TRCH Swan Lake

Art Works: Gul Bains-Khosa

12 October 18 interview: LeftLion

She loves nothing more than making folk feel beautiful...

I’ve been interested in henna since I was a child. It used to be a hobby, but after training in India and doing a five-day henna course in 2008, I decided to develop my skills and create my own style. I’m influenced by pioneering henna and tattoo artists such as Mary Ginkas, Veronica Krosovska and Anais Chabane, preferring more contemporary henna designs.

I think it’s a great way to help people feel beautiful in their own skin and celebrate the human form. I’ve spent up to three hours completing designs, but this sternum design took one hour. Although I plan in advance, I add new ideas on the day, as I like the freedom of being able to create something that flows with the body I’m working on. Henna is beautiful; it’s suitable for everyone regardless of shape or age, and it’s the perfect medium for making people feel confident.

Henna is made from plants which are dried into powdered form. Water and essential oils are then added to the powder, creating a paste with a toothpaste-like consistency. I love that henna is a natural product that doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals; it’s been used for centuries, including on Cleopatra's iconic eye flick. Traditionally, it’s used to adorn the hands and feet of brides, but it’s become popular with all cultures and can be used anywhere on the body.

I have a home studio in Wollaton and do most of my work there. I do this full-time and henna is part of my company, Beaut-ology. Recently, clients have wanted me to design permanent tattoos for them as henna is a great way to trial what a real tattoo would look like.

Beaut-ology website

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