Are you planning for a pampering trip with your girlfriends / mum or sisters soon? I was just in Korea last month for a Beauty and Wellness trip and had the privilege to experience the best of Beauty and Wellness that Korea has to offer. Today’s post will cover 7 beauty spots and services that we visited which I highly recommend! Maybe you can KIV some spots for your next trip! 😉
Beauté 101 is one of Korea’s top 1-stop shop for all your beauty needs; hair, makeup and nails. Need to prep for a night out in Korea? Fret not – just be in your outfit for the night, factor 2-3 hours with them and you’ll be ready to rock and roll in style, with your tresses, makeup and nails done. I also recommend checking out the nearby alleyways for cute spots for OOTDs like we did! For a basic hair styling, makeup and nails package like I did, it costs 242,000 won (S$298), add another 100,000 won (S$122) to upgrade to a party/special package. Located in Gangam, check out their Facebook page here and be sure to reserve in advance for your slot.
If you’re travelling with your mum or favourite aunt, may I suggest and recommend booking a luxe Facial Spa at Sulwhasoo Flagship Store – Korea’s equivalent of La Mer, whether it’s products, place or service, it won’t disappoint. On the ground floor, you’ll find exhibitions of past and present products and packaging. If you think that the ground floor is astounding, you’ll be further impressed by their second level where #interiorgoals abound. You’ll find a gift wrapping segment followed by an array of current ranges of products which are free for testing followed by a private lounge area where you can sip tea and enjoy testing out the products one by one, including the famed Sulwhasoo – Harmonizen Regenerating Cream which costs 650,000 (S$800). Yes that’s right you didn’t read wrong. After shopping (according to the local staff, the store is very generous with their samples and price after discounts for tourists is even better than airport). Before you’re ushered off for your spa, enjoy a vial of ginseng ampoule (drank, not applied), complemented with a cuppa green tea to balance the bitterness of the ginseng. Following which, you can proceed to their spa level and then into individual rooms which are designed like hotel rooms, with individual shower room. The facial spa begins with a foot soak followed by scrub with their special ginseng body scrub that’s not for sale and only available at the spa – talk about exclusivity! There’s even an iPhone cable charge in the spa room, super thoughtful. After the facial, which ends off with Sulwhasoo’s very thorough skincare regime, you can prep your tresses and apply their in house Sulwhasoo makeup foundation and blusher at the private makeup room. I also love that their staff speak basic conversational english pretty well. Visit them at 650, Sinsadong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
In case you’re wondering what’s in the Sulwhasoo facial, these are my notes – I can’t recall the entire skincare regime at the end as it was too extensive!:
Hot feet soak
White ginseng scrub
After facial skincare:
First treatment essence
(Visit their site if you’d like to find out more about their Beauty Ritual)
Lei Spa is a popular women’s only spa, and rated #7 out of 230 spas and wellness places in Seoul on TripAdvisor. As we were fully made-over after our Beaute101 experience and we were a little short of time during our visit to Spa Lei, we didn’t (want to) experience a full soak, sauna and massage which will ruin our hair and makeup, lol. We did however enjoy a drink and hot feet soak at both their outdoor and indoor foot spa. While their staff speak very limited english, I was very impressed with their 3 floors of facilities ranging from saunas, spa, massage, sleeping rooms, TV rooms, outdoor terrace, cafe, nails services and more – I can imagine it’s a place to hang out with my girlfriends for a whole day just doing sauna, spa, massage, meals, nails and more. For as little as 2000won an hour, it’s no wonder Spa Lei is a hit with both local and tourists alike. Do note that privacy is a huge concern, so you will need to keep your phones in the locker as no phones are allowed in the spa.
If you count yourself a K-beauty lover, no trip to Korea would be complete without visiting Myeong Dong where there’s an endless supply and promotion of all things Korean skincare and makeup. If you’re a fan of new skincare brands, then you must pay a visit to Olive Young who stocks brands that are more under the radar before they are established enough to have their owns stores, such as CNP, WakeWake and ElishaCoy. If you’re like me and a fan of established skincare and makeup brands such as Laneige, EtudeHouse, Clio & TheFaceshop, then it’s best to plan your trip to coincide with Korea’s sales season which is start of October and the next one would be early next year, visit Visit Korea website or Korea Grand Sale website for updates. If you’re planning to buy in bulk, my local friend suggests visiting Duty Free at Lotte Mall for really awesome bulk discounts.
Also, no street shopping is complete without street snacks!I will be writing a separate article on recommended Korean food spots, but thought I should add this in as well. Speaking of street snacks, On my first night in Korea, I’d met up with my friend, Livia for Chimac dinner. Livia works at Charis and she gifted me with a Klairs Mochi Bb cushion, a lightweight foundation – you can get it from my Charis online store here~ Also, I have to mention that you can get lots of awesome Korean snacks at Big Mart at Myeong Dong, opens till 12am!
Second night at Myeong Dong (we were there most nights since it was a stone throw away from our hotel!):
I also recommend staying at Lotte City Myeongdong Hotel which is a 10 minutes walk away from Myeong Dong shopping streets. A relatively new hotel with impeccable and friendly staff service, good breakfast spread, comfortable bedroom and great housekeeping service.
Apart from Myeong Dong, I also recommend paying a visit to Gangnam where you’ll find Style Nanda and many shop fronts with lovely visual merchandising in their windows and having a cuppa coffee at Coffeesmith, just to people watch – the dudes are particularly handsome there, haha.
Style Nanda store:
Club Clio, got the colour I wanted in Celeb Rose which ran out at Olive Young!:
If you have more time, you should also check out Hongdae where there’s more Korean makeup and skincare shops (no surprises, LOL) and more street fashion!
Walked into Labiotte for their wine lipsticks!
Got one of these lipsticks, which is a lovely coral and hydrating formula:
Burnt orange and browns colours are all the rage this fall!:
Came by StyleNanda at Hongdae:
Love these new 3CE liquid lips shades in Lazy, Obsessed & New me, except I’d already bought like 8 lipsticks by this time, so I didn’t purchase any, lol! #onemouthonly
Was super tempted to get this, but would be too creamy/shimmery/oily for SG’s humid weather, so I did not – but if I was staying in Korea would go for this!: Also, Chuu official has nice lip tints!
Have I mentioned that we’ve been treated to only the best in Korea during our trip? The same can be said of our visit to KwangDong Oriental Hospital – we were there on a Friday morning at 9.30am and there were already customers at the counters paying for their oriental medicine dosage/satchets after their check ups. My wellness session with KwangDong Oriental Hospital started with registration, followed by consultation with the doctor, interpreted by a very eloquent lady named Jenny – the doctor then administered my virgin acupuncture experience (pretty painless in fact) on my stiff shoulders and aching calves followed by a cold stone facial spa and hot herbal foot pack – it was an incredible and unique experience to have a cold and hot sensation simultaneously on the opposing ends of my body. I love my experience at KwangDong Oriental Hospital and hope to bring my parents there some day.
Last but not the least, if you’re a fan of whimsical European style, I recommend visiting Herb Island and experiencing the Spa session after lunch and staying until the evening when the place is lit in the night. The Spa session starts off with tea and registration followed by a foot soak, a hot pack experience while laying on a cloth over dried hay (I imagine that’s how Jesus felt when he was a baby in a manger, lol) and ending off with massage (choice of back or feet, I picked feet). Also, the shops are super pretty, if you’re a fan of aromatic oil, scents and tea, it’s a place you can stock up on supplies!
If you enjoyed reading my Beauty and Wellness recommendations, stay tuned to my next post on Korean Food recommendations in Seoul! 😉
If you’d like a chronological update to my Beauty and Wellness Korean Trip visit my Dayre days 272-278 starting here.
Thank you Carolyn and Korean Tourism Organisation Singapore for making the trip to Korea possible!