Has getting pierced become something of a chic social excursion? Although teenage girls have banded together to get pierced in various questionable places across the country (hands up if you visited Dublin’s George’s Street arcade for belly button piercings en masse), we’ve come a long way. A few years ago as it started to seep into the mainstream, a friend and I went to a beautiful tattoo parlour for piercings (lobes for her, tragus for me) and on for a drink afterwards. Now, the stylish set can call to Maria Tash in Brown Thomas, add some gold to their cartilage and pick up a pair of Jimmy Choos in one lunch break. Accessorize have proved it doesn’t need to be a costly endeavour, opening up a piercing parlour within their Grafton Street store, allowing for some new sparkle to be added while grabbing a raffia tote on time for a holiday. I’ve also been hearing whispers that a favourite Irish jeweller might be adding a piercing element to their own offering although nothing is confirmed yet …
The concept of piercing has changed – everything from where it is carried out, to where we wear our new jewellery. There are a few exceptions of course, but it’s no longer unusual to see multiple piercings on professionals across the spectrum. I am personally delighted; naturally I see it as more places to wear diamonds – so there can hardly be a downside. Dainty gold hoops, twinkling tiny studs and artfully placed clusters have all brought multiple piercings to a new crowd who appreciate the delicate approach to a look that could once have been construed as slightly aggressive.
The most important points are that piercers are well-trained, instruments are clean and after-care is explicitly spelled out. Note that Accessorize and other high street retailers will offer lobe and flat cartilage only; highly skilled piercers in dedicated studios will be able to do so much more. Keeping new piercings clean is an obvious must; patience in healing is a skill that must be honed, especially for areas like ears that rub against pillows while sleeping – they will take longer to heal than somewhere more hidden.
Hypoallergenic materials are a must – Maria Tash offers studs in gold and platinum while other parlours usually work with gold plating or stainless steel. Tash is renowned for her particularly fine settings and delicate metalwork; different jewellery suits different areas of the body so it can be worth thinking about the end result you’re hoping to achieve before picking a stud or ring.
Pain depends on the person – although allegedly women are much better at coping than men. My own favourite tip would be to bring a can of coke – adrenaline can peak and tank pretty fast in the piercing process, so a shot of sugar and caffeine in one will ensure your newly pierced self struts back into the world ready to show off those new jewels rather than slumping into a rack of sunglasses as you try and leave the store.
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