Archives for 2013

New Piercings for the New Year

getting new mods for 2014“Kiki,” by Tristan Savatier

Now that the holidays are finally coming to a close and life is a little less hectic and demanding, everybody’s minds are probably turning to one thing: the new year.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll be thinking about New Year’s resolutions, going shopping with all those gift cards (score!), and of course what new mods you want this year.

Two new tattoos and some ear piercings are on my list, but for those who aren’t sure exactly what they want, here’s some things I’ve seen recently that are super cool, still pretty rare, and definitely bound to be serious contenders in 2014.  Hope you like them as much as I do!

The Transverse Lobe Piercing

 horizontal ear lobe piercing variations

It’s basically like a horizontal ear lobe piercing; it goes sideways through the lobe.  The really great thing about these is that they can be done even if you already have a regular earlobe piercing, or in some cases, even if you have several.  Stretched lobes can be worked with sometimes too, and there are some who have purposely pierced through well-healed stretch mods to create a really unique look.  Pretty neat, right?

The Lip Surface

 horizontal lip piercings

These are called by a few different names including “lip surface piercing,” and “horizontal lip piercing,” but no matter what you call it they’re fairly new and interesting.  Unlike a traditional surface piercing, they’re usually worn with a small curved barbell, but variations have recently started to emerge.  Whether you have other lip piercings already, or just want something a little different, this type of lip piercing is pretty sweet.

The Rhino

 vertical nose tip piercings

Although they’re not completely new, rhino piercings are definitely still one of the rarest nose piercings.  The nice thing about being around a while though, is that all sorts of styles have started popping up.  There’s even rhinos being done as single point piercings, which is a cuter, more feminine version that looks great on women.

What do you want to get in 2014?  Let me know if you’ve got any cool or really unique ideas!

5 Tips to Surviving the Holidaze in Style

tips to survive the season

With the Christmas season starting earlier and earlier each year it is hard to keep calm and relax. It seems that holiday music is playing the day after Halloween (or even sooner). Stores have their Christmas section up by the end of September for goodness sake. The world is obsessed. Is the season of giving just giving you a headache? Here are some tips for bringing the cheer back into your life, keeping the stress levels down, and making the best out of this chaotic time of year.

1)  Get a new piercing or tattoo right now! Put down the mouse, pick up the phone, and call your piercer or tattoo artist right now to make your next appointment; it’s absolutely crucial for your holiday survival. It is proven that getting piercings and tattoos gives you a rush of natural endorphins that makes you happy and less stressed out. Plus this is the best time of year to get some new mods anyways. Your body is less exposed to elements such as sun and chlorinated water (from swimming pools). Plus, piercings and tattoos make you feel more confident, and therefore ready to take on the craziness. It’s important to pamper yourself, do what feels good, and do something that you want to do. You deserve it. Beat the after holiday/New Year’s rush; you’ll thank me later.

 get your new mods in the winter

2)  Buy yourself presents! Although this is called the season of giving, you have to make sure to remember yourself. Retail therapy is important to getting through the holiday season. Just don’t go too crazy. Here are some tips to maximizing your shopping without breaking the bank: first, does your best friend want a new belly ring this year? Get one for you and one for her! Consider getting a best friends set, so that way you’re spending one lower amount and getting a new belly ring too. Having matching jewelry with a friend is also special and fun!

 get matching friend jewelry

3)  Don’t let your family get under your skin! Like me I’m sure that you are probably the black sheep of your family in some regard. Sometimes family members can give you a hard time about your looks because they do not have anything better to say.  For instance, if your aunt is giving you guff about your new lip piercing or larger sized earlobes, don’t bark back at her with some snotty remark. Just count to ten and think about it from her perspective; her generation is just not as used to the body modification culture as ours is. Educate her. Explain to her that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but your mods make you feel beautiful, and you don’t require her approval.

 let them know mods make you feel beautiful

4)  Be a smart shopper! Sign up for e-mails from any online stores you want to shop at this year. Hint: they’ll send you exclusive coupons and sales. Using coupons and taking advantage of great deals will maximize your budget and make it possible to get something for your whole list and still have money left over for yourself. Shop Clearance and look at newly reduced items to get amazing deals on the items you want most too.

 sign up online for deals

5)  Treat yourself right! Take care of your piercings, exercise, don’t over-indulge, get plenty of sleep, and don’t forget to laugh. It’s easy to slack on aftercare, drink and eat too much at parties, and let yourself lose sleep. Indulging may temporarily ease the holiday blues, but it can also lead to feelings of guilt and dissatisfaction later.

Remember, the holidays only come once a year and only last for a few weeks. If you follow these 5 tips, you might just find this year to be more joyful and less stressful. Do you have any tips for holiday survival? Share in the comments!

Branding and Scarification – Modern Body Art

scars as body art

Body modification is a global trend that’s been around since the beginning of time. Some people modify their bodies for religious reasons, and others do it for personal pleasure or purely for aesthetics. When a simple tattoo or piercing won’t satisfy your body mod needs, there are other options.

Branding and scarification are two permanent methods that are on the more extreme side of popular body mod. Just like anything else, beauty is subjective and personal; some people prefer the look and feel of scars to ink or metal. Others turn negative scars, such as those from car accidents or operations, into beautiful body art.

Branding is the burning of the epidermis with a heated piece of metal to leave a design in your skin. With branding the artist has a bit less artistic freedom (this process is used mostly for basic geometric designs). There is also a harsh smell associated with the burning process that is not pleasant for most customers. Strike branding, similar to livestock branding, uses a hot piece of metal. There is also cautery branding with a heated wire tip, laser branding with electrical sparks, and even cold branding with liquid nitrogen.

branding, cautery, and scalpeling methods

Scarification by cutting is more popular in the modern age. (This is not to be confused with self harm.) It has been practiced by many West African tribes to mark milestone stages in both men and women’s lives, such as puberty and marriage. In Ghana they use scarification to treat certain ailments such as stomach pains and the measles. In modern body modification shops, an artist will use a sterilized scalpel to essentially carve a design into your flesh. With this method they’re able to create very intricate scar designs, and the design will eventually heal into a permanent raised scar.

scarification in tribal society

The most common style of scarification is cutting.  For this all the artist needs is a scalpel and sterile blades. They use different sized and angled blades as a traditional artist would use multiple paint brushes for different effects. The initial set up is not too different from a tattoo; skin is prepped and cleaned, then the stencil is applied and approved.  A scalpel is used to outline the design with fine cuts, which feels similar to a tattoo sensation. The outlines are created mainly by cutting at the correct depth and width, which opens up the skin to get the desired result, rather than skin removal. Ink rubbing refers to scarification where tattoo ink is rubbed into the wound, and packing is a process where clay or ash is packed into the wound to create more bold, raised scars.

western style scar mods

There are some extra warnings involved with the scarification process, because it’s the only body modification that relies completely on your body’s reaction and healing. Infection control and proper aftercare methods must be practiced very closely, due to the open wound. It’s impossible to tell how each person’s scar will look once it’s healed.  Some scars will indent, some will raise, some will be very pink or red, some will be purple, and some will even be white or more subtle than originally hoped. The uncertainty and extra pain will cause some prospective scarification candidates to opt for a more controlled tattoo.

Celebrating the Day of the Dead

celebramos el Dia de los Muertos

The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a holiday that is celebrated around the world, particularly in Mexico and Latin America. It all started hundreds of years ago as an Aztec tradition. This holiday celebrates family and friends who are both alive and deceased.

 altars and trinkets

Traditions that go along with the holiday include painting your face like a Catrina (beautiful skeleton woman), and building alters and leaving offerings (ofrendas) in your home and at the cemetery. These alters can contain flowers, statues of the Virgin Mary, decorative skull candy, the favorite foods of the deceased, tequila, toys, photos, and mementos. This is meant to encourage visits by the souls in hopes that they hear the special prayers sent their way. Along with prayers people will share funny stories and memories of the departed. While visiting the grave people dance and sing, hoping to be loud enough to wake the dead.

 elegant skeleton costumes

Although the Day of the Dead is this week, it’s important to remember those who have departed every single day. Custom photo or name jewelry is a beautiful way to memorialize someone forever. Every time you look at the piece, you will remember that special person. Wearing awesome sugar skull belly rings, plugs, and earrings are another way to celebrate this holiday in style. You can also create your alter on your body by wearing food, drink, religious icon, or flower themed jewelry, along with popular sugar skull makeup to complete your look.

cool sugar skull lady plugs

Halloween Costumes for the Modified – She’s the Man

females costuming as male characters

The modified generation is raising the bar for true equality, so why would all of us modified missies stick with traditionally female costumes?  Some of the coolest characters in our lives are male, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to play the part.  Just check out all these awesome male characters that are being given a breath of fresh air and a pinch of pizzazz by modified ladies around the world:

Alice in Wonderland

This an awesome story no matter which way you slice it, especially since the punchy protagonist is a chick!  Aside from the devilish Queen of Hearts though, most of the other awesome characters are male.  It’s totally okay though, because some of neatest Alice in Wonderland costumes for women are, believe it or not, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat.  Just check ’em out.  Seriously hot, cool, and creepy, right?

 repurposing male wonderland characters

The Marvel Universe

In the world of Marvel and DC comics, there are plenty of female characters, but unfortunately most of them are secondary characters.  Bat girl, Supergirl, Spidergirl… For all of us pierced and tatted hotties who want to be the star of the show instead of playing sidekick to a rippling superhero, there’s nothing wrong with wearing the same exact thing that your fave male hero wears.  It’s great that there are “female versions” of a lot of hero and villain costumes, but just because we’re ladies doesn’t mean there has to be a skirt.

 reinterpreting male comic book heroes and villains

Tim Burton

Tim Burton has created a world teaming with female stars, and for that we thank him more than morbid words can say, but who can resist wanting to be all of the subjects in his awesome creative masterpieces?  Three male Burton characters that win my vote for female cross-over: Edward Scissorhands, Jack Skellington, and Beetlejuice.  If you’re planning to pull that last one though, remember to get your hair nice and big.  (We wouldn’t want anyone to think that you’re supposed to be Robin Thicke.)

female versions of male Burton characters

Get Your Freak On – Cool and Freaky Halloween Worthy Modifications

Halloween worthy modifications

Halloween is the one time of the year when we all have the freedom to reach out of our normal comfort zone and take on a new persona. Halloween is about challenging your deepest darkest fears and waving your freak flag proudly. For some people, Halloween is everyday.

There are many who take body modification to extreme levels. This is more than just a gimmick to induce shock value; body modification is a commitment and a way of life. Here are some awesome examples of out-there body mods that can’t be recreated with a simple Halloween costume.

Tongue Splitting Also called tongue bifurcation, it’s a body modification method where the tongue is cut or burned from its tip up towards the base with a scalpel, fishing line, cauterizing gun, or surgical laser. The forked tongue is reminiscent of a snakes tongue and can also be associated with evil.

tongue splitting

Supersized Stretched Ear Lobes Stretching of the earlobes is a traditional tribal practice that is now a global fashion statement. Once the elastic limit of the skin has been reached it will not shrink back down. While there are countless people with size 2 gauge or 00 gauge, there are some who take this trend to the next level by stretching their lobes to much bigger than 2 or even 3 inches in some cases. It’s not just traditional “freaks” stretching their earlobes anymore either; it isn’t uncommon for the girl next door to be flaunting her huge stretched lobes. The stretching process takes a lot time and dedication and is not to be taken lightly.

large stretch mods

Subdermal Implants Subdermal implants are like 3D art that’s surgically embedded under the skin. The body heals over the object and creates a dramatic raised design. Horn implants are some of the most intense, transforming the modified person into something completely extraordinary. Often people who go to such great lengths to alter their physical appearance will do this in conjunction with other modifications to receive the desired effect and dramatically change their look.

subdermal 3D body art

Some people are world famous for their beautiful full body displays of piercings and tattoos. They completely transform themselves into otherworldly beings, with full art and modifications. Other forms of extreme body mod include scarification, branding, ear pointing, neck stretching, corsetry, and plastic surgery. With body modification, the possibilities are endless, so why not get your freak on!

The New Girl Next Door – Piercings and Tattoos in Beauty Pageants

modified beauty queens

The world is changing. Piercings and tattoos have had a bad reputation for being something that’s “masculine,” “not wholesome,” or just too harsh and distracting for a delicate female form. Those archetypes and misnomers have now been smashed. The girl next door that you see walking across a pageant runway is now a little bit more decorated. This year’s Miss America pageant made headlines when Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas, walked across the stage with the first ever large, visible tattoo. In her blog Theresa wrote “Should I win Miss America because I have tattoos? Of course not, BUT I should not be discredited for having them either. This is 2013. We are not in the dark ages…”

And she’s right; tattoos and piercings are prevalent and popular in our culture. You see piercings and tattoos on men and women from every walk of life. A wholesome image can now include body modification. Tattoos and piercings can be very girly and complimenting to a woman’s soft image. Theresa has the Serenity Prayer on her left side, and a military insignia to represent her time in the service, and I think it’s absolutely beautiful. She proudly walked across that stage during the swimsuit competition with all of her ink displayed. This year’s Miss Montana also has a tattoo, (a cross and text on her foot) but it was not visible.

tattooed Miss America contestant Theresa Vail and her proudly tattooed moment

            There was a similar stir way back in 1997 when the first belly piercing was displayed on the Miss America stage by Jill Renee Cummings, then Miss Vermont. She proudly wore a silver belly ring with her two piece bikini. She stated that she had her belly button piercing long before she ever decided to get into beauty pageants and that it was a part of her. That attitude is definitely to be commended; it can be hard to be the first person to break through social taboos and barriers, especially on such a large stage.

Little girls look up to Miss America contestants, and it is paramount that they see the importance of individuality and being true to themselves. Theresa Vail has said in her blog “I’m all about breaking stereotypes. Everybody thinks of Miss America as this girl on a pedestal. I want her to come down from that. She is just a normal girl.” Even so, many contestants are directed to take out their belly piercings and multiple earrings in order to conform and not distract.

belly piercings at the Miss America pageantformer Miss America contestants bare their belly rings

              As a modern woman (who has piercings and tattoos)  I think it’s better to stand out than fade into the background.  Isn’t that the point?  I imagine that there are a lot more girls who covered up their tattoos with makeup and removed their piercings to walk across the stage, but the trail has been blazed. Hopefully next year we will see more openly modified contestants. Girls need role models who are real people, who are not afraid to break stereotypes and be themselves for all the world to see.

You Can Pierce That?! – The New Frontier of Modification

Eyelid

Yes, as strange (and dangerous) as it sounds, you can actually get your eyelid pierced.  Because the piercing itself is so impractical, most people who get one only keep it for a short time, and discomfort to the eye just comes with the territory, but you have to admit, it looks pretty neat.  Most eyelid piercings are either done near the outside corner and worn with a circular, or pierced horizontally through the lid and worn with a small gently curved barbell.

 regular and horizontal piercings of the eyelid

Uvula

This is something that many of us thought of before it actually became a reality, but it’s now a fact: you can pierce the human uvula.  Some have even braved piercing it twice!  The thing is, the natural gag reflex doesn’t actually kick in when you touch the uvula; it’s the tonsils and other tissue around it that make you gag.  So, the piercer and client usually practice without a needle first to be sure that both can successfully avoid tripping the reflex, and then, needle goes through and voila.

  multiple piercings of the human uvula

Gums

Smiley, frowny, vampire, and tongue web piercings probably still seem a little strange to a lot of people, but in true gen next fashion, we’ve already moved on to something even more awe inspiring: gum piercings.  Instead of going through the soft tissue of any of the upper or lower lip frenulums, this is a piercing of the actual gums themselves.  It’s a little bit tricky, and pretty much everyone bleeds, but once it’s done the look is actually pretty cool.  Like all oral piercings though, you’ve really got to watch the health of the gums and teeth with this one.

 styles of gum tissue piercings

Hand

First it was the finger dermal, then the finger and thumb webs, and now, directly through the palm.  This one is super new and it’s usually called a “crucifixion” piercing, for obvious reasons.  The potential for nerve damage is definitely real, but there’s no denying how awesome it is to know that you can safely and successfully pierce clean through your hand.  This definitely falls under the “don’t try this at home” category.

crucifixion piercings through the hand

Heart Shaped Box – in the Know with Glow

Remember those cute little glow in the dark stars from your childhood?  You know, the ones that came in coordinated sets with a little ball of sticky tack, and just about every nineties kid had some on their ceiling at one point or another?  Well this, is not like that.  It’s about ten times better!

I heart glow jewelry and accessories

Glow in the dark stuff has really taken a huge step up in recent years.  Not only is it starting to be shown on high fashion runways worldwide, but it’s full of a coolness and variety of color that just keeps getting better.  We’re not talking cute little cutouts of Halloween witches; this is some full on amazing full color art that just happens to also glow in the dark.  Earrings, nail polish, even UV reactive tattoos!  Which brings me to one of my favorite things, these adorable glow in the dark plugs:

sweet full color glow in the dark plugs

Sometimes black and white is just perfect, but other times you want something that transitions seamlessly from day to night.  Enter the full color glow plug.  Pink camo or colorful tie dye during the day time, and sweet glow in the dark spectacle after sunset.  These make me want to go clubbing just looking at them!

Celebrity Modification Fixation – All About Ears

celebrity ear modifications

The image of a celebrity is glamorous and fantastic. Constant photos on every form of social and print media keep us up to date on what is going on with our favorites. Celebrities are role models and trendsetters. They express themselves with their style and body modifications. Famous people with stretched ears, multiple ear piercings, and ear tattoos are much more common now than ever before.

There are many attractive male celebrities with awesome stretched lobes. Besides the plethora of Warped Tour punkers who sport plugs, here are a few famous hotties with larger than life lobes:

Brandon Boyd from Incubus has beautiful ink and lobes stretched to 1 inch; he is a big fan of natural wood plugs. Dubstep artist Skrillex (Sonny Moore) is famous for his sick drops, asymmetrical hair cut, piercings, and of course his ½ inch stretched lobes (that he often fills with white or black saddle plugs). Chester Bennington from the band Linkin Park also has beautiful tattoos and ½ inch stretched lobes; he is often seen wearing basic black saddle plugs or gem tunnel plugs.  American Idol winner Adam Lambert has 2 gauge plugs. Travie McCoy from Gym Class Heroes has awesome tattoos, piercings, and 3/4 inch plugs. Davey Havoc from AFI has tats and stretched lobes which he likes to wear large, blingy gem plugs in. Lil Wayne has various tattoos, piercings, and 00 gauge plugs (the more bling the better as far as he’s concerned).

male celebrities with stretched lobe piercingsDavey Havoc, Lil Wayne, and Chester Bennington – stretched lobes

While there are less female celebrities with stretched lobes there certainly are a lot with multiple ear lobe and cartilage piercings. Actress Scarlett Johansson has several ear piercings and has been spotted with small tapers and eyelets in her lobes and has her tragus pierced. Rihanna has multiple ear piercings including her tragus too. Christina Aguilera is known for her love of body modification, including several ear and cartilage piercings. Other hot female celebrities with cartilage piercings are Shakira, Kate Hudson, Lindsay Lohan, Taylor Momsen, Jessica Alba, Carrie Underwood, Demi Lovato, Sienna Miller, and Julia Stiles. Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pink, and supermodel Kate Moss also don multiple ear piercings. Nicole Richie, Perrie Edwards (from the British band Little Mix), and actress Shannon Elizabeth all have tragus piercings to accent their style.

female celebrities with ear cartilage piercingsScarlett Johansson, Taylor Momsen, and Miley Cyrus – cartilage piercings

Another way to accentuate your ears is with ink! Ear and behind the ear tattoos are very popular right now because they can be both subtle and bold. An ear tattoo can be easily covered up for that important family function or job interview. This trend is very popular among young female celebrities and trendsetters. Rihanna has a star tattoo in her left ear and a fancy X shaped symbol behind her right ear. Miley Cyrus has the word “Love” tattooed on her inner ear. Demi Lovato has a beautiful turquoise feather tattoo behind her ear. Carmen Electra has the letter K behind her ear, and Adele also went for an initial with the letter A behind her ear. Joss Stone has flowers, Lyndsy Fonseca has a moon and star, and actress Gemma Arterton has wings. Symbols like birds, stars, flowers, butterflies, and initials are very popular and discreet. It is always best to get a tattoo that represents you and not to copy someone else’s just for aesthetic purposes.

celebrities with tattooing on or near their earsDemi Lovato, Rihanna, and Gemma Arterton – ear tattoos

Multiple ear piercings, stretched lobes, and ear tattoos are very popular among young celebrities, causing a trend of modifying our own bodies to transform ourselves to superstar status.  Do your research and find the look that suits your own personal style the best. Be unique, be original, and be yourself. Body modification, no matter how bold or subtle, transforms your look and your life.