Every season comes with it’s trends and this summer, the always trending black henna body art is back. Being a fan of the art, I went to the truest expert I know of, Paula (aka Henna Queen). Paula has been in the henna industry for about four years now and does everything from henna to hand decorated candles. She is an art major turned henna artist based in New Jersey.

You may be thinking- but I can get hennas down the shore, what’s the big deal? Well, it really is a big deal. As Paula explained to me, “Black henna is toxic to the skin. This is why I only use black ink. It comes from the Jagua fruit in South America. The Amazon Indians have been using it for decades for their tribal tattoos.”

Before speaking to Paula, I really had no idea what the differences were between the two. But after some research, I discovered that black henna has been known to burn and cause deep infection and discoloring to the skin. For these reasons, many places have banned it and doctors warn against it. Black ink, however, is a safe non-toxic product that does not harm the skin.

Henna dates back in history over three thousand years. Many different cultures used the art to help them keep in touch with their spirituality, celebrations and more. Women mostly, stained everything from their fingers and toes to hands, feet, arms; etc.

Now, onto the “procedure.” It’s really simple. Clean bare skin, henna artist, go.

Paula asked what I wanted done and as I began to scroll on Pintrest, she had already begun her masterpiece. I looked over and was surprised at how fast and flawless her design was. The Henna Queen really knows her stuff! After she was done, the drying process began. She told me to be very careful not to smudge the henna and that as it dried it would become hard and peel off. She also instructed me to sleep with paper towel wrapped around my arm at night so that the ink would not rub off onto my bed sheets.

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Here’s a close up of the henna design by Paula. I love the way it came out.

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And some more fun studio shots…

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To reach Paula, Henna Queen for a booking, you can contact her via Instagram or by text at 1-973-615-0592.


*Special thanks to my friend Dave Riboul for the photos.