"The conch has really taken off lately, but it's the anti-tragus that I've been doing a lot lately," says Ben Tauber, NYC's "It" piercer. If that sounds like gibberish to you, you're not alone. But for New York girls in the know, those are the two coolest piercings to get right now. And Tauber would know — he's the one giving them out all day long at one of Manhattan's coolest piercing studios.
The Ohio native works out of Maria Tash, the cool-kid piercing spot and jewelry boutique in the city. Like most piercers, Tauber's main goal is to create something unique and well-suited for each client, but trends still prevail. In New York, the anti-tragus is reigning supreme, followed closely by the conch, rook, and daith — and normally paired with lobe piercings to create odd numbers, which just feels right for Tauber.
When it comes to mixing metals, he loves all combinations except rose and yellow golds together — "it tends to look like you had two of the same rings, but something is a little bit wrong with one of them," he explains — and he prefers hoops over studs. Of course, at the end of the day, you should listen to yourself above anyone else. "Do what you want to do and what feels right for you," Tauber says. "More times than not, people who listen to their friends come back a week or two later to do what they originally wanted."
There's one rule he does enforce, however. "I try not to exceed four or five piercings at once," Tauber explains, "Any more and it gets tricky for the body to heal it, and I want stuff to look good and be there forever." When it comes to post-care, he recommends NeilMed's spray for keeping the piercing clean — and not much else. "The less you do, the better."
Prepped and ready to get your creative juices flowing? Tauber walks us through 14 of his coolest piercings combinations, ahead.