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I spent $350 to get my ear professionally styled with new piercings, and it made me wish I'd tried it sooner

The writer holds up a mirror and examines new piercings; Side profile of the writer smiling with new piercings
After years of curiosity, I got customized ear piercings for the first time.
  • I got customized ear piercings at Lulus, a shop in California that offers this unique service.
  • In the consultation, the staff gave me jewelry and piercing suggestions for one of my ears.
  • Though the entire experience was pricey at $350, I can't wait to go back for my other ear.
I'd heard about customized ear-piercing consultations before but had never gotten one.
The writer stands beneath the Lulu's sign and smiles
I went to a shop close to me to get customized ear piercings.

Customized ear piercings, a service curated to match a client's personal style, have gained popularity over the last few years.

TikToks and Instagram posts about the custom service, which accounts for the ear shape, preferred style, and current piercings, have hundreds of thousands of views under hashtags like #curatedear and #piercedandstyled.

The before and after transformations of clients at various piercing shops are definitely interesting, to say the least.

I was curious to see what all the hype was about so I excitedly (and nervously) booked myself a custom ear-piercing session at a shop close to me. 

I already had a few piercings but I wanted to know what an expert would add to my ear.
Side profile of the writer with a red arrow pointing to her lobe piercings
I had mainly lobe piercings I'd gotten over the course of a few years.

I had never put too much thought into my earrings. Prior to the customized service, I had a random collection of ear piercings I accumulated throughout my youth.

I went into the service with three piercings in one ear and four in the other — all but one were in my lobes.

I was excited to work with a professional who'd be thinking about the best aesthetic for my ear.

I chose to get my custom piercing at the California-based shop Lulus.
Lounge with pink chairs and green sofa at Lulu's
I loved the decor inside of Lulus.

I decided to get my new piercings at Lulus Body Piercing, a shop located in Westminster, California.

To book a customized ear-piercing service, I scheduled a consultation through the Lulus website, where I could choose from various available appointment times. I selected a Thursday appointment at 11 a.m. and arrived about 15 minutes early.

There was also an option to get a virtual consultation, which was $100 on its own. However, an in-person consultation at Lulus is technically free, as the only costs factored into the bill are the prices of jewelry and the piercing service.

I opted for an early appointment because I wanted to avoid crowds and I ended up being the only client there.

When I arrived, I thought the shop was very colorful and feminine. It seemed like Lulus was pouring out goddess energy, which helped me feel braver about the experience.

The consultation was the first part of the experience and I was taken care of very quickly.
Piercers talk with writer over a counter covered with jewelry and one piercer points to writer's ear
The team at Lulus really seemed like they cared about giving me my dream ear look.

I was a bit apprehensive about the process, but the staff was attentive and kind throughout the entire consultation. 

After speaking with the employees, I began to feel a bit more comfortable about getting new piercings.

Lulus had an amazing selection of jewelry.
Dainty gold earrings in a jewelry box on counter at Lulu's
I was happy to see I had so many options when it came to jewelry.

I know it can be intimidating to have someone tell you what looks best on you so I was happy to learn that the process of picking out jewelry and identifying what I liked wasn't too complicated.

The staff made recommendations based on what I said I liked and informed me which pieces would best go with different piercings. The jewelry also varied in price since they were made with different kinds of metals.


I took my time looking through the jewelry at Lulus.
The writer sorts through jewelry at Lulu's
I chose the cutest jewelry I could find.

In the end, I chose 14-carat gold single heart and four-crystal marquise single earrings, which were $100 and $130, respectively.

After I decided what I liked, Lulus staff members suggested what kind of piercings would best flatter my ear.


Though the professionals did the curating, I still felt like I was in control.
A consultant at Lulu's points at writer's ear with a tool
Staff members explained what kind of piercings would best flatter my ear.

An employee named Ilieana had a few suggestions based on my interests but more importantly, she listened to what I really wanted and needed.

Ilieana said that the best piercing for me would be a flat, a type of cartilage piercing located below the ear's upper outer rim. She also suggested a helix, another kind of cartilage piercing, since I wear AirPods daily and she wanted to avoid any piercings that could get in their way.

After speaking with her, I felt ready for my new piercings and jewelry.

After the consultation, it was time to go to the piercing room.
Piercing room at Lulu's
The room was simply decorated.

When it was time for the service, my piercer, Alyssa, walked me back to the piercing room and prepared me for what was coming next.

Everything in the room seemed extremely clean and neat, which was even more reassuring.

Alyssa explained what to expect before I got my flat and helix done.
A piercer speaks with the writer during ear piercing consultation
My piercer explained what I could expect pain-wise.

Alyssa talked me through the whole process and explained what to expect as she began to pierce me.

The needles weren't as bad as I expected.
A piercer wears gloves as she pierces writer's cartilage
Surprisingly, I felt pretty calm during the piercing service.

Alyssa coached me through the whole process and took most of my nerves away.

I focused on my breathing and was shocked by how little pain I actually felt throughout the service.

The entire piercing experience took about five minutes so it was over before I knew it. I was even able to smile during the piercings because they went so smoothly.

Pre-piercing nerves aside, I loved the experience.
The writer holds a mirror and looks at her new piercings
I examined what my new piercings looked like after the service.

After Alyssa was done, she handed me a mirror so I see my new flat and helix piercings. Seeing two new piercings already made me want more.

We sat for a couple of minutes and talked about piercing aftercare and the healing process, which, in my opinion, can be the most stressful part of this type of service.

According to Alyssa, my new piercings can take up to nine months to fully heal. Luckily, I received a saline solution and lots of tips (like not sleeping on my side with the new piercings and avoiding using cotton swabs to clean them) to ensure a speedy recovery.

I love how the flat and helix piercings turned out.
Side profile of the writer and an arrow pointing to her new piercings
I left Lulus with three earrings in one ear.

I walked into Lulu's with an open mind and lots of nerves because I knew new piercings and jewelry would be a commitment and that the healing process requires work on my part.

I'm also not used to having more than one earring in at a time so seeing three pieces of jewelry in my ear at once was a nice change.

Overall, this was such a fun experience and I can't wait to go back for my other ear.
The writer points to her ear in front of pictures of pierced ears at Lulu's
I think customized ear piercings are fun, trendy, and totally worth it.

I'm obsessed with my new piercings and jewelry. I think the flat and helix piercings were a great addition to my ear.

I also think the quality of the jewelry is amazing, as both pieces were made of 14-carat gold, an ideal metal for new piercings that doesn't degrade over time. Overall, the consultation, jewelry, piercings, and take-home saline solution for aftercare cost about $350.

Still, I think the experience was worth every penny and I'd recommend the service to anyone who wants to elevate their style in a unique way.

Earrings can be an amazing accessory and I think the assistance with designing a type of ear blueprint can make all of the difference. I can't wait to go back and get more custom piercings.

Read the original article on Insider

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