MAKE-UP artists and beauty bloggers Pixiwoo are the ‘grandmothers of Youtube' - their words not mine.

"Funnily enough one of my most watched videos is my first ever drag make-up tutorial. I suppose it’s quite similar to the Kim Kardashian look."

London based sisters, Samantha and Nicola Chapman have been sharing their expert make-up tutorials on the website for over five years.

They've helped us master the 'smokey eye' and we've watched them transform themselves into celebrities and drag queens with skillful make-up wizardry. 

Together they’ve managed to become permanent fixtures in the online beauty world - a large cornerstone of the cyber-universe where unknown faces transform into fashion and beauty gurus, gain almost cult followings.

Beauty blogging and ‘vlogging’ (video blogging) is an internet phenomenon that has changed the way some of us shop and dress ourselves.

In fact, search something as humdrum as ‘what to do in the shower’ and you'll even find a video on that. Amongst the grumpy cats and 'epic-fails', there's a ‘How-To’ beauty video on just about everything.

With help from pay-per-click advertising some have turned their blogging hobbies into a professional career, but none quite matching the national success of Pixiwoo.

The professional make-up artists (with over ten years experience) have drummed up over one million subscribers becoming the UK’s number one Youtube beauty channel. Their own line of make-up brushes, Real Techniques, is also a UK bestseller.

Amongst the Youtubing riff-raff, Pixiwoo are expertly made-up faces you can trust. 


I caught up with the sisters at The Lowry Hotel during their UK roadshow to talk perfect make-up, their new brush line and transforming into Kim Kardashian...

Hi ladies. I see you've taken the tour to the US too...

NIC: We just got back from America recently. One woman took three trains to come and see us. I'm just so touched that someone would come all that way to come and meet us.

Talk us through the new brush set...

N: Last Christmas we did 'Sam’s Picks' brushes, this year we’ve got 'Nic’s Picks'. We wanted to create a lovely set that would work for everyone. A lot of our sets don’t have everything in them – there is a set for skin or a set for eyes. We brought back the duo fibre brush so you don’t have to pick up too much product – just a light coverage. It’s amazing for your first set of brushes.

For the girl just starting out, why invest in brushes? Can't we use fingers?

 N: It will make the product last longer on the skin.

SAM: It’s a really enjoyable part of the getting ready process. It makes it into more of a ritual. If I’m doing make-up with my fingers I just want to get it off and wash my hands as quickly as possible. If you’re doing it with brushes you want to sit there and take your time. Sometimes I can take an hour doing my make-up. Not because I need to take an hour, I can do it fifteen minutes, just because I’m enjoying the process.

N: If you're painting, you could use your hands but it’s not going to be as accurate as if you use a brush. If you use a brush you can get into every area and really work it into your skin.

Dsc_0154Out in October: Nic's Picks brush set (£39.99)

If you could suggest only one brush to a first-timer – what would be baby’s first?

S: It’d be the Expert Face Brush – you can use it with any foundation liquid or powder. If you don’t get your base right then the rest of face won’t look so good. Unless you’re lucky to have perfect skin...

What’s been your most popular video?

S: Kim Kardashian’s was the most requested, it’s not requested as much now as she must be out of favour. Now it’s her sisters Kendall and Kylie who are very popular. I would say the ‘no make-up make-up look’ and the 'Kim K' look have been the most requested over the last five years.

N: Funnily enough, one of my most watched videos is my first ever drag make-up tutorial. I suppose it’s quite similar to the Kim Kardashian make-up look (laughs).

S: Trends change. It all depends which celebrities fall in and out of favour, that effects what type of views we’re going to get.

Why are you guys so popular with women?

N: It’s because we’re real women and probably because we start our videos with no make-up on. It’s like having a make-up artist best friend – well that’s what we hope.

S: I wouldn’t like to guess. The truth is we don’t go on trying to be anything other than who we are.  I am quieter and Nic doesn’t stop talking. I talk to the camera how I would talk to anyone else. Sometimes you can tell when people are putting on a persona for the camera and we get enough of that on TV.

N: Also we’ve been there so long that people are just used to seeing us. We’re part of Youtube's furniture. We’ve been here for six years nearly. We’re the Grandmas of Youtube and we haven’t changed our format.

S: I put 110% into my make-up in these videos because you know that people are going to be like ‘Oh my God, that’s terrible’ if you slip up. 


Do you guys still fear offensive Youtube comments? How do you cope with the trolls?

S: Initially yes. When we started becoming popular we definitely did. There were times when I thought ‘why the hell am I putting myself through this?' After all, I could go back to doing photoshoots where nobody knows who I am and nobody’s criticising my face or my nose. But, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that’s definitely true about working on Youtube.

N: The good thing about being sisters is we can take it in turns to be down. Sam was down for awhile way back and now I’m having my low moments. She got quite depressed about the comments at one point. Now, we just call each when we get horrible feedback. It could be that time of the month and you just can’t deal with horrible comments.

S: I just turned a corner with it now. Real Techniques is just a huge focus for me now. I don’t have the energy to worry about general negativity and bitchiness. Youtube is an amazing community, but it went through stages of being bitchy. But the audience has changed now. It’s much more of a controlled environment. We block trolls if they’re racist, sexist or homophobic.

Do you ever worry that you're going to run out of ideas?

S: You think you’re going to run out of ideas but then you reel off a list. The next I’m going to do is Dolly Parton.

N: I did Donnatella Versace a few weeks ago. It’s a bit left of field but it’s fun because you know no one else will have done it. It might not get the most hits – who's going to search for Donnatella Versace make-up looks?

Which celebrity do you think gets their make-up right everytime?

N: A lot of celebrities have the same make-up looks and the same make-up artist.

S: Jennifer Lawrence is great. She’s beautiful but not in an Angelina Jolie untouchable, scary way. In a ‘I just want you to be my friend’ way.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers champion contouring recently – do you agree with contouring your face to look like someone else?

S: I think it’s incredibly hard to do it well - especially in the daytime. It’s a trick. If you’re good at it you can really transform your face, but you have to be good at it. It’s an illusion to create something that isn’t there like higher cheekbones. There’s no point doing it if you don’t need it.


What’s the easiest make-up look to recreate?

S: The most simple tip to look made-up without taking a lot of time is this: a good foundation, a wash of taupe eyeshadow, mascara, false lashes and brightish lips. That could take you ten to fifteen minutes without having to faff about.

There’s now hundreds of new and young Youtube upstarts - what do you make of it?

S: It’s exciting. Some sky-rocket and some don’t. Some are amazing on camera and some aren’t.

N: As we’re older we’re a bit out of the loop but it’ll be nice to see where the younger bloggers will take it. I think the ones we know are also good role models and I’d be happy for my children to watch them.

S: My nine-year-old daughter watches the British Youtubers only. She’s just obsessed.

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