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Best Piercing Trends of 2019

The Hands-Down Coolest Ear Piercings We Saw Everywhere This Year

It used to be that — much like tattoos or ripped jeans — piercings were reserved for people with Steven Tyler haircuts, cigarettes, and Sex Pistols jackets. Now, thanks to modern-day celebrities redefining what it means to "look cool," they have become far more mainstream — and anyone with the capacity to play air guitar has been pulling them off with aplomb.

The last few years especially have seen a meteoric rise in ear piercing trends — from where you get it to the sheer number of jewelry you use — and it only got more exciting in 2019. "What makes the piercings [right now] fresh and interesting is this idea of being able to work with what you already have, as opposed to needing to create an entire new look," said Cassi Lopez, piercer at New York Adorned.

Ahead, we've asked NYC's top piercers to share the styles that everyone has been getting this year. Walk this way.

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One of the biggest trends that hit this year, according to Lopez, was vertical lobe piercings — or, put more simply, jewelry that is stacked on top of one another in a vertical position on the earlobe, as opposed to horizontally. This, she says, is a great example of using a piercing you already have and making the design even cooler. "Vertical lobes can generally be placed above or below holes that already exist," she said.

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"These tend to be hidden by hair with ease yet can be pulled out whenever you want it to be shown."

Another huge piercing trend of the moment isn't on the earlobe at all, or even the cartilage, but rather on the inside of people's ears. "It almost feels as if people want stuff that is more subtle but can be shown when they want to," said Ben Tauber, piercer at Maria Tash in NYC, adding that the rook piercing — the area on the inner ridge of the ear cartilage, parallel to the outer rim — is a forerunner in that space. "These tend to be hidden by hair with ease yet can be pulled out whenever you want it to be shown. People have been putting more and more center pieces in the rook area, which I think is awesome. Making that the central point of an entire ear is a fresh and awesome take on the constellation trend."

An orbital piercing is exactly what it sounds like: a combination of two ear piercings connected by one piece of jewelry that creates an orbital shape in the ear. The 2.0 (or, in this case, 2019) version of that features a little more flair — like when they are "accented with a simple diamond or something more elaborate," Lopez said.

Think of this piercing trend like you would your outfit — not every piece has to match exactly, but there are tiny elements of similarity that bring it all together. A good example of this: "When there's a row of studs or rings going up the ear that have a similar shape or color," Lopez said. "They're all different pieces of jewelry, but they still flow together.

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