Friends Friday: Danielle Vincent
Professional Makeup Artist & Founder of Kimiko Beauty, Danielle Vincent answered some questions for us ‘cause she’s the BOMB!
How long have you been in the industry?
I've been in the industry for about a decade and a half. Sounds like a long time when put that way!
What drew you to create your own line of makeup?
I have always been obsessed with beauty products, beginning from my pre-teen years. I would research ingredients and by age 12, I was already checking my product lists to ensure my daily SPF contained correct broad-spectrum protection. I ended up going to university for sciences and then later studied makeup art, which allowed me to bring those two pieces together. I was working at the makeup counters and I realized that even among all the choices, something was missing. I had a 'lightbulb' moment while working with a client. I had covered her dark circles and she loved her makeup but voiced that it was a shame it had to wash down the drain at night. Right then and there I thought, hey, couldn't we make a concealer that was also a high-performance under eye treatment? Why weren't we actually addressing the problems our makeup was concealing? From there, all the other products came to include their own skincare plus makeup formulation, and after three years of development, KIMIKO Beauty was born. At the time, there were no real 'treatment' or 'skincare' in makeup lines, so it was quite an exciting thing to work with ingredients that had never been used in color cosmetics before.
What was your first professional experience as a makeup artist like?
My earliest work experience was doing client makeup for the pro lines at Holt Renfrew, in Toronto. I was working on everyday women who were coming to get a look and, really, to learn about the best makeup for them. I love giving practical tips and teaching everyday 'enhancing' makeup. But a big part of my work is to empower women (and men) to appreciate themselves and their beauty just a little bit more. Often people come to the makeup chair with a negative perception about some part of their appearance. Even though my job is to 'beautify', a large part is being a kind of positivity coach to help people embrace their unique beauty. I think my background also helped me form my light hand as a makeup artist, and my inclination towards a more natural look, which reflects KIMIKO's philosophy that you can do more with less, when you have the right tools and knowledge.
What should everyone know when it comes to proper skincare?
There is such an overwhelming amount of product out there, and even with reviews and social media, it can still be difficult to distill the good from the great. I typically begin my makeup with three questions about skincare: what SPF are you using and is it on a daily basis? I want to decipher whether it contains right kind of UVA protection and ensure that rain or shine, summer or winter, sunscreen is being worn. I also ask what do you use at night for antioxidant protection? And how are you cleansing? There's no universal answer for any one client, but I do recommend using a non-chemical SPF every day, using a gentle but thorough cleanser (sometimes double cleaning at night by incorporating a muslin cloth or Clarisonic brush) and then finding a really great evening treatment to combat the stressors of the day. I like something with good cell-communicating ingredients, the right amount of emollients for your skin type and environment, and of course great antioxidant properties.
What are your top 3 best sellers?
Our best selling product is our Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil, which we produce in Japan. I've had an obsession with it from the moment I began working on the formula and I still do! It turns out that many others felt the same. This brow pencil is one of those game-changing products because of how easy it is to achieve full and natural brows. It became an editor and customer favorite too. All of our products have a unique ingredient story that makes them stand out from the others, and this is just one of those formulas that cannot be replicated. It is dry, so it stays put, yet has enough wax-like properties to draw a single hair, thus creating eyebrows that look like your own.
Second up is our Hydrating Tint SPF 20 because it instantly uplifts skin and also has chemical-free sun protection. It treats the skin long-term, while immediately making skin look radiant and healthy. People love the one step, do-it-all nature of this product, along with it being fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. It was even called the 'Original BB Cream' in one of our editorial placements, which we loved hearing as we really trail-blazed the active skincare within makeup movement. Last but not least is our Lifting Puff Blush, with its patented flow-through sponge and gorgeous hues. It's an instant dose of fresh color but it also treats the skin with lipoamino acids that increase collagen and elastin production while helping firm and protect against future aging. It’s quite unusual to find high enough levels of active ingredients so that products will actually do what they claim to do. This was one of my biggest motivators for creating the brand and its unique products - to have integrity in the formulations and not to simply add things for marketing claims, as is often the case.
Take us through a normal day of being Danielle Vincent.
My normal day varies quite a bit. I am always working on the business; talking with vendors, doing store trainings, working on product development (playing with new packaging and formulas and colors - fun!), planning events, partnerships and trade shows, working with photographers and giving creative direction for shoots...the list goes on. And of course there are on set and red carpet makeup days, where I'm wearing the full makeup artist hat and helping create and execute makeup looks for my clients. I do a lot of brow work as well, which I love. I coach my clients through the grow-out process and we do very precise shaping during each session. I am able to help them structure their fullest and best eyebrows for their face shape and features. It's wonderful and rewarding to see happy clients and the impact that even just the eyebrows can have!
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