? Great! Let's talk about the specifics of adding sugar to your henna paste.

First and foremost, sugar is not a solid, sugar is a liquid! Yes, you read that right, sugar is a liquid when added to your henna paste. Just like when you add sugar to your lemonade or tea, the granular sugar that you add, melts into a liquid when you stir it. This is important because adding sugar will thin your henna. This means you should be working with a henna that is too thick to use when you add sugar. If your henna is the perfect texture and then you add sugar, your henna paste will be too thin.

How much sugar do you add? That depends. Personal preference and humidity levels are key to how much sugar you add. Start small and work your way up. The more humid the climate, the less sugar you add. Here in Florida I'd never add more than 1 Tablespoon of sugar per 100 grams of henna powder, but I've heard of people in other areas of the country who add up to 1/4 cup of sugar! Yikes!

Experiment to find what works for you. Take a batch of henna and mix it extra thick adding powder, lemon juice, and oils. Divide it into multiple batches, say 2-4 batches. Add a different amount of sugar to each batch and use them. Be sure to keep track of which batch is which!* Which do you like better? A little sugar? Tons of sugar? No sugar?

There is no right or wrong, it's about what YOU like! Let me know your results.

*A great way to keep track of different batches of henna is to cone them up in different color/patterned cones. We also offer at least 4 different styles of cellophane triangles to roll your own cones.

Henna On!

Learn more about henna at The Henna Learning Center.