I was so excited when I heard that I’d been given the chance to interview Sam and Nic Chapman aka Pixiwoo – expert make up artists, vloggers and founders of Real Techniques brushes – on the release of their new book, Face. Face is the ultimate make up book, ideal for beginners and aspiring make up artists, filled with easy-to-follow guides, tool recommendations and unique tip and tricks.
I absolutely loved the book! The detail the tutorials go into is brilliant. The book starts with working out the best skin care routine for your skin type, how to achieve the perfect brows, which mascara wand is best suited to you, how to contour, tips on choosing the right lipstick and the list goes on. Interspersed between each chapter is a page of ‘Pixi Tips’, a collection of Sam and Nic’s tricks to achieve that perfect look. The tutorials are accompanied by a combination of beautifully drawn sketches and gorgeous photographs, making this a very visually appealing guide. And isn’t that what make up artistry is all about? Finally, one of my favourite features of the book that really sets it apart from other guides is that it is accompanied by a free app on IOS and android that allows fans to show off their make up skills by sharing their own looks but also watch exclusive content only available on purchasing the book. Face is now available in stores and online. This is definitely my ultimate make up guide of the season!
And now for the interview…
What does a day in the life of Pixiwoo entail?
“Every day is different… During a day in the studio, we film. I (Nic) get in at 8.30am, I’ve researched the look that I want to create and I get in and film that look. Sam drops her kids at school and gets in at 9.30am. I’ve nearly finished my tutorial by then, I will upload the tutorial on to the computer. We go for brunch and then Sam comes back to film her and I edit mine. Other days we’re travelling or we’re at meetings. No two days are ever the same!”
Tell me about your new book, Face. What makes it different from others currently on the market?
“The most obvious answer is the app, it’s truly amazing! We were so excited to be able to work with Blink Publishing and they did an amazing job. I guess also there aren’t that many books that go that in depth. We tried to answer all the questions that we’ve been asked for the last 8 years. We get asked a lot of questions! So many that we cant always answer everybody. So I guess this is our way of making a book that everyone can read and hopefully learn something.”
I love the interactive app idea as a way of incorporating the social media side that helped with your successful career. What advice could you give to budding bloggers/vloggers about starting their career online?
“I think the most important thing is that make sure that you’re being really social on ‘social media’. Have conversations with people on Twitter, interact on Instagram. Comment on their videos and be part of the conversation and don’t wait for it to come to you and that’s how you can get recognised and noticed.”
This is your first book that will be published, how did you find the writing process? What were the highlights and how did you get through any problems that arose?
“The writing process was much more difficult than we thought really! We had to cut it down a lot. You don’t realise how much make up knowledge is in your brain until you write it down. We’re not naturally teachers, but to actually break it down and how to say things, crossing over for all skin types, it was very difficult.
So a highlight of the process? Getting it done! We admire writers that do that for a living as its way more difficult than we imagined!”
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
“Managing both your everyday life and work life is a constant juggle. And on top of that being parents! Making sure you have enough time to fit everything in and still be you. I don’t remember the last time I had me time. I managed to fit in a night out with my girls the other night but that hasn’t happened for a year haha!”
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs looking to build their own brand?
You have to trust your gut instinct and thats something that Sam and I always do. Don’t settle until your 100% happy with it. Whatever the deal is or the job is, make sure that you are 100% thrilled with it. That way if doesn’t quite work, you can still be proud of it. There’s nothing worse than producing something but not being happy with it.”
You’ve had a great year, what have been your best moments so far?
“I’m really excited about the book coming out, along with the DVD earlier in the year. We’ve done some travelling and brought some brilliant products out with Real Techniques this year. All of them! It’s so hard to pick! We constantly have to stop and pinch ourselves… I don’t want to say its been luck , we’ve worked our arses off and its just been an amazing journey to go on. Who knows where it will go, there might be bigger things to come next year, we just don’t know yet!
What’s the next project for Pixiwoo?
“At the moment we’re just focusing on getting the book out there. We need feedback first, we want to hear peoples views before we go into planning anything else. If our core fans aren’t happy with something then it’s really important for us to do something to change that. We really want our fans will be happy and invested in whatever we bring out. We get a lot of project offers every day but we cant do everything, and I don’t think you should do everything if you want to give it 100% or there’s the risk that it will become diluted.”
But can you give us any hints as to what’s coming up?
“Next to come out will be the holiday ‘Christmas sets’ and we’ve got some lovely, gorgeous, beautifully packaged sets coming out any time now!”
What are your top three beauty tips and tricks?
“Ooh so many to choose from… Make sure that you always take your make up off and drink plenty of water. Don’t smoke? They’re pretty obvious tips but they do make the most difference. When choosing your foundation do it in natural light, before you buy it… The key things are that you should focus on looking after your skin and your health.
Finally, if you were on a desert island and you could only take 1 piece of make up with you,what would it be?
“Mascara! But depends whether you’re on the island on your own really… Because if I’m by myself, I’d take a mascara. But if I’m there with my boyfriend I’d take a lip balm…!”
Words by Araminta Pender, Beauty Editor @mintypender