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Pretty, but not henna: Aussie celeb sporting facial "tattoos"

Once again, the mass media is generally clueless when it comes to henna.

The UK's Daily Mail recently published photos of Australian celebrity Imogen Anthony, which she'd posted on her Instagram feed. The headline said she was sporting "henna facial art." Here's one pic:

News flash: That ain't henna.

Let's say it together folks: HENNA IS NEVER BLACK. (You can read all about that business here.) But this is more than likely black liquid eyeliner, which is generally safe for facial doodling.

More to the point, this design is reminiscent of traditional black designs on the faces of women in North Africa and some parts of the Middle East—a separate tradition from henna, which traditionally is done on the hands, arms, feet and legs.

The traditional name for this type of black body art is harquus. According to Catherine Cartwright-Jones, women in these areas of the world would create black body paint using "plant resins and fats with carbonized wood, lignite and cellulose." Today, women use everything from eyeliner to airbrush tattoo paint, especially among devotees of tribal-style bellydance. Check out this photograph of renowned dancer Carolena Nericcio, founder of American Tribal Style dance.

So, yes you can get a black design—even on your face—as long as you use a safe body paint or cosmetic product. But make sure you know what it is: harquus, not henna!

2 Comments to Pretty, but not henna: Aussie celeb sporting facial "tattoos":

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Emma on Monday, November 16, 2015 3:36 PM
It’s really a beneficial post for Henna. I used henna so many times; because my mother is from Asia. And got that idea from my mother. Though I had used several times but I did not hear about harquus. Anyway, I think this eyeliner is good for our skin. It also makes gorgeous. Thanks for this post.
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johny on Monday, January 11, 2016 7:42 AM
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