There's been a noted surge in the demand for body jewellery since cult piercer Maria Tash arrived on UK shores, with her team of needle-wielding stud punchers at the ready. After setting up shop at none other than iconic store Liberty London, they've been expertly piercing the capital's most stylish residents non-stop since their (quite literally) star-studded opening party.
With celebrity piercing-devotees including Gwyneth Paltrow and supermodel Candice Swanepoel, there's something Maria's army of clients all have in common - an ear-full of rings, studs and sparkles with unique placements. Known as the 'curated ear', it's a trend that's growing in popularity - and involves the piercer designing a look using multiple earrings, piercing them all in one appointment rather than one at a time. Ouch!
"I find that women are looking for a deliberate, thoughtful collection of small pieces in each ear, a fine curation of elegant, multiple piercings," Maria tells us. "Very tiny diamond studs and tiny diamond rings in unusual parts of the ear create an unexpected flash of light in hidden areas of the ear. We are also seeing the return, in a more elegant form, of multiple rings going up the lobe to cartilage, especially sneaking them in the unappreciated zone in between the lobe and cartilage (6th-7th earlobe placement)."
The final look is certainly an eye-catching one, and using different sizes, shapes and styles of jewellery allows the wearer to tailor the look completely to them. Set with premium stones such as diamonds and opals, and exclusively designed by Maria, the earrings don't come cheap - but this ultra-luxurious trend shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, celebrity facialist and beauty expert Nichola Joss also recently announced her own piercing venture with jewellery brand Shen London, with the diamond-studded pieces starting at £750 - of which presenter Zoe Ball is a fan. Scroll down to see our favourite 'curations'...
The high first lobe placement
This placement, which has become particularly popular, is called the 'high first lobe' - adding a second piercing vertically above a traditional lobe piercing, rather than moving further up the ear. A significantly cooler way to introduce another stud, it's also a handy trick for anyone whose original piercing is a little off-centre - opt for tiny studs to avoid overcrowding the lobe.
The forward helix piercing
Adding a miniscule hoop to the earhead, or forward helix, gives a unique finish to this curated ear, which also makes use of various placements and a chain earring for a cool-girl look. A different take on the more classic helix piercing (usually on the other side of the ear), it's a good choice for someone looking for something unique without tonnes of piercings.
The conch ring
A conch ring, wrapping around the entire edge of the ear, can look minimally simple with just one neighbouring stud, or can be teamed with a stack of fine rings for a more embellished look. How would you wear yours?
Multiple cartilage piercings
This curated ear features a rook (the inner 'crease' of the ear) and tragus piercing (the bump directly in front of the ear canal) - both popular placements for stud and ring designs. Teamed with two simple lobe piercings, the look is unique without looking overloaded - although there's always room for more…