Founder of Pixi Beauty, Petra Strand talks all about her blossoming business, collaborating with some of the world’s biggest beauty bloggers and the importance of taking care of your skin
What inspired you to start Pixi Beauty?
I’m a makeup artist by trade and Pixi Beauty reflects that. I’m always searching for colours that flatter the skin as well as formulations that benefit it. I’ve always tried to create the kind of products that I want to see in my makeup bag. Pixi first opened its shop doors 18 years ago and the ethos and inspiration for the brand remains exactly the same; to create products that are great for the skin, have tones and pigments that flatter the skin, are cruelty-free, fuss-free and can be used multiple ways.
How are Pixi products different to other brands?
We approach our makeup in the same way as our skincare, every product is packed with botanicals and plant extracts, which are beneficial to the skin. Multipurpose is key; instead of complex routines, we like to simplify and make sure that only five multipurpose makeup products are needed for a look. We understand that most people have little time, so products should be about minimum effort and maximum results.
You collaborated with four beauty bloggers including Caroline Hirons for your Pixi + Pretties collection. What inspired you?
There are so many talented and inspiring people in the online beauty community who are experts in their own fields such as Caroline. These beauty bloggers have an amazing amount of knowledge that they share so readily with their audiences and are a great resource for so many people. I loved the idea of sitting down and creating the dream product with Caroline as it was a true collaboration and resulted in the perfect product, reflecting her area of expertise and taste.
What are your favourite products from the Pixi + Pretties range?
Double Cleanse which we created with Caroline Hirons has been such a game changer as it’s brought the facialist to the customer. In the treatment room double cleansing the perfect way to keep skin healthy and balanced, and I love that this luxurious experience can be possible in every bathroom with Double Cleanse.
The Get The Look palettes we created with beauty blogger, Judy Travis (itsjudytime) are fantastic too because all of the colours are so wearable and work beautifully singularly, or can be blended to customise your look. I also personally use Maryam’s Strobe and Sculpt Brush every day, which is a Pixi classic.
What’s your secret to building such a successful business?
Trusting your gut instinct, being completely committed and working hard. Never give up and don’t listen to negative people.
What’s your favourite Pixi product?
I have quite a few favourites for very different reasons. Of course, I love Glow Tonic as it’s been part of the Pixi Skincare range for the last 18 years and it’s a product that’s really made a difference and improved all types of skin, plus it’s extremely easy to use. We also have a base called Illuminating Tint & Conceal, which is another firm favourite of mine. It’s a tinted moisturiser with a skincare quality base, broad spectrum sunscreen and mineral pigments that give the skin the most beautiful glow. In the lid is a matching full coverage concealer so that you can customise the finish and have flawless coverage where you need it. I use it every day!
What do you love about your job?
I love the product development process. I’ve always had an alchemist’s approach to makeup and enjoy mixing, experimenting, hand blending the pigments for the initial sample, working with the lab directly for the formulations and pushing the boundaries of what we can do with ingredients. I’m very much at the helm of Pixi and I’m involved in all aspects of the brand. It makes me so proud of our team when I look back at how the brand has grown and evolved.
What beauty products can you not live without?
Eyelash curlers, lip balm, mist, sunscreen and concealer! I use sunscreen daily and love misting my face throughout the day. I also love a multipurpose quick fix with makeup too. I use the Correction Concentrate, which is a peach corrector for dark circles and it’s what I call my eight hours of sleep in a jar. I use that sparingly instead of eye shadow and add a dab of the Sheer Cheek Gel on the apple of the cheeks when I’m in a rush. Pixi’s Sheer Cheek Gel has been in the range for 18 years and I still swear by it. It’s water and aloe vera based gel that you can use as a fresh hint of colour on the cheeks or even as a stain on the lips too.
What’s your secret to achieving glowing skin?
Regular maintenance; cleanse the skin twice a day and use a toner like Glow Tonic before moisturising, make sure to customise your skincare when it needs to be tweaked. I love an at-home treatment as well to give the skin a little extra TLC. Once a week I use Peel & Polish to really maintain a smooth, hydrated texture of the skin and I also use the H20 Glow mask, which is an oxygenating two minute mask which revitalises all skin types yet it’s so calming and soothing. Every night, I finish the skin by layering Overnight Glow Serum to lock in the moisture.
What do you consider to be more important, your morning or evening beauty routine?
I actually think both are very important, however, it’s key to remove all the makeup, pollution and dirt accrued from the day. It’s essential to let the skin breathe at night and let the skincare you use work its magic. In the morning, you’re removing the night products and setting your skin up for the day by boosting moisture levels and hydration and ideally, a must is to protect your skin with sunscreen too.
Do you have a career highlight?
Our first London store opened 18 years ago, and it’s grown stronger than ever. This year we opened our first US store on Abbot Kinney in Los Angeles. Certainly a highlight!