Archive for June, 2011
Accessorizing a swimsuit can be difficult, but follow these tips, and you’ll never have to wonder what to wear into the pool or onto the beach again.
If your suit is Sporty:
Sporty swimsuits will include those that have zippers, full coverage tops, one pieces with racerback detailing, surf suit material, mesh, and stylized two piece halters.
For a suit that means business when it comes to Summer fitness, accessories should be an equal combination of form and function. Try simple earrings like hoops (no beading means no snags), and stretch beaded bracelets that can double as hair ties. And for an extra hint of style that will accentuate any sporty look, go for stripes.
If your suit is Youthful:
Youthful, fun, juniors swimwear will often be bright, slim fitting or bikini cut, and have hot trendy graphics like kaleidoscope, graffiti, or splatter.
To go along with this look, jewelry can be in brights or neons as well, and to add more feminine flare, vivid pinks are the way to go. For necklaces, choose a pendant type, like dog tags, with brilliant full color designs or flash art.
If your suit is Retro:
This type of suit will have high cut bottoms and bra style tops, or be a full coverage one piece will a very feminine, curvy cut. Accents that are often used include pleating, ruffling, checks, polka dots, ribbon, and boning.
With retro style, it’s a great flirty addition to go with jewelry and accessories that are keeping with the theme, like vintage pendants and barrettes, or items with retro themes like cherries.
If your suit is Modern:
The modern aesthetic is very simple, generally these pieces have a classic cut whether one or two piece, and utilize solid colors or two-tone graphic patterns.
For this type of look, accessories can be kept very minimal, and limited to a couple classic and simple items. If you choose bracelets, go for a chunky cuff with minimal detailing; this will give the look substance without being overpowering. For necklaces, try chokers or unembellished chains, or pick a simple pendant made of natural material like shell for a more beachy feel.
If your suit is Exotic:
Swimsuits that fit into the exotic category will have interesting cuts, cut-outs, feminine fabric combinations, and tropical patterns.
Exotic swimwear demands equally exotic jewelry, so items with lots of dangles and beads, tropical colors, layered chains, and mirror, shell, or glass accents are all appropriate. Think Balinese or Moroccan chic.
Don’t forget to add cover-ups, sarongs, cut-offs, sandals, jackets, and of course sunscreen, as appropriate.
There are six basic materials that most nose rings will be made of: stainless steel, gold, sterling silver, titanium, bioplast, and acrylic. They can also be found in platinum, glass, and carved organic material like bone, but these media are generally more expensive and harder to come by.
After choosing a material, there are four things you’ll need to know to get the perfect nose ring. The first is what style. The four common nose ring styles are the nose bone, nose screw, L-shape, and the hoop. Nose bones are a short, straight piece with a slightly larger ball-like tip that holds them in place, while nose screws are held in by the corkscrew-type curve at the end. L-shaped nose rings are kept in place by the ninety degree angle at the base, and nose hoops are either moveable with a tiny opening that prevents them from falling out, or fitted with a small disc at one end that holds them into the nose.
There is also an item available on the market called a fishtail nose ring, which is meant to be taken to a piercer and shortened, shaped, and bent for a custom fit. This type of jewelry cannot be worn as is, because it is extra long (19mm or 3/4″), and has no shaping to hold it in place.
Next you’ll need to know above the gauge size of the item. Standard sizing for nose rings is normally a 20 gauge; this means the thickness of the portion that goes through the piercing is approximately .8 millimeters. Nose piercings can also be done in a slightly larger 18 gauge (1 millimeter thickness), or in the case of some Indian style piercings, a very tiny 22 gauge (only about .65 millimeters thick). Knowing the correct gauge size is incredibly important to be sure the item fits comfortably without slipping out.
Once gauge has been determined, then you’ll need to know sizing for the ring itself. The length sizing for a nose ring is the length of the portion that actually passes through your piercing, not including any part that shows or rests inside the nose, and is measured from the base of the gem or decoration, to the curve, bend, or sphere. Average is about 6 millimeters, but for those who have slightly thinner or thicker nasal cartilage 5mm and 7mm are readily available. Other sizes for piercings that are done in non-traditional areas of the nostril can be custom made or created from a fishtail item.
For nose hoops, sizing won’t be measured as length, but instead as diameter. This is the measurement of the widest portion of the hoop from inside edge to inside edge. The standard for sizing here is 5/16″ (8mm) or 3/8″ (10mm).
The final element to perfectly size your nose ring is the most aesthetically important: the size of the gem or decoration that will show. There are nose rings called “micro nose rings” out there that have extremely small ornamentation (usually a gemstone), but for the most part nose rings’ decorative tips come in three basic sizes, which are 1.5 millimeter, 2 millimeter, and 2.5 millimeter. Some non-geometric shapes may be up to around 3.5mm in one of their dimensions, but usually no larger.
Now you’re ready to pick out the perfect nose ring that will beautify, enhance, and comfortably fit your specific nose!
Today we’re going to cover the general standards, sizing, and measuring for barbell body jewelry, starting with the piercing that takes the most common style and size barbell: the tongue.
Tongue ring barbells will normally be 16 millimeters (5/8″) in length, though they can also be found as short as 12mm (1/2″) and as long as 19mm (about 3/4″). These are straight, and are sized by measuring the space in between the two decorative ends, so proper sizing is usually very easy.
For belly rings the barbell is curved, but length still applies and will be measured as the length straight across from tip to tip, NOT the full length of the barbell.
Standard sizing for these items is 11 millimeters, and generally they can be seen in 10mm (3/8″) and 12mm (1/2″) as well.
There are also adjustable belly rings available on the market for those who need specialty sizing or are looking to retain a piercing through pregnancy. These are most often found in 1 1/2″ to 2″ starting length, and are made of moveable materials like bioplast or PTFE that can be clipped to desired length and then self-threaded.
Eyebrow barbells will be measured and sized very similarly to those of belly rings; the only difference is that they are smaller. The standard length for this type of jewelry is 8 millimeters (5/16″) or 10 millimeters (3/8″). Anything larger will have to be specialty sized, and generally no longer than half an inch.
Some straight barbells like those used for an industrial ear piercing are slightly more difficult when it comes to sizing. Due to variance in the sizes and widths of the human ear, standard sizing for these pieces covers a wide range, normally about 28 millimeters to 38 millimeters. However, for industrial or scaffold piercings of the conch area of the ear or those that are vertical, sizes can be found as small as one inch and for full ear industrials as long as 44mm (1 3/4″).
And there you have it! For more on measuring, sizing, standards, and styles, check out the rest of our Jewelry Sizing category, and stay tuned to the BodyCandy blog.
If you’re stretching your ears at all or are planning on it and have looked at the sizes, you may have noticed that it’s not exactly a straight increase. As the size of the plugs gets larger, the size difference between them gradually grows. For example the difference between 16 gauge and 14 gauge is about .4mm; not a big deal, (you can just pop those bad boys in, right?) . However the difference between even 2 gauge and 0 gauge is 2mm; If you’re not careful and don’t approach things at your own speed, blowouts and terrible things can happen.
In comes Taping. Now, the standard for increasing size is using long tapers, plugs that start small and increase to the end size as you push them in. This makes it easier, but if your ear isn’t ready for the new size it won’t help you a millimeter. The process of taping works to help with that, give you that slow increase but in a manageable way.
Say you’re at 0 gauge and want to go to 00 (an example I use because it’s exactly what I did) and you just can’t get your ear to except the new size. By taking your 0 gauge plug and wrapping around it a single layer of tape (I’ll get into what kind later) you can increase it’s diameter by as little as .5 mm at a time. That’s getting back to the manageable sizes that make this whole thing super easy!
By doing this process in increments, you can get your ear adjusted to the new sizes gradually. Your ear will heal up better and faster having to get used to a .5mm difference 5 times than a 2.5mm difference once!
I promised you I’d get to it; The Tape. I know of friends that have used different kinds of tape (PTFE tape, bondage tape…) and have had success with it because honestly, I don’t think it makes a gigantic difference as long as it’s safe. I personally have only used one kind of tape and it has served me amazingly: Black Vinyl Electrical Tape. For a few bucks at a hardware store I save a huge amount of pain.
The reason I loved using this kind of tape is two fold. One, the outside of the tape. Being vinyl the non-adhesive side of the tape is incredibly smooth. This makes getting it into and out of the ear incredibly easy. Secondly, it’s ability to stretch. Most tapes don’t have any real give to them, the length you cut is the length that they will go. The vinyl tape has a stretch to it which helps out immensely when it comes to placing it on the plug. By stretching the tape slightly and making it overlap itself a little bit in one point, the tape pulls itself tight across the surface of the plug helping to prevent it from coming loose at all.
The generally recommended tape is teflon tape (a medical grade tape that doesn’t have as much give), but if ever in doubt, your piercer can always be an informational resource. There are also various oils out there to help you along.
So there you have it. A few bucks and a wrapping every other day can take you from a lot of pain and discomfort to a relatively pleasant stretching experience. The last bit of advice I’ll leave you with is try not to be too zealous with the thickness you apply at a time. You may wrap the plug once and think “oh no I can totally do 2 or 3 layers at once”. To save yourself some pain, take your time; the extra week will make you much happier with the end result: a healthier and better looking stretched lobe.
If you guessed weird new trend, PLEASE do not stop reading. I know that myself and many others have heard similar remarks “why do something so weird” “what’s the point of making yourself look like that”. Now, for this point, I’m going to ignore the obvious answers and bust out some historical evidence for you on the trendsetters that started this whole idea of stretching piercings in the body.
It’s well known that piercing in general started thousands of years ago; remains with earring hoops have been found going back as far as over 1500 years before the birth of Christ even. It didn’t take long for stretching to become popular as well. As early as the time of Egyptian Pharaohs people were known to gauge their ears and septum’s. So what have we proved so far? That for arguments sake, weirdo’s who like stretching have always been around. Here’s the relevant information.
Starting with the Egyptians: not only did the pharaohs commonly have stretched lobes, they were the only ones allowed to. Having the wealth and status to allow for such stretching was a sign of their nobility and the weight of their adornments. This was a trend throughout the entire region; the pain and cost of the stretching process became a sign that an individual was well off or a high standing member of society.
Now here’s the counter point that it’s weird or odd. While the Egyptian pharaohs were filling their ears with inch wide disks, the Mayans on the other side of the world used stretched ears lobes and nose bones as a symbol of both their religion, and abilities in battle. The larger the bone (and I do mean actual bone), the more experienced the warrior or the more quality his skills. In south Africa it was the lower lip that was commonly pierced and stretched along with the lobes to denote ones status in the tribe, or in women’s case, the number of children they had and helped to raise.
Even in the tribes of Papua, New Guinnea that never had contact with the modern world until the 1980’s, the tribe leader who first made contact with modern man clearly had the largest lobes, most piercings, and the largest piece of carved bone running through his septum. These people have been passing down traditions like this since before history itself, and they’re still maintained as a part of their society and structural class.
Piercings and stretching aren’t a fad or a fashion style modernly conceived and ready to fade away, it’s a human habit that no matter where in the world or in history you are is a part of society. After at least 3 thousand years, the only real changes to it have been in the materials that we use (things like Bioplast and Acrylics that have only come around recently) and in technological advancements like dermal anchors and the ability to craft more intricate piercings.
Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see a Government or Congressional leader who wears their plugs with pride to the assembly room floor.
Even once it’s healed, a piercing that’s only a couple months old can be prone to irritation, especially in the sweltering heat of Summer. Belly rings with fancy large designs or long decorative dangles are easily caught on clothes, towels, and god only knows what else, so sticking with simplicity seems like the way to go. In that spirit (because I know how hard choosing a simple banana bell can be and how bland regular belly rings seem), I’ve decided to share some style hints for keeping it simple this season while still being stylish. Ready?
The Comprehensive Users Guide to Belly Piercing Part 4: Summer Belly Ring Style Guide
Want some Summer belly rings that are subtle for daytime without being boring? We’ve got it covered. There are three things to do with a worry free standard belly ring that can give you style without being overstated: add shine or sparkle, go for natural gems, or spiral it up.
A little shimmer keeps your body jewelry from falling flat while still maintaining that effortless simplicity, and opting for a spiral barbell rather than a banana bell adds interest to the design without dangling elements that could get caught doing daytime activities.
Also, natural stone belly rings are not only a huge trend right now, but they’re eco friendly, skin friendly, and enhance any look with beautiful organic hues. Hot tones right now: teals, turquoises, and foams (perfect for Summer because they mimic the ocean).
For special occasions on which a dangling belly ring is wanted? Go for something that shows off a playful spirit with bright, Summery colors, and look for dangles that incorporate elements of the ocean, sun, flowers, or anything else that you feel represents Summer. The idea is to throw a seasonal hint without getting cartoony or being too extravagant.
And the perfect belly ring for a Summer beach party or a hot night out? Neon or glow in the dark. Neon belly rings are super fun for warm nights out when you want your belly to be the center of attention, and the pop of color that they add can either jazz up a solid white or black ensemble, or brighten and enhance an already colorful look. And if you’re out at the beach or bonfire under clear, dark night skies, glow in the dark belly rings are an awesome accessory that’s sure to get noticed. Party time!
Going to a costume or themed party this Summer? Want a retro styled look for a cocktail or garden party or a special night out? Vintage clothing and jewelry is one seasonal trend that’s running full speed ahead, and we’re about to show you how to make subtle accessory changes that’ll help you stylishly catch up.
Going for a seventies look:
For costumes it’s perfect to try an exaggerated, super disco style, but to pull off seventies flare in everyday life there a few key things that can be done with clothing and accessories that will nod to the decade of disco without circumventing a modern edge. To go seventies without feeling like you’ve just played dress-up, grab the general style elements that defined the era.
First, choose a section of the body to showcase: arms, legs, or midriff. If your going for the shorter skirt, keep the midsection covered and opt for subtle volume on top, like a looser or flared sleeve, a straight cut, or some blousing. To show off arms, go for a full skirt of knee length or longer, or a pair of high-waisted jeans. Floral is always acceptable in smaller doses. And if you’ve chosen to bear a toned belly, make sure that arms and legs are mostly covered…and be sure to rock a super seventies belly ring!
Reinventing the eighties:
The eighties aesthetic is all about drama, exaggeration, and color, but to get the feel without the fluff it’s best to keep it simple and throw a few gentle hints.
For example, a top that slides off one shoulder, colored tights, classic pointed toe pumps, or a short skirt with some fullness or substance. For eighties jewelry, the perfect way to not do too much is to stick with brights and low cost materials (enamel, acrylic, lucite, glass), and when in doubt, a hint of animal print will get you there.
Having a nineties moment:
As anyone who has lived through the nineties will tell you, the general fashion was fairly bland, but the one interesting thing about style in the nineties compared to the new millennium? It was the era of black. We all go solid black from time to time, but the angst, alternative lifestyle emergence, and the discovery of the LBD’s (little black dress’s) primary importance make the nineties a certifiably coal colored decade. To optimize the ebony for a truly nineties feel, match with silvery tones or faux pearl, and stick with geometric shapes.
If you follow these tips and search out some of your own inspirations, you’ll be ready to party like it’s nineteen seventy, eighty, or ninety nine.
So a lot of you might know that June is National Gay Pride Month, but what you might not know is that the rainbow and pride themed jewelry is heating up something fierce this Summer. More and more of the pierced and proud are showing it off out there with hot new jewels, so here’s some of the brightest and neatest of what’s going on right now with the rainbow.
The first amazing rainbow pride jewelry trend we found: rainbow crystal couples rings. Stainless steel rainbow gem rings in all shapes and styles are great on their own, but the emerging trend of couples wearing matching rainbow rings makes this fashion statement all the more sweet.
Another colorful jewelry trend that we love is giving people everywhere an extra excuse to stick out their tongue: rainbow tongue rings. Most frequently spotted are simple rainbows, sometimes including gems or logo inlay.
One of the coolest things showing up at gay pride rallies and parades across the country this month is rainbow body jewelry for piercings that aren’t normally seen on an everyday basis, like nipple shields and navel rings.
Belly rings range from simple to sassy, with rainbow bottom ball inlay and dangle details including everything from flowers to flags.
And Finally, there’s the rainbow plug. Rainbow hued gem or full color logo pride ear plugs are absolutely everywhere, and styles promoting harmony, awareness, and understanding are becoming a fashion that makes a provocative and empowering cultural statement.
Today is the first official day of Summer, and to celebrate the long awaited return of our favorite sunny season, we’re breaking out the aftercare rulebook for a quick overview of everything the pierced need to know about Summer aftercare.
During the Summer months, fun in the sun (and the pool) is a major mainstay, but there are a few things to know about piercing care that can make the difference between irritation and seasonal bliss.
When going out in the sun:
Even if your piercing is healed, sunburn is a serious safe piercing no-no. Fortunately, there are a number of sunscreens out there that are safe for use on pierced and tattooed skin. What you’ll want to look for is something with a high SPF (30 and above), that protects against both UV-A and UV-B rays, uses only natural oils, and contains no wax or PABA. Natural brands are especially friendly to this checklist, and if you have sensitive skin to boot, they’re absolutely ideal because most contain only botanical fragrances as well.
Some good natural brands that don’t break the bank: Badger, Out to Sea, and Purple Prairie. All are available online for ten dollars or less.
When going into the pool or water at the public beach:
If your piercing isn’t healed, public water should be avoided altogether, but for those who are able to take the plunge precautions should still be taken. Shower with gentle antibacterial body wash immediately after any swim sessions, clean your piercing accordingly, and if it’s possible apply some moisturizing natural oil (like emu oil) to counteract the drying effects of the salt or chlorine that may have been in the water.
When sweating it up:
Working out or playing sports is a great way to stay healthy in the warmer months, but skimping on the skin care can leave piercings irritated or cause piercing odor. To prevent the unpleasantness of either, always clean fresh piercings as listed above. For those with healed piercings: if you think a full clean-up isn’t necessary, a gentle wipe down with unscented wet wipes followed by a quick spray with sea salt solution like H2Ocean should do the trick. Also, try to avoid wearing any heavy moisturizers if you know you’ll break a sweat, and be sure to reply sunscreen after clean-up if you’re headed back into the sun.
To hide piercings for your summer job:
Invest in a retainer like the ones below. They’re comfortable, biocompatible, and next to invisible.
For more suggestions on piercing care, check out the rest of our Piercings and Aftercare Information category.
Today we want to show a few of the most common basic styles of tongue rings. All of these styles include a straight barbell of standard length (12 to 19 millimeter), and some type of decorations or ball tips on one or both ends. These are the standard barbell tongue ring, half ball barbell tongue ring, logo tongue ring, 3-D tongue ring, and functional tongue ring.
Standard tongue rings are generally made from surgical grade stainless steel, titanium, bioplast, or acrylic, and have simple ball shaped tips on either end that may be embellished with designs, gems, or glitter. This is the most common, most readily available type of tongue ring, and is generally what most piercers use when they perform a tongue piercing.
Next is the half ball tongue ring. These will have a dome or “half ball” on one or both sides and are composed of the same materials as a standard tongue ring. Those with the dome shaped tip on one side are often worn for comfort, with the dome on bottom and a regular ball or decoration on the top, while tongue ring with two half ball tips sit close to the tongue surface and make good retainers.
Logo style tongue rings are like a standard tongue ring, with a logo printed embedded, or etched into either one tip or both. These items will sometimes have a large cylindrical end to showcase more complex logos or graphics, and are great tool for self-expression (especially for those who enjoy sticking their pierced tongue out!)
Then there’s 3-D tongue rings, for which the name sais it all; a tongue ring in which the top “ball” or visible decorative piece isn’t really a ball at all, but a three dimensional shape or insignia. These type pf tongue rings are normally made from steel or titanium, but some simpler 3-d shapes may be found in acrylic or silicone material.
That brings us to the funnest member of the tongue ring family: the functional tongue ring. A functional tongue ring is a tongue ring that performs a function other than just keeping your tongue piercing open and looking neat. This grouping includes tongue rings that tickle, vibrate, and light up or blink. Most of these items will be powered with one or more batteries like those found in a wrist watch and because of their weight (and sometimes movement) are only able to be used in tongue piercings that are completely healed.
There are many different styles and types of tongue rings available on the body jewelry market, but snap up at least one of each of these five types and your tongue ring wardrobe will be nearly complete.