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  • Lynn Kim Do

    Lynn Kim Do

    there's nothing to hide and no one to hide from, especially yourself
















    I embraced every ounce of sun that grazed my face. Inked the palm trees into my mind so it can permanently live there. Sunk into the dirt to ground myself. Whispered prayers to the rocks that must have moved and sang in the hay-days. Sunrises made my knees weak. Sunsets made my limbs and eyes quiver. Hung on to every single word that dripped from my friends’ lips. Quenched it with more rosé when we were thirsty.

    “Lynn, I had a crazy two months,” my friend said. “Yeah, me too," I admitted.

    On two different coasts but problems aren’t biased to weather or landscape. He shared. I shared. He shared again. Then, I. The wine disappearing faster than our minds can think, our mouths can speak. We spilled every ounce of frustration, insecurities, hopes, and desires. I told him I wanted to act. He told me he had plans for TV. We talked blogging. Hated it. Admitted we couldn’t escape it. Gave advice. Or sat and just listened. Depression became a topic. Then our strong admiration for alcohol. Maybe too strong. We dismissed ‘having a problem’. But the most striking tone of our random all-over-the-place chat roulette is the honesty. No judgement. Advice and thoughts given whether asked for or not. And appreciated nonetheless. Not happy with something? We did something about it. Uprooted if we had to. I realized we never settled nor made a home out of our individual unhappiness. Fuck no. He uprooted from his new home to make a new home only to leave again to finally find it. While I left a partnership to pursue it solo and decided to embark a new road many drop off on the wayside. We are the champions of our lives. But it sure doesn’t feel that way, sometimes. “My life feels like a vicious cycle,” he concluded. “No, babe, it’s evolving,” I contracted. We laughed at our own sky high standards we clearly created to make ourselves miserable. And productive. It’s hard on our self-worth and makes us blind to our growth. “You are climbing up this beautiful ladder of life and you think it’s a circle of problem and change and problem and change but I see you climbing and yes, problems will arise but that’s because each step has it’s own set of problems. But these problems are easier. I see that even though it may feel hard for you in this very moment. You're a survivor. You've survived worse. I hope you see it, too.” I had to get him to see it, convinced that it’ll ease his mind. Strangely enough, it was easing mine as well. A conclusion I formed with my ears and heart wide open. A conclusion that helped me, too. And this was a conversation, our entire conversation, in fact. And our entire experience. My entire experience in Los Angeles. We don’t asked to be changed. We change in these subtle moments. In sharing a piece of yourself while receiving another.

    Images by Dathias Godfrey & Kim Geronimo / Assisted by Alithea Castillo


    . December 19, 2017 .

    A Lesson In LA

    . December 19, 2017 .
















    I embraced every ounce of sun that grazed my face. Inked the palm trees into my mind so it can permanently live there. Sunk into the dirt to ground myself. Whispered prayers to the rocks that must have moved and sang in the hay-days. Sunrises made my knees weak. Sunsets made my limbs and eyes quiver. Hung on to every single word that dripped from my friends’ lips. Quenched it with more rosé when we were thirsty.

    “Lynn, I had a crazy two months,” my friend said. “Yeah, me too," I admitted.

    On two different coasts but problems aren’t biased to weather or landscape. He shared. I shared. He shared again. Then, I. The wine disappearing faster than our minds can think, our mouths can speak. We spilled every ounce of frustration, insecurities, hopes, and desires. I told him I wanted to act. He told me he had plans for TV. We talked blogging. Hated it. Admitted we couldn’t escape it. Gave advice. Or sat and just listened. Depression became a topic. Then our strong admiration for alcohol. Maybe too strong. We dismissed ‘having a problem’. But the most striking tone of our random all-over-the-place chat roulette is the honesty. No judgement. Advice and thoughts given whether asked for or not. And appreciated nonetheless. Not happy with something? We did something about it. Uprooted if we had to. I realized we never settled nor made a home out of our individual unhappiness. Fuck no. He uprooted from his new home to make a new home only to leave again to finally find it. While I left a partnership to pursue it solo and decided to embark a new road many drop off on the wayside. We are the champions of our lives. But it sure doesn’t feel that way, sometimes. “My life feels like a vicious cycle,” he concluded. “No, babe, it’s evolving,” I contracted. We laughed at our own sky high standards we clearly created to make ourselves miserable. And productive. It’s hard on our self-worth and makes us blind to our growth. “You are climbing up this beautiful ladder of life and you think it’s a circle of problem and change and problem and change but I see you climbing and yes, problems will arise but that’s because each step has it’s own set of problems. But these problems are easier. I see that even though it may feel hard for you in this very moment. You're a survivor. You've survived worse. I hope you see it, too.” I had to get him to see it, convinced that it’ll ease his mind. Strangely enough, it was easing mine as well. A conclusion I formed with my ears and heart wide open. A conclusion that helped me, too. And this was a conversation, our entire conversation, in fact. And our entire experience. My entire experience in Los Angeles. We don’t asked to be changed. We change in these subtle moments. In sharing a piece of yourself while receiving another.

    Images by Dathias Godfrey & Kim Geronimo / Assisted by Alithea Castillo


    . December 13, 2017 .









    When people ask you what you’re passionate about, do you hesitate before saying whatever it is that comes to your mind after intense probing? When you look into the future, do you draw blanks? Yeah, me too. For the longest time, I never understood the idea of passion. I felt like I was passionate about everything and then nothing at the same time. I would then feel empty again. Doing things, working on things, just for the sake of doing it, continuing it. Because what I hate more than this rollercoaster of feelings is not finishing something I started. So I work from project to project, heart to heart, one occupation to the next within the creative industry. I felt guilty for not being ultimately happy for the jobs I was and am doing. I felt guilty because I wasn’t, perhaps, grateful enough. I was making money. I was creating. I was being appreciated for my ideas (for the most part). But I knew in the pit of my stomach, I wasn’t being fed. I would eat and eat, but I was sustaining. I wasn’t thriving. But I should be happy to be fed at all, right? So I came to terms with it. After-all, a drawback to being a Jane of all trades is that you become a master of none.

    There’s a better ending to this story, I promise.

    A few months ago, I had a very honest conversation with myself. I felt an abyssal desire to revisit an old passion I simply overlooked or perhaps consciously closed off. Like an old lover, I analyzed our beginnings and ends. It was acting. I proceeded to make a ton of excuses on why I shouldn’t do it. “I don’t have time right now.” “I’m too old, right?” “Why should I do this if I don’t know if I’ll go far on it?” “Shouldn’t I put this money I’m about to invest into something else? Something better?” “What if I suck?” “Fuck, do I suck?” “What about all these other things I’ve already invested in?” I told my mind to “SHUT THA FUCK UP”. I gave myself a hard stare. So hard, I stared right through me, peeled behind all the doubts, insecurities, the shields and walls of safety and comfortability, and I whispered, “You are better than this” in the most loving and compassionate tone.

    A few months after that, I have had some ups and downs but I am so happy. I am happier than my most happy days before this. I am more fed, full, and satisfied. Guys, I think I have finally found MY passion. This shit is not a fairytale that movies or the government or our parents sell to us. It just may take longer. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. And be brave.

    Images by Pedro Morales
    . December 6, 2017 .







    Making sure people like you shouldn’t be your priority. But making sure people you love know you love them, well that’s my priority.

    But sometimes, it can be so damn hard. Especially when everyone around you IS ACTING ALL TYPES OF CRAZY. And life isn’t always mango sorbets and falling in love in the subway. It isn’t random Bachata sessions outside your apartment or finding a dollar bill in your pocket. Sometimes, just SOMETIMES, and even sometimes is too often, it’s stepping on fresh dog shit. It’s spilling coffee on your shirt the moment you step into the office. It's a passive aggressive text message from your friend. I hate when I receive that "k." text. It’s layers and layers of mundane seemingly little bullshit that just irks you. And I realize...feelings are so temporary. Friendships and trust shouldn’t be. They aren’t. Not the real ones. Not the ones you made wholehearted decision to call your best friend and vow to protect, to call family, to remember every single allergies of theirs like they’re your own. People will be people. In fact, people are human. But not every human is my soul-friend. So no, I refuse to please everyone. I'm selective in my friends just as I am selective in my wardrobe, food choices, and pretty much everything. You have to be. Time and energy and money are all precious things. And it took me a long time to decipher all these complex feelings. What’s worth never turning back for, never crossing a bridge again? What’s worth fixing? Worth letting go. And worth just laughing off.

    Images by Corey Jermaine

    . November 27, 2017 .









    I know what I like and I like what I like. Sure, my tastes change and evolve frequently, too frequent at times, but my stance is always strong. When I make a decision, I am a whole 85% behind it (That's a lot!). Ask my boyfriend! He’s almost never allowed to pick a dinner spot. Because 1) I pick the best spots. I personally have an extensive restaurant list that I never share. 2) And he can’t get shit from me if I don’t like the food because it’ll be my fault. Y’know, I blame it on being The First Child. On my mom and her impeccable taste in food, wine, and shoes. So when I found a brand that ALLOWED me to custom make my own pair of winter gems called booties, I fell hard. Shoes Of Prey — you just get me.

    From shoe type to toe shape, heel shape and heel length, shoe color and texture, down to the insoles and I even a custom inscription on the soles, and more (which you can get absolutely complimentary with this code —"LYNNKIMDO"), the whole process is remarkably personal and so much fun. In a matter of a few days, I received a red kitten heel booty packaged beautifully by Shoes Of Prey. The perfect heel for running between train stops. The perfect color with three very different textures because I deserve to stand out. And absolutely comfortable because that's a necessity. Not a luxury. And now, I can't stop wearing them.



    Images by Erick Hercules
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    Wool Cape - Vintage, Knit Dress - CMEO Collective, Jeans - Vintage, Boots - Shoes Of Prey





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    . November 21, 2017 .




    Nothing pure about this besides what’s in my glass. I can’t tell if this clear liquid is making me warm or it’s your gaze outlining my silhouette burning a memory of it in your mind. “I feel warm,” I thought. But I didn’t tell him. My eyes get heavy. It’s heavy from all the thoughts being collected around the warmth of my stomach with a fire building below it. His gaze can set it off, strike a match, and poof. I’m afraid of what may happen next. Yet, he look so sure. He smiles causing his eyes to squint creating deep folds around it. I wish I could climb in the folds surrounding his deep brown eyes and live there forever. As long as he looks at me like that. He made promises with those eyes, a million promises without uttering a single word. One of which is “I will never let you drink alone.” 

    When it comes to liquor, I choose clear. What kind of clear? Vodka. What kind of vodka? Purity. The newest kid on the block but it has already been awarded 2016 Best Vodka Of The Year. Elevation is its mantra. And it goes beyond expectation to live up to it. Purity Vodka is kinda like your new favorite store that moved into your hood. It’s so good. So underrated. A best kept secret that you really want to just keep…secret. But it’s unfair to keep something so good to yourself, isn’t it?

    Somethings are too good to be kept secret or shared solo. I am almost absolutely stripped of all joy when I drink alone. The company around me is utterly important to my level of elevated happiness. (Here we go with that word, again!) There’s an intimacy to drinking and spilling your guts out. Or drinking in deep silence with a friend. It speaks volumes. Or drinking and feeling. Leaving that armored suit aside to just feel openly for awhile. Every fond memory of drinking in great company has resulted in laughs, eye opening conversations, secrets, great business deals, and maybe a black-out here or there. All great things. Besides great company, a perfectly balanced vodka soda or dirty martini definitely helps. Do yourself a favor and choose wisely. From company and friends. To your spirit brand of choice. You deserve that much. I know, I do.

    Images by Pedro Morales
    _____________________________

    Drinking Purity Vodka


    . November 15, 2017 .











    Sunday Riley is the holy grail of skincare. And yes, that is quite a strong statement that I’m 100% prepare to defend. I’ve tried many skincare brands and products before but nothing has the simplicity, the effectiveness, and the transformation that Sunday Riley provides for something as delicate as the skin on your face. Some have came close. But up to this very single moment, none have done the things, things to my face, that has given my such pleasure. Not even pizza. Not even noodles. The love is real. And Sunday Riley, well, they know what they’re doing.

    So let me begin with my skin woes because I have many. I have sensitive skin with a little bit of everything-wrong-with-it. I have dry patches. I’m sensitive to blemishes. And I have an oily t-zone. Just when I thought I couldn’t get any more complicated…

    I’ve been traveling often. My recent trip to Seoul had me in a seat up position in the air for over 20 hours. ONE WAY. Talk about a hydration sucking and soul sucking time. On top of that, my diet completely changed during that trip as my kale and almond milk lattes NYC diet was replaced (happily) with kimchi and BBQ pork. Believe it or not, water also plays a huge part in the maintenance of your skin. And I’m actually talking about the water you use to wash your face. Every city. Every country has their own filtering system. Some better than others. For instance, Dallas, Texas water sucks. New York City has the best in my opinion. It’s also about consistency in routine which was compromised because I was battling a 12 hour difference in time. Once I came back home after another 20 hour flight, as if my skin didn’t experience enough, it was hit with extreme Winter. My skin freaked out. It was more stressed out than I was internally, which is a rarity. And I don’t know if others feel the same way but when my skin is in bad shape, I feel pretty insecure. I watch people’s judgmental eyes fall above my eye level and I’m like, “STOP LOOKING AT MY PIMPLE ON MY FOREHEAD!” Or maybe, it’s paranoia. But I want to hide in my apartment and just pop back into the universe when my skin is tamed, I do. Luckily, I had Sunday Riley this time. And If you’re nervous about oils, you’re reading all the wrong articles. I’m here to help.

    Products I used:
    SUNDAY RILEY Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment
    SUNDAY RILEY U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil
    SUNDAY RILEY Luna Sleeping Night Oil

    How I used it:
    In the morning, I wash my face with a cleanser. Usually, I would then apply a toner, a serum, and then a moisturizer. Instead, I used Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment. THink of it like a serum. You will feel a stinging sensation after applying Good Genes, but trust the process. It is perfectly normal. Then, I apply 2-3 drops of U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil. I use this instead of my moisturizer but if I am feeling extra dry, I apply a day cream on top of it. The next day morning, replace U.F.O with a day cream or moisturizer. The reason is your skin will initially need time to transition to this very effective product (U.F.O). It’s strong and as much as you want to go 0-100 real quick, you have to give your skin time to get acclimated. By the next day or so, you’ll begin to see pimple form head and become less inflamed. You can gradually introduce this to your skin more frequently. Pay attention to how your skin behaves because it will certainly tell you.

    At night, I remove my makeup with a makeup wipe followed by a cleanser. Then I apply the Luna Sleeping Night Oil which comes out blue and magically absorbs into your skin like a velvet dream. It has retinol which is effective in making you look like you traveled a few years back in time. That’s not what it actually says on the website, I improvised there. When you need extra skin help, which trust me, I very much did – wait 5 minutes so the Luna absorbs fully, and then apply Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment. The combination of these two products is absolutely unreal. This night routine is the "WOAHHHH" that really gave me my healthy, glowing skin back. Overnight, it reduces redness, blemishes, improves elasticity, pretty much EVERYTHING. You’ll see results instantly in the morning. I alternate evenings where I only use Good Genes in the morning and Luna at night and when I use Good Genes + Luna combo in the evening.

    Tips:
    I suggest you cater this routine to your needs. It’s all about experimenting until you get the perfect routine. Some days I just use U.F.O in certain areas that have the blemished for a spot treatment. Some weeks, I don’t feel like I need U.F.O at all. I alternate Good Genes from Day to evening. Many of Sunday Riley products you can combine to create a quick mask, too (Good Genes + Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser).

    Images by Pedro Morales
    _____________________________



    . November 10, 2017 .




    I use to assign patience loosely with laziness. I thought assertiveness, efficiency, and passion had no room for patience. I was smitten in that tight group of three like the Mean Girls of life’s cafeteria. Sit somewhere else, P-bitch. I saw the value of patience but I found more value for the lack of it. I mean, I had to justify and reason with myself so I was still the hero of my own story. Interesting enough, when my creatives friends and I compared life notes, we realized we all mutually felt the same way about it. They struggled like I did.

    For instance – do you often jump from one passion project to another without finishing the previous one? Well, one reason why that happens is because we have very little patience to see a project through (among other reasons). We get so excited about this new idea we just came up with that we don’t want to wait, nor do we want to finish what we started last. Our running instinct is that we need to begin this new idea. WE NEED TO BEGIN RN. TIME IS THE ESSENCE. NOW OR NEVER. I think in all caps. A lot. But I think we can all agree, finishing something you start is vital. And knowing when to start something is also important. I would just like to suggest, okay, more like admit, that patience is not my strong suit and not a strong suit for many others as well. And if none of those things I mentioned above is convincing, let me tell you something, patience makes you less stressed out. It teaches you to take it slow, take things in like a grain of salt. It’s also an amazing trait to have in communication because it breeds room for listening. So instead of barking and just throwing ideas and opinions and thoughts out there with an increasing volume of your voice or perhaps your thing is ‘quantity" -- filling the room with endless words hoping something sticks or someone thinks you’re smart. Instead, patience will teach collaboration. I mean, fuck…patience is a beautiful thing.

    I’m at the age in my life, the experiential moment of peak, where patience is finally valued and appreciated, like the moment I realized my mom ACTUALLY had a lot of fashion sense back then. I’m naturally an immediate responder, immediate do-er, immediate-creator. Now, I’ve been adding some space for patience. I allow time. To breathe. To think. To listen. To ask questions. To let go. And then, I do. What results have I seen? As if life is my father, it has given me several cookies for my good behavior. One instance is that a brand reached out to me to collaborate, I was tossing back and forth between rates and if we were a right fit, so I told the potential client that I would think about it. Now, old Lynn would think that “time” could mean that someone else is going to climb into my spot and there would be nothing left for me when I came back. The brand respected the patience. And then several hours later, came back with a rate that was WAYYYY more than what I was going to charge them. For my personal life, I’ve been also practicing patience. To be honest, I prefer the ‘ripping the band aid off quickly’ method. I’m generally not afraid of confrontation and I hate wasting time, energy, and my love to those I don’t think deserves it. But in this new wave of Lynn, I’ve been taking a step back and just slowly letting go of my attachments to those I feel are no longer worth my time instead of telling them to GTFO of my life. And you know what? The universe has provided me some interesting karma to view. Even apologies have arrived to me straight from my former friends’ mouths. So from work to friendships, it’s been an interesting revelation. But I still have a long way to go, and a lot of more interesting life-observations to make along the way.

    - 11102017
    Images by Kim Geronimo
    _____________________________
    Rustic Dime Top & BottomMelissa MulesCall It Spring Earrings


    . November 6, 2017 .















    It’s been days since my last moment in Seoul. Eventually, it will be months, and inevitably years, but what would I think of my time there? What smells or subtle sights will lead me back to this beautiful. I left one city and traveled 20 hours to get to another, all too familiar yet all so different.

    Ultimately, I left Seoul with an expanded mind. I left there disengaging any sense of nationalism and realized how other countries can have it done so right. So much better. Perhaps, we’re all wound up so tightly in our own shit that we can’t see that somewhere across the world, there could be a place that knows better, does better, and performs better. The efficiency in Seoul is superior to any country, yes, even Europe, and yes, even America. Their transportation system runs smoothly and with so much thought and intention. Signs are placed and are so direct and informative, getting lost almost becomes impossible. (But, of course, it is possible for someone who is locationally-challenged like myself.) Trains arrive on time, for a change. What more can I expect from the country that gave birth to some innovative giants like Samsung, Hyundai, and Kia. Even their airport is one of the most beautiful, technologically advanced, and modern spaces I’ve ever seen. But then again, I guess JFK is not a good standard to compare to. Universities are built with such architectural sophistication and awe. Beyond actual spaces, culturally, there is no stopping them either. I mean, if we want to be quite literal – people walk faster than the most eager New Yorker. I think that alone says a lot. South Korean knows what they like and knows who they are. Their food scene far exceeded my expectations and any standard expectations I’ve had in place prior. Competitive by nature, each restaurant, food cart, dessert shop, and coffee shop are all on their A-game. Built beautifully, creatively using tiny spaces, and the inventiveness to their own cuisine is fascinating. Food neighborhoods beat any street in Williamsburg or Greenwich. Coffee shops are a serious matter in Seoul. Most are open until midnight and although “soy” and “almond milk” isn’t a concept nor an option, their lattes and originative spirit behind the rest of their menu and space won’t give you enough time to want anything but what they want to give you. Street carts with rice cake in red sauce, fish soup, and a variety of grilled sticks are readily available and all safe to eat. Which really blew my mind because the same cannot be said of New York City Halal carts. I may have suffered food poisoning once or twice from meat and it indefinitely scarred me for life. When you want a real sit-down meal, enter any restaurants and their endless sides will have you at “hello” and their actual dishes will have you at “ooooohh,” “ahhhh,” and “I am so full!” Save some room for dessert though or force it down like I did because Koreans take their pastries and shaved ice very seriously. Like, seriously, good. Bakeries and skin care stores can be found in EVERY subway station. Like, I’m talking it’s underground, beautifully done, and it’s selling. Want to walk off the pounds you’ve consumed? How about we engage in my favorite sport – people watching. Shopping behavior can tell you a lot about someone’s culture. And is a prime location for eye stalking. Interesting enough, knockoffs are quite normal in Seoul and is a thriving and normal part of their culture. Walk down their main shopping district and you’ll see Supreme bags, hoodies, and caps with a crooked “e” in there. Need a strange looking Off White interpretation of their belt, you’ll find it here. In between all the food, the people, the buildings, and street, there lies an immense amount of talent in Seoul. Young performers on the street, all just a few feet from one another, draw large crowds around them. For every single talent or group of talents, there was a group of people who are more than happy to consume it, applaud it, and sway to it. For the less talented aka me, my friends and I found ourselves in a Karaoke room the size of a closet and sang our hearts out to Drake, BOA, and K-Pop.

    And just like that 5 days passed in a blink of an eye, and I find myself back in New York City craving their light glistening in foreign characters, the velvety taste of the sweet milk in their shaved ice, and the warmth I found in their fish soup. I miss my friends who are too busy taking in China at the moment. I miss the hills leading streets in waves and circles and heights. I miss South Korea.

    Oh, and that's Pedro. I like him.


    Images by Lynn Kim Do, Pedro Morales and Kim Geronimo
    Thank you to my dear friends Kim and Kait for being the best tour guides anyone can ask for. 

    . October 16, 2017 .

















    Miguel said it best, “I know she vegan, but she want the steak tonight.” LOL forgive me for that corny bit, I couldn’t help myself. 

    Recently, I had the pleasure of picking apart the mind behind a new concept shop based in Uptown New York. Everyone has their vices, amirite? Mine are french fries and ice cream, but not exclusively together. For Diti — owner of MRFU, it’s a good piece of steak. Steak and fashion? Weird mix? Well not to people who can't fathom to move their imagination beyond a fixed box. MRFU brings the customer service and experience of a steakhouse to apparel and consumer shopping. I know I’m picky with my meat, just as picky as I am with what I buy. So this is a very interesting take on retail. What I do appreciate about this brand is how genuine Diti is to his roots. He’s raised Uptown and he’s going to serve Uptown and represent Uptown. Unlike the very common story: a rich old White dude in a suit who thinks “Uptown” is trendy and so he buys a building, sets up shop, uses the people around the neighborhood, and sell an idea he has no concept or reality of to people. MRFU is actually real. No if, ands, or buts. 


    So what’s my conclusion? Give them a shot. Keep them on the radar for their opening in 2018. I have a feeling, it’s going to be rad. 

    Tops c/o MRFW
    Images by Johnny Utah