celebrating Frankenstein Day

Today is officially Frankenstein Day, the anniversary of “Frankenstein” author Mary Shelley’s birthday.  Shelley was born in 1797, and although she wrote her famous novel a mere 21 years later in 1818, it would go on to be one of the most parodied and prolific works of horror fiction ever penned.

So how do you celebrate Frankenstein Day?  With awesome and amazing neck mods of course!

 neck piercings and tattoos

Amongst our favorites, the Madison piercing (named after former adult star Madison Stone), the throat corset (just the right combo of cool and creepy), and the neck tattoo!  What are your favorite neck modifications?  Let us know in the comments below, and happy Frankenstein Day!

You’ve probably heard a lot of fancy words and names for different types of circular or hoop style body jewelry, but what do they all mean?

 circular babrbell body jewelry

BCR: Often called a Ball Captive Ring or Captive Bead Ring, the BCR is essentially a full hoop with a ball, gem, or bead that closes it off.  You pop the bead out of place, revealing a small opening that allows for the hoop to be inserted into a piercing.  Then it pops back into place to close off the free edges again, and voila!

 BCR Captive Rings

Segment Ring: Segment rings are a lot like BCRs, but instead of a ball shaped closure, the piece that can be removed looks like a regular barbell segment.  This creates the illusion of a seamless hoop when the jewelry is closed.  Pretty neat.

 segment ring circular barbells

Horseshoe: This one is pretty easy to spot, because it actually looks a bit like a horseshoe (hence the name!) with two free ends, each capped with a ball, gem, or decorative charm.  For these items, one or both of the balls will screw off for easy insertion, and then they just get screwed back on.  No muss, no fuss.

 horseshoe circular barbells

Spiral Barbell:  A spiral barbell is fairly unique, because it actually completes one to three full revolutions, and as such can only be worn in specific piercings.  It may seem pretty impossible to wear from a certain angle, but the space between the tips and curves makes it a far easier proposition than it appears.  Plus, once you have it on, it looks pretty cool.

 spiral barbells

Pincer/Pincher: The pincher is like a cross between a horseshoe ring and a buffalo taper.  The gauge here is measured at the largest point, and tiny little o-rings hold the item in place.  Although they can be worn most places that you would put a horseshoe, the septum is definitely the most popular location, especially since these little guys come in a range of larger sizes, making them perfect for stretched septums.

So now you know.  (Tell a friend!)


Life in Ink: Flower Power

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the symbolism of flowers in tattoo

We know now that tattoos have been around for literally thousands of years.  Originally just small marks made with naturally derived pigment, tattooing has evolved into a brilliant and expressive art form that draws together persons from all races and walks of life.  But why do we ink the things we do?  Let’s examine the flower, for instance.

In the west, flowers are seen as a predominantly feminine theme, but in Japan the cherry blossom has a rich history as a male tattoo element, often being woven into the designs of traditional horimono, or full-body tattoos.  The observance of this type of blossom, most often white or pink in color, is considered to be a meditation, as the limited lifespan of the flower mirrors the fleeting nature of external beauty in the modern world.

 flowers in traditional Japanese tattoo

In Hawaii, flowers have a social significance as well, being worn by women in their hair historically as an indicator of marital status.  A hibiscus behind the left ear indicates that the heart is taken, whilst when worn behind the right ear, it means that the maiden is single.

 the culture of hibiscus

With the resurgence of decidedly European retro tattoo art, the rose has made perhaps the most enormous comeback though.  Having once been inked across the arms or hands of many a Western European, Scandinavian, and American sailor, the rose has carried many meanings throughout the decades.  Most commonly though it represented the undying love of a special woman, whether a mother, daughter, or lover.

 flowers in American tattoo

There are many different flowers, and almost innumerable reasons to include them in body art, but as the future of the tattoo is yet to unfold, we may see even more popular floral motifs in the coming years, each more beautiful as the time goes on.

rich colors for Fall 2014

Jewel tones are coming back for the Fall/Winter season, and these deep brilliant hues are infiltrating the world of body jewelry in a big way.  Just look at what’s ahead for the darker seasons of 2014.

Belly Jewelry

Rich, solid gems with simple classic cuts take center stage, as the solitaire reemerges to lead the belly jewelry pack.  The only difficulty with these scene-stealing bling rings?  You’ll definitely want to snatch more than one.

 jewel tone classic belly jewelry

Septum Jewelry

This season septums get the red carpet treatment, with dark, tasteful sparkle that hogs the romantic gothic spotlight.  Wing eyeliner past your outside edges and rock a pale nude lip, and these beauties will do the rest to bring the focus to your baby blues.

 jewel tone septum clickers

Cartilage Jewelry

Fall’s helix jewelry is ready to go rogue, with stunning variations of your favorite feminine shades.  Deep fuchsias, mauves, maroons, and plums get stacked in varying sizes to give the multi-piercing look an instantly chic appeal.

sparkling ear cartilage studs

Categories : Jewelry Fashion
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modification preparedness

The new school year is already here, and as things begin to get hectic this Fall, it’s more important than ever to make sure that modified skin is healthy.  So here’s a few quick tips to help you be ready and set for smooth sailing during the entire year.

1. The temperature and humidity regulation inside large buildings like schools isn’t exactly ideal, and a full week in those conditions can cause dry skin and irritation, especially for those who are sensitive.  On the go aftercare products like moisturizing cream for tattooed skin are great to have on hand for exactly this reason.  Also, if piercings are less than six months old, a sea salt aftercare spray or pre-filled medicated swab are lifesavers for quick cleanings, particularly since they let you avoid having to touch anything in germ-filled public restrooms.

 caring for modified skin on the go

2. The other big worry for those who are pierced is the loss of vital body jewelry parts.  Accidentally dropping a ball is incredibly inconvenient in situations where it just isn’t possible to leave your classes and buy a replacement, so another good tool to have in your arsenal is a bonus pack.  This is a pack that includes one or two barbells and multiple interchangeable balls, so you’ll never have to stress about lost parts during the school day.  There are also multi-packs of single piece jewelry like nose rings and standard earrings, just in case you experience a mishap.

 body jewelry bonus packs

3. And finally, for those moments when you really want to hide your piercings, there are clear retainers.  These are usually made out of a flexible, biocompatible material called bioplast that’s hypoallergenic, and approved for extended wear.

Also, for those who want to stretch their lobes but are short on time and resources, be sure to check out stretching kits; convenient nine piece kits that allow you to stretch your lobes from home on your own (probably hectic) schedule.

 nine piece ear stretching kits

School preparedness?  In the bag.

what you need to know about titanium

Titanium jewelry is great for everyone who has piercings, not just for those who have allergies or are sensitive.  But how do you know exactly what you’re getting?  Here’s what you need to know:

Plated vs Solid

There are two main classifications of titanium body jewelry: solid titanium, and titanium plated.  Although titanium plated jewelry is high-shine, durable, and comes in an almost endless array of brilliant colors, for those who do have allergies to nickel or other trace metals, it’s best to go for solid titanium items.

solid or plated titanium jewelry

Titanium plated pieces involve a thin layer of titanium over a solid core, usually composed of surgical grade stainless steel.  As items age and the coating eventually begins to wear away, the underlying steel will be exposed, possibly posing an issue for those who are highly sensitive.  You’ll sometimes see the phrase “electro titanium” in reference to these items, which means that the jewelry was made using a method called electro-plating.  Most jewelry items that are plated use this type of process, which involves a liquid solution and electric current used to adhere the coating metal to the core.  This is incredibly common and doesn’t alter the final product chemically or electrically, so don’t worry.  Solid titanium items on the other hand, are composed entirely of quality titanium, usually in either grade 5 or grade 23.

 electro-plated titanium belly rings


Even though the numbers may seem quite disparate, there’s actually very little difference between grade 5 titanium and grade 23.  Both are considered to be biocompatible materials, approved by the FDA for use in a variety of medical applications, including the manufacture of pacemakers and human joint replacement parts.  The composite of these grades tends to differ only slightly, and the main discrepancy is the degree of dissolved oxygen leftover from their creation.

 dissolved oxygen left over from titanium manufacturing

So go out and buy your titanium jewelry with confidence.  It’s the perfect combination of form and function, kind of like hot tattooed boys.

celebrating Seniors Day in a modified world

In honor of Senior Citizens Day, we’re sending a shout-out to all of our favorite pierced and tattooed seniors.

We’ll start with Helen Lambin of Iowa, who didn’t even start getting tattooed until she was 75. Five years later though, she has an impressive collection including dolphins, flowers,  butterflies, stars, a bunny, and loads more.  Her arms and hands are covered in color, and it has to be said that her ink looks amazing, as if it was always meant to be there.  Nobody better mess with this octogenarian!

 growing older with piercings and tattoos

Talking about tattoos on the over fifty set, who can forget the incredibly handsome Miles Better.  Miles is rumored to be rounding sixty this year, and his gorgeous mug and manly whiskers are still seen in fashion shots across the web.  He’s also a longtime tattoo artist, with bodies of work in both the UK and Australia.  Plus, his beard may be single-handedly responsible for inspiring a whole new generation of tattooed sailor chic.

 retro sailor style tattoo art

Scottish man about town Tom Leppard is another guy who has some awesome ink.  In fact, he once held the Guinness World Record for most tattooed man in the world, having leopard skin tattoos over more than 95% of his body.  Now that’s rock n roll, especially at 79!

And Tom’s fellow Scot, 46 year old Elaine Davidson, is the most pierced person in the entire world.  She’s rumored to have just over 7,000.  That’s a lot of metal.

 most pierced woman in the world

Speaking of the UK, Britain’s most tattooed dame, 77 year old Isobel Varley, is also the most tattooed senior in the world.  She’s also had several piercings over her lifetime, including her nose, upper lip (monroe), ear cartilage, and stretched piercings in her lobes, many of which she stills wears.

So to all of our seniors with magnificent mods, thanks for all of the inspiration, and keep on keepin’ it real.  Happy Seniors Day.

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retro British glam

By now we’re probably all familiar with the breakaway British hit Downton Abbey.  But did you know that the show is loosely based on a real life set of circumstances?  Join us for the truth behind the tale as we welcome some beautiful and brilliant costume jewelry from the officially licensed Downton Abbey line.

The series is actually filmed at the stately Highclere Castle in Newbury, Britain, which is currently retained by a living Lord and Lady.  Although the infamous Crawley clan from the teleplay is entirely fictional, there are some connections to the true history of Highclere that can certainly be drawn.  Within the series a portion of the abbey is converted into a hospital for World War I soldiers, which is historically true of Highclere under the management of the countess Almina during that era.  And other real life dramas are covered in Downton as well, including the sinking of the Titanic, and the early 20th century epidemic of Spanish influenza.

 the sinking of the RMS Titanic

The best part of any costume drama though, has to be the actual costumes themselves, especially as applicable to the luxe, high-society 20s fashions of Downton’s aristocratic characters.  From dark heritage designs, to ornate golden adornments, the fashion jewelry inspired by the critically acclaimed period masterpiece is brimming with depth and personality.

glamorous Downton Abbey retro jewelry

And what would a collection of costume pieces be without a variety of unique, decorative embellishments?  Included in the illustrious Downton offerings: a selection of opera necklaces, brooches, and brilliant hairpins.

beautiful decorative hair jewelry

Some come and get your British retro fashion fix, and tune into the fifth season of Downton Abbey this January on PBS.

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Check out this fun short video of Jalesa getting her industrial pierced by James from American Skin Art. And keep your eyes peeled for the needle insertions at around the 15 and 25 second marks.

industrial ear piercings being performed

As with all professional piercings, the area around the piercing site is first thoroughly cleaned.  Then a set of guidelines are marked where both piercings will be, including a connecting line to assist with the needle’s angle. Next, a pair of forceps are clamped into place, and the outer portion of the ear is swiftly punctured. Our piercee is instructed to take one more deep breath, and the needle is pushed through for the second and final time. Finally, the needle is chased with an extra long industrial barbell, and Jalesa is ready to show the world her new piercing.

Jalesa enjoys her new industrial ear piercing

Though often referred to as an “industrial piercing,” this type of modification is actually a set of two piercings, interconnected across the ear with a single piece of body jewelry.  For this reason the industrial may take longer to heal completely than an average helix piercing, but it’s definitely well worth the wait.  With proper attention and aftercare, healing will be straightforward, and you’ll be left with a versatile and interesting new mod.

For more up close videos of real piercings being performed, don’t forget to follow us and peep our channel on YouTube.

clear retainers for dimishing piercings

We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve wished we could hide our piercings.  Whether it’s to avoid family scrutiny, comply with an employment or educational institution, or even a simple aesthetic reason, having the option of making our piercings “disappear” sure would be handy.  While we can’t help you magically close and reopen your body piercings, there is a good way to make them a lot less noticeable: with retainers.

A retainer is basically a body jewelry item that keeps a piercing open while minimizing its appearance. There are several different styles of piercing retainers, employing a variety of materials and shapes, but some of the best for truly hiding a mod are completely clear.

 body piercing retainer jewelry

These are most often made of clear acrylic, bioplast (a flexible material), borosilicate glass, or PTFE, and are usually designed to sit as flush to the skin’s surface as possible.  For many items, this is accomplished with a thin clear disc, especially in pieces designed for high profile piercings like those of the nose and lips.  For other piercings, simply the shape can work wonders, like with modifications of the nasal septum.  Here a staple or crescent shaped pieced can have its ends turned up to sit inside the nostrils, effectively making it look the septum isn’t pierced at all.

 hiding a septum piercing

No matter what the reason for hiding your piercings, keep in mind that retainers are only a temporary solution, but when used to the full extent of their ability, they’re a tool that every modification enthusiast should keep within their arsenal.  You know, (wink, nudge) just in case.