When the New York Times reported last week that multiple ear piercings are catching on
big-time with women over 30, I nearly spewed my latte.
If you want a piercing truth, consider this one: By age 50, many of our body parts have started to drop or droop — not just our earlobes, but also our nose tips, our boobs, even the timbre of our voices! And many of us have accelerated that effect through years of wearing heavy earrings, leaving us with stretched-out piercings and elongated lobes.
Because the “Dumbo look” is never attractive, let’s look at some smarter, more sophisticated ways to get earmarked without going back under the needle.
Avoid risky business. Upper-ear piercings may be trendy, but getting them can be treacherous. The cartilage at the top and middle of the ear heals less easily than do lobes, which lack the material; cartilage is also more prone to infection.
Now that mall kiosks and tattoo spas have replaced doctors’ offices as piercing centers, the hygiene can be iffy: If the equipment used for your piercing is contaminated, you could contract blood-borne tetanus, hepatitis or even HIV. Plus, those ear-piercing guns are loud — and painful.
1. Ear cuffs. Just as a cuff bracelet hugs your wrist, ear cuffs hug your ear. Some clip on to frame the entire ear, while others grip only a tiny spot on the rim. Wear one as a solo accent, or as part of a larger array of ear adornments — and keep in mind that there’s no need to match one ear with the other. Options include Rue Gembon Kourt Rose Ear Cuff (top photo this page), Sterling Forever Gold and Pearl Ear Cuff or Luv AJ Shark Tooth Cuff (left).
3. Jackets. If you have the standard single piercing in each lobe, these double-sided studs sandwich your ear, front and back. Replacing the customary ugly “push”
back, the closure is as decorative as the stud; it may dangle from, or even frame, the ear lobe. Thanks to their more equal distribution of weight, jackets tend to correct the Droopy Stud Syndrome that sometimes afflicts thinning older lobes. Jackets are lighter than drops or chandeliers, but they’re every bit as eye-catching. Some candidates to consider: Rue Gembon Babbi Ear Jacket (left) or Pamela Love Turquoise Inlay Horn Earrings.
Asymmetry spoken here. Why not try a simple pearl stud in one ear and a glitzy crawler up the other? Some earring “sets” — among them Humble Chic Crystal Cuff and Pearl Stud Set and the Anderson Ear Crawler Set — are intentionally designed with this offset built in.
More beauty tips for women 50-plus are heading your way in AARP’s new Beauty & Style digital magazine app, debuting in November.
Photos: ruegembon.com; sterlingforever.com; etsy.com; ruegembon.com
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