Artist Jade Maxx Brings the Ancient Art of Henna to Life

Art is everywhere you look. It may be inside a gallery. Classic paintings are found in museums and around historic landmarks. Art may also be found on city murals, and even in landscapes around our manicured cities. But art can also exist on the body.

While tattoo art, by needle is very popular, let’s not forget the ancient art of Henna, or mehndi (also spelled mehendi) in Hindu language.

Body Art

The art of henna is known to have been used in India, Africa, and as far back as ancient Egypt. It is a paste made from dry henna leaves, soaked into a paste and then applied onto the body using an applicator called a “cone” made from cellowrap or mylar plastic. It is rolled up in a cone shape with a small opening on one end where the paste will exit from and go onto the skin.

Some people will argue that Henna art is not a form of tattoos, where some might argue it is, even though it does not permanently tattoo the skin as needles and ink would. Henna simply stains the skin temporarily. What most will not argue about is its popularity. In our very own Oakland Park, we have a very gifted and dedicated Henna artist: Miss Jade Maxx.  

Her Henna Roots

Jade Maxx has made Fort Lauderdale her home since moving to Florida from the Mid-West six years ago. Jade was a vendor at  Oakland park’s Oktoberfest one year and loved it. That experience led to her participation in other events as well.

When asked how she got started, Jade admits that she did not even know what henna was until a boss suggested she should try it.  Her boss, who was from India,  thought Jade would be good at it, and he was right!  He brought her four cones from an Indian market and Jade says, “Literally from that time, I have never dropped a cone“.

The Business of Henna

Miss Jade Maxx offers her hand and expertise at creating endless designs in both henna and jagua art. Henna, traditionally, is a mixture of powder bought from India, and made from dry henna leaves. Jade’s recipe includes this powder, essential oil, lemon juice and a little bit of table sugar.

Another paste she uses is called jagua. It is made from a natural fruit juice from the Amazon in South America. Once applied, henna will last one to two weeks, while jagua will last up to 3 weeks and gives off a tattoo like appearance. Jade uses traditional henna designs as well as some of her own created designs.

Making Women Feel Prettier and Hopeful

Jade offers Belly Blessings to expectant mothers, covering the belly with beautiful and intricate designs. She also works along side 305 Pink Pack, an organization that offers meals, transportation, and other services to women while they undergo cancer treatments and try to heal. Women who suffer hair loss due to treatment, or women who suffer from Alopecia may want to have a “crown” design as a positive step towards feeling better and healing.

Jade will also work on brides for weddings and small parties.  She enjoys bridal sessions and can adorn the full arms to fingertips.

A Temporary Home Based Studio Due to COVID-19

Currently Miss Jade is working from her in home studio by appointment only. She used to frequent the Yellow Green Market in Hollywood, but Covid has that shut down for now.

When it was open and busy with people, Jade had a booth there to serve the community. For now, her base is her in home studio. If you are interested in having a Henna design of your own, click here to schedule an appointment. She can service multiple people of up to seven people at her in home studio, or she may travel to a person’s home.

In her home studio Jade’s got her set up ready to go. If she travels to a person’s home or party location, she takes a kit with her equipped with everything she needs. Jade has also been known to attend music festivals, though lately there has been a lack of opportunity due to Covid as well.

The After Care

After the henna has been applied, Jade will go into detail with the client to ensure they understand how to properly care for their new body art. She will explain that it is important to stay still and allow the paste to dry on the skin. For an added touch of glam and sparkle, the client has the choice to have some glitter added. Once the paste dries, it will naturally begin to crack and fall off. It is important not to peel it off or force it to come off though.

Miss Jade explains that the longer the paste sits on the skin, the darker it will appear. After it begins to peel and fall off, the skin will have an orange hue, but this will darken after a couple of days. It’s also important to keep water off the area for about 12 hours.

The sun is good for the design and jade even explains how to care for is while one sleeps!  The care for henna is also different than the care for jagua. Henna gives off a reddish-brown color while jagua is a blue-black color.  

Artistic Designs

Miss Jade is best and probably most known for her realistic style art. Her strengths lie in geometric, and traditional henna, though she enjoys traditional designs as well. She may also take the liberty of letting her creativity flow and draw original and freestyle designs .

Each design may vary in size and duration depending on what part of the body it is placed. Henna will be darker on the hands and feet, but lighter in the belly areas. The time it takes to have a sitting with Jade will vary upon the size and design the client wishes to have: It depends on design, detail, and the amount of area of the body that will be covered. Jade suggests giving oneself a half an hour to pick a design and consider drying time after application. The actual application is quicker than one might think. 

Jade works as if her cone is dancing on skin. Her hand glides up and down effortlessly with grace. If you would like to have some intricate gorgeous design on your body, but don’t want the commitment of tattoos, support your local artist and reach out to Jade Maxx. Her basic designs start at $25 for henna and $30 for jagua. The larger the piece or more detail involved, would alter the price, but it’s well worth it!

For more info, portfolio and prices, please visit her website at  www.jademaxx.com, and she can also be found on Instagram @jademaxx.  

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*LivingInOaklandPark.com is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

About the Author

Anamaria Moreno

Anamaria Moreno

Anamaria Moreno is an Elementary school teacher. Born in Costa Rica, but mostly raised in Venezuela, Ms. Moreno came to South Florida in 1996 where she has resided ever since. She graduated from Lynn University, with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has taught in the classroom for 18 years, most recently teaching the first grade for the past seven years. Before becoming a teacher, Ms. Moreno was involved in volunteer work with the Child Life Specialists Department at Miami Children’s Hospital. She also served as member of the Board of Directors for “A Caring Pregnancy Center” in Miami. Most recently, Ms. Moreno has taught at an elementary school in Oakland Park. Ms. Moreno also teaches ESOL to Adults in Night School. When Ms. Moreno is not in the classroom, she enjoys baking custom specialty cakes, face painting, and enjoys creating Arts and Crafts.

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