This one’s for the ladies out there! (I mean, unless you boys like to get your nails done too, which is obviously totally cool). So it’s finally April, and I decided that I wanted to get some fresh spring nails done to make me feel, well, fresh for spring.
Confession time: the truth is that two of my Korean co-workers come to work with these beautiful, bedazzled nails every month and I’m always extremely jealous. They’re full of colors and glitter and bows and sparkles and… Korea cute overload! While that’s not typically my style, I knew getting a manicure (korean style) was something I needed to do before leaving KR. Last week I finally decided that enough was enough and made an appointment to get my own nails bedazzled (with no jewels, because that’s just not really my thing). I went with a really simple design with dandelions and the experience itself was enough for me to feel the need to tell you about it.
Girls, you have to go to a Korean nail salon. Add it to your bucket list, now.
First of all, you should know that most places ask that you to make a reservation. I’ve meandered into a few different shops in my area and all of them have said that I should call first, but this one that I went to in particular requires all guests to schedule an appointment. I believe it’s a well known franchise, of sorts, scattered throughout the downtown area, and they’re famous for offering decent prices and great service.
A million thanks to my co-worker who is the only reason I even found out about this location. She was gracious enough to make an appointment for me and guide me through the process. Thank goodness because they spoke absolutely no English, but the young lady who took care of my nails was so nice and absolutely lovely. She even let me record the entire experience and was super patient whenever I moved my hands around to maneuver my iPhone camera (so high tech, I know).
Back home in Puerto Rico or when I’m in various states throughout the United States I often get my nails done and opt for a gel manicure. It’s very popular in Korea as well, but they have this half moon style that’s a little different from what I’m used to. I’m learned to love it because it helps keep your nails nice and clean much longer than they normally would simply because they’re not painted all the way to the cuticle, so even after they grow out you’d never know it. I also feel like my nails are stronger than they ever were back home, but we’ll see how long they actually last.
The only thing I didn’t really like about the manicure was the fact that she filed down my nails a lot, and I don’t mean just the tip. She went to town on my actual nails, making them thin and a little flimsy. Now that they’re done and beautiful I feel like they could withstand anything, but I still found it odd that she seemed to make my nails less healthy than they already were? I’m sure there’s a reason for it, but I’m curious to see how they turn out after the gel wears off (let’s get real, after it gets bitten off in the shower… you know you do it, too).
The most impressive part?
All the little additions, like the spring nail dandelions and the half moon shape were drawn by hand! That’s right, she never even used a picture as a guide. I mean, talk about true artistry.
She was so careful and quick, too. I was kind of in shock and I think next time I want to test her skills on a more intricate design, like this one. (Just kidding… as must I like kiwis). What’s kind of cool, also, is that the nail shop has a blog where they list five featured designs each month that will only cost you 30,000 WON as opposed to the typical rates for special hand drawings, sparkles, and jewelry.
The final product:
If you’re looking for a place to visit in Seoul Eat Your Kimchi made a video about “The Best Nail Shop in Korea,” for your viewing pleasure. However, if you’re in Daegu or in any of the surrounding areas, I highly recommend Good Nail Shop in the Bandwoldang area.
Their phone number is: 010-2310-3495
Be sure to have a Korean friend or someone who speaks Korean well enough call up for you to book you an appointment. I promise it’s way worth it!
PS: She made me pose with my hands like that. I swear.