Henna is a natural dye that has been used for centuries but has recently had a resurgence in popularity. We’ve seen it being used for eyebrow staining or creating fake freckles, but as of recently, using it on your lips also became a trend on its own.
Here’s everything you need to know about henna lip liner, including its benefits and downsides – and how to apply it.
What Is Henna Lip Liner?
Henna lip liner uses henna paste to stain the skin on and around the lips, creating an effect you’d get using a lip liner. Only, this one is much longer lasting and made from the natural henna dye.
Henna is made from the dried leaves of the henna plant, which is then ground into a fine powder and mixed with water to create a paste.
Culturally, henna is used to create semi-permanent tattoos for special occasions, but in this instance, it’s used to temporarily stain and define the lips before applying lipstick or lip gloss.
But what made this trend so popular is that due to its darker, almost brownish color, you can achieve that trendy early 00s brown ombre lips effect. And while this technique also works as a full-on lip stain, it’s primarily used for outlines.
What’s So Great About Henna Lip Liner?
The biggest advantage of the henna lip liner trend is that it’s so long-lasting, it’s sort of semi-permanent. Unlike traditional lip liners, which need to be reapplied throughout the day, henna lip liner doesn’t require any touch-ups.
Another benefit of the henna lip liner is that it creates a more natural look than traditional lip liners. Henna lip liner results in a soft, subtle line that blends seamlessly with your natural lip color, so it’s not as harsh or obvious.
Plus, some people point out that henna lip liner is an organic product. Since henna lip liner is made from naturally derived ingredients, it’s completely free from harmful chemicals that are found in some traditional lip liner products.
But Is It Safe?
Henna lip liner is considered to be safe, relatively. Let us explain.
Henna is safe to use if you are making your own paste at home with good, 100% pure henna powder. But if you’re using a store-bought henna paste, research the ingredients well.
Pre-made henna paste might be made with other ingredients that aren’t 100% natural, so opting to make your own bach is safer choice, although not as convenient.
Although henna has a very low allergic potential, chemical coloring additives may be the trigger.
Since pigments are mixed in to make henna redder or pinkish, make sure you do a patch test before applying it to your lips. Especially if you’re a first-time user.
Besides, it’s also important to note its other side effects. Henna can be quite drying so be sure to keep your lips moisturized before and after applying the paste.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply Henna Lip Liner
The application process is relatively easy but requires some preparation and patience.
So here’s a quick step-by-step guide to getting the best henna lip liner results:
Acquire the Supplies
Most people go for pre-made henna cones that ensure a very easy and mess-free application process. Nowadays, henna is available in various shades, from deep burgundy to light pink, and can be mixed to create custom colors.
When choosing your henna paste, be sure to choose a color that matches your skin tone and personal preferences.
Here are a few options:
If you aren’t using pre-made henna, follow the instructions that came with your henna powder, or find the recipe you like the best online.
Essentially you’ll be mixing together henna powder and water, with other optional ingredients like essential oils, citrus, or vinegar until you have a consistency similar to that of toothpaste.
Henna paste can be mixed with other natural ingredients, such as beetroot powder or cocoa powder, to create a customized color.
Once you’ve made or bought your henna paste, the application process can begin.
Prepare Your Lips
Before applying henna lip liner, it’s important to prep your lips first. Start by exfoliating your lips with a lip scrub or a soft toothbrush to remove any dead skin as this will help the henna paste adhere to your lips easier and more evenly.
Apply the Henna Paste
In case you’re using a homemade batch of henna paste, apply it with a small brush or applicator, in the desired shape.
If you’re using a henna cone, applying a henna lip liner is relatively straightforward. But there are a few tips and tricks that can help you achieve the best results.
The first tip is to work quickly. Henna paste is quick-drying, so it’s important to work quickly and carefully when applying it to your lips. If you make a mistake, wipe the paste away before it starts staining the skin.
The second tip is regarding the overlining effect. If you choose to overline your lips, make sure you let the henna touching your actual skin stay on longer than the henna covering your lips. The skin of your lips is thinner, so it’ll stain easier.
Let the Henna Dry
Once you’ve applied the henna paste, let it dry completely. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the intensity of the henna paste and the humidity of your environment. The longer you leave it on, the darker it stains!
This step is crucial so be patient and allow the henna paste to dry completely before removing it.
Remove the Henna Paste
After the henna paste has completely dried, it’s time to finally remove it. Gently peel off the henna paste from your lips and make sure you don’t rub too hard, as this can cause the henna to come off unevenly.
You can also use a damp cloth or cotton ball to remove any excess henna residue.
Once you’ve removed the henna paste, your lips will look orange at first, but only until henna develops (in the following 24h). So if you’re worried something has gone wrong, just remember to trust the process.
The stain will last for about 3 days as the skin on the lips is thin and renews quickly.
Alternatively, Try Henna Lip Stains
If you are looking to avoid this entire process, but still want something that will imitate the results, there are actual lip products that contain henna powders in them.
These products work in the same way regular lip liners do, but they claim to have longer-lasting staining power due to containing the henna extract.
They may be harder to find, though.
So, Is Henna Lip Liner Worth a Try?
Henna lip liner provides a natural look that enhances the shape of the lips without the need for invasive procedures like lip tattooing. However, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, a permanent lip liner tattoo or a lip blush would be the best option.
Lip tattoos typically last up to 2 years and really aren’t as scary as some people might think. You can learn all about the lip tattooing process here.