Behind the Brand: KIMIKO

January 12, 2023

Behind the Brand: KIMIKO

Dani Kimiko Vincent wants to help you master your brows. “They are the most impactful way to instantly enhance one’s face - they can take years off your appearance, accentuate the eyes and create balance among your features,” she explains. After years as an editorial and celebrity makeup and brow artist, she knew the industry was missing the tools needed to accomplish that realistic and refined look she was after, so she launched KIMIKO.  We caught up with Dani, who shared her 2023 makeup predictions, the lip product she can't live without  and the red light tool she always keeps in her kit. 
Brand name: KIMIKO
Founder: Dani Kimiko Vincent
Current Location: Los Angeles

What are the words you live by? 

“To thine own self be true” and “less is often more”. 

Who first taught you about beauty and what attracted you to the beauty industry?

My mom was always into skincare, cosmetics and great packaging and as a kid I loved watching her get ready in the bathroom and playing with her products. My interest in formulating and ingredients was sparked in high school, cruising the drugstore aisles. I started my post-secondary studies in sciences, thinking I needed to be a chemist, but later pivoted to study makeup art, where I found my passion for creation and ultimately the two came together.

What was the inspiration for Kimiko and where does the brand name come from?

KI-MI-KO means energy, beauty and youth in Japanese. It is also my middle name. The brand is deeply inspired by this heritage and my family’s heirloom katana sword which has been passed down for centuries. Like the dedicated, time-consuming art of sword-making, KIMIKO’s precision products required years to perfect. 

What was your proudest moment as a founder? 

Launching on 5th Avenue at Takashimaya was a very proud moment for me. I worked the floor that summer and watching customers’ excitement was a gift. To conceptualize a product that solves a problem and then have it help others feel great about themselves is so rewarding.

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received? The best?

Before launching, I was showing the concept to people in my network and one told me it wasn’t going to work. But I had so much positive feedback and confidence that it would. Often, you have to follow your gut. The best advice has been to know your strengths and weaknesses and where you may not be the strongest, bring in those who are. 

What was the first product you developed and why did you create it? What was the most important thing you wanted it to have? 

This first and most exciting product for me has been our Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil Automatique. As a makeup artist, I had worked for many major brands and realized that no existing brow formula could draw realistic hair-like strokes that would last all day and had a balanced tone (they looked too red or ashy). After 3 years of development, The Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil Automatique was the ultimate solution. 
Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil Automatique

Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil Automatique

 

What is your best selling product and why do you think that is? 

The Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil Automatique is my personal hero product and a customer favorite. The Brow Sensei has become a new star product and the perfect complement to our brow pencil (or on its own) to lift, hold and nourish brows.
The Brow Sensei

The Brow Sensei

 

Which KIMIKO product do you think is a hidden gem? 

Our Precision Plumping Lip Liner is a sleeper hit - the concept is to line your lips in a tone close to your own natural color so when your lipstick wears off, you aren’t left with just liner. They also work as a lipstick to fill your entire lips and can be left as-is, or topped with gloss.

Precision Lip Plumping Liner

Precision Lip Plumping Liner

 

Who do you look up to in the beauty world?

Lisa Edridge has always been an inspiration - I admire her incredible artistry, delicate hand and attention to detail. She runs a multi-faceted business and does it all with kindness, integrity and care for others. Last year I was lucky enough to be invited by Lisa to shoot a guest video for her YouTube channel and re-create a red carpet look I had created for Sandra Oh. 

Who would your dream collaboration be with?

When it comes to art and design, a collaboration with artist Yayoi Kusama would be transcendent. For a product line, Beyoncé would be a dream collaborator. 

If you could get a peek into anyones makeup bag, who would it be?

We know from her makeup artist some of the products he used to create her iconic looks, but I would have loved to have seen everything Marilyn Monroe used daily in her personal routine.
 

As a makeup artist, what do you foresee as the next big trends in color? 

We are definitely going to see a move away from heavy foundation and more of a real-skin focus, with products that allow skin to show through. For color, a more lived-in look especially for eyes that will look a little more raw, like a 90’s grunge look. We’re not quite done with being playful, so we still see hints of color accents on lips, cheeks and even brows. 

We’ve seen brow trends go from one extreme to another- what do you think will be the next big thing? 

My philosophy is that your best brow is your most natural and full, in the shape that optimally enhances your entire face. I call this my Legacy Brow™️ and it’s what I create for my eyebrow clients.

What other beauty products are you loving right now? 

I love the flexibility of the Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick, because I can use it as a concealer or add a bit more coverage just where needed. 
Vital Skin Foundation Stick

Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick

 

Lightstim is a great way to treat wrinkles and add a glow to skin before an event. I keep them in my kit.
LightStim for Wrinkles

LightStim for Winkles

 

I am the daughter of a dental surgeon, so I am obsessed with CocoFloss. It is the only floss I use.
CocoFloss

CocoFloss

 

It simply works the best and leaves teeth ultra clean. Necessaire’s The Body Lotion is an easy, fragrance-free lotion that leaves the body nourished but not greasy.
The Body Lotion with Niacinamide from Necessaire

The Body Lotion - with Niacinamide

 

I’m currently testing the Augustinus Bader Eyebrow and Lash Enhancing Serum.  A good reminder when trying out a brow or lash serum is to be committed and not skip days - the dedication will pay off!
The Eyebrow & Lash Enhancing Serum with TFC8

The Eyebrow & Lash Enhancing Serum With TFC8

 

Kosas Air Brow Tinted Volumizing Treatment Gel $24
KOSAS - Air Brow Tinted Volumizing Treatment Gel - GREY
Kosas Brow Pop Dual-Action Defining Pencil $24
KOSAS - Brow Pop Dual-Action Defining Pencil - AUBURN
Kosas Clear Air Brow Tinted Volumizing Treatment Gel $24
Clear Air Brow Tinted Volumizing Treatment Gel
RÓEN vowBrow Pencil $26
vowBrow Pencil
KIMIKO Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil Automatique $31
Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil Automatique
Westman Atelier Bonne Brow $38
Bonne Brow - Stone
Tweezerman Classic Slant Tweezers $25
Classic Slant Tweezers
BEAUTYCOUNTER Brilliant Brow $26
Brilliant Brow - SOFT BLACK
KIMIKO The Brow Sensei - Transparent $35
The Brow Sensei - Transparent with brush
Tweezerman Point Tweezer Classic Stainless $24.50
Point Tweezer Classic Stainless
Augustinus Bader The Eyebrow & Lash Enhancing Serum With TFC8 $150
The Eyebrow & Lash Enhancing Serum With TFC8
Kosas GrowPotion Fluffy Brow + Lash Boosting Serum $48
GrowPotion
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