A polished look starts with the ears, and less is more for everyday wear. A simple pair of diamond, pearl, or cubic zirconia stud earrings give a more polished appearance, and are multi-purpose for both work and play. Wear your hoops, or chandelier earrings for other occasions. Looking luxe is not about size & flashiness.
I adopted this polished style for myself years ago while working in the TV and modeling industries. The one thing that talent agents and TV producers would always say is to keep your earrings simple. The reason is that it allows your face to stand out, which frames the attention on what you're saying... good advice everyone can use. I later learned from watching other well dressed, jet-setting women, that they too lived by this rule as well. WHAT SIZE?: On an everyday basis, opt for a 1/2 carat or 1 carat diamond stud, pearl, or cubic zirconia earring. These are simple choices that will allow you to go big in other areas and wear larger statement necklaces, bracelets and rings. But if you're that super fabulous, over the top type of woman, then go ahead and do you boo with a 2, or 3 carat stud if it makes you happy. DIAMOND, CUBIC ZIRCONIA OR BOTH?: I would suggest you have both, and here's why. We all have natural oils that develop on our body, which of course includes the ears, and most of us at some point have experienced the earring backing getting a little oily and accidentally sliding off with a simple stroke of our hair. I vividly remember being in my car and frantically searching for an earring that had fallen off and slid in between the car seats... just as I was on my way to an important meeting. I eventually stopped looking, so sure it got vacuumed up on my next car wash. LUXURY DIAMOND STUDS: While working in luxury retail I met tons of women who told me their horror stories as well of losing a very expensive earring (like a $10,000 pair or more). FYI: When you're at this luxury price range, most good jewelers will design your diamond studs to have a screw-on stem and backing for extra safety, but still the natural oils on our skin can sometimes prevent the backing from getting a secure seal, and these may slide off as well at times. Moral of the story, clean them regularly with a non-toxic solution (something ammonia free).
Invest in both your diamond earrings and a pair of good quality CZs. Wear your diamonds everyday, then for jogging, traveling, and other rigorous activities wear your CZ studs for safe measure. This way if you lose one, again it's no big deal!
DIAMOND CUT & CLARITY: When choosing a good quality diamond you'll want to look at it through the jeweler's loop to locate any imperfections, and get the quality rating. The Four C's (Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight) are the basic characteristics to consider when choosing a diamond. The cut is probably the most important characteristic, because it has the greatest influence on a diamond's sparkle & shine. If you're a newbie, simply look for any prominent dark charcoal spots visible to the naked eye, because that's how others will be looking at it when you wear them. If any large, prevalent flaws jump out at you, pass on it. No one wants a dull, cloudy, spotted diamond, plus the resale value will be low. WHAT IS CUBIC ZIRCONIA (CZ) MADE OF & HOW TO CHOOSE ONE?: Cubic zirconia (CZ) is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. This synthesized material is usually colorless, and can be made in a variety of different colors. Choose a CZ with a good cut by sticking to ones with more facets (or different cut angles on top). If it has a poor cut, it too will appear dull. Usually ones with flat, simple, straight cuts will not have the same brilliance as a good clarity diamond, unless it's on the higher end. There are companies now that manufacture gorgeous, high-end CZs. A decent CZ pair of earrings can range from $35-$125, with the higher end from $150-$400 depending on the quality and design... but you'll never cry over losing it. We carry nice ones here on our website, and I've purchased some great ones by designers Nicole Miller @ TJ MAXX, Fantasia by DeSerio @ Neiman Marcus Last Call Studios, and some beautiful crystal ones by Swarovski at their retail stores. Look for CZs in a nice setting, with either a 14k gold stem & backing, sterling silver, or surgical steel for longer wear & durability.
PEARL STUDS: A delicate pair of pearl earrings are also a good choice to maintain a clean, polished look. Your choices will either be for the real thing, which would be a fresh water pearl that actually comes out of an oyster, or a fashion simulated pearl made of glass, acrylic, or a heavy plastic material. Fresh water pearls are more expensive and can cost anywhere from $75 - $200 on the lower end, or up to $5,000 and more from designer brands like Belpearl (pic on the right). Most will come in a variety of shades from white, or egg shell, to the silver grayish colored South Sea Tahitian pearls. A lot of older women like pearls as they have always carried the status of being more lady like. Very beautiful with hair in a bun. Now that we've given you the skinny on creating a more polished look starting with the ears, get busy choosing your new fabulous stud earrings. Remember, looking luxe & fabulous is not about how much you spend, but how you select. Less is more whether you're choosing a diamond, CZ, or pearl earring, they're all good options when you know how to look for quality. Smart Shopping Loves!