The artist (and believe me, she is truly an artist) cleaned the back of my hands and used a small, fine point funnel to apply a mud colored paste to the hands. All of the designs were done completely freehand. The paste had a pleasant tingly feeling as it dried. After about 10-15 minutes, the paste started to turn black. The artist then used a lemon water mixture to apply to the black harden paste. We tried very hard to keep our hands stable and to not smudge the design. As it dried, it sometimes fell off in areas, like small scabs (gross, I know, but true). There were little pieces of menthi all over the condo - it was like a rampant rabbit pooped all over the place.
We kept the paste on our hands as long as we could, and eagerly awoke at about 7:30 am to see how our hands looked. Leaving black pieces all over our respective sheets, we went to the sink to wash off any remaining bits. Under the faucets, we got our first glimpse of the gorgeous work. I absolutely love my hands now. It looks like lace on my hands. I am sad to notice a difference already in the quality of the henna. I wish it would stay longer that the week or two, but it just gives me an excuse to do it again. Soon.