Whether you’re a pierced-and-tattooed cognoscente or an earlobes-only novice, you’d most likely agree: the pain of getting pierced? Barely worth mentioning. It’s over in a second; maybe several if you’re getting a more complex jab. (See: industrial bars. That one hurt.) It’s the aftercare that’s the stuff of nightmares. Solution? Ear cuffs. Hear me out.
A fresh piercing is a throbbing, swollen, possibly soon to be pus-filled (if you’re really unlucky or, god forbid, extremely touchy-feely with your hands) wound. Some piercers recommend the LITHA healing method, which pleads for you to “Leave It The Hell Alone”. Some subscribe to warm saline soaks; others, letting the spray of the shower gently glide over said piercing. It’s a decision that needs to be made between you and your piercer. From there, it’s up to you — and, probably, whatever piercing deity duty bound to curse anyone who dares confuse bumps for keloids — to ward off any incoming infection. Just don’t touch! If you must, wash your hands first!
But the easiest piercing aftercare? Not getting pierced at all. And if you’ve been eying up conch and auricle and helix piercings, here’s a tip from someone who’s also been saving a considerable amount of gems and stones and moodboard imagery into her named-and-categorised Pinterest boards: Consider an ear cuff first. You’d get the look without the pain; without committing to anything semi-permanent; without having to Learn How To Sleep On One Side Only. Then, if you’re still itching for the jab, you’ll know for sure.
Tattoo parlours are closed anyways!
Look Ma, No Holes:
Jump To / Table of Contents
- Anissa Kermiche's 'Pêche Glacée' 14-Karat Gold Ear Cuff
- Jennifer Fisher's Gold-Plated Ear Cuff (3-pack)
- Bea Bongiasca's Enamel Ear Cuffs (2-pack)
- Fry Powers' The Complete Unicorn Rainbow Ear Cuffs Set (8-pack)
- KATKIM's 'Crescendo Flare' Diamond Ear Cuff
- Nomis' 'Lev' Lab Grown Diamond Ear Cuff
- Philippe Audibert's 'Kason XL' Ear Cuff
- Yvonne Léon's Enamel Ear Cuff
- Jil Sander's 'Brilliance' Ear Cuffs (4-pack)
- Alexander McQueen's Skull Ear Cuff
- Emanuele Bicocchi's Ear Cuff
How beautiful. Anissa Kermiche’s ear cuff is christened “Pêche Glacée” (iced peach, for those who didn’t listen in French class) after the sorbet orange marquise-cut morganite anchored at the top. And if the shimmer and shine of the encrusted pavé diamonds are not enough shimmer and shine for you, perhaps the dangly freshwater pearl — that hangs right alongside the curve of your ear — would be.
The picture is a little misleading. This Jennifer Fisher piece actually comes as three separate cuffs, not as a single segmented design. When worn together, it gives off a very voluminous, Michelin Man-esque effect. Which is a fun way to describe jewellery. But the luxury of a three-count matchy-matchy combo loiters near the realm of styling possibilities. Wear one alone! Wear one on either ear. Two on the left tomorrow. The world is your gold-brass accessorised oyster.
Squiggles: not just for scribbles in the margin of college-lined notebooks or mindless doodles through much-too-long Zoom meetings. Bea Bongiasca’s ear cuffs — deliciously coloured and enamel-coated — make a very serious case for waggly lines that look like something you would’ve dreamt up as a much more impressionable child tasked to draw flowers for Mother’s Day. So fun.
Slide four of Fry Powers’ ear cuffs (that come in this set of eight) on one ear; four on the other for enthusiastically accessorised earscapes that reference the entire spectrum of the rainbow — and then some. Then, pick one colour and base an entire outfit off it. Start with fuchsia pink! Then, make your way through the colour wheel.
It’s not, in fact, sorcery that causes the single diamond pinpricked at the end of this KATKIM ear cuff that makes it look like it’s floating — it’s just a genius masterstroke on a deceptively simple design. The best kind of design! Considering the exacting way this piece must fit to sustain the illusion, some pondering is necessary. You’re going to have to pick the ear you want this piece to sit on: right or left, not both. Unless you get both, of course.
This Nomis ear cuff — its sparkle courtesy of sustainable, lab-grown diamonds — hangs a little lower on the auricle geography than a typical ear cuff would otherwise sit, but that’s what makes it so special. Another thing that makes it special? It can be worn as a ring, too.
If it’s something sculptural you’re after, Philippe Audibert’s Kason XL ear cuff corkscrews into a doubled-up design that looks like something out of a work-in-process art experiment; a spiralling wired installation that deserves a spot in a white-walled gallery. Or at least an office building’s marbled lobby.
You can almost tell, but this neon green Yvonne Léon ear cuff coils into a shape of a heart. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, but also a perfect token in reference to the very genesis of the Yvonne Léon brand, which was founded by Léon through a fascination with jewellery inspired by a childhood watching her father craft jewellery for her mother. Adorable.
Write-ups for Jil Sander presentations, as helmed by Luke and Lucie Meiers, often contain the word “monastic”. Sometimes “poetic”. Other times “thoughtful” or “nuanced” or yet another word that hovers near a similar domain. You’d likely expect crafting details, beiges and off-whites and beautifully comforting designs — not ear cuffs that sparkle like this. But how stunning! Encrusted with clear Swarovski crystals, this four-count line-up is composed of slightly differing sizes so you can really pick and choose the effect you’re after: all in, or just a little in.
Rather than nestling into the interior curve like the other ear cuffs on this list, Alexander McQueen’s rendition hangs off the pinnacle of the ear; a diagonally charged design that takes inspiration from the two-entry-point anatomy of an industrial piercing. Or if you’re British, the scaffolding piercing. Either way, it’s badass — and not just because it’s tipped with McQueen’s emblematic skulls on either side of the gemstone.
Like a white-tee-and-jeans combo, this Emanuele Bicocchi ear cuff is simple. Timeless. There are no frills, no froufrou, no refractions of diamond-encrusted light that costs a very pretty penny. Instead, this Bicocchi piece cruises on smooth, polished, 24k gold-plated sterling silver; one that can easily be dressed up, but prefers dressing down. An everyday piece!