Sixteen nose studs and one hole. Now that I can change my jewelry without the urge to faint (99% of the time), I think I’ve gotten obsessed. I am always fighting the urge to seek out new body jewelry sites and find the perfect stuff. The most hilarious thing is these studs are all so tiny, they pretty much all look alike when I’m wearing them. A few stand out, like the 2mm white opal I just got today, but mostly because I think 2mm is too large a stone for my face.
I don’t go to malls much so I’m not trying to find cheap studs at Hot Topic or Spencer’s. I do it all online, especially if I can use jewelry sale money through Paypal. I’m kind of a snob about materials – ideally, I want solid 14k or 18k gold so it doesn’t irritate the piercing like silver would. Since I’ve tried a few places I thought I would give you a review of my purchases.
The first stud in the top picture on the left is what I got pierced with, a bezel set diamond in stainless steel, 20 gauge. It was the smallest stud they had but it still sat up a little high for my taste. Part of that was a long post so it would be comfortable with newly pierced swelling but as soon as I could I swapped it out. Of course, bezel set is nice for not having to worry about prongs catching on your sweater when changing.
One of the first places I shopped online was, oddly enough, http://www.newegg.com/ – not really a place body jewelry comes to mind but it turns out they have a ton. I got a 1.2mm smoky quartz in 14k gold that is still one of my favorites, even though the prongs are a little wonky. It came straight and I bent it myself so I could customize the fit. The smoky quartz is on the right, next to the clear retainer. Speaking of which, I hope I never have to use that retainer since it would mean I’m having surgery, an MRI, or a job interview with people who wouldn’t approve of me being me. Anyway, Newegg. Got my new TV from them as well, go figure.
By far I think the most studs have come from http://www.bodycandy.com/ – seven in all, although the two gemstone ones I’m not too happy with. I got the red ruby and the pink sapphire from them and their setting is a little high. Almost more like an earring and I don’t want to look like I’ve stuck an earring in my nose. The sapphire is beautiful and sparkly though. I just wish it sat flatter. The ruby looks more the color of a garnet which disappointed me. (I now use them both as earrings for an odd piercing.) Color is another thing so hard to tell by shopping online. The stones are sooooo tiny but the photos you see show them huge and well lit, not like reality. I’ve found that an issue at every place I’ve shopped. They have great, cheap stainless steel with crystals bezel set as well and those are the blue and green ones in the picture. They don’t sit as high as the gemstones, especially the blue “micro” stud. Plus they were only $1.99! Bodycandy usually has a coupon code and free shipping on orders over $20. The best ones I got from them would be the white gold ball and the yellow gold dome. Small and unobtrusive. What’s inconsistent about their studs though are the post lengths. I suppose everything comes from different manufacturers with different standards of normal. I’m probably done shopping with them at this point because I want more colored gemstones and don’t care for their high settings, but when one of my gold studs broke in my hands right out of the package they were great about sending me a new one fast. Oh, and the plastic retainer came from them too!
My next find was Alluring Body Jewelry out of New Hope, PA http://www.alluringbody.com/ . Pricey treats, but extremely well made. I’ve got four studs from them in 18k gold – a tiny clear diamond, a 1.6mm purple diamond, a 2mm mandarin garnet, and well…they might not be pleased to know this but I modified a rose gold hoop I bought because it turns out that hoops look TERRIBLE on me. The hoop is one with a tiny ball on the end that you are supposed to thread through backward (that right there is an impossible task for me) and the ball keeps it in place so I cut, bent and filed the hoop into an awesome teeny rose gold ball. It was perfect and not something I’d been able to find in any store in that size and color. (I should note that Alluring DOES now offer tiny ball studs in gold and platinum!!!!) They too have the problem of pictures having different colors than reality. The purple is cooler in reality and the mandarin garnet is not orange but yellow. The pluses of these studs are that the ends are extremely smooth making them very comfy to change and the prongs are nearly snag-proof.
Last but not least is my new favorite, http://www.freshtrends.com/ . A ton of choices in not only stones but sizes, gauges, and even the clarity of some of the stones. I’m thinking that for something like a 1.5mm diamond, how much difference in clarity will there noticeably be between the cheapest and most expensive? I ordered two studs to start with to see if I like their work and they came in today. One is the 2mm white opal in white gold that I am currently wearing. Very noticeable because of the size and color but I like it. I have to be careful washing my face because the prongs are long and love cotton balls. Because my nose and I have an agreement that I will not poke it more than once a day, I will try on the cognac diamond tomorrow (that’s the one to the left of the smoky quartz). Not quite the cognac color of the photo but it has great sparkle. Odd thing is, it’s supposedly 1.5mm but the quartz and the diamond on the other side are 1.2mm and they actually look BIGGER. Hm. Maybe settings make a difference or maybe it’s ridiculously hard to be that exact when talking about such small things. In any case, they take Paypal and I got free shipping which made me stupidly happy, even though the coupon code I had was not allowed for gold jewelry. I have several more things I plan to get from them now that I see their stuff and once the Paypal account balance is back up. The diamond setting was nice and low so I expect to like it tomorrow.
Got a favorite place online for nose studs? Do tell. I just can’t help myself!
UPDATE: It’s been over a year and I thought I’d just let you know that cognac diamond stud became my absolute favorite of everything. It’s my everyday stud for the low profile, sparkle, and mellow color that blends in well with my skin tone. Freshtrends seems to have become my go-to place for studs, even though their gold jewelry is made to order so I don’t get gratification as instant as other places. People ask me now and then if I make and sell nose studs yet in my Etsy store – I don’t. I can’t afford solid 14k gold wire and I wouldn’t use anything of a lower quality for a nose stud because I don’t make/sell things that I wouldn’t wear myself. I also have no formal jewelry training in making things like prong settings, so I defer to the pros.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Because I was playing with a lightbox yesterday and wanted to torture myself by taking pictures of things too tiny to focus on (and because someone asked), I bring you the general line up of the most often worn nose studs with the exception of the congac diamond because I’m almost always wearing it. From left to right: 1.2mm diamond, 2mm diamond, pink sapphire (I have two – this is the freshtrends one which sits flatter, but the bodycandy one is brighter), purple diamond, blue diamond, emerald, yellow diamond, garnet, ruby (again, I have two – this is the freshtrends one that sits lower and looks more “ruby” in color), opal and opal. Most of these are from Freshtrends and the blue diamond is probably my runner up favorite. The three from Alluring Body Jewelry would be the small clear diamond farthest on the left, the purple diamond, and the 2mm orange garnet (which unfortunately looks more of a sickly yellow on me – they have citrine now and I’m tempted to try it and see if it is more flattering). Not pictured because I ordered it after this photo, but I have a 3mm clear topaz too.
Last but not least is a comparison for you…1.5mm cognac diamond and 3mm clear topaz, both from freshtrends. The topaz is way too big for my face, unless I plan to be telling fortunes, but it is pretty.