Mar
03

March 3: National Anthem Day

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March 3: National Anthem Day No matter where you are in the world, anthems are a way to show pride in your history and heritage. They provide the soundtrack to national identity. In honor of this, we decided to celebrate some of our favorite anthems. Let’s all sing along!

United Kingdom God Save the Queen (Or King): Most national anthems are pretty fixed, but the national anthem of the United Kingdom(England, Great Britain) is an exception to this rule: the lyrics are altered depending on the gender of the sovereign.

Whether you are in a double-decker bus touring London or kicking back and drinking some tea, this classic is sung around the world in almost all former British colonies.

Jamaica Jamaica, Land We Love:  Jamaica is a former British colony and gained independence in 1962 and the new flag combined black, green, and gold representing joy, sorrow, and the land altogether.

The Jamaican national anthem was written and adopted in the year of independence and is a hymn that calls for wisdom, truth, and strength. We can all love Jamaica with this song.

The national anthems of India and Bangladesh were written by the same man, the Nobel Prize winning poet and songwriter Rabindranath Tagore.

Bangladesh Amar Shonar Bangla: Bangladesh became an independent country in 1974 and Bengalis are renowned for their patriotism. “Amar Shonar Bangla” translates as ”My Golden Bengal” and describes the beauty of the changing landscape throughout the seasons.

 

 

India Jana Gana Mana: India became independent from the British Empire in 1947 and the anthem celebrates the beauty of India’s many rivers, mountains, and cultures brought together as one nation. The song ends with the chant “Jaya He, Jaya He, Jaya He!” Victory to Thee! 

 

 

Canada Oh,Canada: Hockey matches are incomplete without a stirring rendition of “Oh,Canada.” The anthem has a very interesting history; the original lyrics in French were written in 1880 and translated into English in 1906.

It was adopted as the national anthem of Canada in 1980, yet Canada was granted independence in 1982. Good job Canada, you were singing your national anthem long before you were a nation! U.S.A The Star Spangled Banner: Americans are very patriotic when it comes to our anthem and we sing it every chance we get. Written in 1814, the song tells the story of a battle during the War of 1812 and we have been singing it ever since. Oh, say can you see?

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Temporary tattoos aren’t just for kids anymore! A rising trend in temporary metallic tattoos emerged in 2014 that challenged the “taboo” behind tattoos. Rather than being considered a deviant unmentionable that only certain people indulged in, they became an accessory as interchangeable as a pair of earrings. These glimmering pieces of art are commonly found in geometric or tribal patterns, and typically worn around the wrist or on the bicep. Of course, the creative possibilities are endless.

Beyonce and a slew of other celebs have been seen sporting the metallic tattoo, but the trend itself isn’t new. Back in 2012, a few designer labels tried to customize sets that mimicked costume jewelry styles. Some even contained particles of real 24KT gold! Hey, if it looks like a bracelet, and there’s no fear of it flying off my wrist, I’m tempted… but not for hundreds of dollars. It’s a temporary tattoo!

Unfortunately you won’t find these bad boys on the wrapper of Fruit Stripe gum or anything. (I distinctly remember covering my entire arm with that zebra once as a child, and telling my parents to “look at my tattoo sleeve!”) You can find these tattoos minus the pricey precious metals, for a reasonable price in stores and online.

Metallic color tattoos compliment body jewelry so well! Our customers know it, too. Check out the cool one Katie paired with our Crystalline Gem Gold Nautical Delight Anchor Dangle Belly Ring.

 

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I love my body. I love my tattoos. I love my piercings.

Whenever I decide to get a new tattoo or body piercing, family and friends are bound to ask “What will they think of you at work?” or “Won’t that look unprofessional?”

Fair questions, I guess. As a working professional at the age of . . . well, forget my age; it can be a challenge to balance the professional me with the actual me. My job involves meeting and taking with people all day, everyday.  At work I am not Kate, I am usually called Dr. C or Professor. The vision students—and other professors—have of how a college professor should look often doesn’t include tattoos and body piercings. I have to consider how my piercings can affect how well I can do my job.

But I love a challenge and I have found a balance that works for me. More and more places of business are relaxing their policies on body art due to increasing workers–blue collar, white collar, Ivory Tower alike–who have visible ink and piercings. With a little research, forethought, and persistence, I discovered that there are a wide range of piercings which are fashion forward and professionally appropriate.

Ear piercings are considered very safe and easy. Aftercare and reducing the risk of infection can be easy as well. With over a dozen different places for piercing on the ear (and double that for both ears!) there are countless combinations of styles to suit your professional appearance.

I decided to get my anti-tragus pierced. I have three piercings in my left ear lobe along with a BCR in my left tragus. It seemed natural to add to my right ear where I have only two ear lobe piercings and I liked the proportional look of balance piercing my tragus and anti-tragus.

Experienced piercing professionals will have an informal, informational routine to the piercing process. James, my piercing artist, made me feel at ease immediately. We chatted about music and movies as he carefully set out the tools and jewelry, taking his time to show the sterilization labels on all the instruments, and putting on his latex gloves.

James and I discussed the placement of my piercing; he cleaned the outside of my ear he made a small mark in washable ink for where the barbell would go. After looking in the mirror, making some placement adjustments, he cleaned the outside of my ear again.

It was time to lie back on the piercing bench.

Did it hurt? No more or less than my other piercings. Stillness and steady breathing are important. Give yourself something to squeeze, hold on to a friend’s hand. It only takes a second. The tragus and anti-tragus on ears have very few nerve endings and, therefore, pain is minimized in comparison to other body piercings.

Aftercare can be a challenge for a working professional with a hectic schedule. Thankfully there are a wide range of products that are effective, safe, and convenient. Follow the instructions your piercing professional gives you, don’t be afraid to call them with questions or concerns.

If you are a working professional, find your balance. It can be done.

Love your body. Love your tattoos. Love your piercings.

Feb
25

Skin Divers Vs Dermal Anchors

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What is a Skin Diver?

A skin diver is a small piece of jewelry that is implanted partially under the skin. The base which is the part that lies under the skin’s surface has a pointed end. To insert them the piercer must use a biopsy punch to create a hole for the jewelry to sit inside. The ends which are exposed are non-interchangeable, so whichever color or style of jewelry you pick would not be able to be changed once  the jewelry is placed. The jewelry can be removed by the piercer should you decide you no longer want this piercing.

 

What is a Dermal Anchor?

Also referred to as a Microdermal, a dermal anchor has flat base or ‘foot’ with holes in it which allow the flesh to grow through as it heals. This helps keep the jewelry in place and prevents it easily being ripped out. The exposed end has threading and the tops can be interchanged with many colors and styles available. The method of placing this piercing involves the piercer using a dermal punch, which is a hollow needle with a slanted end. The piece of jewelry is then inserted into the pocket created by the dermal punch. This jewelry can also be removed by your piercer when you no longer want it.

The Decision:

Only you and your piercer can decide what’s best for you, but as a general rule Dermal Anchors or Microdermals are made of better quality metals and are less likely to be accidentally ripped out or reject. Still unsure? Check out AJ get her Dermal Anchors:

The success of Downton Abbey has sparked a renewed popularity in the time honored tradition of the afternoon tea party. This ladies-only party emphasizes beauty, sophistication, and delicate nature of a by-gone era.

Preparation for an English tea party requires an eye for detail. The china must be arranged with care on the white tablecloth. Scones, jams, and thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches should be stacked neatly on the tiered cake stand. A proper Earl Gray tea should be brewed in your best heirloom teapot. Likewise, ladies are obliged to look their best for the occasion.

The hostess needs to look her best to make her guests feel at ease. A matching collar necklace and brooch set will accompany any outfit. Hair should be arranged tastefully and carefully. Hairpins serve both the function of maintaining the cleanliness of the table while conforming to the current fashion appropriate for the occasion.

Guests are encouraged to dress their best but take care not to outshine the hostess. One of the benefits of being a guest is the expectation of being catered to by the hostess and accessories can be chosen accordingly. Don’t be afraid to wear dangling earrings with a matching opera necklace and toggle bracelet.

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If you saw any of the looks for Spring 2015 during fashion week this past fall, one thing may have stood out to you as strange (and by strange, I mean more eccentric than usual high-end fashion trends.) Rodarte’s fashion walk showcased models wearing… eyebrow rings? While the makeup was subtle, one could hardly overlook the jewelry that adorned their brows, the entire curve of which was lined with small rings. The lead makeup artist for the line did not give away the secret as to how this look was achieved, but as with most fashion week surprises, it could be foreshadowing a re-emerging trend in body piercing. You thought we left the eyebrow piercing in the 90′s? AS IF!

Eyebrow piercings are typically placed towards the outer edge of the brow, slanted a bit so that it is perpendicular to the curve of the brow. Horizontal piercings, just under the outer edge of the brow, and central brow piercings are a little less common. As with many piercings, there are a few different shapes of jewelry that can be worn in the eyebrow. Most common are curved barbells. They are typically made of titanium, gold, surgical steel, acrylic or bioplast.

Barbells also come with dangle charms, as seen above. Much like a belly ring, the balls at the ends of a barbell screw off to allow removal and changing of the piercing. Eyebrow rings can be a difficult piercing to remove, since your hand will obstruct your view of the ring in a mirror. It is best to make sure to unscrew from above the eyebrow. Definitely not a piercing you want to change above a sink!

Another common piece of jewelry worn in the eyebrow is the captive ring. Most piercings will be done with an 18 or 16 gauge needle.

Captive rings are a bit trickier to remove. For a full tutorial and video, please check out our post:
Video: Up Close – How to Change a Captive Bead Ring

Even if 2015 doesn’t see the return of the eyebrow piercing, maybe this will spark some inspiration for those of you who are craving a new piercing, but can’t decide what to get. Septum piercings are so 2014! (We still love them, though.)

Feb
19

Ear Stretching Guide Part 3

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Welcome to the Final Installment of Our Ear Stretching Guide!

After Care:

Keeping your lobes healthy is continuous process. Using products like Hold Fast stretching balm or jojoba oil keeps the skin soft and moisturized. These also help reduce scar tissue and thicken your lobes, and can reduce blow outs over time if used daily.

 

Other Questions:

What is ear funk and how do I fix it?

Your ears, like any area of skin, shed dead cells. This becomes trapped in between your lobe and jewelry after several days of continuous wear. The dead skin cells build up and cause your ear lobes to smell. You can remedy/avoid this by removing your plugs and washing your lobes or wearing organic plugs, as the porous nature of the material will absorb the cells.

 

 Wearing Double Flared or Saddle Plugs:

People often find difficulty in wearing this style plug in sizes 0 gauge and under. To insert a double flare plug, lube your lobes beforehand, then place the plug in at an angle. Be sure to never force a piece of jewelry into your ear.

 

Organic Plug Care:

Materials that fall into this category are, wood, horn, bone, coral, stone, and the like. Wood in particular should be kept dry to avoid cracking and swelling. Using an oil such as jojoba is recommended to condition the wood and give it shine. Simply massage a small amount onto the jewelry.

 

Final Words:

If you experience swelling, redness, itching, discharge and/or hotness you may have an infection. It is recommended to downsize the jewelry and allow the ears to return to normal. Wearing steel or glass is a good option for irritated ears as the non-porous material minimizes the risk of prolonging infection. If you feel the problem is serious, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Find the Other Portions of the Guide:

Check Out Part 1 Here

Find Part 2 Here

Feb
17

Mad for Mardi Gras

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Even though the translation of the French Mardi Gras is literally “fat Tuesday,” alluding to the last day of feasting before the fast and penitence of Lent, there are plenty who extend the party well beyond just one joyous day. Since most consider all of the Carnival celebrations (beginning on or after the Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday) as Mardi Gras, it’s become the all-encompassing term for “Lots and lots of celebrating, because there’s not much else to do after Christmas, and then we’re supposed to behave until Easter? Yeah, that’s gonna happen.”

Because Mardi Gras is full of color – especially it’s official purple, green and gold, selected back in 1872 – this is a great time to add as much of it as possible. The colors stand for justice, faith, and power, and whether on beads or other pieces, you can look like you partied all night in New Orleans (even if you’re stuck in Buffalo, NY). The pretty French lily called Fleur-de-lis, while not an actual Mardi Gras symbol, is so intertwined with French culture that it was naturally incorporated into decorations and jewelry related to the American celebrations.

So grab your favorite mask or costume, a handful of beads, and get ready to party no matter where you. Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

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A stranger stabs you in the front. A friend stabs you in the back. A boyfriend stabs you in the heart. Best friends poke each other with straws.

- Author Unknown

Even though the “official” National Best Friends day is in June, Valentine’s Day is all about love. And who gives more love than the person who knows every part of you, figurative warts and all?

One of our blog posts earlier this month briefly touched on best friend body jewelry: those pieces that you share with the person who will potentially be in your life longer than most other souls (family excepted). Best friends aren’t concerned with differences in age, race, faith, or….pretty much anything. Maybe your best friend is a sibling or cousin. Or your best friend may be of the canine or feline variety.

Discovering where friendship jewelry originated was no easy task. Friendship braceletsbecame popular in the U.S. in the 1970s, although they were probably inspired by Central American Indian crafts. The appeal of this item is that it’s both ageless and genderless: everyone from children to the elderly share them to celebrate the bond between someone they love. But those cute best friend necklaces that some of us wore as kids? Not really sure where those popped up first.

But for the modified set, the best thing ever to share with your best friend ever? Best friend belly rings, of course! So whether you go together like peanut butter and jelly or actually consider two people your bestie (why choose if you don’t have to?), take this Valentine’s Day to celebrate the good times you’ve had and how you’re unfailingly there for each other. And here’s to that friendship staying strong and true, come hell or high water.

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Whether you’re single or taken, don’t leave yourself hanging this Valentine’s Day. Getting a gift from someone is nice, but what’s better than getting to pick out a gift that’s exactly what you want? Nothing. If anyone deserves a sparkly piece of gold jewelry, it’s you!

If you’re not looking to splurge on yourself, check out our newest Pinterest board: Body Jewelry Deals. Many items start at just $1.99! With a price like that, how can you not be your own Valentine?

Here’s a few of my current favorite body jewelry deals:


And then you can go get yourself some clothes, fragrances, massages, mimosas, fine leather goods… treat yo self! 
It’s the best day of the year!