Billboard Style consulted celebrity piercer Brian Keith Thompson and the pair behind Instagram-favorite dainty jewelry brand Mejuri, co-founder Noura Sakkijha and creative director Justine Lançon, to find out how you can rock this look on your own.
For someone who wants to branch out into getting more piercings, which ones do you recommend starting with?
Noura Sakkihja: Don't underestimate the power of a second (or third!) piercing on your lobe to level up your ear stack. We love the way an odd number of piercings -- say, two in one ear and three in the other -- looks. For an even bolder statement, try two piercings in a constellation, with mismatched dainty studs.
Brian Keith Thompson: If you want to get a little more risqué, branch out and look a little more badass, I would say to start with the tragus. It's one of my favorite piercings. It's not that hard to heal because it's tucked in on your cheek. I think the tragus is a great one to start with, and the upper lobe (it is where the lobe meets the helix); they look really great together. For someone that's just getting started [with building up their earring stack, those] are my two favorites.
Justine Lançon: If you're not quite ready to commit to another piercing, ear cuffs are an alternative and "ouch-free" way to test how another piece vibes with the rest of your ear stack.
What are some tips to keep in mind to make your ear look cohesive with lots of different jewelry?
Thompson: My rule of thumb is that I usually pick a point to focus on. So, be it the conch or the tragus or the helix, pick one and then decorate downwards.
Sakkihja: The only rule is that there are no rules -- it's all about personal preference. But if you're aiming for things to look cohesive, complement statement pieces (like your grandmother's costume earrings) with more minimal pieces for balance. If you're working with a simple pair of studs, on the other hand, create a contrast with bolder pieces. This streamlined base leaves you room to play and embellish with gems or even adding a chain to a stud.
How about when you're deciding on jewelry that goes with your hair and/or outfit? Is there specific jewelry that looks better with certain haircuts or necklines?
Lançon: You can never go wrong with a sleek ponytail or hair tucked behind the ears to show off that stack.
Thompson: I look at hair color more than anything. If you're blonde, I like more yellow-gold. When your hair is very dark and deep, I like to mix white and rose together. I feel white and rose gold complement each other very well. I've said a hundred times: There's no right or wrong way to decorate your ear if you're happy with it. All that matters is that you're happy.
What are some staple pieces that people should keep in their collection?
Sakkihja: A pair of diamond studs, oversized thin hoops, a pair of classic gold studs, [and] a pair of threaders.
Thompson: If you were only going to have two styles of jewelry that weren't going to go out of style any time soon, [I would go with] a solitaire prong diamond and hoops. You can't lose with those.
Any advice on how to build up a versatile earring collection?
Sakkihja: Curating a wide range of different-sized earring is the key to a versatile collection. That means delicate pieces along with chunkier pieces, and a mix of studs and hoops, too. It's also worth asking yourself how much use you're truly going to get out of an item. If it's your first time adding a bold piece to the collection, ask yourself if you'll be wearing them long-term, or just for the season.
Thompson: Start squirreling away some money, slowly making some badass purchases. Buy quality and not quantity. Just do it over time -- it will be something you've built on, and it will make you feel like you accomplished something.