Things to Do in Seoul: A Brow-Baring Post! (Eyebrow Tattoo)

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!!

imageI couldn’t bring myself to go through it the second time around… and this is something that I still regret today!

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!

 

UPDATED 2014.11.23
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~~
Tel: 82-2-889-2100

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.

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UPDATED 2015.11.02
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.


 

UPDATED 2016.09.17

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’.

Updated price list @ Sep 2016
Updated price list @ Sep 2016

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.

UPDATED 2017.04.12

Please read the comments from Chloe below. Looks like the shop has relocated last month, so do communicate with them via Kakaotalk to find out their new address and also latest prices.

77 comments Add yours
  1. Hi BB,

    Thanks so much for your informative review :) just wondering if you could post the address for natural.b? I clicked on your link but it doesn’t work.

    Thanks so much,
    C

  2. Hi!
    Like C, I’m interested in Natural.B services but tried googleing but just couldn’t get their address.. would be great if you share the address. Thank you :)

  3. Hey Clarissa and Annelise,
    I’ve fixed the link and also updated the post with Natural.B’s contact number and also attached the namecard at the end of the post. Do check it out.

    It’s a very local salon and I don’t think many foreigners know about it, so doubt we’ll get much info online, not in english anyway.

    1. hey jenny!
      no, not that i know of. but think it’s still Ok to try it, coz they have photos and all to show you what package you want and how much. basically itz just choosing the normal (cheaper) embroidery or the 3D embroidery (recommended coz more natural).

      and once you’ve decided on your package, the beautician will use eyebrow pencil to sketch your brows, you can then let her know if you’re ok with it, or if you want them thicker, thinner, straighter, or whatever. can easily use body language or draw it out to show her.

      they will do it according to what they draw with the eyebrow pencil ^^

  4. I did my eyebrow embroidery at a clinic in gangnam and i ended up looking like a la bi xiao xing and I’m a guy. How long does it takes for the dye to subside and will it be thinner after a few days?

    1. hi! did you just do it? i suppose you muat have done the usual embroidery? yea, with this type, the brows will look very unnaturally thick for the first 5-7 days. don’t worry, it’s normal… just have to bear with it for a bit and the tattoo will lighten.

      the 3D type is a lot more natural and you won’t feel as self-conscious even right after the embroidery. not as lasting though ^^

  5. I’m going to seoul in May and wanted to get the eyebrows done. You suggested 3D, how long does it last? I like the natural feather like eyebrows. I live in Canada, so cannot travel to seoul that often. Do they speak English? I’ m originally from Hong Kong. Thank you for the great info on Seoul and recommendations. Much appreciated!

    1. yo melissa! check out my earlier reply to jenny about whether they speak english ^^

      as for how long the 3D brow embroidery lasts, should be about 6 – 12 months. it partly depends on your own skin too. it tends to be less lasting for peeps with oilier skin. but can safely assume they will last at least six months, thereafter you probably need to use eyebrow pencil to pencil in the faded parts.

      but do note that eyebrow tatts usually require a second visit, recommended to be 10-14 days after the first visit. how long is your trip?

      1. Hi BB, any idea what would happen if i didnt go back for the 2nd visit? I will only be there for 8 days, so thinking it wont be enough time to have 2 visits.

  6. Hi..

    I’m planning for Seoul trip this year for a week only. Do you think is possible to have the 3D eyebrow embroidery done?.
    Thanks ya.

    1. hey miria!
      gotta first say i ain’t an expert, so i can only share with you what my personal experience has been and also what i’ve learnt or heard. you might wanna check with the salons for more accurate info ^^

      actually, the second session should be done 14-30 days’ time. but it IS possible to do it sooner, except that some people may still be feeling some soreness and pain after the first session, and having the second round so soon after may hurt more.

      but it’s really up to the individual. everyone’s threshold to pain and reaction to the tattoo are different, like for me, it didn’t hurt much at all, and i didn’t feel pain the day after. but the pain was more intense for one of my friends.

      anyway, i have a friend who’s in seoul right now and she also went to have her brows done at Natural.B. her trip’s only 8-9 days, so i guess it’s possible.

      do try and space out your appointments so that your first appointment is at the beginning of your trip.

      let me know how it goes! ^^

    1. hi freedom,
      i remember there was one lady there who can speak english, so hopefully she’s there when you call. otherwise, it’ll be quite hard. if you’re calling only when you’re in seoul, just have your hotel or guesthouse call them on your behalf?

  7. Hi BB,

    Can i confirm you chose the 3D eyebrow tattoo as you mentioned “eyebrow tattoo in your post”? You mentioned the downtime is literally zero so which means after the session, it looks natural? Can you share with me more pics?

    Thanks for sharing,
    Vivian

    1. hi vivian,
      sorry for the late reply, yea, no downtime. for sure, your brows will look darker on the first few days, but they will look natural enough, so you’ll feel conifident enough to go out without feeling self-conscious about it.

      sorry, i didn’t take many pics right after.

  8. Hello. A lot of good information. Do you know what the aftercare tips are, I.e. no drinking or sauna or being in the sun for certain period? Thanks!

    1. hey crystal,
      nope, no downtime, so OK to drink and stay under the sun and all that jazz. if anything, maybe can note these three things:
      1) avoid having the brows coming into contact with water for as long as you can,
      2) apply the cream that almost all salons will provide after eyebrow tattoo or embroidery,
      3) do not scratch

      p.s. the absteinance from alcohol is more for beauty procedures like botox and fillers.

  9. Hi BB,

    When you got your eyeliner tattooed did they also draw it in beforehand to show you what it would look like? Thanks~

    1. hey angela,
      yup, they will draw and shape your brows with eyebrow pencil to get to the shape that you want. that’s why even if you can’t speak korean, it’s fine, coz you can gesture OK or not OK once you’ve drawn your brows.

  10. Hi BB,

    May i ask why did you choose Natural B? Is it because they have good reviews? I am thinking of trying a clinic in gangnam called Lee and Chreum Skin clinic but am unsure if they will be reliable…. Would really appreciate if you could advise me! Thank you so much!

    Chris

    1. oops! totally forgot to reply you, chris…! i suppose it’s now way too late, and you probably have gotten your brows done by now, ya? hope everything went well with your choice.

      anyway, i’d gone to Natural B coz a friend of mine was studying in seoul during that time, and she had searched online for eyebrow places with good reviews and this one came up. we also checked out the before/after pics on their blog and were pretty happy with how natural the brows looked.

  11. Hi there,

    I will be going to Seoul this weekend but only for 5 days.
    Do you think it’s fine if i dont return for touch up?
    Since you have friends who went there for 8 days only but still did it at Natural B. Did she return for touch up? if not, how is it…

    Looking forward to your reply

    1. We have 3 type in eyebrow.
      First, 3D eyebrow embroidery is looks like a hair and it last 1~1.5years
      Second, 3D shadow eyebrow embroidery is that make a gradation.
      It last 2 years
      Third, magic combo 3D eyebrow embroidery is first+second. It’s the most natural and long lasting.
      It last 2~3years.
      Mostly the foreigner have third.And the price is
      3D eyebrow embroidery
      250,000₩
      3D shadow eyebrow embroidery
      270,000₩
      Magic combo 6D eyebrow embroidery ㅡ(best.)
      300,000₩
      ✏in cash.
      If you pay for card, It have additional tax(10%)💰

      open am11;00~pm 9:00 (Sunday; off)

      instagram
      https://instagram.com/naturalb8892100

  12. from soul train station, can you tell me which train to get and where to get off. Also the address in English

    1. i don’t have the address in english. you migt wanna refer to the info in the yellow box at the bottom of the blogpost.

      the nearest subway station is silim, and it’s best you make an appointment with them beforehand. try kakaotalk, or PM them on facebook (https://m.facebook.com/skincare.nb.5)

      i had gone back last november. a friend’s mom and her friend also went in may. they seem relatively satisfied with the results. so, luckz!

    1. HiRose,
      Sorry, I missed this comment. Well, why do it in Korea if you don’t want Korean-looking brows? I think they prefer the more natural looking type of brows, so they tend to shape them thicker and straighter than the traditional Western style (characteristed by thinner brows with a arch, hehe, I call it the forever-surprised look)

    1. Hey L,
      i really wouldn’t recommend any coz I’ve yet to try out Korean 3D embroidery in Singapore. There’s a famous Japanese one offering this service with similar techniques though. Very very expensive, although I did hear it’s good.

      Quite a few bloggers have tried that Japanese brand and also some Korean ones. I guess you can just google ^^

  13. I am there today on 29 Sep 16, prices have gone up AGAIN Magic 3D 330,000! No cash discount. Not sure if they have given me English menu.

  14. Hi , thank you for the wonderful post…I going on the 7th this month, jus wondering if you have any recommendations for any good eye brow tattooing saloons in Myeongdong area as I b staying in this area ? Pls advise!

  15. Thank you so much for the update. Your review really helped me for the eyebrows question and inspire me for the food ^^
    Do Natural B includes the after car kit in their prices or would you have to pay extra for it ?
    A reader from France, in love with korea

      1. Hi Chloe of Natural B,

        I’m this Laurence from Kakaotalk who contacted you yesterday. I already booked for the 18th of september 2017 ! (Yes, it’s me 😊).

        Sorry, i want to write care kit (after care kit like cream to apply on the new tattoed eyebrows) and. not car kit 😆😅

  16. Hi! Really liked your review of Natural B so I went for it last week at your recommendation. The price now has gone up to a whopping ₩300000 for cash for Magic 3D eyebrow embroidery. However, just want to share there’s actually down time. Not sure if I got the same beautician as you, but my brows were done so dark and coarse I even looked like 藍筆小新 for almost a week! Not too good for me as that was the 3rd day of my 10 days in Korea :-( So it’s been a week now but my brows still look coarse though lighter. A layer had peeled off. Can’t say it’s natural looking though. I certainly hope it’s going to get thinner than it currently is… language is definitely a barrier here. They couldn’t understand my needs too. I wonder perhaps the difference in experience is due to the different types of brows we have? Mine was quite bare so perhaps she has to fill more?

    1. Oh linda I’m sorry to hear that;(
      I will explain everyting. I’m chloe in natural.B.
      I work at natural.B But I’m going on a business trip often. so sorry.
      I think that I was going on a business trip that day.(Linda coming day)
      So you have a problem in communication. so sorry:(
      Do you come our shop again?
      I will fill the eyebrow.
      Please contact our kakao talk.

  17. Hi, unfortunately, prices have gone up again! I have just checked with them and here is their reply.

    ✔We have 3 type in eyebrow.
    👉First, 3D eyebrow embroidery is looks like a hair and it last 1~1.5years
    👉Second, 3D shadow eyebrow embroidery is that make a gradation.
    It last 2 years
    👉Third, magic combo 3D eyebrow embroidery is first+second. It’s the most natural and long lasting.
    It last 2~3years.
    Mostly the foreigner have third.And the price is
    📍3D eyebrow embroidery
    250,000₩
    📍3D shadow eyebrow embroidery
    270,000₩
    📍Magic combo 3D eyebrow embroidery ㅡ(best.)
    300,000₩
    ✏in cash.
    If you pay for card, It have additional tax(10%)💰

    ⏰open am11;00~pm 9:00 (Sunday; off)

    📷👉 instagram
    https://instagram.com/naturalb8892100

    https://instagram.com/naturalb2100

  18. Hi BB,
    After your eyebrow embroidery, is there a need for you to touch up your eyebrows? I have just booked an appt via a korean friend with Naturalb for 7 Jun 2017. However I am concerned that after returning to Spore, and after all the peeling and recovery are over, there are patches on my eyebrows that need to be touch up. It is not possible for me to fly back to Korea to touch up. So how? Go to a salon in spore for touch up or just draw over the patches?

    1. What my friends and I did was to book our appointment on the first day we arrived, and then secure a follow-up appointment for touch-up the day before we left korea. but our trips were usually over a week, so the embroidery would have scabbed by the time of the touch-up appointment.

  19. Hi BB, I”m chloe in Natural.b
    I wanna edit the comment but I cannot see edit or delete button(?)
    so How can I edit my own comment?
    Can you help me?
    I wanna delete our instagram url. and change other site url.

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