I Tried Studs (The Popular Piercing Studio ALL Over Instagram)

As soon as I scrolled across Studs on my Instagram feed, I immediately picked up what the brand was putting down. A self-proclaimed piercing fanatic with ten — soon to be 11 (spoiler alert!) — of my own, I had hitherto been familiar with getting pierced in the back of dark tattoo shops. Studs, with its highlighter-bright signs and shiny acrylic accents, was not that. Instead of the sterile and vaguely-threatening settings I'd grown so used to, this piercing studio looked warm, inviting, and, dare I say, fun. Not only that, but it also boasts an impressive e-commerce site where piercing-enthusiasts like myself can shop a stacked selection of glittering huggies, hoops, cuffs, and its namesake studs. After a piercing appointment from March 2020 was canceled due to *gestures broadly*, I had been waiting to reschedule for when NYC shops and studios were able to safely reopen their doors. Once that time arrived, I decided to finally pay Studs a visit. Read on for a full review of the Studs' experience, including everything from my piercing photos to my favorite studs.
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My Studs Consultation...

With two studios in NYC (plus one opening later this year in Austin), I booked my piercing consultation online for Studs' Nolita location. I was assured that the studio's piercing room and all of the tools are always thoroughly sterilized post and pre appointments. Upon arrival, my temperature was taken at the door where there were free surgical masks available. Although there was only one other client present along with a limited number of employees (all mask-clad), Studs' Nolita studio was spacious and offered ample room to socially distance. Once I was all checked in, I got a glimpse of the dozens of jewels I'd obsessively browsed on the site — they looked just as dazzling IRL. When my piercer arrived, she asked if I had any questions (nope) and we discussed jewelry options along with placement; both agreeing on the tiny cubic zirconia stud a second helix (aka upper cartilage) piercing. This all worked to complement my current constellation-like ear collection — including the Bar Stud featured below, a personal favorite.

My Studs Piercing...

I don't get particularly nervous with piercings anymore, so felt fairly comfortable during this part of the process at Studs. Prior to going in with the needle, the piercer dotted my ear and confirmed the placement with me. It then took all of ten seconds to pierce my cartilage — which, to me, feels like a brief period of heat followed by a subtle (nothing crazy) throbbing. After my chosen stud was inserted and the piercing site was cleansed, I got a rundown on what to expect post-piercing and aftercare protocol: saline solution twice a day! To complete my ear-perience, I hit the Bundles section before departing to deck my lobes out in that new bling I'd been eyeing. Studs also makes dainty seam rings, which I LOVE for my rook and upper helix piercings (see below). And, as a delightful bonus, I was sent home with a goody bag full of 2000s-era stick-on earrings (cute!).
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My Studs Experience...

While my appointment was comped for reporting purposes, Studs' piercing rates are among the most affordable I've encountered: $35 for one or $50 for two plus the cost of jewelry (which starts at $30). All in all, I couldn't be more pleased with how my piercing has healed AND the overall quality of Studs' jewelry. The brand uses metals like brass and surgical-grade titanium, with plating materials of gold or rhodium depending on the finish. Will I be back? Let's say that 11 piercings in, I'm somehow still finding room for just one more...
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