What do Beyoncé, Scarlett Johansson, and Rihanna have in common? When they want to take their ear game to the next level, they turn to Los Angeles piercer Brian Keith Thompson
. Known for creating some of the most badass ear-piercing combinations in the city, he's garnered fans among celebs and locals alike, thanks to his thoughtful arrangements and perennially hip Melrose Avenue shop, Body Electric
Needless to say, Thompson is the
dude in the L.A. piercing world. But, don't think he's highfalutin just because his client list includes everyone from Jessica Alba to Melanie Griffith; he's earned his street cred. In fact, his résumé reads like a Hollywood movie: grew up in L.A., went from the military to a 9-to-5 to a stint in L.A. County Jail, got out, and spent every dollar he had to buy Body Electric, a shop with a storied Hollywood past. Now, he's in-demand and flown all over the world to pierce celebs, royalty — you name it.
But, it's perhaps Thompson's gentle touch that keeps them coming back. "I always tell my clients who ask about pain that it's like dinner; the better the chef, the better the meal," he told us one afternoon in his shop, pre-piercing. "The more experienced a piercer is, the less it's going to hurt, because his or her movements are more fluid." We can't prove to you that his technique is low-pain (although it is
) unless you swing by for an appointment, but we can
offer up the spoils of our time with him — which include a handful of piercing combinations to inspire your own ear party.
Ahead, a guide to piercings, care, and 10 of our favorite combos, broken down by Thompson. More rad style inspiration from L.A. tastemakers:3 Gorgeous Ways To Wear Beach Waves Into FallThe 10 Coolest Tattoo Artists In L.A.L.A.'s Coolest Designers Pick Your New Jewelry Buys