Whether a professional makeup artist or someone whose extent of their makeup collection is a well-loved mascara, most makeup wearers own a Real Techniques product. If not, they will most certainly be aware of its presence; their award-winning brushes stand out in the seemingly endless makeup aisles. However, many might be unaware of the two women behind the brand, sisters Sam and Nic Chapman, and their story of success.
The sisters’ shared love of makeup began from childhood. Their aunt was a professional, working with celebrities from the likes of David Bowie to Princess Diana, and this world was enough to enthrall them. Sam’s own fascination began as early as 3 years old, Nic not far behind her. The journey echoes a lot of ordinary girls’ experimentation with makeup, and both sisters’ self confessed lack of academic interest fuelled their singular career goals: to follow in their aunt’s footsteps.
“Their personal and sometimes intimate discussions of their children, relationships, and experiences as younger women have made them role models for future YouTubers and everyday women in general”
After first building respectable reputations in the makeup industry, and working on runways and editorials, they moved on to create the innovative YouTube channel ‘Pixiwoo’. During the site’s early days, Sam posted a tutorial on creating a smoky eye look for a friend, and the channel snowballed from there. They now boast over 2 million subscribers, with some videos reaching over 8 million views. Their personal and sometimes intimate discussions of their children, relationships, and experiences as younger women have made them role models for future YouTubers and everyday women in general.
Through their use of the YouTube platform, they pioneered a new path for the world of makeup. Whereas we now take the endless stream of tutorials, beauty advice and tips and tricks on the site for granted, the presence of makeup and beauty was only just beginning to develop when Pixiwoo began to inspire vloggers. For the first time, professional makeup was becoming more accessible. Ordinary people could learn the tricks of the trade, see comparisons of expensive cult favourites with cheaper alternatives and create increasingly dramatic and daring looks. This paved the way to their makeup line, Real Techniques, which was released in 2011 and continues to grow. By developing affordable brushes and tools, they have made not only the methods of the trade available to the masses, but also the tools.
The sisters’ roles in making professional makeup accessible and approachable for the ordinary person is huge. They appealed to a brand new audience through their YouTube channel, inspired a new generation of beauty bloggers, the most significant of which is YouTube favourite Tanya Burr, and changed the makeup routines of people worldwide. They are instrumental in introducing professional makeup to the masses.