All over Instagram, influencers and jewelry snobs alike are sporting earscapes, and I can’t help but obsess over the look. Think of an earscape as a bracelet-arm-party for the ear, made up of a constellation of piercings climbing their way from lobe to cartilage. Personally, mastering how to wear multiple earrings without looking like I raided my local Claire’s (RIP to the jewelry go-to of my youth!) has always eluded me, but after being tempted one too many times by a cute jewelry ad on Instagram, I finally decided to create my very own earscape. Spoiler alert, I’m fully obsessed with the results.
Prior to this endeavor, I’d been pierced but two times in my life. My Italian mother insisted 6-month-old me wear golden hoops in my ears, so I’ve had my first lobe piercing ever since I can remember. As for my second hole, it was a 13th birthday gift, one I got purely to spite my younger sister who wasn’t allowed to get hers done. Fast-forward to 25 and I haven’t hit up a Piercing Pagoda since, so when it came time to create my luxe, Insta-approved earscape, I wasn’t quite sure where to go. Fortunately I discovered Rowan, a piercing company and jewelry brand that ensures all piercings are performed by a registered nurse who doubles as an ear artist. Safe and creative! I knew they’d be the perfect pick to help me achieve my earscape dreams.
“Piercing is a form of self-expression, and it’s become more and more common for people to have a myriad of piercings, and it’s seen as really beautiful,” says Louisa Schneider, Rowan’s founder. Still, I’m not going to lie—I was high-key nervous to get pierced. After talking to Schneider and Biz Shenk, my nurse and piercer, we numbed my ears using Lidocaine gel and Biz began assessing my ear shape to decide which piercings would suit me best. I wasn’t used to piercings planned based on my ears, not my wants, but that’s the key to nailing a flattering earscape.
“So much of it is personal,” Schneider told me, “so when a Rowan nurse does a skin and ear assessment, they’ll look at your ears and tell you your ears aren’t identical twins, they’re sisters.” Had I asked for a variety of random piercings that didn’t suit my ear shape, the final look wouldn’t seem quite so elevated. We settled on a third lobe piercing and two cartilage piercings around the middle of my ear for the curated earscape of my dreams. I have a few freckles up top that look like piercings, so we chose a mid-ear spot to avoid covering them up. Biz marked and re-marked my ear as many times as I wanted before I gave her the go-ahead, and I felt nervous but excited.
While the topic of piercing often evokes somewhat-terrifying memories of needles and guns, Rowan uses a piercing instrument that’s completely sterile, super quick, and I kid you not, borderline painless. I got all three piercings in a matter of minutes, and while my cartilage piercings were sensitive to the touch, I was able to go about my day at ease. If you’re able to book Rowan for an at-home piercing, I can’t recommend them enough—plus, the trio of earrings I selected (a CZ stone, a pearl, and a tiny cluster of stars) are all cute enough that I’m not dreading the healing time and wishing I could swap them out. I really like them!
Three lobe piercings and two cartilage piercings make for a bold ear, but it wasn’t quite enough to fulfill my extra AF earscape fantasy. Since my fresh piercings all featured smaller studs, I decided to get creative with the two lobe piercings I already had, and threw on a few ear cuffs for some additional faux-piercings. That’s when things really started looking bomb. Rowan has some seriously cute earrings (and a monthly earring subscription box) I can’t wait to put in my new piercings when my ears, but in the meantime, I hit up my go-to, Mejuri, and loaded on the drama for the loaded earscape of my dreams.
Hi, hello, I’m a whole new person now. Not only am I obsessed with my new piercings, but a few cute add-ons and cuffs from Mejuri really helped pull together the look. At first glance, it looks like my five piercings are actually NINE! While I do plan to get more piercings so I can ditch the cuffs and live out my full-time ear constellation fantasy, faking it til I make it is an option I’m more than happy with for the time being. Plus, now that I know piercings don’t have to be painful or stressful, I’m even more inclined to ride the earscape wave.
Check out some of the earrings and ear cuffs I used below, as well as others I plan on snagging once my fresh piercings heal. The best part of an earscape is that once it’s created you can change up your constellation via new earrings as often as you please. While the loaded-on look is a hot trend right now, I can change and/or remove earrings as time passes to keep my ears in style. Seriously, why didn’t I do this sooner?
Mejuri’s Croissant Dôme Hoops were the perfect chunky pick to ground my earscape at the lobe.
The Adina’s Jewels Cascading Pavé Ear Cuff looks like three hoop piercings in one.
Mejuri’s Sapphire Twin Studs are the ultimate way to fake the look of more piercings. It’s just one stud, but it looks like two on the lobe!
The Rowan Berry Stud is definitely going in my third lobe piercing the second I’m allowed to swap styles.
If you’ve only got your first lobe piercing and want to fake the earscape look, try the Sterling Forever Chained Stud Ear Cuff, which connects your real piercing to two ear cuffs by way of a chic chain. So clever and cute!
Mejuri’s Essential Cuff is about as standard as it gets. If you aren’t ready to commit to an aggressive earscape, rock this baby with your usual earrings for just a little extra flair.
If you really want to lean into the “ear constellation” theme, Rowan’s Starburst Stud is an absolute must.
Nordstrom’s Star Cluster Ear Cuffs are done in a crawler style, so they creep up the lobe and take up more space, faking the look of more piercings.
Out of all the ear cuffs I tried, Mejuri’s Dôme Cuff is my fave. My Italian heart loves that chunky flair!
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