Tips on Getting your Nails Done in Korea

On top of makeup, hair, and fashion, how often do we make sure that our hands are looking neat as well? We do almost everything with our hands – eating, holding and using smartphones.

However, we usually never really look at them carefully nor take care of them properly like we should. So how about getting yourself a pretty manicure? It would be really cool to have nice looking nails to stare at every day at work!

I think manicures (or even pedicures) do more than just make our nails presentable. It reflects our grooming priorities.

Having nice-looking nails or manicures show how well we treat ourselves. When we meet someone for the first time, first impressions are important. For example, you sit through a meeting and notice the other person has chipped nails or dirty hands… that might make you believe that this person maybe not be reliable. You may even have doubts about the company and the person in charge due to the way he/she presents themselves. So there’s really no harm in having clean hands and nails, nicely combed hair, and wearing a formal attire to conduct a meeting.

What colors are hot in Korea for 16 S/S season?

Koreans are loving the current trend of pastel colored nails, creative nail art designs, and colorful French manicures. There are actually two different types of French manicures – normal French manicure and deep French manicure. I prefer having deep French manicure because when nails grow out (about 2 weeks later), I can go back to the nail shop and ask them to fix it by trimming it down and putting another layer of gel to make it new once again before I completely remove it. So that lets me have the nails of my preference for about 4 weeks maximum.

  1. Normal French Manicure

  1. “Deep” French Manicure

In addition to French manicures, you’ll be able to find many locals wearing subtle colors and artsy nail art designs, because it is rather different from the solid bold colors usually preferred back in the States. One of the biggest differences about gel nails in Korea (compared to America) is that it is often applied to their own nail; rarely anyone gets fake nail extensions here unless they ask for it (and it’s pretty pricey, too)!

Where do you go to get your nails done in Seoul?

Here are some pictures from one of my recent visits to a local nail shop in Garosugil called “Golden Nail’ right outside Sinsa Station Exit #8. The address is 513-2 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

Nails Garosugil

Jihee’s flowery purple & sparkly silver deep french nails.

As you can see, I chose pastel purple and sparkly silver alternating on each finger to portray a warm, spring look.

The picture below is Cee’s in pastel pink along with point-jewels to portray a lovely and vibrant look.

Friend’s gel nails in pastel pink with bold jewels

Recommended Nail Shop Locations:

  1. Garosugil (Sinsa-dong) 가로수길 (신사동)
  2. Gangnam Station 강남역
  3. Hongdae Area 홍대



Advice from the locals

Try searching for a nail salon on Naver ( in those specific areas listed above (Garosugil, Gangnam, and Hongdae) and you will find some of the best nail shops available with pictures, reviews, and more.

It’d also be great to have a design in mind or take a picture with you to show the person who will be doing your nails. Instagram is a great source for nail inspirations, and you can use this Korean hashtag #젤네일 or #네일아트 to find the right design of your choice.

Getting a manicure or gel nail in Korea can range anywhere from 30,000 KRW to 130,000 KRW depending on what type of nails you want to get done – plain manicure, gel nail, nail art, or any other of your preference. Also, be sure to check if Coupang ( has any discounts available either through the app or online because you may find great deals in local nail shops!

Jihee Park

Jihee Park is the Lead Beauty Editor of K-Beauty Now. Based in the heart of Seoul, her professional expertise and approach in academic, social media, and lifestyle coverage provide compelling articles the community can trust. Translated from Korean to English, bringing you the latest k-beauty news straight from South Korea.