Facial piercings are a major commitment. For one, they’re always visible, and most can’t be hidden on a day-to-day basis (at least not until they're healed). Plus, it can be hard to figure out exactly what type, size, or color of jewelry to get for your aesthetic. However, when you find yourself with an itch to get a facial piercing, you can look no further than to your favorite celebrities for inspiration. Many currently or used to have nose piercings, and you can find big names sporting lip piercings, eyebrow piercings, and even dermal piercings. We reached out to the experts to learn more about the different types of facial piercings.
Meet the Expert
- Brian Keith Thompson is the proprietor and Chief Piercing Officer of Body Electric Tattoo, a Hollywood landmark situated on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Thompson has provided services to a long list of celebrities including Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Cardi B, and Christina Aguilera.
- Tess Dipple is a professional piercing artist with more than 13 years of experience.
Read on for some of our favorite celebrity facial piercings, from daring to demure.
Bejeweled Septum Ring
A septum piercing is a classic facial piercing. If you like the look of a nostril piercing but want something more impactful, septums are a great choice. By choosing a more ornate piece of jewelry, like the bejeweled nose ring FKA Twigs wears here, you can make a major statement. If you're worried something flashy will take away from the rest of your look, stick to smaller, less reflective jewels. "The septum is a cool piercing because it’s pretty much the only facial piercing you can 'flip up' and hide," says Dipple.
Aesthetically-Pleasing Nostril Piercing
While a nostril piercing is the most common type of facial piercing, that doesn’t mean yours can't stand out from the crowd. Kehlani put a stylish twist on their piercing by choosing a stud with a small jewel, giving the piece a certain lightness. We also love the squared-off design.
Keep in mind, however, that such a common piercing still isn't without some pain. "Facial piercings are a little different than getting your ears pierced," says Thompson. "There can be more swelling on the face, especially around the mouth, but not so much on the nose."
While a lot of septum piercings tend to rely on ornate jewelry to up the impact, you can actually achieve the same effect by going for something more simple. Willow Smith exemplifies this perfectly with her chic ball-closure septum piercing. A simple ring can sometimes feel utilitarian; because this septum jewelry has some design elements, it makes a statement while still feeling minimal. Dipple notes that, with some septum piercings, "sometimes, depending on the jewelry, the person may need an expert to help change their jewelry."
Simple Ring Nostril
If ornate nose jewelry isn’t your thing, but you still like a bit of style, try opting for a simple nose ring. Lauren Jauregui’s thin hoop wraps snugly against her nostril. If you don’t like silver or gold, there are plenty of other options—just about any color you can think of. This type of piercing is perfect for the person who wants to complement their aesthetic without feeling flashy. Keep in mind, though, that even anything as simple as this can yield side effects. "Expect swelling, redness, and a piercing site that is sore and tender to the touch with any piercing," says Dipple.
Natural-Looking Nose Stud
Just because facial piercings are front and center doesn't mean they have to be flashy. Tinashe's simple, natural-looking nose stud pairs beautifully with a bronze smoky eye and a casual topknot. If you're someone who would describe themselves as low-key, this is a great option.
Dipple notes that piercings on some parts of the face might hurt more than others. "Mostly I think cartilage is more sensitive to get pierced compared to areas like earlobes or eyebrows that aren’t usually as painful."
Multiple Nose Piercings
Keke Palmer knows how to own a bold look, and her nose piercings are no exception. Rather than going for one piercing like most people would, Palmer shows us that sometimes more is more. By offsetting the singular stud with two rings on the other nostril, the piercings draw the eye to the nose and offer a unique, edgier look than a single stud or ring.
Lip rings can feel like a big step toward the more rock and roll side of facial piercings, but they can fit just about any aesthetic or style. Here, Lady Gaga shows us just how true that is by pairing her lip ring with multi-colored sunglasses and a casual bun. A lip ring is a great way to instantly spice up your look.
Double Lip Ring
If you're someone who wants to focus on the beauty of the jewelry, opt for a double piercing like the lip rings Cara Delevingne is sporting here. By doubling the number of piercings, you're more likely to draw in the eye, creating a more impactful look.
Facial piercings are far from restricted to the lower half of the face. Eyebrow piercings add instant edge to any look. Stay within the traditional jewelry color palette (silver, gold, or platinum) and your piercing will work with any ensemble.
A Medusa (located directly above the cupid's bow in the indented part of your upper lip) is a subtle way to show your style with a facial piercing, as singer Dev does here. Keep in mind that, being so near the lip, this one can cause more swelling—so be prepared, by staying hydrated prior to your appointment.
The labret (seen here on Christina Aguilera) is a more unique facial piercing—one that might require some help when changing out your jewelry. "In terms of changing it out, I would say it depends on your proficiency level, like how many piercings have or if you’re mechanically inclined," says Thompson." If you’re questionable about it, definitely go see a professional. It's always easier. They’re going to be able to put it in with less trauma. If you can’t make that switch yourself and then can’t get into a studio, and the piercing is fairly new, you could lose that piercing."
Bites, or angel bites, include two single piercings on the upper lip. (these can be identically placed on either side, or closer together, as seen above). This type of piercing is unique in that it requires that jewelry be changed out during the healing process (because the bites are pierced with a larger-than-needed piece of jewelry).
Cheek piercings typically draw attention to the dimples (in fact, they work best when pierced in a face with prominent dimples). Like other facial piercings near the mouth, these require that aftercare be focused both internally (within the mouth) and externally, on the skin.