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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2014 Jamila Henna Powder Has Arrived!

2014 Jamila Henna BAQ Packaging
That's right! The new 2014 summer crop of BAQ Jamila henna is here!

We all love our BAQ Jamila henna and a new crop is an exciting thing for henna artists.

I have not done any physical testing yet but I'll tell you what I can thus far. It has a higher lawsone content than 2013, 2012, or 2011 Jamila henna.

The 2014 Jamila henna weighs in at 2.7% lawsone!

The henna is boxed in the familiar holographic BAQ henna box and is wrapped in clear plastic wrap.

There is a silver holographic sticker on the top of the box.
Holographic Sticker on Un-opened Jamila Box

The bottom of the henna box is stamped with...

Super Sift 
Summer Crop 2014 
JBAQ2014 07 09
MGF 07_14 EXP 07_17
Stamped Bottom of 2014 Jamila BAQ Henna

Inside is the familiar silver Mylar bag printed with "Premium Quality JAMILA Henna" in dark red.

Stamped on the silver bag, in black, will be...
JBAQ2014 07 09 MFG 07_14 EXP 07_17
Mylar Bag and Stamp for 2014 Jamila Henna

Now you know what to look for so you are getting REAL Jamila product and not a knock-off. I will follow up with tests results and my personal experience with the henna sometime next week!

So far, I'm hearing from customers, "great color", "creamy texture", and "works well with sugar".

If you want to try it now, you can buy the Jamila henna powder here or buy the Jamila henna and oil combo here.

See you soon!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How To Store Henna

Henna is a perishable product that requires special storage to stay fresh and leave great henna stains. There are different ways to store henna depending on if it's mixed or not. We'll talk about both.

How to Store Powder Henna

Powder henna is pretty stable if it's packaged properly. Both of our henna brands, ORa and Jamila henna are vacuum sealed which makes them quite stable. While they are unopened, you can store these hennas in any cool dry place. Stay away from any place that encounters sunlight or high temperatures. That means no bathrooms!

Once the henna has been opened, it's important to seal the henna well before storing it. Air and light will ruin henna powder, so squeeze out as much air as possible before storing leftover henna powder. Again store in a cool dry place.

For long term storage, freeze henna powder. If you do this, be sure to double wrap the henna. Any condensation will ruin the powder. Before unwrapping frozen henna powder,  be sure the henna is at room temperature and there is no condensation left on the packaging.

How to Store Henna Paste

Henna paste is much more fragile than henna powder. Once henna paste is ready to use, it can go bad fairly quickly. Though it's possible fresh mixed henna will leave good color after sitting out at room temperature for a week, most of the time, the henna paste will be substantially weaker or even dead by then. Don't take the chance of ruining your henna paste when it's so easy to keep it fresh!

Ideally, if you aren't using henna paste in a day, freeze it. Freezing henna paste will not hurt it at all and will keep the paste fresh.

Yes, you can re-freeze henna paste!

If you purchase ready-made henna, be sure to purchase henna that has been properly stored. If you buy henna that has been sitting on a shelf somewhere for goodness knows how long you will get poor color or henna that has added chemicals that are dangerous. On that note, we (Beachcombers) store our henna paste in in-house freezers.

How I Freeze my Henna Paste

When I mix henna paste to use on myself or clients, I mix a large batch and cone it up into individual henna cones that I make from our pre-cut cello triangles. Once my henna cones are neatly taped, I create a label (with the date, ingredients, and any other information I may need), put the henna cones in a bag, and pop the entire bag in the freezer.

When I'm ready to do henna, I pull as many cones as I need out of the freezer and I"m ready to go! My frozen henna cones thaw in about 15 minutes.

I am willing to re-freeze cones I use on myself over and over, but for paying clients, I don't refreeze cones. They are small enough, that I normally use all the henna anyway before needed to re-freeze.

Woop for fresh henna!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Intricate Hand Carved Bone Fake Taper/Expander Earrings

Our master carver, Wayan, has gone above and beyond with this latest order of organic earrings! Wayan always does beautiful work and always creates a wonderful selection of fake taper earrings for us, but he has really out-done himself with these amazing Ganesha elephant earrings.

Just look at the detail in that headdress!

Hand carved from domestic buffalo bone, these elephant split expanders are for normally pierced ears (as are all Beachcombers earrings). This body jewelry looks like it is for gauged or stretched ears, but is for regularly pierced ears.

In addition to these new elephant earrings, check out the octopus earrings that are also in bone!

WOW! Everyone needs a pair of octopus earrings, right! I love the texture on the tentacles paired with the polish of the bone "head" of the earring.

Don't worry, if octopus and elephants are not your thing we have plenty of gorgeous styles in both dainty feminine styles and edgy tribal earring styles. Earrings are available for men and women with many unisex styles to buy online.

Shop Fake Taper Earrings Now


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Beautiful Bridal Flats: Wedding Shoes with Style!

White silk covered beaded flats that are perfect for bridal shoes.
Beautiful beaded white wedding flats
Have you ever tried to find cute white flats? Tough, isn't it? White flats tend to be boring and make your feet look big. That's okay, I'm looking out for you! Indian shoes work perfectly for flat white wedding shoes!

These beautiful Indian shoes are called khussa, pronounced kus-sa (kus rhymes with puss as in Puss-and-Boots) NOT koos-sa (rhymes with moose). They are wrapped in silk and covered in beautiful patterns of beads and sequins. Each beaded flat is handmade by master stitchers in Pakistan and India.

In addition to being beautiful, these shoes become incredibly comfortable. They seem tight and uncomfortable when new, but break in to be a dream! There is no left and right when they are new, as they custom form to the shape of your foot (creating a custom left and right) as they break-in. Perfect shoes for dancing the night away at a wedding reception!

Ivory wedding beaded flat shoes
Warm white bridal shoes work with ivory wedding dresses.
There are two basic white colors in these wedding flats, a cool silvery white and a warm ivory white. They will not be an exact match to a wedding dress, but they should work within the tonal range of most wedding dresses. If the dress is cool, meaning it has a blue or silver undertone the cool white Indian shoes work. If the dress is warm white, ivory, or cream the warm white beaded flats will work well. All shoes that are covered in silk can be tinted to any color you like at your local shoe repair shop or bridal shoe store.

Multiple styles and sizes of white flat bridal shoes to buy online.
Though khussa Indian shoes can be worn every day, they have exposed stitching so they should be worn with care. Never wear them in wet conditions and be aware of scuffing the leather soles so far that the stitches pop.

One more reason to love Beachcombers khussa Indian shoes? Only 24 or each pair are made then the style is retired. This makes your handmade wedding shoes even more exclusive and special!

Congratulations on the big day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New Henna Cone Paper Testing

To keep henna fresh it needs to be frozen. This presents a challenge to carry good quality ready made henna cones. We have our supplier ship our henna frozen to us. This means it has to be shipped as perishable food. It's shipped to a special customs area with frozen storage while it clears US customs. Once the henna reaches us here at Beachcombers, we immediately put it in our freezers. Perfect!

The big challenge after all of that craziness is getting the henna from us, in Orlando Florida, to you (wherever you may be). If we ship it frozen to you, it tends to thaw too quickly and can cause leaky cones on your end. If we ship it already thawed too long we run the risk of you not getting fresh henna. It's a delicate balance!

We are in the process of testing out new henna cone wrappings and types of rolls for our ready-made henna cones. We are hoping to find something that will have less leakage if the henna is still partially frozen when we ship it to you.

This means, you may be seeing all kinds of strange-looking henna wrappers on cones you get from us, lol! Some of the wrappers are branded with other hennas, but the henna inside is indeed the henna we have mixed specifically for us. The only way for us keep track of which wrappers are working, is to keep the wrappings very different and it's much cheaper to use wrappings that are already made and printed than to specially commission them during our testing phase. Once we decide on the thickness of the cellophane, we'll go back to all one type of wrapper.

Sorry for any confusion this may cause!