Previously reserved for crims and circus freaks, piercings have re-emerged as a popular fashion accessory for the everyday person. Whether it’s a simple ear stud, a lip ring, a cheeky tongue piercing or something completely wild and unique such as a multi-piercing piece or a dermal pattern, both guys and girls are rocking them. The options out there are endless, and new concepts are emerging all the time.
Auckland is home to a zillion piercing studios and while it may be hard to choose your piercing, it may be even harder to choose your piercer. Who do you trust with your body? Who is the safest, cleanest and most precise? Thankfully, we’ve tracked down the most respected and revered professionals in the industry. Whatever your next piercing adventure may be, you can trust these bad boys and gals to give you the best experience possible.
Streetwise is the go-to for a fault-proof piercing experience. Opening in 1995 as New Zealand’s first-ever piercing studio, these guys are the pioneers. With owner Shane Johnson’s name sprawled across the wall and the jewellery counter glistening with expensive pieces of precious stones set into gold, this studio is more reminiscent of a high-end jewellery dealer than a piercing parlour. Here you can get anything from a simple lobe piercing or dermal anchor to surface piercings and more complex work involving multiple piercings and delicate precision work. For those looking for more extreme types of body modification, Streetwise also cater to dermal punching, scarification and pearling requests. Fancy becoming a body piercer yourself? Streetwise run five-day workshops, teaching aspiring body-piercers all the basics.
The Tattooed Heart
Situated on K’ Rd, inhabiting the space that previously housed Illicit, you’ll find The Tattooed Heart. The shop may be different, bearing a new name and design, but the dedication to all things body mods has remained. Just like its predecessor Illicit, The Tattooed Heart is definitely a top dog in the piercing business. Their resident piercer, Jess, is at the shop every Tuesday through to Saturday, working her magic. Single piercings, multi-piercings, surface piercings and dermals—she can do it all! The shop stocks a wide range of jewellery, all implant grade, so all you cats with sensitive and hyper-allergic skin can get pierced, too! And if you have a specific piece of jewellery in mind, the friendly staff can help you order custom! The Tattooed Heart are New Zealand’s only suppliers of luxury jewellery brand BVLA. Seen a cool piece of jewellery on Instagram and looking for something similar? Chances are, The Tattooed Heart can help you!
Running two shops located on either side of Queen St, Ballistic pierce plenty of punters on the daily. Ballistic is home to one of the most professional and devoted body piercers out there—Blair Turner. With 16 years’ experience in the industry, Blair’s done his fair share of piercings and is constantly trying out new ideas and coming up with original ways to adorn bodies in jewellery. A master of fine piercing, he is the man to approach for sensitive area handling and complex multi-piercing requests. Residing across the road in the sister shop is Blair’s protégé Fay. Fay approaches piercing from an artist's point of view, constantly perfecting her art form as her experience grows.
Looking to get pierced by an absolute legend? Look no further than Sunset Tattoo. Piercing punters right, left, and centre is one of Auckland’s most respected body-piercers—Nic Fletcher. Making his name in the 2000s as Illicit’s chief piercer and suspension enthusiast, Fletcher is known for his perfectionist approach and willingness to try new concepts. On top of regular piercings, dermal anchors and surface piercings, Fletcher is one of the few piercers in Auckland offering dermal punching. Nic is available for walk-ins on Saturdays, or by appointment throughout the week. If you want to feel at ease during your next piercing adventure, entrust it to Sunset—especially if you’re interested in trying out something a little bit different.
Keen On Piercings
100% dedicated to piercing alone, Keen On Piercings are West Auckland’s most trusted piercing studio. With over 17 years’ experience in the industry, these guys do every type of piercing under the sun. Here you can get a simple nose piercing, create a pattern with dermal anchors or pop a piece of jewellery in an unexpected place with a surface bar. The piercings list here is ginormous: tongues and navels, lips and eyebrows, a zillion types of ear piercings and even crazy undertakings such as rhino and nasallang piercings! Keen On Piercings really ARE keen on piercings! With many dedicated customers going back time and again for a taste of their perfectionism, their revered reputation speaks volumes.
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