It’s no secret that we’re loyal fans of L.A.'s piercer-to-the-stars Brian Keith Thompson. He’s pierced us, he’s pierced our friends, hell, he’s pierced Beyoncé — all with a swift, delicate hand and artful precision. Suffice it to say, when he talks best practices, we listen; when he recommends jewelry combinations, we update our shopping carts; and when he spits trends? We write down every last word. This time around, he’s ushering in the raddest (and most practical) piercing trend we’ve seen on celebs, L.A. cool girls, and even on the lobes of our favorite Riverdale sweetheart: Constellation piercings.
Constellation piercings are exactly what they sound like: an artful grouping of piercings, normally three or more, that are as unique as the star clusters they're named after. While the technique has been around for years, it's especially picking up traction in L.A. now. Why? For starters, it’s fresh and modern, completely unique to the individual, and it falls on the less intimidating end of the piercing spectrum because it can be done on just the lobes — which is appealing for those not into cartilage piercings. These piercings also tend to be incredibly dainty and minimal, perfect for girls who prefer their jewelry to be more Catbird, less costume.
But the best part? They're wildly practical, which you'll see ahead. To get the inspiration flowing, Thompson walked us through some of his recent constellation piercings, sharing tips on jewelry choice and arrangement. Check 'em out ahead.
This story was originally published on October 17, 2016.
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We're pretty sure that Betty's mom would not approve of the trio of studs running down her daughter's lobes, which leaves us wondering where they came from. Perhaps she trekked to a south side tattoo shop to go under the (piercing) needle? Either way, the trendy ear jewelry gives Riverdale's good girl a little grit — and we love it.
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If your first lobe piercing is off-center — maybe because your best friend did it for you in the sixth grade — this triangle shape is a great option. "You can take something that you’re not happy with and give it a brother and sister, and...it becomes something that you’re totally stoked about again,” Thompson says.
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Sometimes, Thompson alternates between hoops and studs to create a unique, textured constellation. But, regardless of shape, he typically sticks to one or two jewelry brands. "Body Vision LA is my number-one go-to for everything," he says. These tiny rings and studs are from the company and can be found at many piercing studios. He also likes NeoMetal for more traditional, classic shapes and high-quality diamonds.
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Jewelry tip: "Right now, I am really into doing something big paired with something dainty — like a planet and a couple of moons," Thompson says. "It just looks really cool." (Because we know you'll ask: That gold spike ring is by Body Vision LA.)
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The vertical-stacked trend works on every ear: "Everyone’s anatomy is so uniquely different; some people have large lobes, some people have barely any lobes at all, some people’s cartilage curves differently,” Thompson says. “This is cool because there’s no set of instructions — you just build it as you go.”
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Piercings are a bit like changing your hair color: If you want to go big, you sometimes have to work in stages. "It really depends on the person, but for me if you do too many piercings [at once] you’re just asking for problems," Thompson says. He recommends getting no more than five piercings in a single session; and those new to the game should stick to two or three. Tip: Let them heal before going back for more.
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Sold on the trend? Swinging by Thompson’s L.A. studio Body Electric is a surefire way to score the look you crave — or heed his advice to find an in-the-know piercer in your city. "Do some research: Look on Pinterest and Instagram to find some stuff that you like, then find a piercer,” he says.
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What's more: Cleanliness, a modern jewelry selection, and a good reputation for safe practices top all, but aesthetic is key to finding someone who just gets it. “Definitely don’t walk into a place that you know nothing about, because then you’re just asking for trouble,” he says. "Put your time in. There are great piercers all over the world — you can find them; sometimes you just have to dig.”
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A daith (here) or rook piercing tends to be easier to care for, since it's tucked into the ear and less susceptible to being bumped or pulled.
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Want more? Thompson shares his best piercing practices and more inspiring combinations, here.
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