Emma Chamberlain wore a nose piercing to the 2022 Met Gala
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How To Hide Facial Piercings, From Septum To Nostril Rings

In case there’s a scenario where you need your piercing to go temporarily undercover.

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The belly button piercing revival has certainly arrived amid the Y2K trend surge — and just like with tattoos, once you get one piercing done, you may feel the courageous urge to get more. Facial piercings, in particular, look incredibly cool, but the truth is that some environments still restrict them today, and you might need to figure out how to hide a septum piercing, nose piercing, or other facial piercing.

From nose rings and snakebites to bridge piercings, smileys, eyebrow piercings, and dolphin bites, there are so many options when it comes to getting facial piercings done these days. While nose piercings are no doubt the most common of face piercings, eyebrow and lip piercings have grown in popularity in recent years too, with celebrities often driving trends. In 2021, both Jeon Jungkook of BTS and Lil Nas X unveiled eyebrow piercings. And Willow Smith and FKA Twigs’ septum piercings are still the blueprint when it comes to edgy cool girl style.

While facial piercings have definitely come a long way in mainstream culture and have become far more common and accepted than ever before, there are still scenarios in which people may want to hide their facial piercings. Whether that reason is school, a job, or a grandma with an old school belief system, there are ways to temporarily cover up facial piercings and have them basically look nonexistent without allowing them to close up. Below, you’ll find some ways to safely and efficiently hide facial piercings.

Use Bandages

If you ever played in a recreational soccer league as an elementary or middle schooler and had an ear piercing, this technique may sound familiar. In a pinch, it works wonders. And if your piercing is new and still in the healing phase, this is likely your only option, as you won’t be able to remove the piercing yet. Removing a fresh piercing too early could lead to infection or premature closing of your new piercing.

Start by taking a Q-tip dipped in some alcohol and rub it around your piercing first to remove any oil buildup on your face — you don’t want that trapped in there underneath a bandage with your piercing. For extra protection underneath the bandage, you can also apply some antibacterial ointment, as Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, told Bustle. “It may help to apply a barrier ointment such as Vaseline, Aquaphor, or CeraVe healing ointment to the skin around the piercing to protect [it] and minimize the chance of irritation and sensitivity,” she said.

Finally, place a small circular bandage (often advertised for use on blisters and tiny cuts) or a standard size bandage cut to fit the size of your piercing to make it less noticeable. Even if you do use a full size traditional bandage, it’s really no big deal. If anyone asks, you can always go for the “my cat scratched me” excuse.

Use Makeup

Concealer and foundation are your best friends here. Applying both in shades that are a complete match to your skin tone, as opposed to the slightly lighter shade of concealer you might own for using underneath your eyes, is key. Using full-coverage formulas will help, too.

However, regardless of whether your piercing is fresh or healed, you should stay clear of putting makeup directly onto or around your piercing, as it can cause infection. “Once healed, you want to keep them clean and free of makeup, skin products, and anything that may irritate the area of become trapped around the piercing,” professional body piercer and piercing educator Lynn Loheide told Elite Daily.

If you do opt for the makeup route for an extra seamless look, stick a trimmed bandage on top of your piercing before applying any product. If you’re covering up a small stud in particular, such as in a nostril or labret piercing, you might consider sticking on one of those small blister-sized bandages mentioned above or even a pimple patch, and then covering it with makeup.

Use A Piercing Retainer

Piercing retainers are the best option for concealment once your piercing is fully healed and you can remove it. They are clear and skin-colored silicone or dental-grade acrylic placeholders for your piercing. They are designed to be discreet while keeping your piercing open and come in a variety of shapes for different piercings.

Most clear piercing retainers will be basically undetectable on your face, but you might even consider getting a dark brown one for smaller piercings, such as for replacing a nose stud, that will make it look like a freckle or beauty mark on your skin.

Opt For Piercings That Are Easy To Hide

If you are in love with the idea of getting a facial piercing but are already anticipating having to cover it up in some instances, consider getting one that is easily concealable without any of the above tips and tricks.

An example is a septum nose ring, which can be flipped, pushed slightly up into your nostrils, and hidden behind the skin of your septum. A smiley or frenulum piercing (on the flap of tissue that connects the inside of your upper lip with your upper gum) can also be flipped inside your mouth and hidden behind your upper lip. And if you have the capability of styling your hair part, you can definitely hide an eyebrow piercing with bangs or some fringe.

Whatever your reasoning to hide a facial piercing may be, it’s important to remember that you should feel comfortable and unashamed in your piercing a majority of the time. You can always consider removing it or wearing fake piercings. Piercings, like clothing, tattoos, and makeup, are just another way of expressing yourself, and if you have to cover up that part of your persona most of the time, it’s going to feel like a major bummer. You might just be better off waiting until your lifestyle allow you to fully embrace your personal style without consequence.

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