How to Do Henna & Mehndi Art w/ Lisa Butterworth

Learn about Lisa Butterworth, one of Howcast's Mehndi experts, in this video about henna designs.

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Learn all about Mehndi -- the ancient Indian art of applying henna dye to hands and feet as a temporary decoration -- from expert Lisa Butterworth in these videos. You'll learn how to mix henna; how to avoid poisonous black henna; how to draw henna designs like flowers, stars, vines, buds, and leaves; how to apply gems, gilding, and glitter paste to henna designs; how to protect the paste and wrap the henna design; and much more.

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I'm Lisa Butterworth sometimes known as Kenzi and I'm a henna artist and owner of a henna supply business, kenzi.com and based in Brooklyn, New York. My first introduction to henna was when I was living in Morocco. I was in the capital city and I was having henna done by a Moroccan henna artist. And she moved very, very fast creating this incredible lacy glove on my hand and I was just blown away by how incredible the design was and how fast she did it. I never thought I would be able to do anything that good. When I came back to the United States, a friend of mine also knew about henna and she knew that I had gotten it done. And she just bugged me and bugged me until finally I just wanted to make her happy and so I had to figure out how to do henna. So I taught myself how to do henna and started hennaing her and hennaing all of my friends and so I got good enough to go pro. Now I can do henna in pretty much any style but my finest will always be from Moroccan henna since that's where everything started. And it was my interest in Moroccan henna where I met this 13 year old kid from Boston, my friend Nick. And he and I spent the past 13 years geeking all about Moroccan henna. We've been collecting all sorts of stories and photographs and designs of Moroccan henna. And this lead us to write a book and the book is called "Moor: A Henna Atlas of Morocco." It is pretty much a comprehensive history of the culture and history of the Moroccan henna as well as the detailed break-down of how the designs are constructed. And about a 100 pages of designs and really gorgeous photos of Moroccan henna. Most of my henna work these days is doing henna for brides. I really enjoy doing henna for brides because it's a kind of collaboration where the bride shares with me her vision of what she wants her henna to be for her wedding. And I tap into my skills and talents and create an original work of art for each bride. I've done henna for films, I've did henna for Spike Lee and also Jonathan Demme films and I've done henna for fashion, photography and all sorts of things. I also helped to create and run a website called hennatribe.com. This is a great website for an aspiring henna artist and professional henna artists to get advice and share all sorts of henna related topics with people all over the world. As a teacher of henna body art, my philosophy is that anyone can do it. Henna is really just doodles and after a while you doodle and you doodle and these doodles start to take shape and you've actually created a henna design. So I like to really work with people who think they're not good artists and help them discover what is inside of them and create beautiful things with henna. Today I'll unleash your inner henna artist and have you drawing henna designs all over your friends and anyone else who will sit still.

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  • Lisa Butterworth

    Kenzi (aka Lisa Butterworth) traces her passion for henna to the time she spent living and working in Morocco. A self-taught professional henna artist, Kenzi offers private consultations and teaches the art of henna in workshops throughout New York City. Kenzi is the author, along with Nic Tharpa Cartier, of the first book on Moroccan henna: Moor: A Henna Atlas of Morocco. She lectures about Moroccan henna all around the world.