The term 'curated ear' gets thrown around a lot these days - so what exactly does it mean? In short, the curated ear is an art-form; combining a collection of piercings and jewels that compliment each other to become, in a sense, a work of art as a whole.
I like to think of it, kind of like how you would put an outfit together - you don't just throw on a pair of pants, a top, shoes and a jacket. Instead you coordinate your pieces, so that either your clothes complement each other, or purposely contrast against each other (of course, this doesn't relate to lockdown fashion. There is only one lockdown fashion rule, and that's comfort).
Your chosen piercings and jewels work together as a whole, and it is in this way that the ear becomes a form of personal expression. Every ear has a unique anatomy, so everyone's curated ear will look unique too. For example, the piercings and jewels that suit my anatomy, won't necessary suit your ear (or vice versa) and even if they do - your curated ear would still look completely different.
There is definitely an art to ear curation - it's no longer about an individual piercing alone and it's always great to get the advice from an experienced piercer. Your piercer can then advise you on what would look best for your unique anatomy, and what jewels will suit these placements. Together, you can choose an earscape with great composition, that considers placements and pieces that flatter your face, as well as your already existing piercings.
For example, the stacked lobe is a great placement to add to multiple lobe piercings. This placement can also correct previous piercings that you may be unhappy with (for example, a healed lobe piercing that is not in line with your other piercings can be corrected with a fresh piercing on top - to add symmetry and balance).
Cartilage piercings refer to all ear piercings that are not placed on the lobe. There are so many different cartilage piercings to choose from, and this is where you can really create a unique earscape. Helix piercings are the most well-known cartilage placement, and they compliment multiple lobe piercings perfectly.
Lobe - The lobe refers to the lower, soft part of your ear without cartilage. Lobe piercings include, but are not limited to, the standard single symmetrical placements. If you are looking to optimize this space, a stacked lobe (with one piercing above the other), or high lobe piercings (piercings climbing up the lobe) are a great way to do this.
Helix -The helix refers to the outer, upper ridge of your ear and is harder to the touch than your lobes, as cartilage is present. Helix piercings look great with studs and rings, or a combination of both.
Forward Helix -The forward helix follows on from the helix, and is located at the frontal fold of your ear. This placement is also a cartilage piercing.
Flat Helix - The flat helix is the space between your upper helix and forward helix. As the name suggests, it is an open, flat space - ideal for a statement stud.
Conch -The conch is the curved cartilage, located in between the helix and antitragus. Conch piercings can be placed in the inner, or outer, conch (inside the curve, or along the outer edge). These placements are initially pierced with flat bar, and can be changed to a ring once healed (if the placement allows).
Rook - The rook is the cartilage fold, located next to the forward helix. A ring or a curved barbell are ideal for this piercing.
Daith -The Daith is one of our most-loved cartilage placements - found between the rook and tragus. Curved barbells and rings can be used for this piercing.
Antitragus -The Antitragus is the cartilage fold, found just above the lobe. This placement is pierced with a curved barbell.
Tragus - The tragus is the small fold of cartilage, found in between the lobe and rook. Both studs and rings suit this piercing.
Curating your ear doesn't end after you leave the piercing studio. Piercings, especially cartilage placements, require special love and care for months after your initial piercing. Most importantly, listen to your piercer's advice; you should receive an aftercare form and saline solution when leaving the studio, too.
Keep your new piercing clean, and don't touch it unless you are applying saline solution with freshly-washed hands and a cotton bud. Don't sleep on your fresh piercings, either (we recommend buying a travel pillow to help). During the healing process, you will also be required to downsize your jewellery (the length of the labret/flat-back bar). This is done to ensure that your piercing does not migrate or heal at an unnatural angle.
Curating your ear needs patience - but if you stick to a clean routine and listen to your piercers advice, they will heal beautifully - all in good time.