Know your crystals!

Know your crystals!

We all love a bit of ‘alternative medicine’ – especially when it’s simple, cheap and easy to do at home.

Welcome to the world of crystals/gemstones!

There are HUNDREDS of different stones with different properties to help with a whole range of health problems from your mind, down to your toes. Here’s just a handful that we stock, broken down for you.

 

Rose Quartz

rose quartzProbably one of the most well-known stones, and for good reason. Rose Quartz is considered an excellent all-round healing stone, commonly used by those wishing to find inner peace, a calmer mind, more loving nature and a more forgiving outlook. Health-wise, Rose Quartz is said to be one of the best stones used in the treatment of migraines and headaches, as well as promoting fertility. It is also a great stone for those recovering from emotional/physical trauma and to help bring inner peace and self-love in its place.

Amethyst

amethystIs considered to be a very good spiritual stone, used for healing and meditation as it works wonders soothing and calming the mind. In a physical sense, Amethyst is said to bring harmony to the body’s organs and stimulate the immune system – making it a fantastic stone to use alongside other healing stones to alleviate/treat a number of health problems. It’s even said that keeping Amethyst under your pillow at night can help against insomnia! Many stone-users recommend keeping an Amethyst cluster in your home, because of its energising and cleansing properties.

Sunstone

sunstoneSaid to be a very joyful, light and inspiring stone, which has the ability to clear all chakras. Sunstone is especially good for those with poor mental health, as it has extremely effective anti-depressant properties, enabling the wearer to nurture their self, be more optimistic and empowered. Sunstone is also useful for those with trouble saying ‘no’ and/or letting go and cutting ties with toxic people in their life; such as possessive lovers or parents and helping the wearer become more liberated and independent. Sunstone is said to be the wearer’s “light in the dark”, letting them see the brighter side of situations and also being very effective against seasonal affective disorder. Being a very personal stone, it is said that the best results come from wearing the stone or having it on your person in everyday life.

Ametrine

ametrineIs a combination of Amethyst and Citrine, making it a very energetic stone which shows in its healing properties. Great for those who have hit a slump in creativity, it supports control over one’s life, bringing clarity and harmonizing perception. Ametrine strengthens concentration and aids clear and rational thinking, calming the mind and making it a fantastic stone to use in meditation. Physically and mentally, Ametrine’s mind-calming qualities are beneficial to a number of illnesses and symptoms, such as; chronic fatigue, depression, tension headaches and stress-related diseases.

Snow Quartz

snow quartzIs a great all-around stone to use alongside others in everyday life. It’s particularly useful in supporting the wearer/user whilst learning lessons. It’s also said to be useful for those who lack tact and need to ‘think before they speak’. Snow Quartz brings clarity to many aspects of your life, making it a useful stone for those wishing to let go of overwhelming responsibilities and/or overcome victimhood. Whilst Snow Quartz doesn’t offer as wide of a range of perks as other stones, it is always useful when combined with other stones which have similar properties.

Green Quartz:green quartz

Aside from general Quartz properties, Green Quartz has additional qualities. It is used to stabilise the heart chakra by those in touch with their spiritual side. It’s also another stone which transmutes negative energy, both from the wearer and others directing negativity to the wearer. Also a great stone for inspiring creativity.

 

Sodalite

sodaliteLike many stones, has a wide variety of qualities for different uses, and is a great stone for use with others. Considered a stone for the mind, Sodalite assists in bringing emotional balance, making thoughts more rational – because of this, it is recommended for use in group work environments, as it stimulates trust and companionship, gives a wider perspective and aids those who are oversensitive or defensive. Health-wise, Sodalite is said to be useful in the treatment of high blood pressure and it’s said to help balance metabolism. Not only that, but Sodalite is another stone which, due to its healing properties, is said to aid sleep and combat insomnia.

Rhodonite:

rhodoniteConsidered an ’emotional balancer’, Rhodonite helps to ground one’s energy and aid in achieving one’s highest potential. Rhodonite is a fantastic healing stone for those with deep-rooted mental and emotional scarring, from self-destruction and/or abuse. It can also be used as a ‘first aid stone’, to heal initial emotional shock and panic. At a time when the wearer is ready to let go of past situations and toxicity, Rhodonite helps make this happen – helping to clear emotional scars and wounds they caused and aiding forgiveness from long-term abuse. Similarly, Rhodonite helps the wearer stay calm and collected in dangerous and upsetting situations, avoiding conflict, retaliation and revenge. Best worn near the heart, Rhodonite can be worn on a necklace at all times to feel the beneficial properties.

Turquoise (Tibetan):

tibetan turquoiseWhilst all turquoise forms share generic properties, Tibetan Turquoise has additional attributes, one of which is it’s amazing ability to heal suppressed self-expression – perfect for those who need a helping hand expressing themselves openly and confidently.

Turquoise itself is a very efficient healer and provides solace for the spirit and well-being for the body – bringing harmony to overall health. It’s also known as a purification stone for its ability to dispel negative energies and pollution in the atmosphere (perfect attribute to take advantage of if you live in a high-pollution/smog area). Health-wise, Turquoise is said to be best used to aid exhaustion, depression and panic attacks. Similarly, it aids anxieties and nerves when public speaking and also stabilises mood swings. Bringing overall harmony to the mind, body and spirit, Turquoise is a fantastic stone for everyone and anyone and it’s perfect for combining with other stones to create a stronger aid for illness, disease and challenges.

Howlite:

howliteConsidered one of the best calming stones, most of Howlite’s qualities aid the mind, emotionally and psychologically. Perfect for use in meditation, Howlite helps to calm the mind, teaches patience and stills erratic thoughts. It can also help calm turbulent emotions and when kept in a pocket or on your person, it’ll absorb the wearer’s anger and also any anger directed to the wearer. Put Howlite under your pillow at night to fight insomnia – especially if caused by an overactive mind. Further Howlite qualities include; strengthening memory, stimulates a desire for knowledge and also helps one to let go of the past and eliminate present-day triggers.

Magnesite:

magnesiteA very loving stone, Magnesite’s healing properties revolve around the mind and soul, promoting positive energies. Perfect for those with low self-esteem in need of confidence and reassurance. It helps to bring all forms of self-deceit to the surface, helping overcome feelings of doubt regarding oneself – basically giving the user/wearer a more positive outlook on life, situations and relationships. Where love is concerned, be it a partner, family member or friend, Magnesite promotes unconditional love, making difficult relationships easier and more tolerable. On the flip side, Magnesite can also aid egotistical people by bringing them and their feelings back down to Earth and teach better listening and understanding of others. Those who’re anxious and/or fearful can wear Magnesite for it’s calming properties and help overcome obstacles. Health-wise, Magnesite is said to prevent epilepsy, thanks to its muscle relaxant properties – which also works for menstrual and gastric cramps! It’s also said to detoxify and neutralise body odour.

Agate (Tree & Moss):

tree agateAgate stones, like Quartz, have generic properties underlying – however, each particular Agate stone (tree & moss, for example) have additional qualities.

Agate itself is considered a very stable crystal which brings great strength, but works slowly. Soothing and calming to the mind and body, Agate is used in meditation alongside other stones. It can dissolve inner tension and anger, encourage truth, overcome bitterness of the heart and bring greater awareness to the wearer/user. Agate stones gently facilitate acceptance of ones-self, promoting self-love and acceptance. It can also improve concentration and aid self-awareness.moss agate

Moss Agate, for example, is a very optimistic stone commonly used to fight depression, by bringing light to the cause/roots of the problem. Similarly, it can boost the immune system, speed up recovery from illness and even help fight against cold & flu! When the stone is placed on a problem area, Moss Agate acts as an anti-inflammatory and can also lower fevers.

 

Jasper (Yellow & Red):

jasperJasper is the main stone used by many to align the chakras – each colour of Jasper is appointed to a specific chakra (heart, throat, etc). This provides balance, calm and protection for the user/wearer. Jasper, like some other stones, absorbs negative energies from the wearer and those directing negativity to the wearer – the perfect stone to use at times of stress. Jasper can also clear electromagnetic and environmental pollution, including radiation! It has also been said to prolong sexual pleasure and stimulate the imagination. Health-wise, Jasper supports the user/wearer during prolonged illnesses and hospitalisation by reenergising the body.

 

 

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The Dangers of R20 Laser Removal

The Dangers of R20 Laser Removal

R20 laser tattoo removal is sometimes referred to as ‘Accelerated Tattoo Removal’. It essentially works the same as standard tattoo removal by shattering the ink in the dermal layer of the skin but has a very different procedure. While standard tattoo removal involves passing over the unwanted tattoo once per session and waiting 5-6 weeks between sessions; R20 removal procedures consist of multiple treatments in 1 day (usually 4) spaced around 20 minutes apart. The patient then has to wait 8 weeks before their next R20 session. The 20 minute wait between treatments is to allow ‘frosting’ that often appears with laser tattoo removal to subside(see pictures below) and ensure the laser pulses are not blocked on the next passing.

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This image is before & after a standard tattoo removal session to illustrate ‘frosting’.

So, why should you avoid R20 removal?

First of all, there is only one published study on the R20 removal procedure which uses a Q-Switched Alexandrite Laser. This type of laser is uncommon and not as powerful as the Q-Switched ND-YAG lasers that are more widely used now. You can take a look at the abstract from the study here. The study itself has quite a few problems:

  • The sample size for the study was very small (12 participants)
  • As stated above, the laser used in the study is very uncommon.
  • The starting intensity of the laser was very aggressive for the first treatment.(5.5J/cm², 755nm, 100-nanosecond pulse duration, 3-mm spot size) . The starting intensity should be tailored to the skin type using the Fitzpatrick scale.
  • No darker skin tones were tested which are the most prone to pigmentary changes.
  • The method was only tested on black and blue inks.

The method has only been tested with one type of laser which is not as powerful as some of the more modern lasers which are more commonplace in practices. The more modern lasers have not been thoroughly tested with the method and so there is an even greater risk of extensive damage.

The R20 method can also cause greater epidermal injury to the treated area and this is stated in the study abstract (link above). There is also an increased risk of texture changes although it also states that none of the participants suffered scarring.

A standard tattoo removal procedure can take around 15 minutes whereas the R20 method can take anything from 80 minutes+ depending on the amount of time that is left between passes. This means that patients will have to take more time out and practices will have to book more time out to accommodate the method.

The method is also way too aggressive for sensitive skin types and would more than likely cause scarring or extensive skin injury. All patients should first be categorised using the Fitzpatrick scale so that the laser intensity is suited to their skin type.

The R20 procedure may fade tattoos quicker than standard methods, it is doing so at what cost? You may have to wait a little longer with standard removal but your skin will thank you for it.

BeFunky Design

 

How to get a piercing 101

In this week’s blog post, we’re going to educate you on how to get a piercing!

So, first of all, you’ve decided you want an ‘x,y,z’ piercing. You’ve had something substantial to eat and drink on the day of the piercing along with a shower/bath and you’re on the way to the studio.

First, when you arrive, you’ll need to fill out a consent form. This is an important part of getting a piercing! The form will consist mainly of a little information and risks about piercings, your details such as phone number for our records and a little health questionnaire to check that you’re fit and healthy and able to be pierced!

The golden rule from this point onwards:

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Stay chill and calm. The more stressed and anxious you are, your heart rate will go up, your breathing will become shallow and it’ll make you feel 10 times more nervous! Deep breathing and remembering that you want this piercing and are willing to endure the second or 2 of pain, can really help ease the mind.

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With that all done, you’ll be taken upstairs to the private piercing room with your piercer. You’ll take a seat on our piercing bench whilst the piercer has a brief chat with you about the piercing you’re after, such as; healing times, tips for that particular piercing, jewellery options and just general chit chat while they prepare the equipment and tools.

 gud dot datye boi

Once you’ve chosen the jewellery and you’re ready to get started, the piercer will thoroughly clean the area to be pierced. Then, depending on the piercing you’re having, the piercer will mark the area, usually with a small dot or T shape. You’ll have a chance to see the mark in the mirror and change it if you’re unhappy with it. Once you’re happy and the piercer is ready, the piercing procedure will begin!

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Congrats! At this point, you’ll now have a fresh new piercing! 

The piercer will explain further any information you may need to know, primarily regarding aftercare and timescales for downsizing/check-ups (depending on the piercing). Before you leave, this aftercare information will be given to you in written form to take away with you.

kris faggot

Post-piercing, it’s important to look after yourself for the rest of the day. We always recommend bringing a sugary drink, like Lucozade, to the piercing anyway but eating and drinking plenty of sugary things after a piercing can help keep your blood sugar up if it takes a tumble. Remember that your body has just been injured, and whereas it may not be a massive trauma, you may be a bit more fragile.

The only thing left to do now is to keep your piercing happy and clean!

If you follow the aftercare advice we give you and come straight back to us if you have any issues, problems or questions, your piercing should heal swiftly and easily!

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As always, if there’s anything we’ve missed that you’d like to know more about, or you just have a few questions, message us on social media, come and see us at the studio or give us a call on: 01226 340065.

Piercing Trends 2017 – EARS!

Summer is pretty much over, but the piercing trends keep on flowing!

It may not be the weather for showing off your blingy mid-drift, but there’s plenty of other statement piercings that can be on show all year round!

EARS!

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Ears are definitely one of, if not the most popular places to get pierced. Pick a spot on your ear and there’s a name and piercing for it! But, with every individuals’ ears being so unique, it’s useful to think practically when choosing your next ear piercing.

Do you have enough anatomy/skin/cartilage for that piercing?

Will it interfere with any piercings you already have?

Will your planned piercings be aesthetically pleasing on your ear shape or around your existing piercings?

Most don’t think that much of it, but it’s interesting to have a look at your own ears and see how much they differ from even your siblings or parents! As with most piercings, we want them to complement and enhance what we have so placement and jewellery choice can mean the difference between any old regular upper ear/helix piercing and something that looks unique and fitting to your ear!

For some, less IS more! For others… THE MORE THE BETTER!

Whatever your style, aesthetic, goals, etc, there’ll be something out there that enhances that!

We ESPECIALLY looooove this rad lady’s ears! Just because you have an ear-full, doesn’t mean it has to look hefty and punk-ish.. CLEARLY! Whether you like sparkles, gold, opals, gems, chains, colours, rings, studs, chains or spikes, you can completely customise your body and accessorise it however the hell you like!

One thing we always stress, don’t out-right copy someone else’s piercings. By that, we don’t mean that just because Sally from level 2 hair & beauty college has her nose pierced, that you can’t.

We simply mean, choose your piercings based on YOU: what you like, what you want to look like, how your anatomy is/is shaped/etc. You’ll end up with a more unique, fitting and aesthetically pleasing outcome!

We’re always happy to discuss ideas, show you jewellery and placement options and work with you to achieve the look you want, whilst keeping it realistic and as unique as you are.

Don’t be a Veruca Salt…

“I WANT BIG 20MM LOBES BUT I WANT THEM NOOOOOW!”

Doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. Stretching takes time and patience. Stretching too fast can lead to some pretty grim consequences… Which we will document below!

“But my uncle’s best mate’s daughter’s boyfriend stretched his ear to 10mm in 3 days!”

“But my bestie’s cousin’s god-daughter stretched hers in a month and hers is fine!!!”

Good for them, they’re very lucky!

We can’t tell you what you can and can’t do, we can only recommend and advise. We just PLEASE ask that if you ask us, then choose to ignore our professional advice, we cannot be blamed if any of the following events happen to you and there’s a 99% chance we won’t be able to do anything to fix it for you.

 

Outcome #1 – Blowout

You’ve probably seen gross photos of blown-out earlobes online many times before. Some blow-outs are less severe than others and can SOMETIMES be rectified by stopping stretching, down-sizing and waiting! Some, however, can only be sorted by surgery/reconstruction by a surgeon or body modification studio.

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Ain’t too pretty to look at, right? These are blow-outs, and they’re caused by stretching too fast and/or jumping sizes. As you insert the taper, the hole will slowly stretch to that size, but if your ear isn’t settled at its current size, what basically happens is the fistula (inside of the hole) is pushed outwards, creating a ring/ridge of scar tissue. The top photo is from stretching too fast and only wearing tapers – which weighs the ear down and angles the hole, which makes the blow-out worse.

Believe it or not, blow-outs like these are really really common! And that’s not a good thing.

 

Outcome #2 – Tearing

Your skin has the ability to stretch, however, this must be done slowly and carefully. Stretching the skin too fast or jumping sizes (not doing it gradually) can cause it to tear. It’s quite common with larger gauge stretched lobes, as the skin thins out as you stretch anyway, which makes it more and more delicate. If your lobe is already thin/thinning and you rush your stretching, there’s a chance it will put too much pressure onto the hole and rip.

Once this happens, the only way you’ll get your ear back to normal is by reconstruction.

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Outcome #3 – Thinning/Unevenness 

Before tearing/ripping comes thinning. Obviously, as your ear is stretched larger, the lobe around the stretched hole will thin, but there are ways are means around this to still have a healthy stretched lobe. The thinner the skin gets, the slower you should stretch and take extra care when doing so to avoid tearing/ripping. Some folks are blessed with big chunky lobes which can get to 30mm+ before starting to thin, but if you have relatively petite lobes, it’s important to keep an eye on the condition of the stretched skin and take precautions to aid the process – such as massaging the ear with Vitamin E Oil, Emu oil or similar.

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We hope you’re all feeling a little queasy after reading this post, ’cause we sure do!

We’re not here to preach or tell anyone they can’t do something, we simply want to educate our clients, give our professional advice and help you achieve healthy, happy piercings and modifications!

Way too many clients walk through our door with problems to do with stretching that could have been easily fixed or avoided. Way too many clients ask for stretching advice and then ignore it and get upset when their ear blows out or tears, too. But again, we can only advise!

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If there’s something we haven’t covered that you’d like to know or have any other piercing questions, come and see us! Or send us a message on our social media pages, email taattoobodypiercers@gmail.com or call us 01226 340065 – we’re happy to help.

 

Earlobe stretching for dummies

 There are lots of conflicting opinions on the correct way to stretch, mainly by the general public sharing their personal, not professional opinions. So here you go, we’re making this blog post from a professional point of view – while trying to keep it simple and informative, as opposed to scare mongering and boringness. This addition to the blog will contain a step by step guide on how to stretch, riiiiight from the beginning with itty bitty lobes (but of course, the rule is generally the same no matter how big or small you’re at).

(This method is the most common – tapering)

Step 1:

So, you’ve had your ears pierced AT LEAST 4 months and they’re well healed and happy – congrats, you’re ready to start stretching. Most standard earrings are around 1mm in thickness, and most piercers will pierce lobes at a 1.2mm thickness as standard. If you’re unsure at all, an experienced piercer will be able to check what size jewellery you currently have and what first taper size you will need. Usually, a 1.6mm taper will be the first size to start at – these can be purchased at most piercing studios or ‘alternative’ stores.

Step 2:

To make stretching easier and more comfortable, start with a hot bath/shower – it can really benefit blood flow to the lobes and soften the tissue. After a hot soak, massaging the lobes with vitamin E oil or Emu oil can not only increase blood flow to the area, but the act of massaging the tissue makes it softer and more malleable, making stretching tonnes easier for the skin to handle. Massaging the lobes for 2-3 minutes or until the tissue is warm will save you heaps of time in the long haul and help your lobes stay as healthy as possible throughout the stretching process – meaning they’re more likely to keep optimum condition and thickness, even if stretched to larger sizes (20mm+).

Step 3:

Make sure to have clean hands before starting the process. Then you’ll need lube. Lots of lube. Squeeze a blob of lube onto the back of a clean hand or surface and lightly massage a small amount into the lobe just like with the essential oil of choice. A minute or two will suffice. Next, dip the thinner end of the taper into the lube (top tip; use around a pea sized blob on the end of the taper rather than lubing the whole taper – this can make the taper super slippy and hard to grip).

Step 4:

The most important rule of stretching: listen to your body. Insert the taper into the piercing thin-end first. Slowly push the taper through the ear until the thicker end is through. This process should NOT hurt, at most, it may feel like a burning sensation or a small nip, accompanied by maybe a dull ache/throb afterwards.

Step 5:

WAIT! We recommend leaving AT LEAST a month or two between stretches.

Once your earlobe is at around 4mm, it’s easier to find tunnels/plugs to wear at general alternative stores and studios. From around 4mm+, follow the same steps, but after inserting the taper, it’s important to wear tunnels/plugs while the lobe settles instead of a taper.

At smaller sizes, tapers don’t tend to weigh your ear down all that much, but the larger the taper, the heavier it will be – it’ll weigh down the ear and dangle downwards rather than straight through the hole.

All you need to do is leave the taper in for a few minutes to let your ear settle slightly, then really swiftly but gently place the end of the jewellery against the front side of the taper (largest part) and push the taper out of the ear (backwards) with the jewellery.

Now you’ll have replaced the taper with a nice piece of jewellery!

Revert back to step 5 – WAIT!

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That’s about all for our initial stretching post! We’ll have more stretching-related blog posts coming up, such as different methods of stretching, sizes and jewellery!

There’s nothing wrong with being thick!

Not many people know the difference between the thickness of different jewellery pieces and types, as well as what gauge (thickness) should be worn and where.

So! We’re going to make it as simple as possible and explain it as best we can in this blog post!

1.2mm (16g):

1.2mm thickness is probably the most universal size of jewellery, used in most piercings. We don’t recommend wearing thinner jewellery because the possibility of cheese-wiring is greater (basically, where the thin jewellery gradually pulls and creates a slit from the piercing) and because usually, the material used isn’t good quality to wear in your body.

Some of the most common 1.2mm piercings would include; helix, tragus, rook, lobes, lips and nose.

1.6mm (14g):

Some piercings benefit from a heavier gauge (thicker jewellery) and aren’t suited to smaller 1.2mm, such as; nipples, navels, tongues and scaffold/industrials. The jewellery doesn’t necessarily LOOK thicker, but the benefits it has on your piercings make it necessary.

Some piercings can be pierced at either thickness, depending on the type of aesthetic you’re going for! Such as;

Septum, Eyebrow, Genitals and Conch.

Some people (particularly ladies) prefer a daintier look, whereas more alternative individuals and commonly men, opt for larger gauge jewellery.

Ok so we’ve been over the basics of sizes, but how can you tell the difference?

Here’s a nose piercing with a 1.2mm ring (BCR):

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Here’s a nose piercing with a ‘wire’ ring:

 (commonly bought from stores such as Argos, Claires and jewellers)

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For some people, it’s hard to see a difference. You can get smaller, dainty 1.2mm rings for nose piercings, without them being thin wire.

Problems with wrong gauge jewellery tend to be cheese-wiring of the skin around the pierced hole and hypertrophic scarring (bumps) – especially on nose piercings! But this can happen to any piercing if improper jewellery is worn for an extended period of time.

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(Picture above is an example of the cheese-wire effect)

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(Picture above is a nose piercing with hypertrophic scarring (bump) on the top part of the piercing where it’s become irritated from the nose wire)

Another problem, which again, commonly happens with nose piercings, is that the fistula (piercing hole/tunnel) shrinks to the size of the wire/thin jewellery. This can happen in a matter of days, to months or sometimes years.

But what this means is, if you buy a new piece of jewellery for your piercing that is larger than the wire/thinner piece, the chances of putting appropriate sized jewellery in are slim, unless the piercing is stretched back up to a correct size.

The aim of this blog post? Please think about your jewellery choices!

Is it appropriate for the piercing? Is it the right size? Will it fit? Will it be unpractical? Can I change it myself?

We sell a wide range of body jewellery at the studio for all piercings and can assist you in making a decision. If you don’t find anything you fancy at the studio, we will happily make a note of what appropriate jewellery you can get for your piercing (thickness, length, style, material, etc).