Eyelash extensions are very common in Seoul. Every girl with those long amazing eyelashes you see on the subway….all fake! Some girls stick strips on everyday but I have never been able to master them. They always look super fake unless you are amazing at it and buy really nice sets. Any easier alternative is to see a specialist and have fake lashes glued onto your real lashes. It is a painless process that will take a chunk out of your afternoon and aren’t super expensive.
How long do they last?
They usually last around 4-6 weeks. I used to get them done every week, which was awesome, but 2-3 weeks is a good bench mark. The retouch fee is for up to 3 weeks at most places.
Prices vary according to location and style. I’m going to break it into 2 groups.
Kangnam/Apgujeong – Anywhere from 50K to 100K. Retouches anywhere from 25k to not available. I don’t suggest going to Kangnam. I went to about 3 different places when I lived there and got screwed each time. Even though there was a posted retouch fee they charged me full price and said too many had fallen out, bs. Or they said they didn’t do retouches anymore, also bs (price list was on the door). One place scheduled me on a national holiday, I told her it was a holiday but she said it was okay. They were closed and she had me scheduled for the FOLLOWING day and refused to believe she had screwed up (sore spot, always blame the non-native speaker). I continued to receive text advertisements from them for 6 months. Just don’t do it.
Everywhere else in Seoul – Pricing is about the same, 50-100K based on style. Retouches from 30K to unavailable.
Quick USA reference – Around $2o0 to start. I have no idea about retouches.
Where to Go
I highly suggest 2 options. Look at your local nail shops nearby your work or home. You want to go someplace fairly easy to get to. Look for a 속눈썹 sign in the window or price listing. Make sure you ask about RETOUCHES. I won’t go to a shop that doesn’t offer retouches because they are obviously uninterested in customer service or care which leads me to doubt their abilities. Korea is THE country in customer service.
Also, if your friend knows of a great place, tag along!
Option 2 is even easier for you. I have had my eyelashes done in Kangnam, Guuidong, and Hannam. I hated Kangnam, read above in the pricing, and I loved Guui (weekly retouches for 10K but they changed to 3 weeks 30K). However, the Guui girls don’t speak English and it is in a nail shop so not the same girls each time. Their nails were also very beautiful but not very functional, I don’t know HOW they lived. I recently went to a place in Hannamdong, down the street from Itaewon, that was AWESOME. So I’m going to plug her now.
It is called Shu Eyelash. She is in the same building as On the Border and Praha, 4th floor. Look left after getting off the elevator. She has a small shop that she operates alone. She discussed the styles with me, a first, and had pictures so there were no misunderstandings. I asked for longer edges and she had no problem or extra pricing. You can add cubic stones if you want, about 3K per stone. We spoke mainly in Korean but when I was too slow to close my eyes, she said it in English. She also used perfect English sentences randomly throughout so I think her English is better than she admits. She told me I can schedule appointments via KakaoTalk so that is WAY easier than bothering my hubby or trying to butcher Korean on the phone. She also said her English reading is good and even her Japanese clients tend to use English with her.
All in all, I was very impressed by her. I kept asking my friends for a good place in Itaewon but they didn’t know of anywhere except Tiffany’s, which I have heard from EVERYONE to be horrible.
Also, she gives referral discounts. For your first time, tell her you are “Stefanie’s” friend and spread the word to get your own discount ^^
50-60K depending on style and cash gets a discount
33-38K retouch within 3 weeks. Again cash discounts.
YongsanGu Hannamdong 737-37
Go out Itaewon Station Exit 2 and walk. If you pass by a Starbucks, back up to the previous building.
You need to make an appointment! I know, I know. You can’t make an appointment at the doctors office or even get a reservation for a restaurant. But you do need to call or stop by first to make an actual appointment. If you can’t speak Korean, don’t worry, just go to Shu (look above). The first session takes usually around an hour and a half. Sometimes more. I suggest a playlist of music and/or TedTalks. I LOVE TEDTALKS! If you are unfamiliar, google it NOW.
I shouldn’t need to say this but just in case, no eye makeup. If you can go without any makeup at all, that is even better. You will have a quick chat with the woman applying the extensions. If you are lucky, they will have some pictures for you to choose from. Most girls like a “natural” style or “doll” style. I always choose natural but I LOVE the thicker and more dramatic lashes. If you go on TV I suggest the thicker ones. Or if your style is more dramatic, I envy you.
When you lay down on the table/bed she will tape some tissue on your forehead to protect it from the oil on her hands and tape your lower lashes down. Some people use a bunch of tape, others only a couple of strips. She may manipulate your eyelids herself or she may ask you to look up or close your eyes. Some places will also add some under eye cream, extra care. They also tend to use some tape on your upper lids and replace it throughout. That may be more because I have oily lids (random)
Your part is over. You can chat with her or listen to music. I like to leave only one ear bud just in case. I often fall asleep and end up snoring if I’m having sinus problems. I just tell her I have a cold, hehe. Your head may start tilting to one side or she wants you to turn your head. They have no qualms moving your head themselves, no worries. As they places the lashes they usually do both eyes at once to make sure they are even.
If you are getting retouches done, the procedure is the same but there may be some lash tugging, trimming, cutting, etc. The time frame is usually around 40 minutes.
When she is done she will probably say “Sugohessimnida” 수고했습니다. I don’t really know what to say back to that so I sit up, wipe the sleep from my eyes while she hands me a mirror, and admire my new lashes. I always smile and thank her for making them pretty. “nahmu yaebaeseo gomabsibnida” 너무 예뻐서 고맙습니다
If there is something you would like changed, tell her at the retouch appointment. If they seem too long or too curly to you right after, you may absolutely love them in a couple of days. If they are growing out weird and you don’t like it, let her know so she can change the style.
NO OIL!! Unless you want to remove them. No more oil based products around your eyes. I only use Clinique, available at Lotte Department Stores for a little bit more than back home (or a lot based on the product), so I haven’t had any issues.
NO RUBBING You shouldn’t do this anyway, it is bad for your eyes. If you get Lasek/Lasik you need to break yourself of this habit anyway. Also, go for Lasek/Lasik while you are here. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!
COMB THEM You know that little mascara/eyebrow brush you got and never used? Now is the time. After showers and in the morning/night just swipe it through quickly. Easy Peasy, no Cover Girl required.
Dump the Mascara You don’t need it anymore! NO MORE RACCOON EYES!! Wh00t~ Seriously, you won’t want it, don’t clump them up.
Go easy on the eyeliner Your lashes are going to work like eyeliner for you. If you want a smokey eye, I suggest using eyeshadow. If you want a cat eyed look, use eyeliner very carefully and use a cotton swab to remove it later.
DON’T PULL THEM OFF This is my insane habit. I pull out my eyelashes when I’m bored. All of my Asian friends scold me and are almost driven to violence. I broke my nail-biting habit, I can break this one too. It helps that the lashes aren’t cheap. At least I have knuckle cracking left~
Will extensions kill my natural lashes or make them shorter?
No. They need your natural lash to stick to. However, if you do pull them off you will lose some natural lashes in the process. If you let them fall off naturally or use oil/vaseline to take them off, yes your natural lashes will SEEM shorter and thinner. Nothing has happened to them but you are used to longer thicker lashes so by comparison your natural lashes seem sad and disappointing. This is why extensions are addictive.
This is going to be its own post soon but I just want to warn you. You cannot get the tattoo with fake eyelashes. You will have to remove the eyelashes before the tattooing. Before my trip to Bali last year (go if you can) I had the tattoo done about 2 weeks before the trip and the eyelashes done the night before we left. The tattoo is great and look for it in an upcoming post~
If you have any questions or have a great shop you want me to list (or if I forgot something) please let me know. More shops would be great for those of us that live in different areas ^^