Using body art to add beauty to the skin
Body art is an interesting form of self-expression. The mark made can be permanent or temporary, but whatever the purpose, it definitely adds beauty to the skin.
The most common types of body art on the market are tattooing, henna, and adhesive.
Medard Kityo, a tattoo artist, says a tattoo is a mark created by piercing the top layer of skin and filling it with ink to create a pattern. He adds that tattooing is not to be taken lightly and advises his clients to think carefully about the images they wish to tattoo on their body as they are permanent. “If, for example, we want to tattoo the name or face of our current lover, or their spouse on their body, I don’t create it that day. Instead, I ask them to go back and think about it carefully because if the relationship ends, the memory on the skin will not be erased, ”he explains.
- The tattoo ink is put into a syringe and a sterilized needle attached.
- The image is drawn on the skin with a pen.
- The needle is then pressed against the skin, piercing it rapidly along the image and filling it with ink.
- The wound is dressed and left to heal. The client is advised to return after a few days to have the dressing removed.
- It’s fast and time-saving.
- The image is permanent.
- Even difficult images like faces can be tattooed.
- No religious or cultural belief is attached to it.
- The process is painful and there is bleeding.
- If not properly cared for, the wound can become septic.
Originating in ancient Egypt, and adopted by Indian and African traditions, this form of body art is adventurous to say the least. Jamila Ahmad, a Mehandi artist in Mengo Kisenyi, learned art from an aunt in Zanzibar. She says henna is made from the leaves of the Mehandi tree that grow in arid areas. “Their petiole produces a reddish-brown dye that, when applied to the skin, stains and cools it,” she says. It is mostly used by brides and can have intricate designs drawn on her body to mimic lace gloves and shoes. Traditionally, she isn’t supposed to do any housework until the henna is gone.
- The dye is mixed with sugar or honey and a little lemon juice until it turns reddish brown 24 hours before application.
- The design is then drawn onto the body using a Mylar cone, syringe or jak bottle by tracing on a stencil or with a steady hand.
- The area is left to dry for at least three hours, preferably 24 hours. The longer it stays, the deeper and darker the stain will be.
- It is semi-permanent, lasting 1 to 5 weeks.
- It stays briefly when stained on the upper arm and face.
- Lasts longer on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet because the skin is thicker there.
- The process is painless
- Henna powder is readily available in the market.
- Henna powder is easily duplicated especially in the form of black henna.
- It could cause oozing, itching, or scarring if the powder is fake.
- Long waiting period for the henna to set
These are the easiest and most common way to create body art. They are inexpensive and ideal for short term body decoration. They come with their own soft adhesive glue attached to the back of each piece.
- Wipe down and dry the area to get rid of dirt and oil.
- Peel off the sticker and fix it on the skin and hold it for a few seconds to fix it.
- They are easy to use and readily available at most beauty stores.
- They are cheap between 15,000 and 30,000 shs.
- The procedure can be done at home.
- The process is painless.
- They only last 24 hours after which they come to lose.
- Requires careful handling as clothing or jewelry can get lost.