Two words for you: piercing party. When planning your next event, you might want to think about hiring an expert to quite literally leave a mark on your friends.
It has become increasingly common to see piercings done at events, from fashion pop-ups to birthdays and even baby showers. Ashley Graham’s elaborate baby shower in November had onesie decorating on the left and tattoo and body piercing stations on the right. Both Neiman Marcus and Alice + Olivia hosted holiday piercing pop-ups, imparting the fashion community and “it girls” everywhere with tragus and cartilage piercings.
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Mama Glow – So happy for @ashleygraham and papa Justin!!! If you caught her on @theellenshow this week she announced that she is having a BABY BOY! 👶🏽 He’s coming soon!!! In the meantime Ashley’s podcast is about to drop next week and her fitness series is here. She’s getting so much done so she can relish her maternity leave! Salute to her entire team for how well they have supported her throughout this pregnancy. This baby is coming into the world with so much love. Your community really loves you and it’s so beautiful to see everyone come together in the name of love, new life, new beginnings. I’m so proud of you Ashley and Justin. You’re going to be amazing parents. Bless you and your budding family. _ P.S. this shower was so 🔥 @kissthedeejay was on the 1s and 2s, you could get tattoos, ear piercings and decorate baby onesies that are being donated to families in need. I was too chicken to get a tat or another ear piercing 😂@Fridamom made a custom labor and delivery kit for Ashley – so adorable!!!! #mamaglow #doula #ashleygraham #babyboy #babyshower #family #fridamom
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Keri D’Angelo, a professional body piercer based in Westchester, New York, says she has seen the increase in piercing parties. One thing that makes them appealing is that they afford people options they wouldn’t traditionally have at a piercing studio or tattoo shop. “They also enable people to feel more comfortable in their own settings than if they were to go to a shop or studio,” she adds. This option is far more refined than your youth-filled days, stumbling into grimy tattoo parlors at 3 a.m. with the squad to commemorate your “everlasting” bond.
Another major plus for piercing parties is that they are simply a great way to get friends together and enjoy an experience that is not scary or taboo among people that they know and love. It also allows guests the chance to score higher quality jewelry than they might in the store, with special deals and discounts offered to partygoers.
So, how do you go about planning a piercing party? Here is a little insight from D’Angelo about what you should know beforehand, including placement, style, best combos and even how to find the right artists to do the job.
Make Sure You Are Hiring Licensed Piercers
Just because someone says that they have pierced other people before or that they do so for a living does not mean they are legally certified to do so. D’Angelo recommends double-checking their credentials as well as their portfolio so you know that they are both professional and clean. Also, make sure you not only like their style but like them as a person. “When I am hired for events, I honestly believe one of the most important things for me is how I get along with the party host,” D’Angelo says. “Being able to work together as a team is such an important element for a successful event.”
Choose a Clean Place for Piercing
The space for the piercing party can be anywhere, from your home to a rented-out facility, with one important caveat: it has to be clean and sterilized accordingly. “Cleanliness is so important with private events like these, but it is also regulated,” D’Angelo explains. “Make sure you check your state or county regulations as different places require different qualifications for body modification specialists.” For your sake, it might be easiest to contact a studio that specializes in hosting such events.
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I've gotten to the point in my piercing career where I can hire people like John Legend to sing in the background while I'm working. Here he is singing while I'm piercing his wife, Chrissy Teigen. #imfamous #piercings #piercingparty #losangeles #gold #ears #Chrissyteigen #Chrissyteigen #Johnlegend #jacquieaiche @chrissyteigen @asaproxy
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Only Use Sterilized Jewelry
The quality of the jewelry is also an important element for any successful piercing party. “Some piercers will supply the jewelry for the piercings, others require the party thrower to source the jewelry,” says D’Angelo. Wherever you are sourcing the jewelry from, make sure it is sterilized. Most piercing professionals work as independent contractors, so each has a different style, rate, etc.—do not be afraid to ask questions and take the time to find the right piercer for you or your event, D’Angelo adds.
Keep an Open Mind
A piercing party is not only for people who are dead set on getting pierced. You might be surprised by the people who will come out of the woodwork and get piercings when they are invited to such an event. This is one of D’Angelo’s favorite things about the resurgence of piercing parties — that a much broader demographic can be reached and educated. “I have lost count of the clients who started off petrified of piercings, and then after spending 15 minutes just learning and listening to a professional who did not judge them for being nervous or uneducated, [they relaxed]” she says. “One of my favorite things about my job is being able to re-educate adults who had bad experiences with piercings in the past, often leading to a whole new world of possibilities for jewelry and self-expression than before.”
Healing Is Different for Everyone
The time it will take for your piercing to heal varies based upon your body’s ability to repair itself and the area being pierced. “Typically, a piercing that does not go through cartilage will heal quickest (i.e. earlobes, navel, etc.),” says D’Angelo. “However, everyone is different and everyone’s body reacts differently to piercings.”
The instrument you use makes a difference too. “Some simpler piercings are pierce-able with hoops or more decorative pieces. However, piercings will usually heal better and faster when pierced with a stud, as long as the piercer makes sure there is enough space for swelling and initial cleaning,” says D’Angelo. At the end of the day, the best way to speed up the healing process and avoid complications such as infection is to keep yourself hydrated and in good health.
What You Need to Know About Aftercare
Afterward, your piercing professional will generally instruct you on how to care for your piercing. The most important detail is to not remove the piercing for at least two to four months (sometimes up to six) — even to change the jewelry. In the meantime, it is recommended that you cleanse the area twice a day with gentle, unscented soap and water. “Some people recommend a saline wash or saltwater rinse, but I find that it dries out the piercing area out more than it helps it heal,” says D’Angelo.
If you have an allergy to a specific metal, latex or adhesive, make sure your piercer is aware and that alternatives are available. “Depending on the piercing shop, higher end options should be available,” says D’Angelo. If you notice redness or hard tissue around the piercing, you might want to schedule a follow up with your piercer to check for an infection.
Create Your Own Curated Ear
Looking for inspiration? Start with Instagram — #CuratedEar has over 58,000 tags. Bring all of the photos to your piercer, sit down with them and figure out a plan. “Not every photo you find will work on your ear; something I have to remind my clients of from time to time is that everyone’s bodies are so unique, even down to our ears!” says D’Angelo. “A good piercer will know when a piercing might anatomically not be the best suited for their client, and instead of just doing it anyway to appease them, they will work with the client to find an alternative piercing or jewelry that has a chance to heal successfully.”
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