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How do I remove starter earrings (by myself)?

I have done this like three times (don't ask) and each time it is a nervous wracking venture. I have also googled excessively each time I do it and it is the same everywhere; people are like WTF why won't they come off???

Starter earrings have a catch in the back which makes them a bitch to pull off, unlike normal stud earrings.

Anyway, this is the way I do it and it is "relatively" painfree:

1. Wash your hands and earlobe with antibacterial soap. Especially your fingers and around the nail area.
2. Lather up a good amount of soap around the back of the earring as lubricant - this will be slippery, but dry your hands before you start and it won't be so bad.
3. Avoid using your nails to hold onto the earring, as they it can't apply the right amount of force. You want to grab onto the front of the earring so you have a good purchase with the sides of your thumb and finger. If you can feel a pinch, shift your grip until you don't. This grip has to feel solid and steady.
4. Rotate the back of the earring so that the curl of the catch aligns with your fingers. Basically it slot into the gaps your finger makes when you pinch. So if you make a duck beak with your fingers, the catch is horizontal. It feels weird, but you get better grip like this. Make sure you aren't pinching your ear lobe and that this grip feels /strong/. It doesn't need to be steady, as you won't be pulling for long.
5. Take a deep breath and brace your hands against the side of your face so your hands won't slip.
6. The hand that holds the catch must pull, strongly - NOT YANK - about 1 second of a strong, solid force. If you have the proper grip on the catch, it will come off. If it doesn't, continue to apply the pressure, but do NOT YANK.
7. It's ok if it doesn't work the first time. Let go, get a better grip.
8. The grip is everything.
9. When it comes off, make sure your wash the earlobe with soap and disinfectant. Put your sleepers in.

For newbies; mind what sleepers you get, I have these "manufactured" sleepers which are utterly shit. Take a look at the sleeper catch - if it's got a small, sharp curved bit, it's far more likely to rip up the tender insides of your ear than anything else. The best ones I find are actually lightweight french hooks. It slides right in and it weighs nothing. I'll wear those for another 4 weeks to let my ear lobes heal up after the trauma of pulling off the starter earrings.
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November 2013

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