Archive for May, 2011
We’ve all seen those amazing ear piercings that make you say “You can pierce that?” But what are they called? What can you wear there? And how much is too much when it comes to interesting and awesome piercings of the inside or outside of the ear? Fear not friends, because we’re about to lay out the lowdown on piercings of the most commonly pierced body part in recorded human history: the ear.
We’ve all seen the standard ear lobe piercing, including multiple piercings of the lobe and even up the side of the ear, but did you know that there are a dozen other common piercings of the human ear, and all of them have names? For our purposes, we’ll break these up into inner piercings (those in the area inside the ear), and outer piercings (those around the rim or outside of the ear).
The common inner piercings are the tragus, anit-tragus, rook, snug, and conch.
The tragus piercing is so named because the actual part of the ear being pierced is called your tragus. This is the little bump of cartilage that rests right in front of the ear canal. Piercings of this area are most often bejeweled with a stud, or sometimes a captive ring.
An anti-tragus is a piercing of the bumpy cartilage that extends up from the lobe and sits across from the tragus, and is also generally worn as a captive or a small stud.
The rook is a piercing of the inner rim of the ear, specifically the piece of cartilage at the part of the inner rim close to the face called the antihelix. Because of the cartilage thickness in this area, rooks are almost exclusively seen worn with ball captive rings.
Snug piercings are done further down the antihelix closer to the outside of the ear, and can be worn with either a ring or a barbell. And a piercing of the flatter planes of cartilage in the middle of the ear is called a conch. These are normally placed near the opening of the ear canal (inner conch) or higher up and closer to the outer rim (outer conch) and utilize jewelry like straight barbells, studs, large captive rings, and when stretched, small tunnels.
Piercings like the daith, helix, orbital, tranverse lobe, and any variation of a traditional lobe piercing make up the common outer piercings.
Helix piercings are a piercing of the cartilage anywhere around the upper part of the ear’s outer rim. These are sometimes worn with a small captive bead ring or a stud, and can be pierced in multiples for use with other jewelry. A daith piercing is a piercing of the same cartilage in the area where it meets the side of the face just above the tragus. Depending on the shape of the ear, this will either be pierced right where the cartilage thins before curving inward, or vertically over the curve itself so that jewelry dangles just over the ear canal opening. Usually a captive ring is worn in this piercing, but depending on placement a stud may also work.
The orbital piercing is actually two piercings of the scapha (the area of cartilage just inside the helix, or outer rim) connected by a single piece of jewelry. This will most often be a large diameter ring, but can sometimes be worn with a spiral barbell.
Lastly, the transverse lobe piercing or “horizontal lobe piercing” is just as it sounds, a piercing through the length of the earlobe done with a barbell so that one ball tip or decoration emerges on each end.
Other variations of lobe piercings include multiple lobe piercings, sometimes done in different patterns or sizes, and stretched lobe piercings.
And other types of ear cartilage piercings that are common are industrials: two piercings connected with a single piece of barbell jewelry that can be done at any angle across the helix. There are also multiple industrial piercings which generally cross over each other, called a “cage.”
Over the centuries in various tribes and cultures, ear piercing has seen an evolution from the mundane to the masterful, and into the center of popular culture. Whether it’s an inner piercing, an outer piercing, a captive, stud, or cage design, one thing is for sure in the world of today’s bedecked ears: these are not your momma’s ear piercings anymore.
One of the most popular movie franchises in the Unites States in recent years is the Twilight Saga, based on the best selling book series by first-timer Stephanie Meyer. In the screen adaptation of Twilight, lead character Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart) has a unique style that’s an eclectic mix of youth culture, tasteful adult sensibility, and a gentle hint of romantic that borders on light victorian gothic.
Though Twilight’s younger fans have snapped up one replica after another based on exact pieces worn by Bella throughout the movie series (so far a Trilogy, with two installments taken from novel number four, “Breaking Dawn,” soon to come), many of the franchise’s more adult admirers seem to be clamoring for hints on how to replicate the general style itself, rather than specific pieces. So without further ado, lets break it down.
Bella’s character has a very simple style with a teensy hint of edge and little romantic touches strewn sparingly. When it comes to jewelry, bracelets are a favorite (she wears at least one almost constantly). Normally these items will be beaded, cuffed, or just standard leather, with a single focal detail, and since her character is meant to be from Arizona, you’ll find a subtle nod to western style thrown in. Think brushed metal with a turquoise center design, strands of black leather interwoven, and large metal beads with a single deep jewel tone thrown in.
For necklaces, it’s more of the same. Pendants, like the square one in Twilight’s prom scene, are simple, elegant, and hang from unadorned chains or ribbons. Going minimalist with jewelry, especially necklaces, allows for more eye-catching details in the clothing.
Also, to take a page from the Twilight style fan book without covering yourself in images of the characters or motion picture advertisements, it’s a perfect soft hint to incorporate symbols that loosely relate to the imagery into your jewelry wardrobe.
Wolves, for example, are very trendy at the moment, along with many other animals depicted realistically, graphically, or even satirically.
Apples are another motif that can be easily added to jewelry in small doses, and are a fun item to wear in unexpected places, like as a nose ring or belly ring.
Native American style decorations are a great to integrate too. Think single feathers, simple dream catcher shapes, or small tribal designs.
And of course, there’s blood red jewelry with related symbols such as ribbons, flowers, tribal emblems, apples, crosses, and chess pieces. This color is very attention grabbing, so always use sparingly in a single item or simple coordinating pieces.
The vampire-human relationship in film is ever-evolving and in constant flux, but as long as deeply romantic and fantastical imagery continues to arise, mankind is sure to be enchanted with modern vampiric style.
About 5 years ago I decided that I wanted to finally get my ears pierced with the intent of stretching them to a larger size. Going into it I will openly admit that I knew nothing about the process besides: Put stuff in ear, ear gets bigger, put even bigger stuff in ear, repeat. The only sure things in my mind were that I liked metal and I wanted it to be big!
I started off by getting my ears pierced at an 8 gauge, the largest that I was told it was safe to do. Warning; this is essentially getting stabbed through the ears and was definitely not the most comfortable process ever. All in all it worked out well; the 5 months I was advised to not stretch or change the jewelry proved worth it in the end as far as the time and money I saved verses having to start at a 14 or 16 gauge stud.
From there I slowly began the stretching process. If there is nothing else I can stress I’d say GO SLOWLY! Rushing to get the next size in will only lead to longer healing times and a risk of blowout. I found that personally waiting 2 months in between new sizes seemed like a good amount of time for my ears to heal before being able to attempt the next stretch.
This is where I stopped doing things intelligently. When it came time to move up to 6gauge I simply wandered into a local store and looked at what 6g jewelry I would like. This is the process I used to get down to 2 gauge before things went sour. Up until 2, I at least started a new size with a pair of Steel CBRs (captive ball rings) which are slightly curved and smooth. (I didn’t want to have so much metal hanging from my ear when I went to 2g so I changed things up.)
I purchased a pair of metal plugs, flared on the front and secured on the rear by an o-ring. When I went to put this in, my ear was less than happy to stretch, straight up refusing to. Instead of expanding and wrapping around the new piece of jewelry like before, I ended up “damaging” my ear with the sharp metal lip on the back of the Plug.
Simple as that you can blow out an ear. Since that bad incident I have ordered sets of tapers to use first, slowly sliding them in to the correct size and letting them sit for a day before replacing them with other more permanent jewelry. While I can’t tell you how to do it yourself, I can STRONGLY recommend you do not “dry stretch” your ears by simply putting in the next size up. Tapers are your friends and will make your life MUCH easier.
Since then I’ve only changed my strategy once, going from 00 to 7/16. The jump was too much for my ears, especially with my right ear now having the scarring and damage from it’s past blow out. In order to make the upgrade I did what is referred to, and understandably so, as “taping”. With a layer or two of electrical or flat medical tape around the plug I was able to increase the size by ½ mm every other day for a week until I could comfortably get my new 7/16’s in.
Next thing you know you’ll be making your friends feel weird as you demonstrate the various items that you can now fit through your stretched lobes.
There are a lot of fun, new, and interesting piercings popping up all over the world these days, and some of them really caught our eye. So here’s a list of some of the coolest, sweetest, most controversial new body piercing trends that left us in awe or just wishing we had the guts.
1. Bridge Piercing
Just when everyone thought that nose piercing had reached the peak of its modification credit, piercings (sometimes multiple ones on the same nose) started popping up on the upper bridge of noses. This trend is extremely fun. It’s cute, edgy, and full of possibilities; everything you could want from a new type of piercing.
2. Third Eye Piercing
Called the third eye because of its placement, this piercing can be done with a surface bar (which would also be called a vertical bridge piercing), or a dermal anchor. While piercing the skin right over your third eye chakra might not realign your chi, it’s definitely a bold modification statement, especially when accompanied by tattooing or wild colored hairstyles.
3. Anti Eyebrow
We’re not sure how it got its name, but the anti eyebrow piercing is an interesting surface piercing that is running away with itself. Usually pierced on the upper cheek where the cheekbone meets the outer corner of the eye, this piercing is a sweet alternative nod to Japanese style facial piercing; piercings in unique and often untouched places that accent the largeness of the eyes or petiteness of the mouth.
4. Collar Bone Piercing
Admittedly a piercing of the collar bone area sounds a little hard core and maybe a tad painful, but as surface piercings go, they’re said to heal surprisingly well and offer a very interesting accent to any look that involves a bare clavicle.
5. Vampire’s Kiss
The Vampire’s Kiss piercing is becoming a new favorite amongst romantic gothic types and it’s easy to see why. This surface piercing, sometimes tipped with red gemstones to emulate blood droplets, is located near the base of the neck and unmistakably references a vampire bite (hence the interesting name). With movies and books like the Vampire Series from Anne Rice, the Underworld Trilogy, and most recently the Twilight Saga popularizing the dark beauty of vampires and the forbidden nature of their relationships with humans, the image of a blatant ‘bite” begins to have a whole different appeal.
6. Snake Eyes
This is a neat, if slightly impractical modification to the standard tongue piercing: a barbell that goes through the tongue horizontally instead of vertically. The resemblance to actual snake eyes is loose, but the piercing certainly needed a name that lives up to its rock and roll style edge, so who are we to argue? The only thing that makes this a little less appetizing; it’s harder to speak and eat with a horizontal barbell at the tip of your tongue.
7. Corset Piercings
A fairly recent exploding trend, and still in its development, corset piercings are fast becoming the most controversial piercing around. They started as a set of two rows of surface piercings in the back that would be wound through with ribbon to mimic corset lacing, but now you can find them on arms and legs, hands and feet, sides, bellies, necks, chests, and even fingers and cheeks. Extreme? Definitely. ….but if you’re like me you can’t help but look at it and want one of your own. Maybe in a few years.
Here at BodyCandy.com we strive for excellence at every level. Our cutting edge design team studies design and fashion trends, color forecasts as well as competitor styles and pricing. All of these are factored into developing a new jewelry line. There are many phases to honing a belly ring design from a concept to the finished product that our customers enjoy.
Many items start with a spark of inspiration. As an example we are going to show you what went into developing one of our most popular handcrafted items, HC-402, Handcrafted Austrian Crystal Modish Circular Cosmic Drop Belly Ring MADE WITH SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. When brainstorming sketches, concepts and ideas, one of our designers was looking at various photos of nature. She came across this picture of a waterfall. Trying to express the flow of the crystal clear water into a belly ring design, there were several attempts that didn’t quite make it past our panel of product developers and through our design critiques.
Once the design is approved, it goes through several stress tests to see if it can stand up to the grueling activities of our customers.
When the final design is complete, it gets a recipe of parts, a product number assignment, and pricing information. Then our team of photographers get to work lighting and displaying the piece to highlight its beauty and scintillation. While nothing can compare to seeing the real item in person, the photo is done to show coloring and sparkle.
After the photograph is web-ready, our sharp computer integration staff put all the specifications, search terms and pictures into our online store.
You might think we are done there, but not yet! Now our handcrafting division works to learn how to reproduce the item with care and expertise, bringing you the finest in handcrafted jewelry.
Now that you’ve seen what goes into our exclusive design process, you can see why bodycandy.com is not only the best place to buy your body jewelry, it’s the only place. We eclipse our competitors with rigorous design and fulfillment procedures. At Bodycandy.com we make our jewelry to help you shine!
Now that it’s been about six weeks, I’ve finally reached that long awaited moment: my belly button piercing is almost entirely healed. Although I would love to claim all of the credit for a fast-healing and relatively painless process up until this point, unfortunately I can’t do that, as this was a collaborative effort between myself, my piercer, and my pocketbook. But I digress; this series is a comprehensive explanation of what it’s really like to have and heal a belly piercing, so let’s get down to business because there are some things I’d love to share.
Part 3: What to Expect
We’ve already covered what it feels like to have this piercing done, but I feel like there are a few general things that anyone who wants a belly piercing (especially if it’s their first body piercing) should know.
1. Once this is done, you’ll feel it. It won’t really hurt, but it may very well be slightly uncomfortable for several days to a couple weeks, and by feel it I mostly mean that you’ll be pretty much constantly aware that there is something in your skin. It may be a tad annoying if you aren’t used to it, but this is actually a good thing because it’ll keep you from forgetting it’s there and causing an infection by brushing or tapping it a lot.
2. Cleaning might be unpleasant the first few days, but you’ll realize after a week or so that if you do experience some general discomfort, the cleaning actually alleviates a lot of it. Sea salt soaks are also a great pain management tool, and I personally find them rather relaxing. The bottom line though is that unless you have an allergy or your piercer specifically says not to, it’s perfectly okay to do whatever you usually would for pain, and most painkillers will help with the swelling too, so it’s a total win-win.
3. There are a bunch of things that might be slightly scary that are actually totally normal for a new piercing. Amongst those listed in most piercing pamphlets or informational articles are redness, swelling, bruising, a little bleeding, clear fluid that might dry crusty around the jewelry, and mild itching.
*Everyone is different, but at some point in the past six weeks I’ve had literally all of these symptoms. Basically once the initial swelling went down I bled tiny bits for the first week and was bruised for a little while. The top hole or “exit wound” of my piercing had a little redness around it up until just a few days ago, and in the past ten days or so there’s been some itching and a very little bit of crustiness.
**If you itch like crazy, swell a whole lot, get a feeling of hot or tingly skin, or have more pain than usual accompanied by puss or excessive fluid, it may mean you have an irritation or a mild infection, so it’s always good to contact your piercer, who will sometimes recommend you see a physician.
During this time is when I could really tell that it was starting to heal. Swelling was down almost completely, there was less redness ( though it was still there), and the movement that happened during cleaning didn’t really hurt or bother me. If you’re at all like me, you’ll get really excited when you notice these changes, but be careful not to jump the gun because the inside of the piercing is still definitely tender and needs to be treated with kid gloves.
*By the four week mark, you probably won’t be able to feel it anymore, so you’ll have to be really careful not to hit, swipe, brush, pat, knock or otherwise yank your belly ring. Speaking from personal experience, not only can one good yank or swipe extend your healing time, but it can also be painful depending on just how bad the offense was. I caught the top ball on my sleeve once during cleaning and the whole thing was a bit ouchy for about two days afterwards. Very sad.
**Now that the swelling is down, it’s easier for bacteria to get inside the piercing, so make sure to keep strictly to the cleanliness regimen. I have a compromised immune system myself, so I was super nuts about disinfecting, but there’s no reason someone with a hardy constitution shouldn’t be too. I used a new towel every time I showered, changed to a whole new outfit of freshly cleaned clothing (using fragrance, color, and chemical free detergent of course) after each of my main cleanings (once a day), washed my sheets and pillow cases twice a week, cleaned with cue tips instead of my hands, and used Lysol disinfecting wipes on all my bathroom surfaces every time I went to do a salt soak or a cleaning.
If you’ve taken care of yourself and done everything your piercer told you to, by week six you should be almost healed up. Movements that used to be uncomfortable don’t bother you anymore, ab work-outs are easier to accomplish, sleeping heavy is less troublesome, and the car seat belt will no longer annoy you to death. A few things you should know if you don’t already:
1. Most professionals recommend that once a piercing feels fully healed you continue the prescribed aftercare regimen for at least another six months to insure no infections or scarring.
2. Even when it feels fine, your piercing may still be on the mend inside and skin can take up to a year to entirely accept a foreign object and regain it’s full health, so most piercers will tell you not to change from the body jewelry you were pierced with until at least the six month mark. If you absolutely have to change it up, the best idea is always to go back to the piercer and have them do it in a sterile environment.
3. dangling belly rings are gorgeous, but there are a few general rules to follow in order to be sure they don’t cause your relatively new piercing any problems; Make sure that when you sit down there’s at least a half inch between the end of your dangling piece and the waist of your pants, clean any chains or intricate decoration regularly with antibacterial soap, try not to sleep with a long dangle on, and check any dangling or moving parts regularly to make sure nothing is loose and all edges are smooth.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for part four of this informational series: the Summer Belly Piercing Guide
One of the sweetest new trends springing up in recent seasons is the animal motif; from graphic t-shirts, to party dress trim, and especially jewelry and accessories, furry fascinating creatures seem to be the subject of modern fashion fancy these days. And the history of nature’s creatures in jewelry in particular may actually surprise a great many young trendsetters, as necklaces, talisman’s, and all form of piercing jewelry have been awash with animal drawings and parts since ancient times. Jewelry like breast plates, head dresses, necklaces, and later earrings, labret plugs, lip plates, and nose jewelry are all known to have been made from the teeth, bones, hides, ears, and claws of animals that were hunted for food or found dead of natural causes. Some of these animals, including buffalo, big cats, bears, rabbits, boar, wolves, and certain birds and sea creatures, still figure prominently in jewelry today.
The symbolism behind the animals we choose to wear parts or representations of also adds an extra element of cultural cool. Wolves and owls for example, represent wisdom and deep knowledge of the universe, while many other birds like swallows and peacocks symbolize freedom, uniqueness, and breaking away from pack mentality. And jungle cats of course signify power, prowess, sensuality, and strength.
Modern animal fashion, though removed from most traditional significances of these animals, still holds it’s own history and symbolism. Though the movement began as far back as the nineties, with purses in the shape of kitty cats and hoodies topped with cartoon face graphics and teddy bear ears, the latest animalistic fashion has trended toward more realistic depictions. Just ask London designer Reid Peppard, who released an entire line of accessories made from (hazzard a guess?) roadkill. Repurposing dead rodents and pigeons into things of beauty like coin purses, hats, and necklaces seems to feed her fancy, and certainly puts a new (if slightly controversial) spin on the animal motif trend.
For anyone who aims for an eclectic, meaningful, and hip style out in the everyday world, animal items are definitely an excellent addition in clothing accessories, and jewelry, adding that special something, that will clearly never truly go out of style.
With an amazing rise in re-imagined fairytales gracing modern film, it’s easy to get your hands on beautifully dark creative imagery these days. Taking a cue from visionary Tim Burton, the film industry in the US has recently given us such blackened amorous enchantments as Alice in Wonderland, Red Riding Hood, and Black Swan. The look and feeling that these masterpieces evoke is slowly creeping into youth trending and modern fashion as well. So how does the new romantic gothic style come together in the real world?
The romantic gothic aesthetic is about drama, volume, and texture; blending soft, weightless, and ethereal forms with the mysterious feminism of lace and the substance of intricately woven brocades and brushed satins to create the image of an exotic and poetic fractured fairytale. Though blacks and charcoals may be the primary color focus (as with any gothic style), romantic gothic clothing and accessories also incorporate deep jewel tones, metallics, and even antique whites in moderation.
With this type of exaggerated and emotional styling, jewelry will often be exaggerated as well, drawing on ornate and heavy Victorian style structure with large jewels and layering that reflect an Edwardian opulence. Pearls, glass beading, lace, ribbons, and lacquered nature inspired shapes and silhouettes all play a part in dark romantic accessorizing.
Oversized cocktail rings, gothic and fleurian crosses, off kilter settings, and talisman type necklaces are all common here, as well as multi-layered chokers, thin draping chains, and a subtle hint of more delicate, lacey graphics.
Pulling together a romantic gothic look will require practice, passion, and of course, romanticism, but in the world of media over-exposure and DIY couture, it never hurts to have a little head start.
In the digital age, shopping online has become a common practice, with just over 71% of those in the US who have internet access doing regular online shopping, and an estimated 83% of adults worldwide having made at least one internet purchase at some point in their lives. Along with e-commerce of course, comes marketing ventures by all form of companies who would attempt to gain an edge by providing their net-surfing customer base something their competitors can’t. And this year we’ve seen new trends developing in the UK that are proof of beauty giants doing just that.
Since the release of reward and loyalty programs by several UK based beauty companies in the past few years, there has also been a spike in availability of apps for smart phones and iPhone, leaving consumers in both the UK and the US with a plethora of new and exciting opportunities. Some companies that have released reward programs in the past few years include Debenhams, Space NK, and most recently Superdrug. Debenhams also came out with an amazing application for iPhone known as “Beauty Club,” allowing its following to easily access information and tutorials on everything from make-up application and fragrances, to proper skin care and manicure how-to’s. Being a member of Beauty Club also means earning rewards points while shopping through the app and taking advantage of options for free shipping. Sweet deal, right?
So when do we get our own user-friendly super apps stateside? Well, the trend is on the rise and soon to be in full swing. Free to download apps are already up and running from L’Oreal (check out their barcode scanning feature) and OPI (where you can view and save your favorite shades of nail polish). Also moving into mobile territory: popular fashion brands like Topshop, Gucci, and Ralph Lauren.
In the age of e-purchasing, BodyCandy may be slightly ahead of its time in the US (currently providing not only online sales but also the ability to save a wishlist, recommend products based on preference, one click view our most popular top selling items in every category, and earn points good for future discount when you create an account), but rest safely assured that the rest of the net and mobile market is bound to catch up….eventually.
As belly piercing becomes more commonplace in the United States and around the globe, new trends are beginning to spring up in the field of navel adornment. From multiple belly piercings, to dermal detailing, to subtler trends like a single piercing of the bottom navel rim rather than the top, belly piercing is making a fun, fashion forward, and aesthetically altering comeback from the realm of the mundane.
The popularity of the bottom belly piercing worn with top drop navel rings is a prime driving force in the resurgence of ornate and exotic jewelry. Tribal pieces, Bhali chic, modern shapes, and even Victorian gothic fare can all be seen decorating the navels of those who have ventured into lower belly button rim territory.
For piercees who have gone the extra mile and pierced both top and bottom, or several areas around the navel, coordinating color and style becomes the focus, without being sucked into dull, monochromatic matches. A single dangling item paired with solid, graphic, or gem laced simpler barbells in adjacent piercings is a surefire way to stun when baring a multi-pierced midsection. This season, brilliant corals, turquoise notes, and plums make it easy to find an interesting and cohesive balance.
And dermal anchor detailing in collusion with navel rim piercing is another fashion balancing act that deserves time and attention. Keeping dermal dome tops to solid color, subtle shine finish, or coordinating gems leaves just the right amount of room for a piercing of the navel itself to become the primary focus while still allowing accents to bring something to the table.
For more on belly piercing, aftercare, and navel jewelry fashion, check out the rest of our Belly Piercings Category.