When it comes to piercings, we've experimented with every possible trend. From edgy-but-feminine anti-tragus hoops to L.A.'s latest obsession, constellation piercings, we're here for anything that'll bling out our lobes or nostrils — and make us feel a little more like Rihanna. (If you're feeling brave enough, nipple-piercing fever is for real.)
But when it comes to the actual hole punching part of it, we were still feeling a little squeamish — no matter how many earrings we're sporting. We turned to celeb piercing guru, Brian Keith Thompson of L.A.'s star-studded Body Electric, for a mesmerizing behind-the-scenes look at how that anxiety-inducing process actually works. Spoiler alert: These close-up piercings are unlike anything you've ever seen.
"Pain is temporary, vanity is forever," Thompson reminds us from his relentlessly cool Melrose studio, which has catered to a long roster of Hollywood clients including Beyoncé, FKA Twigs, and Jessica Alba. Favoring a special needle sourced from Japan as his go-to tool, Thompson's expert technique delivers a clean puncture without the irritation or pain often caused by a piercing gun. In fact, the sight of those fibers bursting from the gun's impact will make you rethink that first piercing experience you had at the mall. There's also something quite zen about his method — pushing the needle through just as the client lets out a long, calming exhale. For Thompson, the entire process is an art and a science, expertly balancing exactly where each stud or ring should go before making his final decision. After all, what could be worse than a poorly-placed conch ring?
Watch the video above to ride along on one woman's fearless quest for the perfect nose stud. We promise you won't be able to look away from the captivating close-ups of Thompson marking and prepping the piercing. And even though the client felt it went by in a flash, those slow-mo shots still gave us chills. Could this be even weirder to look at than microblading?
Don't forget to comment below about your most memorable piercing experience — and let us know if you have feelings on that whole piercing gun vs. needle debate. To be honest, we're pretty persuaded by Thompson's eye-popping demo with that apple...