I suppose many people do know the importance of brows. Especially women.
Don’t believe me? Just check out THESE PHOTOS.
I know of girlfriends who would not step out of the house without coloring in their brows. But most would have discovered the convenience of eyebrow tattoo by now.
Thank God for technological advancements! Remember those days when eyebrow tattoos would turn a ghastly shade of greenish-gray after a few years? I’d even seen blue ones! I should be grateful I never thought to try those back in those days, so I never had weird-coloured eyebrows.
But that said, one of my (many! jinjja many!) complexes include my eyebrows. Or rather, more specifically, my lack of brows.
It’s actually kindda strange how someone like me with really really thick hair can end up with such sparse eyebrows.
To make things worse, my eyebrows were super hard to draw!
I once went to a professional salon when I was attending a very formal dinner do in Hong Kong many years back…. And after doing my hair, I moved on to do my makeup. Only to have the makeup artist struggle for what seemed like an eternity with my eyebrows!
It wasn’t so cheapo a salon, mind you!
Yup, my brows are that tricky. For one, the brow bones are extremely unbalanced on each side. And then the brow bone of one side is such that it’s quite hard to create a nice shape. Sighs….
Yea, you don’t know my pain…
Anyway, I’ve had eyebrow tattoo for about almost a decade now.
But back then, K-pop and K-dramas weren’t so hot, and hence the influence of Korean beauty wasn’t as big. So most of us were following the rules of ‘Western concept’ beauty, complete with defined eyebrows with arches and nothing too bushy or natural-looking.
I guess you could also describe it is the ‘perpetually surprised look’. Really!! I’ve seen how high the arches are on some women’s brows that they’re forever looking like they’re shocked or something
Here, check out my arches!
Yea, I know, I know, my brows were too thin too.
But hey, 誰沒有過去？
And when you had not much to begin with, you really would be very wary about drawing and colouring in too thick and too much…
Then the whole Korean explosion thingy happened.
Ya, our medicine cabinets and vanity tables used to be full of Japanese or European beauty products, but these days, it would be hard not to see a Korean beauty item, right?
What with the popularity of K-pop and K-dramas, our definition of the perfect Asian beauty has also shifted. Yup, including the eyebrows.
I think the main points of the Korean beauty are porcelain skin that’s fair like snow, natural-looking eyebrows, eyeliner and soft, kissable lips.
Yup, even our eyebrows have been ‘Koreanized’.
So how do Korean eyebrows look like? Natural, even straight with no or not-so-high arches.
They like the youthful and innocent look, and it’s showing in their choice of brows! While I do think that Moon Geun Young’s brows are sometimes a little too dark and bushy, I think most of the female celebs in Korea have beautiful brows!
Check out THIS SUPER CUTE POST BY BONGQIUQIU where she photoshoppped Korean eyebrows onto celebrities, hee!
If you’re really curious about the differences between classic eyebrows and Korean eyebrows, you can also check out this fab video below. And oh, it also shows you how to draw Korean brows.
If watching vids ain’t your thing, you can also click HERE to check out the step-by-step tutorial to draw Korean brows. The blogger said it’s easy…. easy meh???
Believe me, it ain’t so easy if you ain’t got brows to begin with.
And now, people who know me would know that I like going to Japan and Korea. I’ve been to Japan seven times and Korea eleven times.
Ya, eleven times to Korea.
Hehe, it’s got to a point that I don’t even work out anything that resemble an itinerary when I go to Seoul. I don’t do touristy stuff much, and my trips to Seoul are really relaxed. I hardly rush anywhere, or pack too much in a day. It involves lots of checking out places to eat, chilling at cafes and just having easy days and looooong nights.
And oh, I do stuff that most tourists don’t do. Like getting my eyebrows done. I’d done this twice, hehe!
And fwahwahwah, amongst others, I’d even gone to the dentist there! All superb experience and I’m gonna continue checking these services out on my next trip!
Now back to brows…
CLARA BEAUTY SHOP
I’d gone to CLARA’s last year, and it was a good experience. I had also done eyelash extension there too. And a friend tried her eyeliner tattoo service after getting her eyebrows done there and was happy with it.
But Clara works one-woman style in a SOHO environment, and her schedule’s really tight. Not easy to secure an appointment. And she’s somewhere near Jamsil, kindda far from where most of us typically stay when in Seoul. So maybe Clara’s not for everyone.
NATURAL.B BEAUTY SHOP
Back in May this year, I’d gone to Seoul again. Decided to check out NATURAL.B since they offer the 3D eyebrow embroidery service. This gives more natural brows since the technique uses feather strokes that look like hair even close-up.
You can check out the before and after photos of their customers HERE.
The waiting area is quite small, but despite the size, the salon had attempted to create a comfortable space with a slight touch of luxe.
And here, this was the ‘menu’ when I visited Natural.B back in May.
You can see that they have the usual eyebrow tattoo service and also the more natural-looking 3D embroidery type (but this is also lighter and may not be as lasting as the classic type). If you have oily skin, eyebrow tattoos also tend to be less lasting, regardless of the type of tattoo you go for.
And yup, they also offer eyeliner tattoo, lip colour tattoo.
I had gone with two other friends. Two of us got the eyebrow cum eyeliner tattoo package and the other one only did her eyebrows.
Sorrrrry! I’ve forgotten how much it had cost, but hehe, for sure cheaper than in Singapore lah. I think it’s $200 or thereabouts for the eyebrow tattoo.
As for our eyebrow cum eyeliner tattoo, I can’t remember how much it was exactly, but pretty sure it’s S$350 in total or so.
Both the eyebrow and eyeliner tattoo require two sessions.
The first session is the actual tattoo or embroidery session, and then you’re supposed to go back again in approximately 14-30 days’ time for them to touch-up or reshaping in case you’re not happy with the first round.
The process is pretty much what we have here in Singapore.
Once they’ve sat you down to go through the services you require and the prices, they will apply numbing balm rather generously over your brow area and then they’ll stick cellophane over your brow and forehead area. Then wait 15-20 minutes, and you’ll be ready!
Ya, you’ll be looking fairly silly…. like this!
Wah… my eyebags…!!
We’d gone to get our brows done on our first day in Seoul after a red-eye flight. So yea, you can imagine how little sleep I had had before that. So don’t judge me ^o^
They’ll check with you what sort of brows you prefer, and then use eyebrow pencil to draw your preferred shape. Then you check the mirror and let them know if you’re happy with it, or want your brows longer, shorter, thicker, with a higher or lower arch, etc etc etc.
Once you’re happy with the drawn brows, they will get to work.
Here, have a look at where the actual tattoo work is done. No individual rooms, just beds separated by partitions.
I wasn’t planning to blog about this, so I didn’t really take the ‘right’ photos to show. Haha, come to think of it, I had not reignited my blogging fire during my Seoul trip *oopsies!*
So… here’s a not-so-good photo of me and my ‘new’ brows. This was taken a few days after the first tattoo session. Sorry about the sunlight making my brows look like they’re half-gone! But I don’t have many solo photos of the days right after the tattoo.
People are always curious about the pain factor.
Coz of the numbing balm they used, I didn’t really feel very severe or sharp pain. Cant’ say I didn’t feel it at all though. I’d say the eyebrow tattoo is very, very bearable and just a teeny weeny bit uncomfortable.
And the downtime for the 3D eyebrow embroidery is quite acceptable! I think it varies from person to person. For me, they’re a little dark during the first few days, but the scabbing started quite soon and I was looking very normal within a week. This is unlike the classic eyebrow tattoo where I had to walk around looking like 藍筆小新 for quite a few days! Another friend took much much longer to even staet scabbing.
But I had problem with the eyeliner tattoo.
It wasn’t painful, but it was EXTREMELY SCARY to me! I mean, just imagine having a very sharp object running across your eyeline, like really really close to your eye.
I just couldn’t really handle the thought or image of having the needle or blade thingy running so closely to my eyes…. that my eyes kept twitching!
The beautician had to really pull and tug at my eyes to steady whilst running the gadget on my eyeline. If she wasn’t careful or if she didn’t have steady hands, the eyeliner could end up all zigzaggy!
But I just could not control my eyelids from twitching. It was the longest 15(?) minutes of my life!!
I should have been braver and gone ahead with it! After all, it didn’t hurt, and it was just uncomfortable.
And it’s over even before you can finish one exciting episode of Running Man!
Hee, you see, I quite like the eyeliner effect, and I regret choosing to do such a thin one.
Ah, guess I’ll just have to wait till the next trip!
So there, this is one of the many un-touristy things that I do when I’m in Seoul, and I highly recommend it!
The Koreans really have the natural eyebrow game down to a perfect pat, and instead of paying such high prices to get ’em done in Singapore, you might as well do it when you’re holidaying in Seoul next!
Oopsies, a few readers wrote to me to say that the link to the Natural.B contact details ain’t working. Sorry! I’ve fixed the link.
Anyway, HERE it is!
네츄럴비 약도- 신림역 3번 출구 ( 파리 바게트 와 던킨도너츠) 사잇길로
들어오시면 삼모 프라임 오피스텔 있습니다~~
꼭 오피스텔로 들어오시기 바랍니다~~
오시기전에 전화 주세요~~
네츄럴비는 100% 예약제 입니다~~
You can get to Natural.B from Sillim subway station, Exit 3. I think they don’t accept walk-in, so please call them for reservation and also to get the exact address.
If you need to make an appointment, you can text them via Kakaotalk (it’s the more popular messaging app in Korea, just like how we use Whatspp). You can write to them in (simple) English, and they will respond in English. Response might not be immediate though, so be patient.
Be sure to check the prices with them as I wrote this blogpost awhile back and I know that they’ve gotten popular with foreigners (partly coz of this blogpost, oops!), so they might adjust prices.
Anyway, Just add this number to your address book and then go find it on your Kakaotalk app +82-10-9960-2100.
Just some quick updates. My friend and I went again last November, and a colleague’s mother also went in May this year and I heard she’s pretty happy with the results. So I guess even though this post is old, the shop’s still there, and results are still OK ^^
Incidentally, some of my friends are in Seoul right now, and one of them went to have her brows done this morning. She said it’s more painful than the last time she did it (yes, there too), but still bearable. 愛美不要命 were her exact words, hurhur!
Anyway, this update is to tell you… PRICES HAVE GONE UP. And they have expanded the types of eyebrow embroidery available. Here, my friend snapped a pic of the ‘menu’.
Four types of brow tattoo services listed right at the top. The first column shows prices if you pay credit card,and the second column (in red) shows prices if you pay by cash.
#1 Semi permanent
It looks lighter, but doesn’t last long, like maybe 3-6 months?
The other 3 types are closer to those korean 3D embroidery services we can find in Singapore, but super expensive if done in Singapore ^^
#2 Magic makeup brows
#3 Suzy brows, LOL! (Yes, THAT singer/actress from girl group, Miss A!)
#4 Magic 3D combo natural brows
Yea, I know, giving you the translation doesn’t help make things any clearer, LOL! Except for maybe #3, coz I suppose most of us know how Suzy looks like. Anyway I understand that they can show you the before/after pics of other customers when you’re there, probably easier if you can see from photos how the four types differ.
But I was told that most foreigners go for the last one Magic 3D combo natural brows coz they last the longest.