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The author's piercing inspiration: Rihanna on the cover of T Magazine.

Who doesn't want to be more like Rihanna? Personally, this is a goal I strive for daily, whether it's her DGAF style or working out to get close to her amazing figure. And when I saw she had a septum piercing with a cool little diamond charm, all I could think was "I WANT ONE TOO."

I contacted my most pierced friend and asked her to point me in the right direction. She suggested I go see Makana at Flying Squid tattoo parlor in the Heights. I made an appointment and got myself mentally prepared. I haven't had anything pierced since getting my earlobes done as a baby. I was pretty scared, but you have to suffer for style, right?

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The author modeling her septum piercing.

Image: Hala Daher

Makana had me choose my jewelry and I went with a simple captive ball ring. She also carries circular barbells that can be tucked into the nostrils if you need to hide it from a conservative employer. When it was time, my friend held my hand while Makana stuck two fingers in my nostrils to feel for the "sweet spot"—the part of the septum that is made of skin and not cartilage. She marked the spot and used a hollow rounded needle to make the piercing. I was expecting pain but it surprisingly didn't hurt. It felt more like I was suppressing a sneeze. 

The healing process lasted eight weeks and was complication-free as long as I kept the piercing clean. At first it felt like my nose was constantly running because of the cool metal hanging out of it. I also had a handful of painful moments when I would accidentally bop my nose while changing clothes. I had to relearn how to blow my nose—thankfully I haven't gotten sick yet. I can't imagine it would be comfortable to have a piece of jewelry through my swollen sinuses. 

Reactions to my new nose jewelry was the best part of this experience. My closest friends loved it and told me the septum ring looked totally natural on me. As if I've always had it.  My father bluntly claimed to hate it and kindly asked that I remove it before visiting with family friends. The best reactions were from the people who didn't say anything at all, but just stared at my nose. 

What I love most about the septum ring is how it has elevated my personal style. I always look just a little edgy and interesting, even if I'm in a basic bitch uniform. After my healing period, I got my hands on a simple white gold cuff from Venus by Maria Tash and I wear this full time. It gets me plenty of compliments. I'm constantly seeking out Etsy jewelry makers for something a little more out there for special occasions.

Mostly I want a little diamond charm, just like Rihanna. 

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