In conversation with Sara Vazir of Sara’s Henna in Hong Kong, inventor of unique Henna Concepts.
Sara is one of the most wanted Henna artists with the highest fan following across the globe. She invented the story telling Henna, White Henna trend and now storming the news with her “Vintage Love”– The Henna Flash Tattoos.
Sara tells WED Tease about her calendar full year and the profundity about her Henna business.
WT: Sara! We met in Mauritius guess been more than 3 years now? We saw the beautiful story you scripted with Mehndi on bride’s hands? When did you originally start this trend? And how it all happened?
Sara: Ah! that Mauritius wedding was so beautiful!! Yes, it’s been a while, and the Mauritius Bridal henna love story is definitely one of my favourite ones till date. I started doing Bridal Love stories around 5 years back, and since then have been seeing a lot of other artists do the same for their clients! I first did this for my cousin when she was getting married. She gave me full freedom to design her bridal Henna, and I wanted to make something super special and personal for her. One thing led to another, and once I put her photos up on social media – it just took off from there!
WT: We even remember how important are your followers to you when you took time out of the functions in Mauritius and ensure to meet your definite fan. How do your fans react to you when you meet them in person?
Sara: Thank you, that makes me sound so.. important! I’m super grateful for social media and for all those people who follow my work as they keep pushing me to do better. I especially love it when I can put a face to the Instagram names and it makes me so happy to meet these people in real. We almost always end up doing a henna swap where they get to try my henna and vice versa. Sometimes I find that we put people we follow on social media on a high pedestal and create this mental image of them. It’s the same when my followers meet me… they realise that I’m just another person.. just one who’s good at henna that’s all!:)
WT: Henna is an ageless tradition in all religions. People also attach it with some funny myths like deeper the colour and so on… What is it that you want to tell the world on this?
Sara: I think these kinds of old wives tales/ myths make Henna art so much more fun and symbolic! And definitely more interesting than the facts; (the colour of henna depends solely on your skin type, how long you leave it on for, the quality of the henna) but its more fun saying “Your colour is SO dark!! Your husband/ your mother in law must love you a lot!” Personally I love these old myths!
WT: Do you think the originality of Mehendi colour is dying as chemicals are mixed to get the deep red colour hands?
Sara: I think the authenticity of Mehendi is dying in the East (India/ Pakistan) especially as more and more girls are opting for the fast colour chemical henna. I think because its part of our culture, we truly take the art of Mehendi for granted, and for this we should learn how to value this natural ingredient from the artists of the West. The artists take the time to learn about henna, it’s natural properties, and experiment with all natural henna powder, creating pastes with absolutely stunning colour – without having to add any chemicals! And I can assure you, the all- natural henna colour is 100x darker and richer than the chemical cones!
WT: What kind of Henna patterns you choose? Abstracts, lace, motifs, floral, paisleys? We know you trend out patterns too. Is there a myth attached with the use of some particular elements?
Sara: Well for Bridal Henna, there are definitely some elements that are more popular/ symbolic than others. Motifs such as peacocks, lotus flowers, god/goddesses/ portraits… these all have deeper meanings behind them making them more attractive in Bridal mehendi. However, personally I love experimenting with new motifs and compositions, to create more contemporary designs. So far, my lacy glove design has been the most trending/ popular design I’ve ever created. However, you can never plan for a design to get ‘trendy’! If it’s to happen… it just happens… and it’s the best surprise ever!
WT: Do you find any challenges while doing Henna and what expectations does bride have from you?
Sara: Due to the hype surrounding my Bridal Love stories, I feel brides have very high expectations of my henna art, and it’s my job to surpass their expectations! Hence why I’m very meticulous in my planning and pay utmost attention to each bride. Due to the laborious nature of creating their bespoke Love story henna designs, I only take a very limited number of brides each month as I spend a good amount of time liaising with them over their bespoke designs. I like to make sure that the design they receive is everything they’ve ever dreamt of for their Bridal henna, and more!
WT: Do you have any tips to give to the world about choosing Mehendi?
Sara: My biggest tip for brides would be: Get your Bridal henna 48 hours prior to your wedding event, in the comfort of your room and ideally in the evening so that you can sleep with it on! This will ensure that you have a very relaxing comfortable bridal henna experience, resulting in absolute prime colour at your wedding! I’ve seen way too many frazzled brides, trying to get their bridal henna at their mehendi events, rushing the artist and the process while trying to please guests/ photographers/ videographers and handling their heavy outfits all at the same time! It’s crazy… don’t do it!!
WT: Tell us about White Henna. What material is it? Is it organic? And where does this idea come from?
Sara: Back in Hong Kong I always got a lot of western brides who loved the concept of Henna art, but never wanted the stain to last that long. I created White Henna art for them around 4-5 years ago, with the idea being that they would still be able to enjoy the intricate art of Henna for their wedding day, and wash it off at the end! However it only caught on once I applied it in Dubai for the beauty mogul Huda Beauty, early in 2015. I think there was something extraordinarily beautiful about the contrast of the White henna with dark/ tanned skin that just appealed to the UAE audience and soon created a global trend. It is hilarious for I remember when I created the hashtag #WhiteHenna there was only 1 post on Instagram and that was from a girl drawing with tipex on her hand. Now it makes me super happy when I see the hashtag has over 68,000 tags!
What is white henna?
Sara: White henna is not a natural mehendi. It’s a form of body art that I termed “Henna” due to the designs we can create with it. It’s made using FDA approved ingredients such as medical adhesives and body paint. It’s completely safe for the skin. Designs take around 10 mins to apply, and 5 mins to dry. After drying the paste stays on top of your skin as it is for anywhere between 1-3 days depending on the placement of the design. It’s waterproof however comes off with rubbing and scrubbing.
WT: Do White Henna sees its future as pinks, blues, greens, yellows and other colour palette?
Sara: I hope not! Though I’ve personally tried all the colours… however I found that the colours are great if you’re 5 year old at a princess birthday party:D but not really suited for the more mature audience!
(That’s impressive for you understand the value of Henna!)
WT: White Henna vs. Original Henna. Insights please? Which one you personally choose and why?
Sara: Oh that’s a tough one! But… personally I don’t think anything can beat the beauty of traditional typical authentic natural henna! It’s exotic, it’s beautiful and there’s just something very sensual about traditional henna.
White henna on the other hand is just fun! It’s great for that temporary fix for an event… but I don’t think it can ever replace traditional henna!
WT: Coming to the breaking news… Vintage Love. We see you growing with a thought of Mehendi art. Tell us how? when? why?
Sara: Well… seeing as I can physically only be in one place at one time… I decided it was time to expand my horizons and create something for the mass market. I kept getting a lot of requests for my designs and many clients had told me on several occasions to create flash tattoos with my unique lace glove designs, so I finally did it; and did it at the best time possible – in my last month of pregnancy when I could finally travel no more! I used that time to put my creative energies into drawing and after 6 months of hard work and a lot of back and forth with my production team, we were finally able to launch my first ever collection of Henna Flash tattoos; Vintage Love by sarashenna!
(That’s just wow!!)
WT: Where can one buy these signature tattoos?
Sara: Currently these tattoos are stocked in some salons in Dubai, being sold directly through my instagram in Pakistan, and being sold worldwide online at www.anoush.co
WT: How do you manage your calendar full year?
Sara: Well this last one-year has been a gap year for me, as I had decided to dedicate all my time to my first-born baby girl. However, starting Jan I’m back to my work (this time with a little baby In tow), and back to my travels – I can’t wait! As mentioned, I take very limited number of brides, and as always some months are a lot crazier than others due to particular wedding seasons. Pre-motherhood I was able to juggle 4/5 brides in different countries back to back… however post motherhood will be an entirely new experience for me… let’s see how it turns out!:D Fingers crossed
(We wish you all the very best Sara!)
WT: Can you share the dates available for the year?
Sara: Currently I’m already almost fully booked for November and December this year, as well as March and April 2017. Apart from that my calendar is completely open for bookings for 2017!
(Hurry up Brides! You can’t miss getting yours done)
WT: What is the basic budget one should consider for Henna to be done by Sara?
Sara: My destination Bridal henna packages start from 800USD and go up to 1800USD. However I’m always open to working with brides to accommodate their budgets as best as I can, as I don’t like to disappoint my brides!
I’m a 29-year-old Henna artist and a new mom to an adorable 9-month-old baby girl. I’ve lived in Hong Kong my whole life and that’s where I started my business 8 years ago. Since then I have traveled worldwide for my Bridal bookings. I moved to Dubai after marriage 2 years ago and lived there for a year and that’s where I officially introduced my White Henna. I have since moved to Pakistan to have my baby and am currently in Karachi. However I continue to travel frequently between HK and UAE for henna gigs, as well as taking bridal bookings around the world.
Sara’s Henna Showcase:
pictures on the link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fp525phrzakg4f6/AAB-Zrr1s3_MT_4BT9eMrMOWa?dl=0