Spotlight: Pixiwoo

This blog will always highlight individuals who inspire us! Usually those people are makeup artists because after all, this is a beauty blog and makeup artistry is our business. 

In early 2010, this Pro was messing around on YouTube during some very long "downtime" between takes on set and discovered two ladies that call themselves Pixiwoo. I was intrigued by the name because it doesn't fit the normal "tutorial" or makeup "haul" type of channel that now flood YouTube and completely bore the crap out of me!

The shoot I was working on at the time had major location changes that required long lighting set ups at each spot and nothing was inspiring me on my Kindle, so I went on the YouTube app on my iPhone and typed "makeup" into the search. Pixiwoo was the first to pop up and the Helena Bonham Carter, Marla Singer - Fight Club tutorial was the first one I watched.

I was immediately struck by the image that Samantha Chapman was creating on the screen and knew right away she was a professional artist and not some type of "beauty junkie" (a label some call themselves that I don't really understand).

She began recreating Ms. Carter's classic character and explaining her technique during application. What struck me most was that Sam was putting her own "spin" on the look, the mark of a true artist, and that reeled me in, hook, line and sinker! I wanted to see more!

After touching up my actor and running off to yet another location change, I found myself viewing a great tutorial by Sam's sister Nicola. It was titled Raquel Welch 1960s Makeup Tutorial. I noticed that this too was impeccably recreated, but the final touch had Nic's own makeup artist style attached to it.  The final outcome was all Raquel, but Nic's makeup technique, products used, along with Nic's bone structure, skin tone and hair gave this look it's own flare!

From that moment on, I have watched most (or possibly all) of the Pixiwoo tutorials.  I have discovered that the sister duo have original style, a sense of humor, elegance and are natural teachers. As a professional artist, I turn to this YouTube Channel and their blog to find inspiration, information and to still pass the time on set.

Maybe it's their ability to create easy-to-follow, no fuss, personal makeup looks...maybe it's the editorial (they prefer the term "not for everyone") looks...maybe it’s the fact that they take the time to professionally film and edit their videos...or maybe it's their British accents that make them so appealing to their now over 300,000 subscribers. Whatever the case, there is no stopping them now - they have created a monster and it has lead them down some new incredible business avenues.

But, before I talk about business, here is a bit of history on the sisters...

Both Samantha and Nicola completed a 2-year course in Media Makeup, Hairdressing and Wig Making at the College of West Anglia in Norfolk, England. Both are accomplished artists with work appearing in fashion publications, music videos, on fashion runways and of course, in countless video tutorials on YouTube and other beauty websites. These artists also teach, lecture and write for various beauty related media. They have over 14 years experience in the makeup field and are currently contracted by Avon to educate their Independent sales leaders, representatives, customers and employees on Avon products.

Now...on to the business;

Earlier this year, Sam Chapman partnered with Real Techniques to create a brush line. Because Sam is a true artist, she knows that using great makeup brushes will enhance any technique and better the quality of the look you desire no matter if you are a professional or novice.

With her makeup artistry appearing in publications including Harpers, Tatler, Brides, Elle and Cosmo, combined with her work on celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Peaches Geldof and Ashley Tisdale, to name just a few and because her YouTube channel has over 40 million hits, Sam is an expert on the need for good makeup "tools!"

When this Pro first discovered the Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman brush line, I was so frustrated that I couldn't get my hands on them!  Ulta carries them in the States and because of the popularity the Pixiwoo team has built over the past 2 years, this collection sold out fast!  I was able to finally order them online and get all the brushes except the Kabuki.

These brushes combine high-tech materials with innovative design, which makes creating a flawless finish easy to achieve.  The first thing this Pro noticed about the brushes is that they are 100% cruelty-free, with taklon bristles that are incredibly plush and soft.

Each brush is hand-cut to the perfect shape, which allows for precise application and this line is perfect for any type of makeup product including cream, liquid or powder and each brush is color-coded, making it that much easier to achieve makeup perfection!

Flawless Base Collection (gold handle):

*Essential Foundation Brush applies liquid foundation/concealer flawlessly.

*Detailer Brush is perfect for concealing smaller areas.

*Pointed Foundation Brush is best used with liquid foundation to build coverage.

*Buffing Brush can be used for powder and/or mineral foundation application.

*Powder Brush will evenly apply setting powder smoothly.

*Foundation Brush (angle cut) makes blending around the nose, mouth and chin easy.

*Contour Brush applies delicately for a sheer finish.

Eye Definition Collection (purple handle):

*Base Shadow Brush is perfect for all over application from lid to brow.

*Deluxe Crease Brush is sized to fit the crease for effortless blending.

*Accent Brush is designed for precision detailing, smudging and spotlighting.

*Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush is ideal for dense or fine liner application.

*Shading Brush is a great all-purpose brush to create looks from subtle to dramatic.

*Domed Shadow Brush is a tapered design for shading and defining.

*Brow Brush defines brows like a Pro.

*Lash-Brow Groomer is essential to separate and perfect.

Perfect Finish (pink handle):

*Stippling Brush is a trade secret for creating airbrushed, high-definition results with any type of makeup be it liquid, cream or powder.

*Blush Brush will contour and define cheeks flawlessly.

*Multi-Task Brush is wonderful for blush and bronzer.

*Kabuki Brush - use the 2-in-1 kabuki closed for powder, and then unfolds to sweep on color!

These brushes not only perform, they are economical too! So inexpensive that you can easily build your collection quickly and purchase duplicates of favorite brushes without breaking the bank!

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman brushes are sold individually or in kits that come with a panoramic brush case and stand - for more information and to view exclusive instructional videos featuring Sam, visit their website at or purchase from Ulta at select stores or online.

Here is a list of this Pro's favorite brushes:

Stippling Brush
Shading Brush
Deluxe Crease Brush
Powder Brush
Blush Brush
Detailer Brush
Buffing Brush
Multi-Task Brush

The entire collection is wonderful and I own them all except for the Kabuki (sold out), but the brushes listed above are those I have purchased in duplicate for my personal and professional use.

Pro Tips and Tricks:

This Pro recently started her own YouTube Channel - InMyProOpinion - and made a corresponding video for this post.  Click below to view and please subscribe if you're so inclined!


  1. I adore their videos and it was so nice to see a well written article about them! They do stand out against the rest, so a well deserved spotlight!

  2. Claudia,

    Thanks for reading - I appreciate your feedback!


  3. Melissa, thank you for this great post! I was a little sceptical about these brushes first (because of the price I guess)but now I'm not anymore...
    I follow your blog since from the beginning and...I don't know...I trust you:)
    Take care!

  4. I won the starter brush kit at my school at Paul Mitchell in Virginia Beach and I love them!!!! They are sooooooo soft and easy to clean! I def wanna buy the bigger brush set!

  5. moyca,

    Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to comment - enjoy the brushes - they are stellar!

  6. Sweet Surrender,

    I love these brushes too - how exciting that you won a starter kit from your school - thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment!

  7. When I read reviews on them I was half convinced. Now after reading your post and watching your video, I am FULLY CONVINCED. Omg, I'm gonna get them! International shipping's gonna cost a lot though! =(

  8. Going to get some brushes ordered stoday, thanks for your review esp on the favorites! My mentor in UK, Nicci Jackson spoke about Pixiwoo during my course and I am glad someone of your experience stateside did a profile on these ladies :)