Archive for Labret and Monroe Piercings

Jul
01

Stephanie’s Angel Bite Piercings

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See our friend Stephanie getting, not one, but two new piercings! Her work is being done by our best piercing buddy, James, of American Skin Art located in Buffalo, NY.

Money shot: 0:39 and 1:41

What are Angel bites?

This piercing is two monroe piercings, which are located off to each side and just above the upper lip.

The Process

The areas are cleaned and sterilized, then marked with a temporary ink. The piercer may also use a type of measuring device to be sure the placement will exactly symmetrical. The piercings are done one at a time, the clamp is applied to the first side and the area is inspected to see where the back of the jewelry will sit against the gums. This ensures the jewelry won’t be damaging teeth. Once ready, the piercer will the pass the needle through the desired spot, cork off the pointed end, then proceed to follow the needle out with the jewelry. The post is trimmed and the ball end is placed and secured. The process is then repeated on the other side. After a bit of clean up, we’re all done!

Healing

These piercings take about 6 to 8 weeks to be healed. Be sure to see your piercer for complete care information!

 

Jun
11

Litany’s Monroe Piercing

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Money Shot:0:39

What is a Monroe Piercing?
Also known as the Madonna or Chrome Crawford, this is a piercing that resembles a beauty mark that is placed off to one side and directly above the upper lip. Placement is towards the corner of the mouth and about 5/16 to 1/2 inch above the lip line.

The Process
The piercer will begin by cleaning and marking the area. Often the client will be asked to smile after the temporary marking has been placed , to see how the piercing will sit in other positions than neutral and make sure it will look good. The piercer will use a set of clamps to grasp the upper lip and pull it straight up vertically away from the mouth. This ensures a straight piercing. Consideration must be taken with this piercing as to where the back of the jewelry will sit, as to minimize the risk of damage to the teeth and gums. The needle will be pushed through, corked, and then followed through from the underside of the lip with the desired jewelry. Depending on the client’s taste this could be a plain ball or gem. The area will be cleaned again and then the piercer will give the client their care instructions.

After & Healing
The upper lip has the tenancy to swell for a few days after, this is common and subsides quickly. This piercing takes about 2-3 months or longer, depending on the client’s natural healing capabilities and the care given to it. Initial jewelry is usually a 14 gauge but can range between 16 – 12. The post will be fairly long to accommodate the swelling, your piercer may tell you to come back in a few weeks to switch it out to a shorter one!

Hello lovely readers! Welcome to our updated for 2015 version of our most popular blog post on the age laws for each state for tattoos and piercings. Here you’ll find the most recent laws and updated information on how old you have to be and if you need parental consent to get that piercing or tattoo you’ve been dreaming of.

There is no Federal Law in the United States concerning body modification so each state sets it’s rules and regulations.

Definitions:
Minor : means anyone under the age of 18 in most states, these states have different ages at which people are still minors:

  • Alabama- 19
  • Arkansas- 18 or graduation from high school, whichever is later
  • Delaware- 19
  • Mississippi- 21
  • Nebraska- 19
  • Nevada- 18, or if still in high school at 18, 19 or graduation, whichever comes sooner
  • Ohio- 18 or graduation from high school, whichever comes first
  • Tennessee- 18 or graduation from high school, whichever is later
  • Utah- 18 or graduation from high school, whichever is earlier
  • Wisconsin- 18, or if still in high school at 18, 19 or graduation, whichever comes sooner

Legal Guardian: are individuals that have legal authority to care for another person. This means the person has gone before a court and has been granted guardianship. (Aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings are not considered a legal guardian unless they have gone through the proper legal steps to become a guardian.)

Simply scroll down to find your state by alphabetical order:

Alabama
Both Tattoos and Piercings – Requires prior written informed consent from the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Alaska
Tattoos- Illegal to tattoo any minor, regardless of any parental or legal guardian’s consent.

Piercings- Requires prior written approval from the minor’s parent or legal guardian and the presence of the parent or legal guardian during the body piercing procedure.

Arizona
Both Tattoos and Piercings – Illegal to either tattoo or pierce anyone under age 18 without the physical presence of the parent or legal guardian.

Arkansas
Both Tattoos and piercings- Illegal to be performed on a minor without the written consent and presence of one of the minor’s parents, a guardian or a custodian.

California
Tattoos- Illegal, a misdemeanor for any person to tattoo or offer to tattoo anyone under age 18.

Piercings- Requires that the piercing is performed in the presence of a parent or guardian or as directed and notarized by the minor’s parent or guardian. Does not apply to emancipated minors and does not include pierces of the ear.

Colorado
Tattoos and Piercings – Prohibits anyone from performing a body art procedure on a minor unless the artist has received express consent from the minor’s parent or guardian.

Connecticut
Tattoos- Illegal to tattoo a minor under age 18 without the permission of the minor’s parent or guardian.

Piercings- The department of public health does not have jurisdiction over body piercing, meaning it is the decision of the piercing parlor of what they will require to obtain a piercing.

Delaware
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires the prior written consent of the adult parent or legal guardian.

Florida
Tattoos- requires also that no individual under the age of 16 be tattooed, except for medical reasons by a doctor or dentist. If you are between 16 and 18 you must have notarized consent from a parent or guardian or be accompanied by your parent / guardian.

Piercings- Requires  written notarized consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian, and an establishment may not perform body piercing on a minor under the age of 16 unless the minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Georgia
Tattoos- Prohibits the tattooing of anyone under age 18 by anyone other than a licensed osteopath or technician acting under the direct supervision of a licensed physician or osteopath.

Piercings- Requires written informed consent from parent or legal guardian.

Hawaii
Tattoos- Requires notarized consent from a parent or guardian or be accompanied by your parent / guardian.

Piercings- Parental consent is not required for a minor to get a piercing in Hawaii, but the state legislature is working to change that. In the meantime, many shops have implemented their own age restrictions.Some shops will perform navel and ear piercings on those age 16+ who present valid photo IDs, and they’ll do any other piercing (nipple and genital piercings excluded) for those 16 or older if they present an appropriate ID and have parental consent.

Idaho
Tattoos and Piercings- Illegal to perform tattooing, branding or body piercing of minors under the age of 14. Those between 14 and 18 need written informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Illinois
Tattoos- Illegal. Minors may not be present at a tattoo shop without parent or legal guardian. Only medically licensed professionals may tattoo a minor.

Piercings- Requires written informed consent from parent or legal guardian.

Indiana
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires a minor’s parent or legal guardian to be present AND have written permission in order to either tattoo or perform a body piercing on a minor under age 18.

Iowa
Tattoos- Illegal to tattoo a minor.

Piercings- No current laws on required age but each shop has it’s own requirements.

Kansas
Tattoos and Piercings-  Requires written and notarized consent and presence of the minor’s parent or  guardian.

Kentucky
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written and notarized consent of a parent or guardian.

Louisiana
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written and notarized consent and presence of the minor’s parent or  guardian.

Maine
Tattoos- Illegal to tattoo any person under the age of 18.

Piercings- Requires prior written consent of a minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Maryland
Tattoos- Illegal to tattoo any person under the age of 18.

Piercings- Parent or legal guardian must provide written consent.

Massachusetts
Tattoos and Piercings- The only piercings for which Massachusetts specifies a minimum age requirement are nipple and genital piercings, which can only be performed on adults age 18 or older. All other piercings may be performed on minors at each piercer’s discretion. Most Massachusetts shops require that a parent or legal guardian be present when a minor is pierced, and each shop sets their own guidelines as to which piercings they’ll perform at which ages.

Michigan
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires prior written, informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Minnesota
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written and notarized consent of a parent or guardian.

Mississippi
Tattoos and Piercings- Both illegal to be performed on a minor.

Missouri
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires prior written, informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Montana
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires explicit in-person consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.

Nebraska
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires explicit in-person consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.

New Hampshire
Tattoos- Illegal to perform on a minor.

Piercings- Requires explicit in-person consent  and presence of the minor’s parent or guardian.

New Jersey
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires prior written, informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

New Mexico
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires prior written, informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

New york
Tattoos- Illegal to be performed on any minor.

Piercings-  Requires prior written, informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

North Carolina
Tattoos- Illegal to be performed on any minor.

Piercings- Requires prior written, informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

North Dakota
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written consent AND presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Ohio
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written consent AND presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Oklahoma
Tattoos- Illegal to perform on any minor.

Piercings- Requires written consent AND presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Oregon
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written consent and/or presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Pennsylvania
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written consent AND presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Rhode Island
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written consent AND presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

South Carolina
Tattoos- Illegal for those under 21. Those between the ages of 18 and 21 may receive parental consent to obtain a tattoo.

Piercings- Illegal for all minors under 18.

South Dakota
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires prior written, informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Tennessee
Tattoos- Illegal to perform on a minor unless it’s for a cover up and the client is 16 or older with parental consent.

Piercings- Requires prior written, informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Texas
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written consent AND presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Utah
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires prior written, informed consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Vermont
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written consent or presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Virginia
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written consent AND presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Washingtion
Tattoos- Illegal to be performed on a minor.

Piercings- Requires written consent and/or presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

West Virginia
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written consent and/or presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Wisconsin
Tattoos- Illegal to be performed on any minor.

Piercings- Illegal for those under 16. Persons aged 16-17 may receive written consent in the presence of the shop operator from their parent of guardian.

Wyoming
Tattoos and Piercings- Requires written consent AND presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Everyone is generally familiar with the classic tongue piercing and lip ring, we’re going to cover a few facial and oral piercings you may not be too familiar with as well as general care and healing information for the aforementioned piercings.

Tongue Piercing

Typically this piercing is placed centrally but can be placed just about anywhere on the tongue. Two piercings placed side by side is often referred to as ‘venom bites’. A traditional tongue piercing is placed where the nerves are primarily for taste and temperature, it is more painful is be pierced towards the tip or edges. Healing time is about 4-8 weeks, during the first week there will be significant swelling and tenderness, drinking cold water especially immediately following the procedure will help with the swelling and soothe the area. You can eat normally but it is advisable to do so slowly and take small bites. Many people find smoothies, shakes, and soups are easiest to start with. Avoid chewing gum, salty, spicy, or very hot foods as these may be injurious or irritating.

The Labret Piercing

 A traditionally placed labret is centered under the lower lip, but may be placed higher, lower, in pairs or even multiples.  Usually pierced with a 16 or 14 gauge needle, a flat disk-back  stud or ring are the most common jewelry worn. Healing time is about 6-8 weeks but may take longer. Cleaning is easiest by using a sea salt soak (1/4 tsp to 8oz water) in a shot glass held flush against the face or a cotton ball/q-tip with the solution on it.

 

The Monroe Piercing

This piercing imitates a beauty mark and is placed off to one side above the upper lip. Also paired with another piercing on the opposite side which is nicknamed ‘angel bites’. Typically done at 16 or 14 gauge this piercing heals in about 2 to 3 months or longer. Aftercare is the same as the labret.

The Philtrum Piercing

Also commonly knows as the ‘medusa’ this piercing is placed center of the natural divot between the mouth and the nose. It is common that during this piercing the client’s eyes may water.  Healing time for this piercing is typically 2 to 3 months and usually at 16 or 14 gauge.

 

Cheek/ Dimple Piercings

Cheek piercings can be done in most locations on the cheek but are usually placed in the natural dimple on the client’s face and should not be placed further back than the first molars. This can cause issues with the salivary glands that are located within the cheek. This is considered one of the lesser painful facial/oral piercings, usually done with 16 to 12 gauge barbells preferably with a flat back. This piercing takes anywhere from 2-3 months or longer to heal. Cleaning can be done with the sea salt solution, many find using a small shot glass to hold over the area to be an easy way to do so.

 

The Smiley/ Scrumper and Frowny Piercings

Smiley and scrumper are both names for the piercing of the upper frenulum, which is a piece of skin that connects the center of the upper lip and gums. The frowny is a piercing of lower frenulum that connects the lower lip and gums. Performed with usually with jewelry between 16 to 18 gauge circular barbell, horseshoe, or curved barbell; this piercing heals in about 4 to 8 weeks. This piercing comes with the risk of rejection and migration as well as the wearing of the tooth enamel, all things to consider before getting this piercing.

 The Lingual Frenulum Piercing

This is a piercing of the web located underneath the tongue if the client has the substantial anatomy to accommodate the jewelry. Most often done with a small curved bar or 16 gauge ring. This piercing heals quickly and easily in about 4 to 6 weeks. This piercing has a tendency to reject but most people keep it for at least a few years. Clean the piercing by using a non-alcohol based mouthwash. Be sure to keep it free of food and debris. Avoid swimming, alcohol, and sexual contact until it’s healed.

 

Nov
25

Lip Piercings: Updating Your Winter Look

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updating your winter look

Sick of your boring old surgical steel lip rings?  Looking for a little extra zazz for the holiday season?  Then here’s some ideas to turn your lip jewelry blahs into joyous Winter fashion ahs:

A pop of color goes a long way when it comes to the lips.  Fun brights like red and blue can be nice during the holidays, but even more classic tones like gold can brighten up your look without being loud.  Just experiment to find the hue that most suits your style and skin tone, and get ready for the compliments to come rolling in.

 bright titanium lip studs

Sometimes a hint of glitter can be fun for the festivities too, and adding some sparkle is sure to get your pout some extra notice.  Just pop in some shimmery studs or loops, and you’ll be inundated with invitations to meet under the mistletoe.

 glitter lip jewelry

And when in doubt where celebratory glam is concerned, just remember that a bit of bling always brings it home.  Gorgeous push-in studs featuring a shimmering gem solitaire in a classy prong setting take any party ensemble from zero to fabulous in seconds flat, letting your lips be part of some serious holiday magic.

bioplast push in gem studs

Sep
24

Piercing Inspiration: Stiff Upper Lip

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piercings of the upper lip

Like many piercings of primarily contemporary origin, those that adorn the upper lip stem from a vast array of popular and cultural inspirations, including some of the most revered American icons.

The Monroe, for example, of course takes its name from legendary beauty Marilyn Monroe.  But piercings in this area on either side of the nose are also known as Madonnas, or even Crawfords, citing the famous mole of supermodel Cindy Crawford.  All three women bore such distinctive beauty marks, Monroe and Crawford on their left side, and Madonna on the right (though the illustrious Madge eventually had hers removed).

 pop culture lip piercing inspirations

A piercing in the center of the upper lip, just above the cupid’s bow, is also laden with cultural references, being generally referred to as a “Medusa,” alluding to the infamous Grecian gargoyle who could turn men to stone with her gaze. When a Medusa is performed vertically however, it’s most often called a Jestrum, rumored to have attained its odd moniker via the first person known to wear the piercing, Jesika Bornsen.

 Medusa and Jestrum upper lip piercings

Tribal lip piercing and even stretching have also heavily influenced the modern piercing scene in recent years, with African, American Indian, and South American cultural practices filtering into the modern primitives movement.  It remains to be seen how these and other inspirations will continue to affect the modifications of our future, but we can rest assured that lip piercings and the like will only grow bigger and better as time goes on.

upper lip philtrum piercing

Location: The Medusa is located just above the center of the upper lip, under the tip of the nose/septum, in the cleft of the cupid’s bow, which is anatomically know as the philtrum.

Alternate Names: Upper lip piercing, medusa lip piercing, cupid’s bow piercing, philtrum piercing.

Piercing: Like other lip piercings, the medusa is performed with a hollow piercing needle and a pair of pennington forceps.  Common sizes are a 14 or 16 gauge, but more rarely a single size larger or smaller can be seen.  Since piercings of the philtrum have begun to come into the mainstream, variations including stretches and doubles have also sprung up.

 types of medusa piercing

Aftercare: Most piercers will recommend seas salt soaks or rinses, along with the avoidance of acidic foods, smoking, makeup use, and alcohol.  The lip will swell during the initial healing phase, so rinsing multiple times per day after eating is essential to the prevention of irritation and infection.  With proper care primary healing should occur around the 12 week mark.

Jewelry: Most medusa piercings will be worn with stud style jewelry, like that used in lower lip piercings and monroes.  For those who have a set of two piercings in the philtrum, a common practice is choosing a larger stone or design closer to the lip, with a smaller or simpler item above.

Popularity: Though far less prevalent than standard labrets or monroes, the medusa and it’s vertical cousin the jestrum are growing in popularity amongst the punk and alternative subcultures.  It is estimated that lip piercings in general account for at least ten percent of overall piercings in the United States.

Feb
06

Lip Rings

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upper and lower lip modifications

Lip Ring- a piece of jewelry worn in piercings of the upper or lower lip, including labret, monroe, medusa, ashley, jestrum, dahlia, etc. coming in many styles: stud/post, circular, curved barbell.

Lip Piercings:

piercings of the top lip

piercings of the bottom lip

Multiple lip piercings or “sets” of lip piercings in particular configurations are often referred to as “bites,” and consist of the following primary examples:

sets of lip piercing bites

Some of these piercings will be called by several different names, which tend to vary widely based upon country, or even region, of origin.  Piercings of the lips are amongst the most popular modifications worldwide, including instances in both westernized and tribal societies.  The stretching of such piercings is also experiencing a resurgence on the coattails of the Modern Primitivism movement.

Aftercare:

Most piercings in or around the lips will require dual aftercare including washes or soaks for the purpose of facilitating healing, along with rinses using alcohol free mouthwash to stave off infection and keep food particles from becoming lodged within.  Avoidance of acidic foods and beverages, alcohol, smoking, and lipstick or lipgloss usage are also encouraged.  With all fresh piercings, getting adequate sleep, practicing good hygiene, and resisting the urge to touch or play with piercing jewelry will assist in the skin’s reparative process.  As with most oral piercings, initial healing is relatively quick, generally occurring between 4 to 10 weeks.

 caring for piercings of the lips

Lip Ring Styles:

Some of the jewelry that can be worn in lip piercings includes circular jewelry like BCRs and horseshoes, as well as lesser used jewelry like the spiral barbell, and the curved barbell jewelry often worn in vertical piercings like the jestrum.

styles of lip jewelry

Lip rings are a difficult subject to tackle, because so many different types of piercings can be worn in or around the lips, and a multitude of jewelry styles work there as well.  For our purposes here, we’ll just cover the basics, starting with the different types of lip ring.

First we have the “labret/monroe ring,” or stud.  This is basically just a stud style piece of jewelry with a small decoration on one side, a post in the center, and a flat backing of some type on the other end.  The flat portion sits under the lip (inside the mouth), and the post rests inside the piercing itself, while the decorative portion is the only part that shows.  This type of jewelry is measured for length along the shaft, from the backing to the bottom of the embellishment.

 traditional stud style labret lip jewelry

Next there’s the circular, most often just referred to as a “lip ring” or “lip hoop.”  There are several different types of circular jewelry that can be worn in a lip piercing, including horseshoes, segment rings, BCRs, spiral barbells, and lippy loops.  Each of these items will be measured for diameter rather then length, which is always the distance between the two inside edges at the widest part of the hoop.

 BCR, spiral, and circular barbell body jewelry

Finally, we’ve got the last type of jewelry worn in the lip, the small curved barbell.  This type of jewelry generally only works with certain piercings, like the jestrum (vertical medusa), the vertical labret, or the ashley (inverse vertical labret).  This item will be measured for length like a stud, but instead of measuring along the curve of the barbell, you’ll be measuring the distance straight across from the bottom of one ball or decoration to the other.

 curved barbell style ashley and jestrum jewelry

Once you’ve got the length or diameter measurement for your lip jewelry, there’s a couple more things that you’ll need to get a good fit.  First, you’ll want to know the gauge, or thickness of the item, as lip piercings can be done in more than one standard size.  Most commonly a labret, monroe, or medusa will be pierced with either a 16 or 14 gauge, and the difference can make or break the fit of certain jewelry.

measurements for lip ring sizing

After making sure of the correct gauge and length (or diameter) of your lip ring, you’ll then need to decide what type of ball or decorative tip you’d like and how big you want it.  For those interested in minimizing the look of their piercing due to professional or aesthetic reasons, a small simple ball or single gem might suffice, but if you have fuller lips or are looking to make a statement, anything from larger gems or multiple crystals, to spikes, shapes, or even dangles might be what you’re looking for.

 decorative lip jewelry variations

The last you’ll want to consider is material.  For some, allergies might dictate what they can wear, and others might find non-metallic backings more comfortable against the gums.  It really is a matter of anatomy and preference.  If you’re ever in doubt, your piercer is a great resource for sizing and material suggestions.  For more about jewelry and sizing, check out our Jewelry Sizing Category, and as always, buy smart.

Studs

 ball labret monroe rings

Regular ball studs are arguably the simplest of labret/monroe piercing jewelry.  They consist of a metal or bioplast backing with a flat end, and a ball of some type that either screws on or pushes in.  For everyday wear, the ball stud is a great choice, particularly in a universally flattering hue such as steel, black, or blue.

 gem and crystal labret monroes

Gem studs are a slight step above a standard ball.  They include the same style post, but with a ball, prong setting, or bezel setting containing a decorative gem.  These types of simple jewelry will come in a variety of sizes to ensure a proper fit.

 decorative stud lip rings

Embellished studs are good for special occasions or short term wear, and can include a variety of gems, metals, and more intricate designs.

Circulars

 titanium BCRs

The standard ball captive ring is often worn in lower lip piercings, particularly sets of piercings such as spider bites or snake bites.  This type of jewelry is composed of two parts: a ring with an opening, and a dimpled ball or bead that fits into that opening to secure the item in place.  Captive balls can be made out of metal, acrylic, or natural stone, and may be embellished with gems or designs.

 horseshoe circular barbells

The horseshoe circular barbell is exactly what it sounds like: a horseshoe-shaped ring.  A ball, spike, or decoration screws onto either end to hold the barbell in place, and the look of the jewelry makes it ideal for lower lip piercings.  Like BCRs, horseshoe rings will come in a variety of sizes, so knowing exactly what diameter you’ll need is vital.

 segment style captive rings

Segment rings are very much like captive rings, but with a slightly larger opening and no ball.  Instead, the piece that’s used to secure the jewelry is tube shaped, fitting perfectly into the ring’s opening to give the illusion of a solid hoop.  Segment rings make beautiful lip jewelry, but due to their sleek design, opening and closing them properly can take a small amount of practice.

 lippy loop labret jewelry

Specialty jewelry pieces called “lippy loops” are also great for lower lip piercings, and unlike most circular jewelry, are made specifically to be worn in the lip.   Their unique shape provides a comfortable fit, and as such they can be worn for long periods of time.

There are many different looks that can be created with different lip jewelry, and the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity.  So why not try a type of jewelry you haven’t worn before?  You might discover a style that’s almost as unique as you are.