Hey Hey Hey Desi Brides!
I hope you are all well!
Today I have a special treat on the blog.
As you know I am always scouring and researching the best suppliers in the UK. As a bride to be I know how important it is to have good reputable suppliers at good value for your dream day, as we ALL have been dreaming of this day ever since we were little girls!
So today I would like to introduce you to Karuna Bilimoria!
I discovered Karuna a few weeks ago as I was researching Henna Artists in London and what a joy it was to stumble across her!
Instantly excited I went over to her Facebook page, and I was very impressed to say the least. The detailing and intricacy of her work was absolutely beautiful and I also discovered she is a nail artist too. Which is actually a god send before your big day, because then the same person can do it for you and it’s normally a pain in the butt to get two separate people to do both nails and henna.
The next stage was to contact her to find out a little bit about her. As you know Desi Brides I am very big on customer service and I have had some shocking situations since my wedding planning (more about that in another blog post). But the thing I love about Karuna she is so thorough, professional and very speedy in responding!
So I decided to do a Q&A session with Karuna as I know her tips and advice for Henna would be invaluable to my Desi Brides.
I nearly forgot the most important bit, Karuna is available to book for Henna and Nails for you big day Desi Brides! Karuna will also be showcasing at the Asian Bride show on 25th January in London. And If you mention Desi Bride Dreams to her at the show you’ll get a fabulous discount!
So here it goes…
Where are you based Karuna?
I am based in North West London and I travel nationally for brides as well as internationally!
How did you go about becoming a Henna Artist?
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always been interested in art and I use to spend endless hours drawing, painting etc, the list goes on. My Grandparents were visiting from India one year and my Grandma absolutely loves henna & she brought a selection of cones with her. She asked me to practice on her. I was nervous as I hadn’t ever even held a cone before, but in true grandma style she talked me through it all and ever since then I was hooked!
My dream of becoming a professional henna artist was then born. I took it upon myself to make my dream become a reality. I began taking on bookings through family and friends until I branded myself and launched my brand in 2011, I haven’t looked back since!
What services do you offer to lovely brides to be?
I now offer something very unique and creative. This is a bespoke henna designing service to all my beautiful brides, which is far from the usual norm (yeah I hadn’t heard of this before either). This way the henna experience is 100% personalised and tailored absolutely and solely to the lovely bride which means they are 110% happy with their design and the service that they get. I enjoy creating every single design & don’t see it as work at all! I see each and every bride as a person, not just an invoice & I am proud to be included in such a huge milestone in their life!
I also offer a nail service to my brides. This includes acrylics, hard gel which is a gel extension for the nail and of course OPI gel colour which is 100% gel used on natural nails. I have previously worked as a nail artist at Selfridges in London so I have tons of experience behind me.
P.S I love that invoice line!
What advice would you offer to brides who are looking for a Henna Artist?
First of all, you need to determine how much coverage and what style of henna you want. This will help you with your search when you are ready to look for artists,. Most artists will have their own unique style. For example do you want a simple or very intricate design? Have this clear in your mind so you know exactly what you want.
Once you’re ready to enquire, make sure you have your date for the mehndi night set (2 or 3 days before wedding is recommended), as it would be a waste of time enquiring if your artist is not free for your special date!
Always attend a trial to meet with your henna artist before you book. I always encourage brides to come for a trial first so they can have a browse through my portfolio and for us to get to know each other. It is during this time where the bride can have a template of their pattern designed so that they can see what I am able to produce for them if they book.
Always always make sure your artist uses 100% natural henna and is able to tell you each and every single ingredient which goes into their paste, or where they purchase their cones from. Any good, safe artist will happily share this information with you!
There has been tons of horror stories about toxic Henna products and I’ve seen some awful images online. Tell us a little bit more about this?
The first thing that springs to mind when I hear the word ‘toxic’ is black henna.
Black henna contains p-phenylenediamine (PPD) which is what they use for hair dye- it is not permitted to use on the skin at all! The effects which are created after use on the skin are indeed horrific and can leave permanent scarring! Ever bought a pack of hair dye from the supermarket and wondered why it says ‘do no use if allergic to black henna’? This is why! Make sure you always use recommended and reputable Henna artists!
I make my own blend of henna at home so its completely natural. I order my supply of powder from India, and test each batch of paste on myself to ensure potency and safe quality. The ingredients I use are dry henna powder, bottled lemon juice, cajeput essential oil & lavender essential oil.
The second thing that springs to mind is ‘MMA’ (Methyl Methacrylate). This is a harmful substance which is banned for use on the nails because it can cause permanent loss. Damage and numbness of the nail, miscarriages, kidney & liver failure and much more! This does not stop some nail tech’s from using products with this harsh ingredient, they buy it because it is cheap! Never be afraid to ask your technician where they get their products from and what the ingredients are. Reputable nail techs will use supplies with EMA (ethyl methacrylate) which is not harmful at all.
Thanks Karuna so much for your time!
For all our lovely Desi Brides Karuna is offering a special discount of 20% off all henna packages and 10% off any additional treatments that are over £20 or more! Amazing right? Simply mention Desi Bride Dreams when you book!
Don’t forget Karuna will also be exhibiting at the Asian Bride Show on the 25th January!
I’ll leave you with a selection of lovely images….Enjoy