Ear Bling: A Fresh Take on Accessory Layering

From slipping on several rings to piling on necklaces and stacking bracelets, layering jewelry has been a favoured trend for women over the last few years – but loading on the ear bling is the freshest take on the craze. Whether you opt for an ear cuff, copious cartilage jewels, or line up your hoops, the key is to keep your look further from punk rock and closer to contemporary classic.

Combining delicate, subtle studs with one statement-making earring creates a gorgeous, cool-girl effect while still remaining age and work appropriate. Ever since Chanel highlighted a new take on pearls throughout their Spring/Summer 2014 collection, fashionistas have reinvented the once conservative pearl to unexpected, contemporary shapes and sizes of ear ornamentation. Everyone from Diane Kruger to Jennifer Lawrence, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna have been sporting something sparkling along their ears. Whether you choose a temporary take on the trend with an ear cuff, or prefer the more enduring experience of the craze, there are volumes of options for your ears this summer.

We asked Black Line Studio owner Ion Nicolae of Toronto a few questions on the newest trend in ear treasures…

1. What is the process of getting multiple cartilage rings? Can you get them all at once?
Depending on the anatomy of the ear, basically on how the ear is formed, we could place one or two piercings at once. Ideally we wouldn’t do more than two at a time as it will complicate the healing.

The process starts by cleaning the entire area, front and back, with a strong antiseptic lotion. Then we would mark the area with gentian violet or a surgical skin marker to show the client where the piercings will be placed. Upon approval of the marks we would perform the piercing by clamping the area or using a receiving tube. We will only use a needle. Once the piercing is done, we would follow through the needle with the jewellery.

2. Are cartilage piercings unsafe?
With the proper aftercare and technique, all cartilage piercings are perfectly safe. We offer two great after-care products that are strongly recommended to everyone. The first step is to clean the jewellery and area with the TRISAN skin cleanser. We recommend this brand over any other simply because it’s alcohol and oil-free. The second step is to spray the sterile sea salt spray on each side of the piercing and moving the clean jewellery through. Gently remove any discharge with a cotton swab. Keep moving the jewellery until nothing comes out. 

3. Do you suggest getting it done with a gun or a needle?
Cartliage piercings can only be done with a needle.  Doing them with  “piercing gun” is dangerous as it can shatter your cartilage and is also against public health codes.

4. Why do you think that this trend has caught on so quickly?
Social media sites such as Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest have a strong influence on people’s perception of fashion. Unfortunately many people see the “triple forward helix” piercings in photos without realizing that they don’t have the anatomy necessary for the piercings to heal correctly and achieve the desired look.

5. What have you found to be more popular – hoops or studs?
Studs such as straight barbells or labret posts are ideal for the majority of cartilage piercings as they don’t move around as much during the healing process, which can lead to uncomfortable and prolonged healing times. However, with proper technique and after-care, rings are also acceptable.


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