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Woman with Side Labret Piercing
By Meghan O'Neal 02/18/2020

In the ‘90s, the punk scene made the side labret piercing popular. It was almost strange to see spiked, neon hair on a head without a side labret piercing. The hoop or circular barbell wrapped around the side of the bottom lip became a symbol of youthful rebellion and freedom.

Since then, the rising popularity of body piercings has allowed the side labret piercing style to bleed into other cultural groups, making it more of a mainstream look rather than an alternative one. Luckily, this paved the way for piercers to create new lip piercings.

However, choice can be a double-edged sword; while you can choose between many lip piercing looks to match your individual style, it’s difficult to decide which is the right one for you.

Ultimately, you’ll have to make that decision for yourself, but we’d like to help you out. Here are five of our favorite lip piercings and the jewelry that goes with them.

For more information on lip piercings, check out our lip piercing guide.

The Madonna/Monroe piercing

Named after the beauty marks of their respective namesakes, the Madonna and the Monroe piercings appear above the upper lip to the left or right of center. They look fantastic with labret studs decorated with charms, gemstones, or simple gold beads.

The great thing about these piercings is that you can either choose larger jewelry options for a bold aesthetic or daintier styles that better emulate the subtle look of a beauty mark. Either way, these piercings create a cute aesthetic that’s a little less edgy than other lip piercing styles.

The Medusa piercing

Named after the Gorgon of Greek mythology able to turn humans into stone with a single look, the Medusa piercing is as thrilling as its namesake. It’s centrally located above the lip in the natural cleft of skin—the philtrum.

The Medusa piercing allows for some exquisite styles. Depending on the size of your philtrum, both dainty and bolder jewelry styles shine. While you can go for subtler looks, we adore the way a large gemstone shines above your lip. This piercing also looks fantastic paired with a septum piercing.

The vertical labret piercing

One of the few lip piercings to pierce the lip itself, the vertical labret piercing offers a new take on the classic labret piercing. It consists of an entry hole through the center of the bottom lip and an exit point through the skin beneath the lip.

We love this piercing because it’s truly one of a kind. While other lip piercings go through the skin surrounding the lips, this one decorates the lip itself. Because of this, you can have fun pairing your jewelry with fun lip colors and taking advantage of the double pierced look by choosing curved barbells that feature a simple bead on one end and a charm or gemstone on the other.

The jestrum piercing

Essentially the opposite of the vertical labret piercing, the jestrum piercing has an entry hole where the Medusa takes place and an exit hole through the upper lip. When you’re looking for something that’s truly unique, you should consider the jestrum

Like the vertical labret piercing, the double pierced aesthetic begs for bold curved barbell styles. Decorate it with gemstones, opals, pearls, or other fun beads, or choose a curved barbell with a simple bead at one end and a charm or gemstone at the other.

Spider bites

The spider bite piercing is essentially two side labret piercings located closely to one another. You can either get them both at the same time, or if you already have a labret piercing, simply add another next to it for a new aesthetic.

We love the versatility of any double piercing, and spider bites are no different. Choose matching beads, charms, or gemstone labret studs, go bolder with different barbell or hoop looks, or mix and match a combination of both. Double piercings truly allow you to show off your individual style.

When you get tired of your spider bite piercing, you can do the same piercing on the other side of your lip, creating the shark bites piercing. There aren’t many piercings as versatile as this one.

When you want to go bold with your body jewelry, then lip piercings are the way to go. But, with so many to choose from, deciding on the right style can be difficult. If you’re still struggling to find the lip piercing for you, check out our Instagram page for inspiration.

Meghan O'Neal

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