Skincare, Food and Culture - Interview With KimmyLovesKorea!

by - May 16, 2018

Good morning, my pookies! Okay so I know I haven't been blogging quite as much as I would like to, but so many things have been going on with me and I'm still trying to figure out how to blog RIGHTLY and EFFICIENTLY that works with my schedule and style. But my friends, I have to introduce to you an amazing human being today! She's a travel instagrammer, Korean skincare enthusiast and a gorgeous woman of power. I present to you Kimmy of KimmyLovesKorea!

Kimmy and I began to interact some on Instagram where we found that we had a lot of the same interests - specifically kpop and Korean skincare! So I reached out to her about doing an interview for the blog and I am just thrilled to present my questions and her answers to you. She sent me pictures to go with the post and I spent so much time just looking through them and studying each one - especially the food ones. Y'all, that looks like some good Korean food. Just looking at the pictures made me hungry.

Kimmy is currently planning to go to Korea for the first time (something I didn't know when I presented these questions! XD) so I'm super excited about getting this post in before the big adventure begins! She's super sweet, awesome and generous and I can't thank her enough for doing this interview. You're amazing, girl.

Without further adieu...KimmyLovesKorea!

Kimmy in front of KPop Burger in Forth Worth, TX 

Tell us about yourself! What inspired your love for Korea?

I live in Houston, Texas - a beautiful, diverse city where every culture under the sun is represented (or so it feels like.)  I'm a podcast host, lazy blogger, and a dog mom.  I come from a close family of strong, outspoken women (I have all sisters!), which inspires me to be the open, honest, and downright silly person I am.  Read a few comments on my instagram or listen to a podcast episode, and you'll figure out just how silly I can get. Haha!  My dad served in the military for 23 years, so as a military brat, I've had the opportunity to see the world.  I was born in Europe and spent most of my childhood on the island of Oahu.  So my love for Asian cultures was born in Honolulu, and I learned at an early age to relish the differences I discovered within each culture.  A childhood spent in a state so rich in Asian and Pacific heritage rooted a deep love for food, adventure, and life.  It didn’t take much for me to fall in love with the Korean culture specifically, and I haven't looked back since!

How many times have you been there?

I will be going to South Korea this fall! Although I’ve managed to make my way around the US and Europe, I haven’t been able to make it to Korea until this year. I can’t wait!

G-Dragon at Koreo Books, NYC

What's the best experience you've ever had there?

Since I haven’t made it yet, I’ll share my favorite Korean culture experience here in the US. I had the honor of meeting a couple visiting from Daejeon, South Korea. We had dinner together, and there was an instant friendship between us. They were the most open, honest and kind people I’ve ever met. They offered a place to stay in their home, their cars to drive, and were over the moon at the idea of me coming to visit them. Over something as simple as Chili’s hamburgers (yes, that good old fashioned American classic) I made new lifelong friends! It’s a beautiful thing to connect with someone from such a far off place. I can’t wait to see them in a few months!

What inspired you to become a blogger and Instagrammer?

I am the type of person who loves to connect with others. Instagramming and blogging allows me to reach people I may not meet in every day life.  I want people to feel like they can experience new things without fear.  Not everyone will get to travel outside the United States, but it doesn't mean they can't find international experiences where you live! That's what inspires me to show my followers restaurants to try or facial products they might love.  I'm discovering the Korean influence in America right along with them! And I love it.

CN Blue Burger at Kpop Burger 

Have you tried Korean skincare? If so, what are your thoughts?

I am a card-carrying KBeauty addict.  I'm constantly looking for new products to try and interacting with other KBeauty lovers.  Getting into Korean skincare can be overwhelming, but what I always tell people is to start SOMEWHERE.  You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars in order to build a Korean skincare routine.  The beauty of this industry is there are products for every budget, and, even though having a 10 step routine is the ultimate goal, it is not a requirement.  If all KBeauty inspires you to do is take better care of yourself, then I say it's a win!  My Korean skincare routine started with 3 steps until I was able to find more products I could afford (on a long term basis) and as I learned more about my skin, it has grown and customized to my skin type and budget.

The Face Shop, NYC

What are your favorite skincare products?

I have a hard time picking just one, but I would have to say my Tony Moly Panda's Dream Sleeping Pack.  I adore this product because it's the perfect night time moisture for my face, and it absorbs quickly into your skin.  I don't like sleeping packs that leave a sticky residue, so this mask is perfect!  Another product I adore is The Face Shop's Rice Water Bright Cleansing Cream.  It smells delightful (which is a bonus), and it has a very soothing and cooling effect for me when I put it on.  It's a great alternative to an actual cleansing oil.  I have small hands, so pumping an oil into my hand basically guarantees it will be all over the bathroom counter. haha! Cleansing balms and creams are a LIFE SAVER for me!

What are the things that really strike you about the differences between Western culture and Asia?

There are a couple things that strike me.  First, I find it so interesting the difference in what's an appropriate clothing neckline for females in Korea.  In the USA, anything goes, however necklines in Korea tend to stay around the collarbone.  On the flip side, Korean fashion is totally fine with showing as much leg as possible.  It's such a funny imbalance to me.  You'll see girls with super short skirts and super high necklines on their shirts.

The second thing I find contrasted between Asian culture overall and Western culture is the reverence they have for seniority and the elderly.  Koreans, especially, have such a marked respect for those older than you, but specifically the elderly.  I think it's a trait we could learn from in America.  Not to say we don't respect and care for our elders, but there's just something special about the reverence they have, and I think it's something we could learn from.

Goblin Chicken in Koreatown, NYC

Do you think there's a lot to be learned from Korean culture that we could use in our everyday lives?

Absolutely!  I love and admire the Korean work ethic.  It's not always perfect (as nothing is), but there's a passion that is unparalleled with Koreans.  It's something I think we can be inspired by, and even the not-so-good-parts can be a lesson.  Yes, work hard, be passionate in everything, but don't overdo it.  Take care of yourself.  Be sure you eat well.  They're truly a beautiful culture!

Kimmy, thank you SO MUCH for doing this with me! I have loved talking with you about your incredible experiences with kpop artists and your adventures abroad. Best of luck with your trip! I know that you'll have an amazing time, making your dreams come true and having the time of your life. You're absolutely amazing.

Ya'll be sure to follow Kimmy on Instagram and subscribe to her podcast! You totally won't regret it.

Have a gorgeous day, beautiful.

-Emily (and Kimmy!)

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