Untraditional makeup for traditional Turkish henna night

Women apply henna on their palms during a traditional henna night.
Women apply henna on their palms during a traditional henna night.

Henna night is a tradition that has been practiced by Turkish brides for centuries before their wedding and like their wedding, and it is important for brides to shine on this special and emotional day

Turkish culture has thousands of traditions still respected today, even among the youth who have the tendency to mix and match classic and modern trends for their own unique style. Even in Anatolia, you would be amazed by the variations in ceremonies from one region to another. However, there is one event that almost every Turkish-Anatolian culture has in common: Henna night.

A wedding ritual in Turkish culture with a long history, henna night generally happens one day before the wedding ceremony when the bride celebrates her upcoming big day with family and friends before tying the knot. During henna nights, the brides-to-be generally cry and are even prompted to cry when folk songs are sung by local women. As a result, henna-inspired crying has become an integral part of Turkish society. Henna, the namesake of the tradition, is a flowering plant that plays a big part in, not only pre-wedding celebrations, but also various traditions in Turkey. On Muslim holy days, such as bayrams, or during a soldiers' farewell party, henna is also used as a symbol of honor.

Nowadays brides-to-be prefer to wear at least two costumes in addition to the traditional "bindallı," a caftan-like red or green costume designed specifically for henna nights. Since the costumes are very flashy, the makeup also should be on par to complete the look. That is to say, henna night is your one chance to go all out with your makeup. The motto is: "Be vibrant, be the queen!"

Vibrant colors on the eyelids

Henna night makeup should focus on the eyes with a color scheme consisting of burgundies, browns and of course, the inevitable gold. The key to henna night makeup is to start with your eyes. Since it will be a dramatic, bold, sparkly eye look, there is a good chance that there will be a lot of fall out. Thus, starting with your eyes makes it easier to keep your face clean for smooth, perfect application, versus having to touch up your foundation later. Another trick is to stick tape to the sides of your eyes to create a guide for your look. The tape creates a line that prevents you from crossing the ends of your eyebrows while creating the perfect cat-eye look.

Keeping all of these tips in mind, it is time to start. First, slightly define your crease with light brown. Since we will go for a halo eye, a precise definition in your crease is not necessary in the beginning. Then, apply burgundy shades to both the outer and inner parts of your eyes, being sure to start with soft sweeps to slowly build up your look. Though it may require extra patience to go back and forth with your eye color, it is a must since things can go out of hand quite easily. When you get the desired amount of burgundy, grab your concealer to create a small cut-crease. A cut-crease is a technique used for creating a blank canvas on top of your initial eye shadow in order to apply another color. It is very helpful since it makes colors to appear more vibrant. It can also be used to change your eye shape. However, for the henna look, we will use this technique to make the gold shimmery shade - the star of the show.

For this, put a small amount of concealer on the middle of your eyelid. Then, roll your eyes, looking up and down. Although it may sound silly at first, this will help smear your concealer toward your crease and provide a guide for creating your cut-crease. Then, take a small brush and follow your new guide to make a cut-crease line. Since this is a halo eye, we will limit our cut-crease to only the middle of our eyelids. When you are finished with the cut-crease and have spread your concealer out to the middle of your eyelids, grab a shimmery gold shade and apply it on top of the concealer. If you wet your brush before this step, you will have an even more vibrant look. Then, go with a lighter shimmery shade and put it on the very middle of your eyelids to increase your shine. Put a darker brown shade on your outer wing, which will define your cat eye even further. Last, use a black eye shadow to define your eyelash line and create a very small, smudgy wing. Do not forget to line the inner part of your lashes with black eyeliner to emphasize your eye look.

Bronze and highlighted face

For the face, it is important to be as bronze and highlighted as possible. Use an illuminating primer, a crucial step for having highlighted skin. Then, use a full coverage, satin or glowy-finish foundation and concealer on top. Do not forget to bake using a loose powder, especially under the eyes since you need this makeup to last through hours of dancing and crying. You can use the baking technique of applying your powder slightly heavier under your eyes, wait for a few minutes and brush it off. Using cream contour before your actual contour and bronzer will make your face more defined and create the illusion of naturally high cheek bones. After your cream contour, use your actual contouring powder and bronzer. Use glowy products and do not be afraid to be heavy handed with your bronzer since it is all we want from a henna queen. The same thing goes for your highlight, as well. Highlight your cheekbones, under your eyebrows, on top of your eyebrows, the middle of your forehead, your cupid's bow, the middle of your nose and anywhere else you want to be highlighted. For your lips, you can go either bold or nude as long as they are juicy and defined. Here you are. The glamorous bride-to-be is now ready for a perfect Turkish henna night.

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