Korea’s deep-rooted affinity for beauty means that salons and clinics offering beauty procedures can be found in abundance. With so many options, it’s difficult to choose a place to get started. This then begs the question: How does one then select a place to offer patronage to? The category today is gel nails, and the biggest factor we’re considering is price, as expected of a broke university student.
Researching Gel Nails in Seoul
It was using these particular search parameters that I found Nail Wizard on Instagram. Nail Wizard is widely touted by many to be one of the cheapest nail salons in Seoul. With single-color gel polish, inclusive of care, costing only a cool 25,000won.
Their Instagram page displayed work that belied quality far beyond the price point. Plus there were plenty of reviews. It was obvious that they had many steady patrons (which is how you know they’re truly good). They also boast a fairly well-known clientele, with plenty of underground rappers like Ash B, Unpretty Rapstar alumni, among them.
I decided to try it out. So, I booked a slot at their Hapjeong branch through DM with their friendly staff member on Kakaotalk. I could very easily complete my booking, especially through filling up the standard form they send to every potential customer. Nail Wizard does collect a fee of up to 30,000won during booking, but the sum is deducted from the final bill.
Choosing a Design
As with any other salon, getting gel nails installed begins with getting rid of any existing designs. They then need to go through the motions of shaping the nails, cleaning the cuticles, and prepping the nails for polish.
Nail Wizard uses a handheld drill to remove old polish. This method typically hurts a lot less than the traditional file soak-off does, and can be very exact. After that comes time to select the design!
Patrons can either bring a specific design they have in mind. Or, they can opt for a design from their Art of the Month boards. Designs from their boards are typically cheaper than if patrons were to request specific designs.
Besides that, there are also the typical gradation. They have French tip and single-color options, with plenty of delightful colors to choose from. Having to make a choice is always difficult here, especially when faced with so many options. But, the friendly nail technicians always try their best to provide useful feedback without imposing their opinions onto customers.
Though I opted for just a single-color polish. It is a procedure that should take a shorter time than hand-drawn designs do. I spent about two hours in the chair. Part of it was because the nail technician assigned to me for the day took great care in shaping my nails and heeded my every instruction carefully. The resulting work is extremely satisfactory. Not to mention, my bill came up to only 35,000won including removal. It was a deal for sure!
Nail Wizard has multiple locations in the Hongdae area of Seoul. Click Here to visit their instagram. To schedule an appointment, all you have to do is send them a DM.
Interested in other Korean fashion trends? Click Here to read all about tooth gems!