Septum Piercing with Gold Ring

Courtney did this septum piercing last summer. After it was all healed up, her client picked out this rose gold ring with a white opal gem. 
 

septum piercing gold ring opal

Perfect septum piercing with a beautiful gold ring

 
Rose gold and white opal are such a great combination! 

Birthday Helix Piercing! 

Talk about doing your 18th birthday right! This lovely lady had Dan do this piercing for her with a yellow gold Sun Ray from body vision Los Angeles. 
Happy birthday! 

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18th birthday helix piercing!

Stretched Lobes: Best Jewelry for Winter

How to Keep Your Stretched Lobes Healthy and Safe in Cold Weather

As winter approaches in Minnesota, bringing with it cruelly-cold temperatures and desert-like dry air, it’s time to start thinking about what you will wear in your stretched lobes. Earlobes are the most common part of the ear that is stretched, but this information applies to all stretched ear piercings. 


If you live somewhere that doesn’t experience cold temperatures, you can probably wear the any type of jewelry in your stretched lobes all year-round. For those of us who deal with very cold temperature, it is usually wise to avoid wearing jewelry made of certain materials, at least for extended periods of time.


Why Are My Stretched Lobes So Cold?

The blood that flows through your earlobes is what keep them warm and keeps them from freezing when exposed to cold temperatures. The skin at the bottom of stretched lobes, where it is the thinnest, usually has less blood flow than the rest of your earlobes. When you reduce the amount of blood flowing through any type of tissue, you reduce your body’s ability to keep that tissue warm. Without enough blood flow, there is an increased chance of frostbite when your stretched lobes are exposed to extremely cold temperatures.

While short exposure to below-freezing temperatures is probably fine, longer exposure times run the risk of being uncomfortable (best-case scenario) as well as frostbite and tissue death (worst-case scenario). Even though the worst-case may be uncommon, it is a real risk if you spend a lot of time outside with stretched lobes.


Best to Avoid

Metal and glass are both excellent conductors of cold, which means they can be poor choices for wintertime wear. Jewelry made of metal and glass gets colder overall, gets colder faster and stays colder longer than jewelry made of other materials. In the wintertime, we suggest avoiding wearing plugs or other jewelry made of metal and glass outside for extended periods of time.

Better Than Metal, But Careful

Materials such as wood, horn and bone conduct cold much less than glass and metal and therefore are better options in the winter. A potential downside to these materials is that they often don’t react well to sudden, large-temperature changes. When you go from to 0 F outside, to 70 F inside, the sudden temperature change can cause wood, horn and bone jewelry to go through thermal shock. Thermal shock can cause jewelry made of natural materials to warp, crack or completely break…especially if there are any weak spots or irregularities in the materials. Damage from thermal shock is more likely to happen with bone and horn than wood, but it can still definitely happen with wood jewelry. Warping, cracking and breaking is also more likely to happen with hanging designs and eyelets than it is with solid plugs due to the thinner areas hanging designs and eyelets have. While less likely, solid plugs can still crack or break.

Stone Cold

For wintertime wear, we are big fans of stone plugs. Like wood, horn and bone, stone does not conduct cold as well as metal or glass. Stone plugs also tend to tolerate sudden temperature changes better than wood, bone and horn, although it can still crack or break. Like horn, bone and wood jewelry, solid plugs are a better choice than eyelets or hanging designs.

One of the best features about stone is that it can absorb and retain heat from your body and the surrounding air. This means your ears will usually stay a bit warmer for longer, even when you are outside.

Silicone

For those who can wear silicone jewelry in your ears, it can be a good alternative for wintertime. While it doesn’t retain body heat in the same way stone does, it also doesn’t conduct cold very well. This will help keep your lobes from getting cold as quickly.

Some people find that silicone can be drying to their stretched lobes. If that’s the case for you, you may find that the drier winter air only makes that situation worse. If you haven’t worn silicone jewelry before, winter may not be the best time to experiment with it.

Other Considerations for Stretched Lobes

As a general rule, the larger your lobes are stretched, the less blood flow they will have and the greater risk of damage from cold exposure. Everyone is different and it is certainly possible to have thicker, healthier lobes at 1” than someone whose lobes are at at 1/2”. The slower and more carefully you stretched your lobes, the healthier they will usually be and the better they will tolerate very cold weather. The picture below is a great example of heathy, stretched lobes at over 2 inches. Even as healthy as they are, the blood flow is still going to be reduced. 

healthy, stretched lobes

Even a healthy, stretched earlobe can have reduced blood flow.

Regardless of the material you wear in your stretched lobes, we suggest wearing solid plugs instead of eyelets or tunnels for a reaon other than durability. Jewelry that is open in the middle allows cold air to get to both sides of the jewelry and your lobes, causing them to get colder faster and to reach an overall colder temperature. In windy conditions, this issue is made even worse as more cold air is moved across your jewelry and lobes.

If you are going to be out in the cold for a long period of time, you may want to consider not wearing any jewelry at all in your stretched lobes. Going “naked” will allow your natural body heat to keep your lobes as warm as possible without having to work against a cold piece of jewelry.

It’s obviously a great idea to cover your ears with a hat, ear warmer band, ear muffs etc, if you can. There are even a few people/companies making “ear mittens” for the specific purpose of keeping stretched lobes warm in cold weather. We don’t have any experience with a specific version of these “mittens”, but it’s hard to imagine any of them not being at least marginally beneficial.

The warmer you keep your ears, the happier and healthier they will be!

You will spend plenty of time planning (and donning) your winter gear this year, so take a little time to plan (and don) something warm for your ears.
We always have a large selection of stone, silicone, horn, wood and bone jewelry in-stock. If we don’t have exactly what you are looking for, we are always happy to order it at no additional cost.

We would really appreciate it if you would share this blog so we can get the word out to as many people as possible. We want all the stretched lobes to be warm and safe this winter!

Have a great winter!

Body Vision Los Angeles and Maya Jewelry Combined

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Putting together creations from different jewelers that accent and compliment each other is one of our favorite things to do. Over the years we have combined jewelry from companies that weren’t obvious compliments to one another and have been thrilled with how well they work together.

Nobody thinks twice about finding great combinations of clothing or traditional jewelry and we see no reason to treat body piercing and body jewelry any differently.

This particular combination of jewelry from Body Vision Los Angeles and Maya Jewelry was put together and photographed by Nate, one of our piercers. He has a great eye for creating sets of jewelry that compliment and interact with each other in interesting and striking ways.

Blue Lace Agate from Diablo Organics

hanging earrings from Diablo Oranics

hanging earrings from Diablo Oranics

We’ve featured these pieces before, but we loved them so much that we wanted to show them to you guys from some different angles.

The stone is blue lace agate and they are made by Diablo Organics. .We have a pretty extensive selection of the Diablo Organics collection available at the studio. Our specific stock fluctuates pretty quickly due to the popularity of the pieces, but we can alway place a special order (at no additional cost) if we don’t have exactly what you are looking for.

Chrysoprase and Amethyst Flower from BVLA

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A few days age we posted a helix piercing Courtney did with this cherry blossom flower from Body Vision Los Angeles. We love the piece so much we wanted to give you guys a better look at it.

Here it is in all of it’s glory. The petals are of chrysoprase and the center is genuine amethyst.

So pretty!

Fantastic photo by dansteinbacher

Happy Friday!

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Happy Friday, everyone!! Here’s a quick snapshot of some beautiful jewelry to brighten your day!

We’re sorry, but it’s just not…

We received a message, presumably in response to the question we answered the other day:

“There is a place near me as well that does $10 piercings, I’m close with a girl who works there. You have to have money to start out when opening a place right, well the owner had a little more than usual and got good jewelry. But he can do it at $10 because of how wide his clientele ranges. Just thought I should say something because telling everyone it’s low grade when you’ve never personally seen it isnt right.”

We are a successful piercing and tattoo studio that has been open for more than 20 years. While that doesn’t give us first-hand knowledge about the behind-the-scene details of any other studio, it does give us an extensive amount of knowledge, experience and understanding. We have seen a lot of changes in the piercing industry (both good and bad) over our long history. We have seen/heard almost all of the excuses, tricks, scams, smoke-and-mirrors and other shady behavior that people use to try and justify the use of subpar methods/techniques and low-quality, garbage jewelry. Occasionally, someone simply doesn’t know that the jewelry they are using is junk…but most of the time they do…and they continue to put their bottom line before the safety of the people trusting them with their bodies.

Here’s the reality:

With the exception of a few styles of very basic jewelry, a studio can’t purchase high-quality, implant-grade jewelry for less than $10, even if you figure in generous bulk-purchasing discounts, loyalty discounts and professional organization discounts.  So, if a studio is using high-quality jewelry, and doing piercings for $10, that can only mean one thing:

  • They are losing money (or making almost no money) on every piercing they do. 

Keep in mind, we are only talking about the cost of the jewelry at this point. We haven’t even included the cost of the supplies that go into doing the piercing (gloves, gauze, needles, skin prep, sterilization supplies etc) and what the piercer has to get paid to do the piercing. If we factor in those things, they are losing even more money.

No business can stay open for very long if they are losing money on almost every sale.

What is much more likely (and we would almost be willing to bet the future of our business on it) is that they are using low-quality jewelry, (in terms of material and/or craftsmanship) and therefore it doesn’t cost very much…allowing them to make money (even if it’s only a little) when they are only charging $10. 

It’s great that you know someone who works at the shop, and we certainly understand your desire to believe your friend is correct…but, chances are they aren’t. 

Take a minute and try to look at the situation objectively/logically. Which of the scenarios makes the most sense to you and do you honestly think is most likely to be happening? A business owner has chosen to lose money on almost every piercing sale they make….or they are cutting corners and using low-quality jewelry? 

The only other possibility is that they are using rings for almost all of their piercings..and if that’s the case, that shows they are utilizing out-dated and inferior techniques and information. A different, but equally-good, reason to avoid a studio that does piercings for such a low price.

We could go into a lot more detail to try and convince you, but this seems like an easier option:

Ask your friend the name of the company/companies where the shop gets the jewelry they use for initial piercings. If she doesn’t answer with one of the following companies, they are not using acceptable-quality jewelry, even if her boss tells her otherwise:

  • Anatometal (the absolutely best jewelry you can buy)
  • Industrial Strength
  • NeoMetal
  • SM316
  • Body Vision Los Angeles
  • Body Circle Designs
  • Future Primitives
  • LeRoi
  • Intrinsic Precision

(it’s possible we missed someone on this list, but we think that pretty much covers it)

We aren’t trying to pass judgement on your friend or the studio she works at. We understand the desire to look for the best in the people that you care about and to want to believe the things they are associated with are positive and on the up-and-up. Unfortunately, that’s just not likely to be the reality of the situation you described to us. 

Thanks for the question and thanks for listening!!

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You don’t have to use matching jewelry for our BFF celebration tomrrow, but any of these beautiful pieces from Body Vision Los Angeles would soldify your place in the Besties Hall of Fame. From L-R: Mexican fire opal, Oregon sunstone, … Continue reading