These Are The New "It Piercings"

"I think we've pierced every nipple in Los Angeles by now — and then some," Brian Keith Thompson, celeb piercer and owner of Body Electric, told me on the phone yesterday. "It's definitely taken the septum’s place as the most popular piercing."

Thompson knows a thing or two about what's cool; after all, he's the piercer of choice for celebs like Beyoncé and Scarlett Johansson. But if you think that means the waitlist for his services must be miles long, think again. If you were to pop into his shop on Melrose Avenue tomorrow, there's a 50/50 chance you'd be sitting in his chair. That mix of A-list and local clientele makes him the guy to consult on West Coast industry trends, on which he has a lot to say — starting with the body.

"I think the nipple is very sought-after because it's the piercing you can share with only the people that you want, like your significant other; it’s totally concealable," he says. Right now, Thompson prefers just one nipple piercing for women, and two for men, but notes it's currently primarily a female-driven request. To make it feel fresh, pick the right jewelry: "I am doing a lot of my nipple piercings in gold and rose-gold barbells," he says. "It’s kind of elegant; it bumps up the sophistication." Oh, and before you commit, consider this: The healing time is between six to eight months.

The belly button piercing is once again gaining traction, too — but it got an update. "It's more petite, more delicate now. In the '90s, it was heavy, big, and bulky, but now I am piercing 99% with curved barbells, with gold and genuine stones," he says. "I'm excited to see it get more popular again; it got a bad rap for a while."

These two body trends, according to Thompson, are eclipsed only by the ear — and it's all about the conch in single, double, even quadruple piercings. Nose trends are also shifting: Multiple piercings are popular, as is the classic, single-nostril piercing with a simple hoop. That's in sharp contrast to last year's septum craze. "It's dramatically slowed down; I still have a lot of clients that are coming in and buying jewelry for the piercings we’ve already done — it’s still relevant — but sometimes I think that everyone who wanted it already got it," he jokes. "A year-and-a-half ago, we would do 12 to 15 septums every day; now we’re doing maybe four or five a week."

Of course, at the end of the day, it's all about what you like, he reminds us. "There are no rules when it comes to piercing. Whatever someone’s taste is, and whatever they're into, there's no good or bad way of doing it," he says.

To get the creative juices flowing, Thompson shared some of his recent work and more insight in what's happening in his L.A. shop. Rad new piercing combinations to try, ahead.

This story was originally published on July 14, 2016.
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Thompson gave Bella Thorne this combination, which calls upon the biggest piercing uptick of late: the conch.
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Another trend that Thompson is loving? Mixing metals. “A lot of people are afraid to mix metals — white, rose, and yellow gold — but I love it," he says. "I did that on Beyoncé’s ear on the album cover for Lemonade: white and rose gold together."
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Fret not if you're nervous about going into cartilage territory. Multiple piercings in the lobe are still having a huge moment (and heal much faster), but it's all about being creative with the spacing. "For girls that have come in with multiple lobe piercings, I've started to go above them, vertically," he says. "I find it looks great, and they tell me they get a lot of compliments because it’s so unusual."
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The same goes for spacing out a second hole. Thompson likes going higher than one might expect for a more interesting look.
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Rocking the "It piercing" right now doesn't require an ear full of jewelry. "I am seeing girls who don’t have much pierced in their ears actually decorating their conch first," Thompson says. "I think that’s really cool."
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A back view of this trending piercing.
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The conch with just a dainty stud.
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The helix is holding strong, trend-wise. "It's always going to be popular," predicts Thompson. Make it feel fresh and modern by doubling up the holes.
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"The multiple nose piercing is really popular right now," Thompson says, warning that it's important to consider whether it's appropriate for your workplace. His favorite way to adorn twin holes on the side of the nose? "A hoop in the front and a stud in the back, or two tiny studs."
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"Express yourself the way you want to express yourself," Thompson says. "Be unique, and come up with a combination that will be cool on you."
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If you want to go big or go home, consider a few new piercings. "Multiple conch piercings are really cool," Thompson says. "You can add a higher conch with a stud and a lower conch with a hoop, even multiples of three or four, because the conch can actually accommodate many piercings. You have to commit, but you can really have fun with how you decorate it."
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Double nose piercings also work well with two hoops, but Thompson notes that the single hoop is the most en vogue at the moment.
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Want more? Everything you need to know about all the piercings you saw here is right this way.
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