There are dozens of different piercings that you can get to accent your favorite features of your face. Do you want to show off your eyes? A bridge piercing brings the center of attention to your face. Confident in the form of your lips? A medusa or labret piercing suits you. Want to wear jewelry on your cheek? You totally can. While it’s easy to know that you want a face piercing, it can be difficult to determine exactly what type is best for you. This article goes over all kinds of face piercings and should be able to help you! We also made a Resource page to help you care for your first face piercing.
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Labret piercing usually refers to a single stud beneath the lower lip, but any piercing on the lower lip can be called a labret piercing. Pairings of piercings are called bites, and there are many different variations of these. The most popular ones—and the ones you are probably familiar with—are called snake bites. These are piercings below each canine. Shark bites are two piercings below the canine, spider bites are two closely aligned piercings, viper bites are two piercings placed on one side of the mouth…I think you get the idea!
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Upper lip piercings are less common, but they also have their own names. A single stud above the upper lip is called a medusa piercing. A single stud on one side or the other can be called a Monroe piercing or a Madonna piercing, after the beauty marks that their namesakes had. A jestrum piercing is a ring that goes through the upper lip and then out of the jestrum (that part right below your nose).
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Aside from lip piercing, it’s possible to get your tongue and frenulum pierced! You can also get gauges to reveal the inner contents of your mouth. These piercings are notoriously difficult to keep clean…especially since the mouth is full of its own set of bacteria! If you’re someone who always messes with burns or cuts on the inside of your mouth, lip piercings may not be for you.
The best way to accent your entire face is with an eyebrow piercing. This face piercing balances out every feature of the face without drawing attention to itself. Both horizontal and vertical eyebrow piercings are common, and you should pick one based on what you prefer. They have roughly the same impact on the observer, so it’s up to you to determine which look suits you. Anti-eyebrow piercings rest above the cheekbone, beneath the eye. These surface piercings will take a little longer to heal than typical eyebrow piercings. There are also teardrop piercings, but we’ll get into that a little later.
For more information on nose piercings and nose jewelry, check out our Nose Rings article! A nose piercing is usually just a stud on the left or right of the nose, but there are several other locations that are easy to pierce. Bridge piercings rest just between your eyes, going through the bridge of your nose. Nasallang piercings go into one half of the nose and out the other, usually using barbell-type jewelry. Your septum is that middle bar of skin that fades into your jestrum. Septum piercings can be horizontal rings or vertical rings that go through the inner part of the nose.
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Chin and Cheek Piercings
The rest of the different types of face piercings are mostly chin and cheek piercings. What’s more, healing times for these types of piercings vary wildly from person to person and depends on their immune system’s reaction, their nutrition, and their piercing aftercare. A chin piercing normally describes a single stud at the center of the chin, but can also describe any sort of piercing on the chin. Cheek piercings normally talk about two horizontal piercings slightly above and to the side of each side of the mouth. Well, from the front, at least—from the side the piercings would appear squarely in the center of your cheeks, as one might expect!
Dermal piercings refer to any piercings that can’t be clearly named, or simply aren’t common enough to warrant a name. Many dermal piercings rest just below the typical anti-eyebrow piercings, but not low enough to be called a cheek piercing. Piercings that rest behind the eye in a profile view of the face are also called dermal piercings. Teardrop piercings can be anywhere between the anti-eyebrow area and upper cheek area. Most piercers use the cheek bone as a guide for placement, but its exact alignment to the eye changes depending on the piercer’s preference. Since they vary so wildly in location, they are considered dermal piercings, rather than anti-eyebrow piercings.
Female Face Piercings
All piercings are well suited to being worn by both genders. If you enjoy wearing makeup on a certain area of your face, a face piercing is an excellent way to draw attention to your work. On top of that, piercing jewelry can turn an okay makeup job into an awesome one, if you play your cards right. You can follow the guide below to see how piercings affect your image. These are sorted by the place you want to emphasize.
- Eyes: Bridge piercings are the best way to draw attention to your eyes. It’s hard not to see them when they’re right in between the eyes! Teardrop piercings and anti-eyebrow piercings also make your eyes pop.
- Cheeks: Despite their location, cheek piercings don’t make your cheeks stand out. If you want to draw attention to your cheeks, lower nose piercings and dermal piercings closer to your mouth draw attention to the center and side of your face, right where your cheeks are.
- Lips: As one might expect, the best type of piercing to draw attention to your lips are lip piercings! Whether you go with a medusa, a labret, snake bites, or a cute Monroe, any piercing in the immediate vicinity of your lips will make them pop.
More Piercing Types
- Center Of Face: Cheek piercings, lower nose piercings, anti-eyebrow piercings, and any dermal piercings below your cheekbone but above your lips draws attention to the center of your face. A chin piercing also draws attention to central features, since it accents the symmetry of the face.
- Whole Face: Eyebrow piercings, chin piercings, and a single asymmetrical piercing draws attention to the whole face. Balance is important, so when we see that one part of the face is pierced, our eyes are instinctively drawn to the opposite part. That’s why little piercings and piercings on the edge of the face manage to make the whole face shine.
Face Piercing Jewelry
Unlike ears, many face piercings require unique jewelry for each location. It’s worth checking out potential jewelry before you get your face pierced. It helps just to know what kind of design variety you get with different types of piercings. Almost all stores will sell barbells, which are used for bridge piercings, eyebrow piercings, and many custom vertical piercings on the face. The type and size of barbell that you need depends on the shape of your nose and the angle of your piercing. Using the wrong size or shape is possible, but it could permanently stretch the piercing in an undesirable way.
You mix and match studs with relative ease, but take care to pay attention to your backing size. If the back is too short, your piercing could close up around it, and in worst cases, the body could begin absorbing the jewelry. You easily avoid this if you change your jewelry frequently, though. If the stud is too long and you want to use it for a lip piercing or a nose piercing, you could end up damaging the inside of your nose or mouth.
Choosing Your Face Piercings
Nose rings are the most varied of face piercing jewelry. They can be small and quaint or huge and luxurious. Many cultures use nose rings as a way to show off wealth, so the number of elaborate and over-the-top designs for nose rings should be more than enough to satisfy any need for variety. It’s also easy to attach chains and accessories to nose rings, but beware—if you get any of your jewelry caught on something, especially while your piercing is still healing, you’re going to be in a world of pain (therefore, chose your piercer/piercing studio wisely!).
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Hopefully, this article helped you sort through the different types of piercings. If you still feel undecided, look into ear piercings or body piercings. See if those suit your fancy more. From the modern age to the stone age, face piercing has always been an art that exuberates beauty, status, dedication, and bravery. Whatever type of face piercing you decide on getting, be proud to join those ranks! You and millions of others are living out a tradition older than history itself.
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