Rosie's Nose Piercing at Eternal Ink in Boulder, CO
t have a whole lot of body piercings--an 8 gauge tongue piercing that I got in November 1995, and two 14 gauge nipple piercings that I got in January 1999, and a few earlobe piercings. I've been craving another piercing for a very long while. On Tuesday, Dec. 7th, the piercing craving rose to a crescendo, and I could bear it no longer. So, between classes I went over to the Hill (nifty commercial district right across from the university), and headed for Eternal Art (1119 13th St., (303) 786-7070). I'd been interested in that shop since my friend Evan got a very cool tattoo there (Evan's own design--the tattoo artist did an awesome job rendering it on Evan's arm) about a year ago. I stopped in, and chatted with the piercer about getting a nostril piercing.
Random side note: I have heard that women in India pierce the left sides of their noses because they believe it is beneficial for women...kind of like acupuncture, I suppose. (I am not certain how true this is...can anyone help me out? Please email if you have any facts...thanks). Or maybe it has something to do with ayurvedic medicine, or helping your chakras out, or something...I don't know. This 'permanent acupuncture' seemed like a good enough reason to get pierced, and the fact that it looks beautiful is an incredible bonus.
Anyhow, I talked with the piercer at Eternal Art for a little bit. She was very nice and helpful. I don't know her name...she had long, reddish hair, dark skin, a labret piercing, and a small barbell in her left eyebrow. She had a professional demeanor and seemed to be very knowledgeable. Anyhow, I was concerned about the effect a nose piercing might have--I have rather severe allergies year-round, and I have to blow my nose a lot, so I was concerned that a stud or ring in my nostril would impede my nose-blowing activities. She replied that it most likely would cause NO trouble...after a while, you get so used to it that it feels like a part of your nose. I had to get to class to take a final exam, so unfortunately I could not get it done right then. I would have to wait until 9:30 that night, when I got off from work. Sadly, I headed off to class.
After class, I had to go to work...fortunately, I managed to get off from work a few minutes early, and headed back to Eternal Art around 9:30. I was worried that they might close early, or refuse to do the piercing since the autoclaving process takes at least 20 minutes (at least, that's about how long it took at Bound by Design when I got my nipples pierced, but I'm not absolutely certain...). Fortunately, they were still open...the same piercer was there, and she agreed to do the piercing, no problem. I signed the consent form, showed her my drivers' license, and handed over the credit card. $40 was my total - $25 for the piercing, $15 for the nostril screw. I wasn't sure if I should tip her on the total price, or just the cost of the piercing alone, because it was such a simple piercing... I also had no cash with me, which sucked. I recommend bringing cash, in singles, to tip the piercer--if they're awesome, you can give 'em the full 20% or whatever, and if they suck or are mean to you, you can tip accordingly. I didn't want her to think I was stingy or that I wasn't going to tip her--that might not put her in a very good mood. So, I asked her to do another credit card transaction so I could tip her. I didn't feel comfortable doing that, either--what if I gave her a good tip and then she fucked up my piercing anyway? I decided to trust her expertise--she's been piercing for three years--and give her a 20% tip on the entire total, which was $8.
She pulled out a tiny 'clave package from a drawer, which was my nostril screw. She got another package, which contained my needle. Apparently everything was pre-autoclaved. I asked to see the latest results from their autoclave test, and how often they get their autoclave checked. She replied that she did not personally have the results, that some other guy (the owner, I presume) had the results, but they did get the autoclave checked once per month and that the latest test was fine. I didn't feel 100% comfortable with being denied proof of their 'clave results, but I decided to go ahead with it anyway. Everything was sealed and had a little 'clave indicator arrow that changed color when the package was autoclaved...so I chose to trust her.
She took me into the piercing room, which was painted totally black with black linoleum floors, and very poorly lit. There was one lamp in the corner...it was bright, but not reassuringly so. I sat on the piercing table, which was like a doctor's examining table, and she brought the little cart of instruments over to my left side. The piercer (I don't know what her name is) handed me a paper towel and asked me whether I tended to bleed much. "My tongue and nipples hardly bled at all--one or two drops, maybe", I replied, and she responded that sometimes nose piercings can bleed quite a bit. "Because I have to get the nostril screw into the piercing," she explained, "I use a needle that is slightly bigger than the jewelry itself. That way it has some room when I put the jewelry in, but that also makes it bleed a little bit more because the hole doesn't get 'stopped up' right away." She put on gloves, and picked up a cotton swab dipped in what I guessed to be alcohol, and swabbed the outside of my nostril. "Are you going to clean the inside of my nose, too?" I asked. "Nope, it'll be fine," she replied. That didn't exactly put me at ease. I somehow doubted that the inside of my nose was germ-free. Oh well...I didn't want to argue with her or piss her off, so I dropped the subject.
Now it was time to decide placement. She picked up the marker and made a little dot on my left nostril. After looking in the mirror and switching the dot around a couple times, I decided on its placement. She did not change gloves after touching the marker, which I thought was lame. Cross-contamination is not cool. In fact, she kept the same damn gloves on throughout the entire procedure.
She picked up a pair of clamps, told me to take deep breaths, and stuck one little grippy end of the clamps inside my nose. "Aren't you going to use a receiving tube?" I asked. "Nope, I don't use those, all I use are the clamps". Great, I thought. Gory visions of a supersharp piercing needle being rammed into my septum slightly unnerved me. "Take some deep breaths...in through your nose, out through your mouth." I obeyed. The clamp in my nose was sort of cold and felt weird.
I felt a slight pain...slight sting...my eyes welled up. The mild pain briefly peaked when she inserted the jewelry. She started wiping the blood from the piercing with another Q-tip dipped in some sort of solution. The pain was nothing compared to getting my nipples or tongue done. Even donating blood or getting a flu shot hurt more than getting my nostril pierced. There was almost no pain at all. It was kind of disappointing.
She finished dabbing at my newly pierced nose, and I excitedly hopped up to see my new piercing. I wasn't even lightheaded. The endorphin rush was almost unnoticable compared to my nipple and tongue piercings. "Hmmm...I don't have any copies of my aftercare instructions left...let me write those down for you." She quickly jotted down instructions: may use Bactine twice per day for the first week only (because after that, Bactine is far too strong, and will irritate the piercing). Wash the piercing twice per day with an antibacterial soap, such as Dial. Make sure you soak the crusties off of it, rotate the jewelry while cleaning, and rinse thoroughly after using Bactine or soap.
That was it... I thanked her and left the shop. We'll see how my evil allergies fare with this new addition to my nose!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 12 Dec. 1999
in Nose Piercing