All About Monroe Piercings: Origins, Care, and Styles

The Monroe piercing is a sleek and stylish type of facial piercing that’s quickly becoming very popular for its versatile look. Although it’s more popular among women than men, Monroe piercings tend to look good on any gender.

Located in a part of your face that’s impossible to miss, the Monroe piercing can be eye-catching or understated depending on how you dress it up.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about the Monroe piercing and whether it’s the right choice for you.

What is the Monroe Piercing?

Monroe piercing

A Monroe piercing sits just above the upper lip, either on the left or right side, imitating Marilyn Monroe’s famous beauty spot. People choose this piercing to mirror the iconic actress’s signature look. While its exact position can change based on what someone wants, it usually rests a bit off-center, mimicking a natural beauty mark.

Many wearers choose a stud or small gem to decorate it. Blending old-school glamour with a modern twist, the Monroe piercing has gained popularity among those wanting a quiet but bold facial jewelry statement.

Origin and History of the Monroe Piercing

Marilyn Monroe’s iconic beauty mark above her upper lip inspired the Monroe piercing. While people have loved beauty marks for centuries, associating them with charm, the Monroe piercing only emerged in the late 20th century, riding the wave of the modern body piercing trend in the West.

Pop culture and music played a big part in making such body modifications trendy. The piercing’s name honors Marilyn Monroe, but its popularity and styles have changed over time.

Today, the Monroe piercing represents both a nod to Hollywood’s past and a modern fashion statement.

What’s the Best Jewelry for Monroe Piercings?

There are two main types of Monroe piercing jewelry:

1. Labret Stud

Labret studs for Monroe Piercing
Crystal labret stud. See it here.

Labret studs are the most popular option and can range in size depending on how noticeable you want your piercing to be. The flat backing of a labret stud provides more stability, less movement, and less likelihood of the ring getting snagged on your teeth or damage to your gums.

Simple ball monroe stud
Labret style screw back stud. See it here.

Some studs feature gemstones and crystals, while others are just a plain little ball. The choice is yours.

A simple silver or black stud can look like a beauty mark from a distance, harking back to Marylin Monroe’s beauty mark. Gemstones can add a touch of color to your face while a shaped stud (like a star or heart design) can add detail and beauty to your piercing. It’s best to avoid red studs as these can look like a rash or pimple.

In terms of stud fastenings, Monroe studs can have push-in, screw-on and or internal threading fastenings. Choose something comfortable and easy for you to handle.

2. Hoop

Dainty hoop earrings
Dainty hoops for Monroe piercing. See it here.

While a hoop can give attitude and a badass look to any piercing, it needs to be worn with care. A hoop wrapping around your lip can be a recipe for disaster if you aren’t careful. Imagine the number of things that could get caught in it!

If you do decide to opt for a hoop, do so after your piercing has healed to avoid issues. Be careful when eating or using cutlery and take it off if you find it difficult to manage.

3. Micro Labret Studs

micro labret studs
Micro labret studs. Check price here.

Micro labret studs stand out as a top pick for Monroe piercings because of their subtle and sleek design. They’re shorter and slimmer than the typical labret studs, making them perfect for those who like understated facial jewelry.

Each stud has a flat disc on one side, which rests inside the mouth, and a decorative piece on the outside. Their small size doesn’t just look good; it also reduces the chance of damaging gums or teeth, a common worry with larger pieces. They come in different materials like titanium and bioplast, suiting various skin types and tastes.

With their clean look and the option to swap out tops, many people love using micro labret studs for their Monroe piercings.

4. Ball Closure Rings

ball closure rings
Ball closure rings. Check price here.

Ball closure rings (BCRs) give Monroe piercings a unique touch, moving away from the usual stud style. These rings have a circular metal band that a small ball or bead usually connects. This bead fits snugly between the ring’s ends, keeping the jewelry secure.

Using BCRs for Monroe piercings adds an edgy flair, perfect for those wanting to stand out. But since the Monroe piercing sits close to the mouth, it’s important to pick the right ring size to stay comfortable and avoid disruptions in daily tasks.

The best part? You can swap out the ball in many BCRs with other decorative pieces, letting you customize your look.

5. Gem Studs

gem studs bioflex labret
Gem labret studs. Check price here.

Gem studs add sparkle to Monroe piercings, blending elegance with a modern touch. They often have a small gemstone on the end, catching light and subtly highlighting the piercing. Whether you choose a classic clear stone or a bright colored gem, these studs let you customize your look.

The stud’s back sits snugly inside the mouth, keeping the spotlight on the gem. For those wanting a mix of classic and modern in their Monroe jewelry, gem studs hit the mark, making them a popular pick.

6. Bioplast Labret Studs

bioplast labret studs
Bioplast labret studs. Check price here.

Bioplast labret studs give Monroe piercings a flexible and skin-friendly touch. These studs, crafted from biocompatible plastic, stand out for their hypoallergenic nature. They’re a top pick for people sensitive to metals or those healing from a fresh piercing.

Unlike traditional metal studs, bioplast’s softness reduces the chance of hurting gums or teeth. Its flexibility also eases stress on frequently moving areas near the mouth. You can even customize these studs with different tops, like gemstones or metal balls, blending style with comfort.

7. Push-In Studs

push-in studs
Push-in studs. Check price here.

Push-in studs give Monroe piercings a sleek and secure look. Instead of using threads like older jewelry types, these studs have a decorative end that you just push into a hollow shaft. This design keeps things smooth, so there’s less chance of anything catching or irritating your skin.

If you change your jewelry a lot or get frustrated with threaded pieces, these studs make things easy. With choices ranging from fancy gemstones to simple balls, push-in studs offer a hassle-free and stylish choice for Monroe piercings.

8. Screw-On Studs

screw back studs
Screw-on studs. Check price here.

Screw-on studs give Monroe piercings a classic and sturdy look. These studs have a decorative end that screws right into the shaft, making sure they stay put. This tight fit means less worry about them falling out. Plus, you can easily change the decorative ends to mix up your style or match an outfit.

Though they might need a bit more attention when putting them in compared to other studs, their secure fit wins many fans. From flashy gems to simple metal designs, screw-on studs offer a range of looks while ensuring reliability.

9. Internally Threaded Studs

internally threaded studs
Internally threaded studs. Check price here.

Internally threaded studs offer more comfort and safety for Monroe piercings than traditional externally threaded ones. In these studs, the decorative end has the threads and screws into a hollow post. This design slides in easier, causing less irritation or damage to the piercing.

They’re great for new piercings or for people with sensitive skin. They also stay in place better, reducing the chance of accidental losses. With choices from shiny gems to simple metal balls, these studs give both style and comfort, making them a favorite for many with Monroe piercings.

What Metals are Best For Monroe Piercing Jewelry?

surgical steel labret studs
Surgical steel labret studs. Check price here.

Choosing the right metal for Monroe piercing jewelry ensures a healthy and long-lasting piercing. Surgical stainless steel, especially types 316L or 316LVM, is a popular choice because it’s strong, doesn’t tarnish, and usually doesn’t irritate the skin.

Titanium is another great option because it’s light, doesn’t corrode, and is hypoallergenic, which is perfect for people sensitive to metals. Niobium, which doesn’t react with the skin and stays shiny, is also a good pick. So, for both style and health, these metals are the best bets for Monroe piercings.

Monroe Piercing Pain – Can I Handle It?

gold plated barbell labrets
Gold barbell labrets. Check price here.

Pain is a subjective experience so it’s difficult to pinpoint how exactly you may react to it. However, in general, the Monroe piercing is considered a fairly painful type of lip piercing. For most people, the Monroe piercing causes a sharp, piercing pain that quickly subsides.  However, some people experience no discomfort at all.

One of the main issues with the Monroe piercings is that they can swell quite a bit, because of the fleshiness of the lip area. It’s best if you’re piercing is done with a needle instead of a piercing gun, as these are clean and sharp enough to minimize damage. Piercing guns typically use too much force and have more bacteria, which isn’t ideal for any piercing.

“Every piercing hurts to some extent. After all it’s a needle going through your skin, that’s going to hurt no matter what! I’ve got a high pain tolerance so when I got my Monroe piercing done, it just hart really badly for a few seconds. That was it.”


“I can’t really say if it hurts or not because I got mine done with anaesthesia – so for me, no, the Monroe piercing didn’t hurt at all.”


Monroe Piercing Aftercare

monroe piercing

The Monroe piercing typically takes about 6 to 12 weeks to completely heal, but this can vary and largely depends on how well you look after the piercing.

Because the piercing is in a tricky location that’s prone to infection, you’ll need to look after it carefully and pay attention to how it’s healing. Your Monroe piercing might look like it’s healed from the outside but could be still sore on the inside.

Here are the main steps to take to ensure your Monroe piercing heals quickly:

  • Ensure you follow strict oral hygiene. Brush your teeth regularly and keep your mouth as clean as you can.
  • Avoid kissing and other oral activity as this not only exposes your mouth to bacteria but also can put pressure on the piercing and move it around unnecessarily.
  • Watch that you don’t move the piercing with your tongue or touch it with your hands too much. This can be tempting to do, especially when the piercing is still new, but try to leave it alone as much as possible.
  • If you do touch your piercing, ensure your hands are clean and washed.
  • The Monroe piercing is often too high for you to accidentally bite the jewelry, but it can get caught on your teeth. This is something to be aware of and avoid.

By being organized and diligent, you can help your Monroe piercing to heal quickly.

“I think the aftercare is more annoying than the pain itself. I just felt a sharp sting when getting the piercing done, but I had pain for several weeks every time the Monroe jewelry snagged on my teeth or got wiggled around.”


How Much Does a Monroe Piercing Cost?

Labret monroe stud
Labret Monroe stud. See it here.

The Monroe piercing isn’t a very complicated piercing type, but it’s best to choose a piercer with skill and expertise because if the job isn’t done right, you can have issues with your gums and end up with a piercing that takes longer to heal. This is why it’s worth spending a little more on a skillful piercer.

In general, a Monroe piercing should cost you around $50 dollars but this can vary depending on the piercer.

What are the Pros and Cons of a Monroe Piercing?

If you’re undecided on whether a Monroe piercing is the right choice for you, balancing up the pros and cons should help you make your decision.

Monroe Piercing Pros:

  • Monroe piercings are ideal on their own but they also work well with other facial piercings to create your unique look. It offers a lot of customization options.
  • You can opt for a minimalist aesthetic with a simple stud or a more elaborate style.
  • It’s a cute piercing that’s also very sexy.

Monroe Piercing Cons:

  • Monroe piercings can result in scarring, especially if you select large pieces of jewelry for the piercing. If at any point in time, you decide to take out the Monroe jewelry, you may be left with a scar on your face.
  • It’s not considered professional wear in many work environments.
  • It’s easy to get infections during the healing period of the Monroe piercing because of all the oral bacteria and the amount of movement the Monroe piercing is exposed to.

If your heart is set on a Monroe piercing, there’s no reason not to get one. However, you might want to consider how this will be received in your work context, as this is one piercing that’s quite difficult to hide.

Looking to browse Monroe piercing jewelry? Click here to start your search

Wrapping Up

Inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s iconic beauty mark, many people now choose Monroe piercings as a stylish way to stand out. You can pick where you want the piercing and also have a lot of jewelry options to express yourself. You might like a shiny gem stud or a simple bioplast piece. Give it a try and let this cool piercing speak for your style.

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

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