The Beauty Extremist: Poking A Hole In A '90s Trend

To pierce or not to pierce?


by Lou Teasdale

The Spice Girls have a lot of scars to answer for. Tongue and eyebrow piercings were the ultimate act of rebellion at the time, and mostly (mine anyway) can be attributed to the influence of Mel B.


A woman with her eyebrow pierced screamed ‘Girl Power’, and after trying – and failing - to convince my headmaster to allow it at school, as soon as I’d finished my last GCSE, I trundled out and got the exact same piercings as Scary Spice; tongue and eyebrow. I can't even remember if they caused me any pain, I was far too caught up in expresssing some of the Mel B rebel in me.

Embarrassing? I say no way. If the Kardashians are the Spice Girls of the twenteens then Kendall Jenner and that nipple piercing is the new Girl Power.


No shock to see that trends come around again and beauty rebels are well into the swing of the next mainstream piercing revival. As common as it is these days to see the hot young things with their nose piercings and stacked up earrings, I think it’s important to keep in mind the fact that punching holes in your face is still an extreme beauty trend - I have the scars in my tongue and eyebrow to prove it. As well as a stretched earlobe… but that’s something I’m hanging onto for now. (Because I don't have much choice)

The difference, 20 years on, is the delicacy of the piercings we’re going for. The more fragile nose hoops and delicate, girly studs are so popular that Maria Tash, who had a pop up fine jewellery and piercing studio at the Josh Wood Atelier, sold out her covetable jewellery within three days. Most women didn’t just go in for a piercing, they went to curate their ears, hanging around for hours, making repeat visits and leaving with piercings they probably weren’t even planning. Laura Baily, Amber and Yasmin le Bon included.

That’s not to say the delicate metalwork on offer isn’t making a heavy statement. I’d say it started at Rodarte SS15, the models were decked out in rows of rings in their eyebrows – glued rather than pierced, lets not forget some of these girls were supermodels for goodness’ sake -  but the statement was made and, I’m predicting, (some of) the masses will follow. 

Fake piercings at @rodarte rly good #greebo 💀💋 @tararotten

A photo posted by Lou Teasdale (@louteasdale) on


If you want to release your inner punk without the commitment of face-holes and a close relationship with surgical spirit, test it out first by copying from the runways and faking it. You can get fake rings from the high street. Claire’s Accessories could well be your first port of call in the high-style game for temporary options. For a more bespoke, Rodarte-style look, find metal rings in craft shops and play around with eyelash glue.

If you decide that a facial piercing is for you, then now is the time for it. Personally, my scars represent phases I've gone through that left me with permanent imperfections, and are part of my life story. Go to recommended piercing studios like Maria Tash or Metalmorphosis and do it properly. Punching a hole in your face is permanent and not something to be done on a whim.

I got quite a hard smack round the face with the reality stick when I ordered a fake ring from with my try-before-you-buy head on. Turns out I don't suit a septum piercing, even though it looks good on this girl! Thank god I didn’t go straight in with a needle, but then, it’s much easier to hide a scar when it’s up your nose, eh?

RG / / @jadextaylor @nylonmag 💜💙✨

A photo posted by Lou Teasdale (@louteasdale) on


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