Khaleeji Henna; bold & beautiful!

Khaleeji Henna; bold & beautiful!

We’re now three weeks into this incredible Henna Competition by The Henna Intensive & Retreat!! A competition that will reward the hard working, talented Henna Artist/ Winner with a FREE TICKET to a three day Henna Conference in California!! Needless to say, I am pretty darn excited and working like crazy to win this amazing competition! Just in case you missed it, Round 1 was Indian Traditional Henna, and Round 2 was Moroccan Henna… and now thanks to all of you – I have made it to Round 3 – voting for which finishes on Sunday!!

The theme for Round 3 was:

Khaleeji/ Gulf Henna!

Definition: Khaleeji = Arabic term for ‘of the Gulf

Once again – I saw that and instantly thought – Yikes!!! This is super exciting but I’ve never done Khaleeji Henna before, and then I thought – how hard can it be?? Well turns out, I had a much tougher time coming up with a design for this round, than I did even for the Moroccan henna round!!

However, as always, it all starts with a vision! Before I even thought of the henna design, I already had a vision of what I wanted my photos to look like. I knew I could apply the henna on any surface, and I know the more abstract the surface, the more unique it is… however, my vision for this round was very simple and my portrayal of how I envision Gulf women. Gulf women amaze and awe me with their stunning alluring beauty. Covered from head to toe, showing only their faces, and sometimes only their eyes they draw you in with their completely made up, big bold eyes – which tell a million stories and hold a million secrets! I soon found out – upon research, that Khaleeji henna is very similar to these women!

Khaleeji 1

Khaleeji Henna is alluring in its simplicity. With bold, thick curvaceous lines, big overpowering floral patterns, and over emphasized rich leaves are all enhanced with a sprinkling of dots, tiny flowers, smattering of vines and light feathery swirls and vines – like dandelion seeds blown and scattered away by the wind.

Khaleeji designs are free flowing, and quite abstract in their layouts as all these bold elements are spaced out so beautifully that the negative spaces actually add to the overall power of the design and are one of the most important aspects about Khaleeji Henna.


This beautiful design by Henna Lounge caught my eye while researching as it shows all the different elements of Khaleeji Henna. Looking at these designs, I knew I wanted to create something that can combine as many elements of this style as possible. However, while drawing up and coming up with ideas, I truly struggled because my style of henna is very different from this. I focus on the intricate details, and the traditional patterns and fillings – with very little negative spaces. So here’s my first attempt at my design:

Khaleeji saras henna design

I liked the design, however wasn’t really happy with it. So I struggled for a good few hours and then decided to just stop thinking too much into it and let my henna cone dictate the design – as I always do. My beautiful friend agreed to be my model and was super excited when I told her my concept to drape her in an ‘Abaya’ – traditional Gulf robe like coat and scarf. My mom happily agreed to do beautiful eye makeup and the photos were taken by yours truly:) Beauty in the Gulf is in modesty, and therefore my vision for her was to be demure, modest with only her eyes and her hennaed hand doing all the talking! So here’s the final outcome:

Khaleeji Henna close up

Khaleeji Henna full

My Khaleeji Henna and it’s characteristics:

  • Bold flowers
  • Delicate dotted netting
  • Feathery vines
  • Sprinkling of dots
  • Tiny leaves on vines
  • Bold curvaceous lines

What do you think? Good enough to win your vote?:) I sure hope so!! Remember voting finishes by Midnight on Sunday and only counts when this entry is ‘Like’d on Pinterest!!




  1. Mush Panjwani says:
    August 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Very informative, creative and inspiring! Great job!

  2. Blume Bauer says:
    August 4, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Beautiful job Sara! I love the design and the blog is so fun to read. Congrats on such a gorgeous job and luck for making it to the next round!

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