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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The New Bling of Indian Bindi Jewelry

Large silver bindi with real jewelry accents
Bindi body stickers have come a long way baby! Far from the plain red or black dots of yore, Bollywood (and Hollywood) are helping push bindi in fresh new directions far outside the traditional bindi dot box.

Today you can find Indian bindi jewelry with real jewelry pieces dangling from the body sticker, and large bindi over 2 inches long! Tikka are no longer confined to actual jewelry pieces. You can now get tikka binidi that will stick to the face and part in the hair. Large bindi that are designed to be worn as arm bands are available too.

Indian bindi on metal jewelry base
Not only are the bindi themselves becoming more and more unique, but so is bindi placement. Small bindi stickers are often used as fake nose pins. Small bindi are also worn in groups at the corner of the eyes...super cute! Large bindi are fantastic when worn on the chest as a floating "necklace" or even on the hand. Today, you can even find bindi body stickers decorating the belly button.

Now that bindi jewelry have been embraced throughout the world by women, there is no limit what you can do with bindi!

However you decide to wear bindi, have FUN!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Black Henna Dangers: PPD and Hair Dye Allergy

Let's say this now, and you'll see it repeated OFTEN..."Henna is NOT black."

Real henna will ALWAYS be in the same color family of brown/red. It shows up differently on different parts of the body, and depends on a number of different factors as to the final color, but it is never black.

Real natural henna is safe. Black "henna" is NOT safe.

Real henna is not black.

Why is black "henna" dangerous?

Blisters caused by black "henna"
Black "henna" is henna mixed with chemicals that are NOT safe on or in the human body. Sometimes it contains no henna at all. Black "henna" is mixed with paraphenylenediamine or PPD. It often also contains ammonia, benzene, gasoline, turpentine, and/or kerosene, none of which should ever be put on the skin or in the body.

The big problem with "black henna" is that sometimes people don't have a physical reaction that you can see right away, and they therefore think it's safe to use. It's not. Ever.

The liver cannot process PPD as a toxin as it should. This means PPD does not leave your system, instead it slowly builds up over time and with every encounter. We encounter PPD more than we think, though not in the massive quantities found in "black henna". PPD and PPD-like-chemicals can be found in nearly ever hair dye, the ink in pens, and also in dyes for clothing.

Paraphenylenediamine was even named allergen of the year in 2006 by the ACDS.  

Just because you don't always see the horrible blisters and scaring that some people encounter with contact with PPD, does not mean PPD is not doing damage.

Every exposure to PPD puts you at substantially more risk. 
Doctors Warn of Black Henna Risk - Dubai - The National (an English newspaper in Dubai)
"Once the body's immune system has triggered an allergic reaction to PPD, such as after having a black henna tattoo, further exposure can be fatal.  'If you then dye your hair, it could cause an acute reaction, which can make you go into anaphylactic shock,' said Dr Fatma Mostafa, a skin specialist at Al Rustom Medical Centre in Dubai."

Have you ever read a home hair dye box? Do you recall all the warnings about not letting it touch the skin and about doing allergy tests every time you dye your hair? Those are all specifically for PPD. Paraphenylenediamine is legal to use in hair dye in quantities of 6% or less. This is legal in the USA, but in many European countries PPD has been banned as, even, hair dye. When used to make "black henna" PPD is normally in the range of 20-70%.

Take a moment to think about this. It is considered dangerous enough at 6% or less to not be allowed on the skin and to require all kinds of safety warnings, yet when used as "black henna" it's being applied in substantially larger concentrations and being applied directly on the skin where it sits for an hour or more.

You may have read about Pauley Perrette's (of NCSI) recent hair dye allergy? The reaction she had was to PPD in hair dye. Imagine if she were to have a "black henna" tattoo?


People that show allergic signs to PPD sometimes must avoid other chemicals that are similar and this can mean no black clothing, no sunblock, some medications, and more.

The UAE and other Middle Eastern countries have banned the use of PPD-laced henna and have started prosecuting violators. Why? The incredibly high rate of leukemia and other blood disorders and cancers in women caused by PPD.

Henna is NOT black! There is no such thing as black henna powder, a black henna stone, or any other natural black henna.

How do you know if the henna you are about to get is safe?

Ask Questions!

  1. What are the ingredients in this henna?
    The answer should be henna powder; a liquid such as water, lemon juice, or tea; and specific essential oils. Not all essential oils are safe for the skin, so the artist should tell which oils are in the henna (tea tree, lavender, cajeput, geranium, and sweet orange are all common and safe).
    If the artist does not know or is being shady or vague about the ingredients do not get henna from them. There  is no "secret ingredient" in henna. so if they are claiming something of the sort, avoid them.
  2. How long should I keep the henna on my skin?
    The answer should be as long as possible (I tell people "ideally 4 hours or more"). If the answer is an hour, there is something mixed in the henna that shouldn't be.
  3. How long will the henna last?
    The henna will always start off orange and take a couple days to come up to full color. Generally you will have good color 5-10 days and the henna will be completely gone in 1-3 weeks. If the artist claims the color will be dark right away, do NOT let them henna you. No henna is dark immediately upon paste removal. If they say the color will be dark 3-4 weeks, do NOT let them henna you.
Wet henna paste.

Use Your Senses (Eyes and Nose)!

  1. The paste should be a greenish or brownish color, not jet black or bluish. As henna paste dries it oxidizes and that looks black, but the wet paste should be greenish or brownish.
  2. Smell the henna. It should smell like whatever oils the artist said is mixed in the henna. It should not smell like chemicals or something you'd use to wash out paintbrushes.
  3. Look for any stains on the artist. Most of the time, a henna artist will have henna on them somewhere. Look for red/brown stains. Often their hands will have bits of red-brown or orange. If you see black, don't get henna from them.

Real henna is safe. Protect yourself by only using real natural henna!

Buy SAFE Natural Henna Kits Here

Henna On...Safely!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Henna Design eBooks: How to Download and Save

Ordered henna design eBooks for inspiration? With over 20 henna design and educational eBooks to choose from I hope you found more than one! It's easy to access and download your henna eBooks at Beachcombers.

To Download Your eBooks At Checkout...

All eBooks require you to register for a Beachcombers account (enter a password during checkout). All eBooks paid by credit card are available via immediate download on the "Order Complete" screen.

If you got a free eBook or did not use a credit card to pay, you will NOT see the BLUE arrows. A link to download the eBooks will be emailed to you within ONE business day.

  1. Look for the moving BLUE arrow(s), and click on each link to download that eBook.

  2. Save the eBooks to your computer as in the sample below. If you lose your eBooks, you can access them directly through your Beachcombers account at any time.

Download Your eBooks from Your Beachcombers Account...
  1. Log in to your account using the email and password you selected.

  2. Click the "Review Orders/Track Packages" link.

  3. Click the "Download File(s)" link.

  4. Look for the moving BLUE arrow and click on the link.

  5. Save the eBooks to your computer as in the sample below. If you lose your eBooks, you can access them directly through your Beachcombers account at any time.

All that is left to do is enjoy your fabulous new henna eBooks!
Have fun!


Shop for Henna Design eBooks Here



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bindi Meanings: Traditional and Modern

Simple Round Bindi

What do Bindi Mean?

Bindi have a rich history of symbolism and meanings in many different cultures. Bindi can have either cultural or religious significance, though sometimes they are just a fashion accessory.

Though most people think of bindi as the reusable body stickers commonly found today, bindi, which literally means "dot", were typically perfectly round dots of sindoor powder, kumkum (red turmeric) powder, or saffron powder applied by hand to the forehead.

Bindi are typically worn on the forehead in the space slightly above and between the eyes. This is also known as the sixth chakra or third eye and is the point one embraces while meditating. It is the space which holds wisdom and concentration. These beliefs makes wearing bindi very symbolic when worn on such a powerful energy area of the body.

Some cultures actually tattoo symbols (crescents being popular) on the forehead to bring blessing and luck, as well as to ward against the evil eye. These tattoos are also known as bindi.

Wearing bindi on the forehead is also thought to be a way to pay honor to ones intellect. Both women and men often wear bindi for this reason.

Women all over the world and of many different cultures embrace these meanings in bindi. Bindi and its symbolism are not limited to one culture or religion.

When my daughter was young, she had problems concentrating in school. We used bindi as a tool to help her focus. She did distinctly better on tests when she wore bindi than when she did not. The energy of the body is not to be discounted in its power!

For many Hindu women bindi simply means the marital status of a woman. Red means married and black means single.

Bindi as Fashion Jewelry

Today, rather than plain red or black dots, bindi body stickers come in a range of colors, sizes, and styles often adorned with real crystals and other decorations. For many Asian and Western women alike, bindi have become a fashion accessory. Just look at the fancy bindi worn on Bollywood stars, and the bling of fashion is unmistakable.

Bindi body stickers are not just worn on the forehead any more. You can find bindi worn at the corners of the eyes, around belly buttons, and worn as a "floating" necklace.

How you choose to wear bindi is up to you. Wear it with symbolism and meaning or wear it as a fashion accessory.

However you choose to wear bindi, enjoy it!