By  on June 8, 2007

A new makeup line brings together Japanese aesthetic and Western technology to treat skin as well as beautify it.

Created by makeup artist Danielle Vincent, Kimiko Cosmetics is designed to be an optimistic answer to women who don't want just to cover fine lines. Every product in the 50-plus item line, from the Treatment Concealer to the Sheer Tint and Lip Plumper and the Lifting Pressed Powder, is formulated to do much more. Each is infused with different herbs and extracts that are said to combat fine lines and puffiness, but each also uses trademarked and patented complexes to fight the signs of aging.

Vincent came up with the idea for Kimiko while listening to her clients praise and complain about their makeup.

"When I was unable to guide them to a product to address their concerns, a lightbulb went off. The trend is going [the way of cosmeceuticals], but I wanted to take it to the next level and put out a line that used high quantities of ingredients — and not just for [positioning]. We want to be the category leaders for something that is really just starting," Vincent said.

Kimiko's concealer, for example, uses light-reflecting pigments to conceal lines, but also contains three patented ingredients, HydraFirmaLift, Renuva-Eyebright and Anti-Puff Rescue, to target fine lines, dark circles and puffiness, respectively. The dual-end plumper uses dehydrated collagen molecules to plump lips — and for long-term effects, uses HydraFirmaLift. The powder, designed to even tone, aims also to lift and firm skin with HydraFirmaLift and vitamin E. Color cosmetics use HydraFirmaLift to hydrate and firm the skin, Vincent said.

Products have been tested by various third-party labs that supply Kimiko with cosmeceutical ingredients, Vincent said. Ingredients in the line are used at or above levels that have been tested.

Vincent's experience in the beauty industry includes her work as a freelance makeup artist for various brands, and extends to product development at Clean Beauty. She studied business, science and physics at the University of British Columbia. The 25-year-old's ambitious streak was honed as a competitive singles figure skater.

This month, Vincent moved from her native Toronto to set up the firm's headquarters in Manhattan, where she works the Kimiko counter several days a week at Takashimaya, the specialty retailer that this month took in her line.Prices position Kimiko to compete with well-known luxury cosmetics brands, such as Chanel and Dior. The Treatment Concealer will sell for $39; the Sheer Tint and Lip Plumper, for $37, and the Lifting Pressed Powder, for $42. Kimiko also has a Lifting Puff Blush, Lifting Eye Shadow Bento Box, Precision Plumping Lip Liner and a Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil — with a tip so fine it can create individual hairs.

Kimiko's packaging reflects Vincent's Japanese heritage. The circle logo on boxes is the symbol of Zen; the red Japanese character stamp is ki, which represents energy. Vincent had the stamp created by a Japanese calligrapher from Tokyo who hand-carved the mold for the stamp from marble.

Kimiko, which blends three Japanese characters — ki, mi (beauty) and ko (youth) — and is Vincent's middle name, has been in development for two years.

Kimiko includes just under 50 items — not counting makeup brushes — in 11 categories and is now funded by private investors. Vincent is courting specialty retailers to sell her line, which she said she wants to keep tight.

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