Archive for July, 2011
No more hiding in the basement with a stack of comics fearing the great ball of gas in the sky for us anymore! With the media and style trends over the past few years drifting towards all great things nerdy and geeky, being a proud and representing Geek has never been easier or more commonplace. Gone are the times when the only people you would see wearing a Batman or Green Lantern shirt were hunkered down in an isle at the local comic book shop.
Now’s the time to rock out your Flash shirt with pride or stamp your car with an Autobot symbol and represent (or Decepticon, we can stay friends and not argue). My personal favorite part of this has been not just the spread in acceptability of rocking your hero or villain of choice, but how much easier it is to do so now. Just half a decade ago it would have taken some serious work to track down an Avengers shirt, much less a replica Mjolnir hammer so I could run around and pretend to be Thor. Hey, like I said, no shame.
With San Diego ComiCon having just wrapped up, it’s clearer than ever that being a nerd and being in the know is far from the social outcry it used to be. People aren’t afraid to indulge themselves in some nerdy goodness no matter what their social or personality style. You might remember a stereotype of a hardcore punk kid beating up a comic book nerd; today that punk’s stretched ears could have Superman logo plugs representing his DC pride. It’s helped bring together an uncountable amount of people over their shared love of the Dark Knight’s rise or Bruce Banner’s fall, not getting hung up on the petty things. There are much more important arguments to be had, like who would win in a fight between Captain America and Iron Man.
No matter what your particular style is or what you’re looking for it’s almost certain that at this point you can personalize yourself with that extra touch of +1 comic book geekness. I myself am highly anticipating my Deadpool plugs as maybe a bit of an excuse to run my mouth off just a little bit more on those right occasions. So go ahead, rock your power rings, customize your bling and shout what side you stand by, because who knows where the trend is going, but there’s never been a better time to be a nerd than now!
For anyone who’s ever been tempted to get a tattoo but too afraid to take the plunge, this year in fashion is a welcomed relief, as tattoo art (called “flash art”) has become a popular and available jewelry and apparel staple. So now there’s only a single hurdle left: sifting through the myriad of options to find those few pieces or elements that bring together a style with the exact correct amount of edge for our personal preferences.
First thing’s first in this situation: decide what style of tattoo art you enjoy the most. Some popular styles that are easy to categorize include retro, bohemian, punk, and urban, but any style will do as long as the elements of that style are able to be boiled down to a few key shapes and motifs.
Retro style tattoo art, for example includes such components as anchors, roses, sparrows, daggers, and beautifully drawn barmaids and geisha girls, all items that can easily be worked into jewelry and accessories for a retro flash art feel without the sting of colorful ink.
Bohemian genre tattooing generally incorporates elements of nature or nature worship, like pentacles, fairies, sunshine, and butterflies. It’s a lighter side of tattoo art that revels in the mystical and amazing, so small doses of color and metals like sterling and pewter are welcomed in this style of jewels, along with the elements represented.
Punk tattoos incorporate stylized pieces of music and skate culture, among others, and include things like nautical stars, skulls, playing card symbols, and prints like leopard print or checks. Both the prints and the traditional simple designs and parts are easy to obtain in the way of accessories, whether used sparingly or full throttle.
And urban tattouage includes items like stylized lettering or graffiti, simple shapes like paw prints, religious figures and artifacts, and mythical beasts such as dragons. Many of these pieces have an underlying symbolism attached to the urban culture, whether it be representative of faith, celebrity, or power (as in the case of a vicious or legendary animal.) Picking and choosing the portions of this style that most speak to you on a personal level is the best way to meld it into your wardrobe without it appearing too flashy or lacking in substance.
For those with a blank canvas, or even a full scale work in progress, it’s always fun and exciting to throw a few flash art elements into the mix. Afterall, when it comes to all things tattoo, as they say, “you can never stop at one.”
Fashion Photography sourced via WGSN.com
We had another amazing interview this week, with Body Candy staff member and blog contributor Morgan S. Here’s what he had to say about the process of stretching his cool ear lobe piercings:
Body Candy: Hey guys! I’m Kelsey, here at Body Candy dot com, and today we have Morgan here with us, and he’s actually one of our team members here at Body Candy. How are you doing?
Morgan: Pretty good.
Body Candy: Good. So we’re gonna talk about what piercings he has today, and a few questions for him. What piercing do you have?
Morgan: Um, well, I’ve got both of ears gauged right now. (He gestures to both lobes.) I’ve got em both stretched to a half inch piercing so.
Body Candy: What do you like about them?
Morgan: Um, I’ve always liked having that extra little bit of…it’s not just a normal piercing but it’s got that extra little bit of flare that I can kinda mess around with and have my own style.
Body Candy: Cool. When did you get them pierced?
Morgan: I got both of them done, just about right when I turned eighteen. Uh, being in New York obviously that was right when I could.
Body Candy: Do you have any good stories about them?
Morgan: Uh, one of my favorites: I always love the way little kids react to piercings, and tattoos and gauges, and things like that. And uh, I was at a water park once, and I had a little kid that just immediately walked up to me and saw me and just, “Mom, mom! That man has holes in his ears! Is he okay?!” (At this point, both parties giggle a little.) And thought uh, legitimately thought I was hurt or that there was something wrong but, it was the most adorable thing.
Body Candy: Aw, that’s cute. Uh, does your work allow you to wear your piercings? Anywhere you’ve worked since you were eighteen?
Morgan: Yeah I’ve never really had…I’ve never really had any real issues with them. Uh I do musical theatre and I’ve done acting before, so I’ve had to use some of the flesh tone plugs a couple of times, being up on stage to blend in with the make-up, but, beyond that I’ve never had any issues.
Body Candy: What material do you like best?
Morgan: Um, I’m very adamant for wood.
Body Candy: How come?
Morgan: Um, I just recently got up to the point of about zero gauge and I started using wood plugs. With acrylics and metals you get a lot of weird (he lifts his hands trying to find the right word)…issues. The body isn’t really used to that sort of material.
Body Candy: Right.
Morgan: With nice wood plugs, with bone, you get really good fits, keeps your ears really healthy and, it just feels really good.
Body Candy: Yeah, that’s cool. And do you like…are planning on getting any more? Any other piercings?
Morgan: Absolutely! In the next couple weeks, um, I’m gearing up to get my industrial done so…
Body Candy: Nice.
Morgan: Definitely excited for that one.
Body Candy: Alright. Do you have any advice for people who might wanna stretch or gauge their ears?
Morgan: Absolutely. Um, if you’re stretching or gauging, anything like that, take it slow, read up on it, and know what you’re doing.
Body Candy: Right.
Morgan: I’ve definitely made that mistake a few times along the road where it’s just, “Oh, I wanna be the next size bigger, shove it in like-” (he uses his hands to mimic forcing a large gauge plug into an ear piercing, and a little giggle starts again)
Body Candy: yeah, I think a lot of people do that.
Morgan: It’s not a good call. Take your time, read up, know what you’re doing.
Body Candy: Alright. Well, thanks for coming in, Morgan.
Morgan: Absolutely, happy to.
And that was the end of another great talk with one our pierced personalities.
To get Morgan’s look: Morgan wears primarily organic plugs and tunnels, like the black wooden ones he has in for our interview.
What is a surface Piercing? Well, a surface piercing is any piercing that follows the plane of the skin rather than piercing through it; essentially any piercing on the skin’s surface rather than through the skin from one side of the body to another, hence the term “surface piercing.” By general definition, some common piercings are considered by many professionals to fall under this category, like certain navel piercings and eyebrow piercings. Also in the surface piercing grouping are piercings of the nape of the neck, clavicle, cheek or “anti-eyebrow,” wrists and arms, nose bridge, hips, back (like corset piercings), along with many others; just about any piercing along a single surface of the body.
When trying to heal a surface piercing, there are a few things to keep in mind. First is, no matter what you get pierced with, that object will be considered a foreign object by the skin. The human dermis is a very well oiled and intelligent machine composed of many cells all working together. For this reason, if the body chooses to change the rate of cell recycling in order to force foreign matter out, there’s really nothing that you’ve done wrong; this is common and is called “rejection.”
Secondly, remember that because the risk of migration ( a piercing moving from its original starting placement) or rejection by the body is higher with a surface piercing than a standard piercing, extra care should be taken to keep the pierced skin clean and to avoid bumping it, rubbing it, or irritating it.
And lastly, note that if you do see sudden severe redness, extreme swelling, dark bruising, or goopy puss-like fluid, your piercer should be contacted as soon as possible because these are all signs of possible rejection. Rejection of surface piercings is very common and if caught early enough your piercer may be able to help you avoid any scarring.
As for trying to avoid migration or rejection proactively, there are a couple things you can do before even getting pierced to boost success. It’s always advisable to look for a piercer who has experience specifically with surface piercings, and who has photos in his or her portfolio of healed surface piercings that he/she has performed. This shows you that the piercer knows what depth to place a surface piercing at for optimum health and healing, which is very important. You’ll also want to be sure that your piercing is done with a surface bar. This is a U or staple-shaped barbell that’s made especially for surface type piercings and its design helps alleviate any stress or pressure on the skin, which will aid in faster and less painful healing. Always be sure that your piercer has the experience, know-how, tools, and jewelry that are required to properly complete a higher risk piercing.
Depending on the location of the piercing, you’ll want to wait at least six months to a year before switching out any components of your jewelry. For example: a piercing done with a surface barbell that has flattened tips shouldn’t have the tips changed out to gems or ball shaped tips until completely healed up, etc.
Many people who have successfully healed sets of surface piercings like to wear slightly curved jewelry once able, like short curved barbells, or horseshoe rings. This kind of jewelry is considered suitable by many professionals, but it’s always a good idea to ask your piercer about your specific piercing, what can or should be worn in it, and when (if ever) jewelry parts can be changed.
Who says being stuck in the past is a bad thing? Not me, Daddy-O! Vintage and retro styles are a staple in the Burlesque, Pinup, and Rockabilly communities. Rockabilly is a style of rock and roll music that had its roots in the 1950’s. It is also a sub-culture that often goes hand and hand with pinup and burlesque. Old school tattoos, think “Sailor Jerry” flash art: Cherries, leopard print, nautical stars, and sparrows are just a few examples of the common imagery used on clothing and accessories. Cuffed jeans and leather jackets for the boys, vintage dresses with floral, polka dot, or leopard print and big hair flowers for the girls. Pompadours and red lipstick are not the only defining characteristic of rockabilly and pinup chic!
Pierced and tattooed temptresses are trailblazing the confines of titillation and taking the old fashion bump and grind to new and exciting levels. Burlesque is a celebration of femininity, diversity, individuality, and self expression. It is a misnomer that it is not “feminist” to disrobe, as performers’ bodies are highly decorated temples that are celebrated and respected. Neo-Burlesque performers are in fact on the forefront of many feminist and body love movements. There is no objectification of the female form, rather a grandiose exploration of every body type and style of living. Burlesque and pinup modeling has been the standard for beauty for generations. This updated form of dance and entertainment blurs the lines of tradition with the addition of body art and piercing, among other things. Web communities such as the “Suicide Girls” and “Gods Girls” showcase the beauty and elegance of the alternative pinup.
Lughnasadh or Lammas is the pagan, wiccan and neopagan festival which celebrates the first harvest of the year. It is traditionally celebrated on August 1st in the Northern hemisphere (February 1st in the Southern hemisphere). It is meant to honor the seed and fruit bearing plants and the spirit of the grain. This holiday is named for Lugh (pronounced Loo), the Irish sun god, and refers to his funeral games. However, this is not his funeral. It is the funeral of his foster-mother, Tailtiu. There are many events surrounding Lammas including Tailteann craft fairs and Tailteann marriages, both named after his foster-mother.
The traditional Tailteann marriages are when couples are temporarily married for a year and a day and after that they are free to separate or continue on as they had for the previous year. The marriages were typically done by holding hands through a hole in a wooden door or by doing a handfasting ceremony where the hands were draped in a rope or cord to create a figure 8, the symbol of infinity.
The Lammas holiday celebrations include the traditional foods of apples, grains, breads and berries as well as grapes, heather, sloe, crab apples and pears. Participants celebrate by sharing a feast with family and friends. They also save the seeds from the fruits eaten during the celebration and plant them afterwards. They enjoy nature and spend time reflecting and appreciating all that the earth has given them. There were also traditional funeral games surrounding this festival which were kind of like the Irish version of the Olympics.
You might be wondering what you can do to incorporate Lammas into your life and style. There are tons of ways to show off your pagan celebratory spirit including pagan jewelry. The symbol of the pentagram (five-pointed, interconnected star in a circle) is traditionally a pagan symbol and the sun god, Lugh is celebrated with sun symbols. Here are some ideas of jewelry you can add to your wardrobe:
You can also get these customizable sun star ornaments to decorate your home. Happy Lammas!
Of all the throwback styles, each time period offers their own unique style (in the case of the 70s we won’t judge) and what I’m writing about today is how that of the 40s and 50s appeals so strongly to our current day body modification culture. Many people, myself included, find something incredibly enticing about the pairing of the classic idea of a man in a 3 piece suit or greaser fashion with the addition of modern day piercings and tattoo style.
It’s easy to pair the crisp and usually very neat style of the 50s with piercings and tattoos as they allow the overall look to not feel cluttered and messy. Wearing something simple such as a plain or black lip ring or a pair of simple plugs to work with such a clean look allows each to speak for themselves. Mixing something that has an inherent wild or punk feel to it’s presence with something that looks and feels formal and clean, you get a new look that hasn’t come up much before.
This fashion style as a whole is as much of a statement as anything said. Combining expectations with personal expression, mixing a very formal and gentlemanly style with your own way of showing who you are and what makes you an individual, creates a fit that allows both a classic and a modern look at the same time.
An excellent example of the blending of styles (beyond the numerous individuals who live it in form) is the band The Gaslight Anthem, with their cd The ’59 Sound they offer a throwback rock style mixed with modern influences. Seeing their combination of slicked back hair and button-ups with lip piercings and tattoo sleeves helps convey their classic sound as well as its modern day meanings and heart.
With the few simple steps of putting on a nice button up shirt, a crisp clean vest and a pair of working pants you can pull yourself right into a clean and dressy, yet down to business style that’ll take you to a new level of presentation. Someone think you can’t look formal and fantastic with a pair of plugs in or a few tattoos showing? Now’s the time to prove them wrong.
Fashion Photography courtesy of Miss Sophie Glass
If you’re anything like me and have the idea in your head from time to time of just that perfect piece of jewelry that you would absolutely love to pull together a style or really make a statement, then you know how disheartening it can feel to realize that no one makes that. Or do they?! The answer is in fact yes, there are quite a few different options and styles that allow you to customize an item (or fully design a piece of jewelry in some cases) to fit just what you’re looking for.
Throughout the various jewelry that you can find online you’ll see fully customized items. They range from a constant and set design for the crystal and setting that will allow you to add a touch of lettering like a name, to necklaces that are hand crafted with beadwork to create a phrase, or plugs and full jewelry items that are made around an image that you send in!
Starting say, with the items that you can get customized lettering on; like belly rings, earrings, necklaces, and even silicon bracelets. Custom engraving can be done using the engravers skills to make hundreds of items completely unique and custom to you. Whether it be putting the name of a loved one, an anniversary date, or your favorite hobby on something so that you can wear and represent with pride, it can be done (with a bit of size restriction of course).
Now let’s say you’re looking for a little something more expressive and rich-looking. You want everyone in the world to know just how adorable your puppy is whether they like dogs or not! A picture of the ball of fluff can be etched or printed onto a range of things, from a pair of plugs for whatever size you happen to be at, to an actual metal dog tag with the full color image placed right onto the metal. With the only real restriction beyond size being copyrighting and the like, the options to make the perfect earrings for an outfit or plugs for an event are almost limitless.
Even if all you want is to be blunt and make a statement, say with an acrylic necklace hanging boldly around your neck, it can be made specifically to whatever specifications you like, with a range of color and style options for you to chose from to really drive the point home.
Really no matter how you’re trying to make your look totally unique, the ability to make custom jewelry really sets any style apart. With a few days and a little creativity, you can be rocking a full ensemble of image and name-bearing jewelry that you helped to come up with and design yourself!
Deep, saturated lip colors ranged from crimson to plum, violet, and glossy fuchsia, while smoky charcoal and exaggerated cat eyes smudged a double dose of drama over lids and lash lines to finish the look.
Body Jewelry Hint: To accompany this glamorous, gently gothic make-up styling for Fall, the freshest emerging trend is simple black with a hint of shine, like black titanium.
Voluminous, ethereal hair softened the statement make-up look, with feather headpieces, plenty of back-combing, and a dose of glitter.
As a contrast to the stark, glamazon styling, another prominently featured beauty trend was the youthful fairytale handmaiden look. Glowing, dewy skin swept with ultra-feminine pinks and nudes set the tone, while subtle hints of shine gave a fresh, just-in-from-outdoors feel. Highlighter and sweet rosy blush provided the illusion of a natural, youthful flush.
Delicate, gently disheveled hair was the signature completion of this look, with loose braid-work and soft hanging tendrils. Romantic up-dos and winding floral headbands and hair combs provided the perfect addition.
Body Jewelry Hint: Small, gently luminous gem solitaires in clear, aurora, or soft pink are the perfect completion to a youthful, feminine look.
Designers that strayed from high-glamour or soft feminine styles opted for a modern, futuristic look. Peaches and corals paired perfectly with the smoky eye and rounded sequins to create a style that had a touch of sci-fi without being drastic.
Hair followed suit, with chic ribbon-wrapped styles and polished up-dos displaying sleek forward volume.
Nails saw a return to deep shades and natural hues, with greens and midnight tones of blue, black, and violet forming the basis of most looks. Primarily short, manicured fingernails were seen in solid washes of matte color, or amped up with a little shine.
We had an amazing interview with one of our favorite pierced staff members here at Body Candy, Miss Janna W. We started off by introducing her to the camera for our friends at home, and here’s what she had to say:
Body Candy: How are you?
Janna: I’m doing good. How are you?
Body Candy: Good. So lets talk about what piercings you have.
Janna pointed out her lovely piercings for the camera, gesturing as she went:
Janna: I have two eyebrow rings on this side (she pointed to her left brow), I have helix on both sides (then gesturing to her upper ear) you can kinda see, and I have three earrings down the lobe on this side (pinching left ear lobe), and two down this side (and finishing off with the right ear lobe).
Body Candy: Nice. What do you like about your piercings?
Janna: Ah…especially the eyebrow rings. I like that they’re different. Most people don’t have two right next to each other. Ha, I guess more people do now, but I’ve had em for a long time and, uh, I don’t know…they kind of balance my face out. I like the way they look.
I feel weird without em.
Body Candy: When did you get them? How old were you?
Janna: I was eighteen. I’d always wanted em, since seventh grade. For some strange reason I just decided then that I wanted to have two, and I got em done six weeks apart, cause they can’t do em both at the same time.
Body Candy: Right. Do you have a favorite story about any of your piercings?
Janna: Well, I guess, the first one: I got both helix piercings and two lobe piercings done in the same day when I was about fifteen, and that same night my friends had a camp-out. So I slept in a tent, with no pillow, and it was not a great idea. So, yeah, if you’re gonna get helix piercings, do one side, and wait til it heals, and then get the other, so you can actually go to sleep for a while! (giggling)
Body Candy: So, the healing time on those takes a little bit?
Janna: Yeah. With the helix, all the cartilage piercings tend to take quite a while before they’re really healed and they don’t hurt at all. I mean sometimes depending on…
Body Candy: What about your eyebrow rings?
Janna: Uh, eyebrow rings, they take, a month, you know, six weeks or something like that before you can change em out. But they always do best when you don’t touch em and leave em alone.
Body Candy: Any other stories?
Janna: Well, when I was sixteen I got my tongue pierced, and uh, I was trying to hide it from my mom, like most teenagers would probably do. And we were out prom dress shopping, and I was wearing this really expensive dress, and when you have a tongue ring, it’s really difficult to not play with it a lot, and she saw it. And she was really mad and she’s like, “take the dress off! We’re going home!” And uh, she wanted me to take it out, and I didn’t take it out. I convinced her that it was better to keep it in, which it was. And uh, I kept it in until I was nineteen, and then I took it out for a job that I had…
Body Candy: They didn’t allow you to have it?
Janna: No, but, it was fun while it lasted. (giggling a little)
Body Candy: So do you have any advice for someone that wants to get a tongue, or eyebrow, or helix piercing?
Janna: Um, definitely wait until you’re old enough to get it yourself, when it’s your decision, cause a lot changes between, you know, when you’re, twelve or thirteen, and when you’re actually old enough to get it done yourself. Um, and just think a lot about it. Make sure that it’s something that you really want, and that you like the way it looks. You can take a picture of yourself and draw the piercing on it-
Body Candy: -That’s a good idea-
Janna: -or you can get some of the faux jewelry like a faux nose ring or a lip ring, and just try it on and see if you like the way it looks. See if you like the way it feels, having something, you know, attached to your face.
Body Candy: Right.
Janna. Play with it alot and whatever.
Body Candy: Alright, well, thanks for coming in today.
Janna: No problem. I come everyday. It’s work!
Then we laughed together for a brief moment, and that was that.
To get Janna’s look: Janna wears segment rings, ball captive rings, and closure rings, like the ones below.