Art comes in all forms.

Local henna artist, Solange, has built an incredible reputation in the beauty industry. When I saw her beautiful designs – I wanted to hear her story.

Meet the face behind Henna by Solange.

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Solange Boudreau
Artist, Henna by Solange

Instagram: @hennabysolange
Facebook: Henna by Solange

How did you get into the art of henna?

I was first introduced to the art of henna at the end of November 2014, at my university during a charitable event. The organizer needed a henna artist, with my background and enjoyment for the arts, I volunteered not knowing I would develop such a passion for the art of henna. From that date, my henna journey officially began.

Henna is traditionally used for special occasions like weddings in Africa, Pakistan, India, and the Middle East. Can you tell us a little about the symbolism behind it?

The plant has been used for centuries to dye skin, hair, and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool, and leather. Henna was used initially for cosmetic purposes in the Roman Empire, Convivencia-period Iberia and Ancient Egypt, as well as other parts of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and South Asia. Since then, henna has been used for many reasons including: self-expression; celebration on special occasions like weddings, holidays and birthdays.

Henna is a symbol of beauty, art, and happiness.

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Photo: hennabysolange

There are many things that will affect the results of your henna. What are some factors to consider when getting henna art done?

The natural henna paste is applied to the skin, staining the top layer of skin only. In its natural state it will dye the skin. Although the natural henna paste is of a dark green colour when applied, this green paste will dry and flake off revealing an orange stain on the skin. The stain becomes a reddish-brown colour after 1–3 days of application through the process of oxidation. Usually, the palms and the soles of the feet stain the darkest because the skin is the thickest in these areas and contains the most keratin. The natural henna stain generally last from 1 to 4 weeks on the skin surface depending on the quality of the henna, the before and after care of the application of the henna, and one’s person skin type. The key instructions to remember about the application of the natural henna is:

1) Keep the henna paste on your skin for a minimum of 4 to 12 hours if possible;
2) Avoid water 24 to 48 hours after the application of the henna;
3) Moisturize your henna stain with coconut or olive oil, this will help the stain to darken.

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Photo: hennabysolange

Typically how long does each piece of henna art on a client take to complete?
Applying henna can take 10 minutes to 6 hours depending on the design requested and the delicacy of the details.

I think that art comes in all forms—what you definitely create requires an artistic spirit. Where do you draw inspiration as an artist.

I find all my inspiration through other henna artists work on social media platforms, and simply day to day patterns that I see.

The mind is such a powerful source of creativity!

How do you work with clients to make each and every piece of henna art unique and personalized?

In order to make a piece unique and personalized, I always ask the client what they like and dislike. After gathering as much information as I can regarding the shape they like, the style, their liking and disliking, I then proceed to sketch an original piece.

Since we are a fashion and beauty blog, would you mind answering some personal questions?

Of course not!

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Photo: hennabysolange

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as being very classic and minimalist, but with a touch of boldness. I don’t shy away from wearing something that stands out!

Proper skincare, I would imagine, is important to how well henna art looks on someone’s skin. Do you have a skin care routine you follow? Also, can you offer any skincare tips for anyone considering getting it done?

Before the application of the henna, I always recommend exfoliating your skins 2 to 3 days before, in order to guarantee a better longevity and stain colour. Therefore, you want to make sure that you get any kind of beauty treatment (waxing, manicures, pedicures, spray tanning, for example) before the application for a better penetration of the henna on your skin.

What is your favourite way to pamper yourself?

I love, love, love getting my henna done! Beside that, I am always looking forward to getting my hair done by Ronnie from DeLuca Hair in Westboro. He always knows what to do to cheer me up!

What is the best part of being a henna artist?

The best part of being a professional henna artist is meeting so many people from different backgrounds, ethnicity, social status, etc. and listening to them expressing their perspective on life, their experience and their goals. I love meeting people who are driven and full of life!

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Photo: hennabysolange

I have a book of quotes — whenever I read a book or hear a line in a movie I like — I write it down. What is your favorite quote?

My favourite quote is probably one of Oscar Wilde in his letter De Profundis:

The important thing, the thing that lies before me, the thing that I have to do, if the brief remainder of my days is not to be maimed, marred and incomplete, is to absorb into my nature all that has been done to me, to make it part of me, to accept it without complaint, fear or reluctance.”

I love this quote because he says that regardless of what happened, good or bad, one cannot stay in a state of permanent damage and agony. In order to fully live life and reach one’s full potential, one has to “absorb”, or accept, whatever happened. It does not mean that it defines you as a human being, but rather shapes your way perspective on life and the way you decide to conduct every situation that life throws at you.

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Photo: hennabysolange