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Your Guide to an Earring Refresh for Under $100

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

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While tattoo journeys may be too scary to embark on (even ones that fade), piercings are the next best thing. Enter the term earscaping.

What could that even mean? Studs co-founder Lisa Bubbers explains it as “the art and science of stacking your ear with piercings and earrings” and coined it as a very easy way of saying you want an “Instagram-approved” ear.

Studs employee Lexi Sutyak’s earscape.

Thanks to piercing studios such as Studs and New York Adorned, the days of slinking into a tattoo shop to ask for a cartilage piercing only to leave with a thick silver bar for an earring are over. When you book an appointment for a piercing, your piercer is also your stylist. You don’t have to go into it knowing what you want. Instead, there are look books to peruse, options to consider, and trends to discuss. In order to refresh the look, you can consider adding colors, textures, and shapes to the piercings you have. If you have piercings on both ears, maybe mix and match the earrings while playing with similar tones. As Love Adorned piercer Sydney Roda advises, you have to look at your ears “as a canvas.”

With that in mind, we spoke to some people with cool style to find out what earrings are worth adding to your rotation, all for under $100.

$35 and Under

Material: 14-karat white gold, 14-karat yellow gold

Huggies are a godsend when it comes second and third piercings, especially since they sit closer to the lobe, and these mini-hoops from Mejuri are so sleek and cool that you won’t regret adding them to your earring roster.

Material: 18-karat gold-plated brass

Libby Rounds, the piercing manager at Love Adorned, likes adding chains to their ears for movement. Chain earrings are great for any piercing whether a lobe, upper ear, or even inner ear.

Material: 14-karat gold-filled stud, sterling-silver hoop, gold-vermeil hoop

Handmade in Brooklyn, the earrings from Crumi Stuff are so cute. Whether you’re waking up unsure of the mood or wanting to add some color to your ears, these emotional earrings will do the job and do the job well.

Material: Nickel-free gold finish

These lightweight gold-link earrings from Target are the perfect addition to any jewelry rotation since they’re on trend without breaking the bank.

Material: Gold-plated brass, silver-plated brass

Ashley Garcia Lezcano, the social editor at Refinery29, loves Xio jewelry, especially since it’s affordable and Latina owned. They have an amazing variety, including hoops, studs, and ear cuffs, and have a lot of detailed pieces, including evil eyes, butterflies, and astrology symbols.

Material: Plated recycled brass

A funkier and chunkier huggie that you could wear every day without them boring you.

Material: Plastic, mixed metal

Pearls and bows pair perfectly together, especially in the form of an earring.

From $26

Material: External 14-karat gold-plated or rhodium-plated with internal brass

Studs has an array of huggies that are perfect for second and third piercings, like this thin pair that is adorned with a baguette diamond.

$50 and Under

Material: 18-karat gold-plated brass

A classic twist on a solid hoop, the malaika is a wide, double-set gold hoop that is still lightweight enough to wear all day long.

Material: Nickel- and lead-free gold hoop, silver hoop, rainbow hoop

We’ve all seen initial earrings before but never ones that look like those magnets you used to have on the fridge growing up (in a good way).

Material: Gold-plated brass, silver-plated brass

When it comes to on-trend earrings for a great price, Studs is the place to look. Their array of huggies are unmatched, whether they be cowboy boots, martinis, diamonds, or even burgers.

Material: Brass-plated 18-karat gold, brass-plated 18-karat silver

The internet’s latest obsession is around finding dupes for the Bottega Veneta drop earrings (which retail for over $1,000). This pair is under $55 and looks almost as good as the real thing.

Material: Sterling silver, solid 14-karat yellow gold

A great way to add a “piercing” without actually committing to one is by adding cuffs to the mix. Place them on your ear to replicate a conch or helix piercing or play around with them to emulate multiple piercings at once. This gorgeous option from Catbird comes in both silver and gold for any metal preference you have.

Material: Gold-plated hoop

These hoops are ideal for anyone who loves a martini or just prefers to add color to their outfits via their accessories.

$70 and Under

Material: Gold, silver 

Sometimes you want a single earring over a pair, especially if you prefer an asymmetrical look. For Tanya Ravichandran, “this one [from Maria Black] is a bit more eclectic.”

Material: 14-karat gold-plated brass

Stylist and content creator Jess Xu loves this pair of earrings for everyday wear, especially since they’re hollow on the inside and tarnish free. “They’re weightless and perfectly complement all my fits without me having to think twice,” she says.

Material: Stainless steel

“I get so many compliments on every piece from ARSN, and I love that they focus on silver metals. They’re so unique and instantly edge up any outfit,” says content creator Summer Rachel Warren. “I’m a silver girl through and through.”

Material: Sterling silver, gold-toned finish

Plus-size model Lynley Eilers swears by pearl pendant hoops, and while Eilers’s favorite pair from H&M are currently out of stock, & Other Stories has a great option that comes in silver, too.

Material: 24-karat gold-plated brass

Augusta Thrift owner and content creator Bridget Brown’s go-to earrings are by Justine Clenquet since the brand loves to mix and match different styles and metals.

Material: 18-karat gold-plated brass

This classic bar earring has some sparkle and looks high end, even if it’s under $70.

Material: Gold-plated iron

These are the statement earrings to add to your rotation, but be wary as they’re on the heavier side. Fashion and beauty writer Asia Milia Ware swears by these.

$100 and Under

Material: 18-karat solid-gold vermeil

These climber studs give you the look of more than one piercing without any of the hassle. Made with pearls and topaz, the elegant combination is perfect for any parties you have on your radar or to upgrade your everyday jewelry.

Material: 14-karat gold plating

Emma Pills is known for her colorful jewelry and distinct packaging. These obsession hoops are one of her best sellers and come in four different finishes, including the perfect light pink.

Material: 14-karat gold-coated brass

Give yourself the look of two piercings with one hoop.

Material: 18-karat gold-plated brass, white-gold-plated brass 

Sold as a pair but different earrings, the Lydia earrings are some of the coolest, low-key bejeweled options on the market.

Material: Sterling silver, gold vermeil

These double-layered hoops are light, fun, and an insanely great quality. Get the look of two earrings for one with these dainty hoops.

Material: Rhodium-dipped brass, 14-karat gold on brass

Even if shopping editor Bianca Nieves loves a gold hoop, a few silver hoops have won her over, like this twisted pair from Ana Luisa.

Material: 14-karat gold-plated vermeil

Another bow option, because why not?

Our experts:

Your Guide to an Earring Refresh Under $100