Can you tell me a little about Kimiko Cosmetics?
Kimiko is inspired in many ways by my Asian heritage. I havealways had a fascination with multi-functionality found in Japanese design, from the aesthetic to performance. The rich purples and golds of the packaging are inspired by the threads of Japanese silks and traditional kimonos. Kimiko is my middle name and bychance, embodies the spirit of the Japanese characters that compose its name -- KI (Energy), MI (Beauty) and KO (Youth).
How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to work in product development?
From a young age (probably around 12), I was constantly testing products and researching ingredients to see what was effective and what was not. A fun outing for me was spending hours at the pharmacy/beauty counters exploring products. My background in Chemistry was also helpful when I came to work in product development, since I was better able to understand the more technical aspects. I began my career in beauty developing perfumes, body products and skincare -- which eventually led to my interest in skincare within makeup.
When did you create Kimiko Beauty, and how did it grow from an idea to reality?
Kimiko was the product of almost three years of research and development. The line is tightly edited and contains essentials, with the added benefit of treatment skincare. I didn't want to duplicate anything that was currently available, so I set out to create a new category that I hoped would change the way we think about makeup and skincare.
What are some of the highlights in your career?
My background as a professional artist has allowed me to connect and interact with hundreds of women. This has been a highlight for me, as I thoroughly enjoy advising, teaching and guiding women through the sometimes overwhelming makeup and skincare world. I was also fortunate to have had the opportunity to begin my career with an up-and-coming beauty brand and help develop new products. It allowed me to learn the process and also begin to see how my ideas for Kimiko could come to fruition.
What are your top 3 makeup tips?
1) For everyday makeup: less is more.
2) Enhance a feature you have that you really like. I like to choose either the eyes or lips and play up the best feature. Sometimes it's beautifully arched brows, in which case clean, simple makeup will make them more prominent.
3) I also like to finish a look by warming a tiny amount of Junsei Serum between my fingertips and dabbing onto the upper cheekbones. It gives a fresh and natural look to the skin.
What is your favorite Kimiko product and why?
Do I have to choose just one?! My everyday necessity from the line is the Multi-Tasker Treatment Concealer. Rested and fresh-looking eyes are a must, andI know that I'm improving my dark circles every time I wear it -- so it feels good, too. (My next two favorites are Long Healthy Lashes and Hydrating Tint SPF 20 -- since I know that broad-spectrum sunscreen is the only way to really prevent aging skin.)
What are the products and brands you simply can't live without?
1) It goes without saying that I love and use Kimiko everything and can't live without it.
2) A hair powder by Stila that works great as a midday refresher.
3) I also love Shiseido's oil blotting sheets -- they are the best ones I've found so far.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Hearing feedback from Kimiko fans and about how the products have been miracle products for them is really rewarding. I love being able to provide real solutions that work. Teaching tips and tricks to women so they can become their own makeup artist is also rewarding.
Playing with beauty products must be fun -- but what are some things you do for fun outside of being a product creator?
You would think that I'd get bored of playing with products, but I never do! Outside of the beauty world, I spend my time outdoors, partaking in athletic pursuits (figure skating, snowboarding, running, etc.), spending time with friends, finding great live music and playing a little guitar myself.
Thank you so much to Danielle Vincent for this fabulous interview. Be sure to check out Kimiko's website for access to all the fabulous products from this brand!