Hello, Sam (right) and Nic! Pixiwoo.com
Pixiwoo is Sam Chapman, mum to Lily, 11, and Olivia, 8, and Nic Haste (nee Chapman), mum to Harry, 4, and Edie, 3.
Sisters, growing up surrounded by make up, Sam and Nic watched on as their mum tried out new trends and their aunt work magic as a celebrity make up artist. After attending professional make up artistry school, they both became successful make up artists in their own right… And then came the age of blogging, vlogging, and social media.
Sam uploaded the first video, how to get a smoky eye look, onto YouTube in 2008, and the rest – the sisters’ meteoric rise to cult fame – is recent history. Their own website, Real Techniques, sells the tools of their trade, is home to their blog and video tutorial content, and their first book ‘Face’ by Pixiwoo is available to preorder for delivery from October 20th 2016. Here, they share their style and beauty secrets as strong, busy, working mums…
Did you have any idea how Pixiwoo would take off when you started out?
Sam: We had no idea at all. We started doing YouTube purely for the fact that we love make up. It was a way of showing others how to love make up as much as we do.
What do you think women, and in particular, mums, can get out of watching make up tutorials online?
Sam: A lot! Firstly, they get a friend when they feel like they are going stir crazy after doing kiddy talk all day (to hear a grown up voice is such a relief). They will also learn how to love themselves and make the best of themselves when they may have lost a little direction. Having a child is the biggest, life changing event a woman can go through; you feel like you have lost your identity (well, I did anyway). Watching our beauty videos can show women how to get that ‘quick mum on the run make up look’ or a ‘night out look’ for the few times you get to let your hair down.
Instagram: Sam Chapman @pixiwoos
Could you offer any advice for new mums who don’t feel confident about applying makeup?
Nic: Don’t do anything drastic!!!! We have all been there, the ‘WHO AM I’ moment kicks in and we decide to have all our hair cut off at the one time our face is the roundest it has ever been!!! Big mistake. Make slow changes, add a little more make up than usual one week, maybe a colour on the lip one week and a little bit stronger the next week.
How would you describe your personal beauty routine? And has it changed since becoming a mum?
Sam: I think I actually take more care of my skin since having my children, I’ve noticed that I really need to now. I’m in my mid-thirties and the lack of sleep from having small children is much more noticeable than the lack of sleep from partying when I was younger.
Sister, sister… Sam and Nic with their first book
What skincare/bath time products do you use on your children?
Nic: Both my children have super dry skin so we use Oilatum skin care as it helps with the dryness. It is very rich.
How would you describe your fashion style, as a mum?
Sam: I think for the first year, I lost my way a bit with my style (some people would still say I have) but now I dress the same way as I always have. When I’m not working I will wear something comfy like jeans, t-shirt and trainers or low boots, and then I tend to dress up when I have to work which feels like a treat.
Did you enjoy being pregnant? Where did you shop for maternity fashion and what were your pregnancy fashion essentials?
Nic: I loved being pregnant but then again I was very lucky as both my pregnancies were text book. Maternity clothes are so hard to find, I actually stayed in my own clothes for the first six months and then I moved on to patterned leggings nearer the end of pregnancy (they were fashionable at the time). When I had to buy maternity clothes, there wasn’t really much choice.
FashCatherine’s choice: Bluebelle Maternity Floral Print Cuff Leg Jogger With Varsity Trim, £22, asos.com
As a mum, what is your typical morning wardrobe routine? Is preparation key?
Sam: I’m a real planner so I normally have my clothes laid out ready to wear. With two small children I don’t have time to think about it in the morning.
The ultimate skincare question for mums and mums to be… any tips to prevent or improve stretch marks?
Nic: I think it’s mostly hereditary but I did use Bio Oil or Clarins body oil throughout both my pregnancies and I didn’t get stretch marks but nor did my mum and she didn’t use anything. I think the most important thing is to make sure you use oil in the last trimester, especially if you go over due, as that’s when the stretch marks really come in.
Do you have a quick ‘mum on the run’ make up routine?
Sam: Yes, I do, and I have done a video on it on Pixiwoo as so many mums asked for it. It’s four minutes long – a very quick, everyday make up routine.
SO many useful videos by Sam and Nic are online at Real Techniques
Would you say there are any products busy mums could cut out of a beauty routine?
Sam: Every woman is different, but if you have a dry skin cut out the powder at the end as it will leave the skin looking healthy and glowing without it. If you have oily skin cut out the liquid foundations and opt for a powder foundation 2-in-1, as it will cut your time in half and still looks gorgeous
Do you have any favourite beauty products for making you look more ‘awake’?
Sam: Mascara, it doesn’t matter which mascara you use, but use one. Mascara will open your eyes up and stop you looking sleepy – add a pop of concealer under the eyes if you have time.
Who decides what your children are going to wear? And where do you like to shop for them?
Nic: I get most of our children’s clothes from Next, although some of them can look little grown up. I think they tend to have the best selection on the market. We also like Zara but they can be a little expensive.
Have you worked with many pregnant celebrities? Any favourites?
Nic: Sam and I worked with Alesha Dixon when she was pregnant, and she was lovely. She was glowing throughout her pregnancy.
Have you found any common skin complaints in pregnant women?
Nic: Some woman suffer from eczema when pregnant… I did, and that’s actually why I started using Oilatum and then continued to use it in my kids once they were born. Eczema and the odd spot break out seem to be the most common.
Instagram: Nic Chapman @nixiepixie1
Have you been inspired by being a parent to create any new ways of working?
Sam: No new ways. I just try to work when the kids go to bed so that I’m not interrupting our family time.
If you could invent a parenting product to help you out with being a busy mum – what would it be and why?
Nic: It would be a cloning machine so that I could be with the kids and get all the work I need to get done to the best of my ability without feeling guilty at all.
Visit Sam and Nic’s website, Real Techniques, to watch their videos and shop their collection
These brushes will launch online at Real Techniques, soon
NB. A version of the above interview, by Catherine Hudson, was due to appear in Prima Baby before it sadly closed in April 2016.
Read the other interviews in our ‘women inspiring women series…
- Chef and Masterchef winner, Ping Coombes, here
- Fashion and beauty blogger Danie Vanier, here
- Caroline Watson, stylist and bag designer, here
- Kids’ fashion designer Jessica Seaman, here
- Lifestyle PR guru Shosh Kazab, here
- Nutrition expert + lots more Yvonne Wake, here
- Writer and social media expert, Susie Verrill, here
- WGSN kids’ fashion editor, Clare Weston, here