Samantha and Nicola Chapman grew up surrounded by makeup. Their aunt was a top makeup artist in London, working with clients like David Bowie and Princess Diana. Their mum was makeup-involved too, always trying out the latest trends and being creative with her looks. As young girls, they experimented on one another, and of course Nic was the test subject, since Sam was the older sister. When it came time to choose their career path, it was clear that makeup artistry was the way to go. They were talented, creative, and keen to follow in the footsteps of their successful aunt. But, most importantly — they were passionate about beauty.
After two years of attending school for professional makeup artistry, Sam moved to London to work on counters and begin her career as a freelance artist. She had the opportunity to work with the likes of MAC, Estee Lauder, and Chanel doing everything from fashion weeks, to editorial. Nic was not far behind, following a similar path, but in her own right. Over time, they both had built a reputation in the industry as respected makeup artists.
In 2008, Sam uploaded her first video to a website called YouTube. She was pregnant at the time, and had moved to her hometown of Norwich to raise her daughters and focus on her new career as a mother. When a friend asked how to get a smoky eye, the first Pixiwoo® video was created. There was no hype around YouTube at that time, but immediately, people everywhere began to find Sam’s video and request more. Soon, Sam and Nic began to collaborate, and the Pixiwoo® channel began to take off. The girls were the perfect team, each bringing something different to the table. Sam would use her expertise to recreate runway looks, and Nic would have fun focusing on the latest celebrity look. They were able to pioneer a new platform of makeup artistry… without even realizing that they were on the cusp.
They were able to pioneer a new platform of makeup artistry… without even realizing that they were on the cusp of something big.
In 2010, when the Pixiwoo® channel had reached around 30,000 subscribers, the idea behind Real Techniques began to formulate. One of the most important things behind makeup artistry is using the right tools, and for many women, they’re not quite sure where to start. The majority have grown up using triangle wedges, eye applicators, powder puffs, and even their fingers to apply makeup. Now that YouTube was coming alive as a way to learn the pro secrets, brushes seemed like the perfect fit. Plus, social media now makes it easier than ever to hear exactly what women are looking for, and to create products that are tailored just for them.
Sam & Nic, Bold Metals Launch, 2015
In 2011, the Real Techniques brush collection was launched. Unbelievable brush quality was paired with professional, interesting, fun education from Sam and Nic. The launch day was memorable, as women from around the world started pouring to the website to learn more about this new brand. Fairly quickly, a global community of women who loved makeup began to form. Not only do they have a strong connection to Sam & Nic, but they also connect with one another — piping in on social media to answer questions and give input.
Today, the brand has taken off in the US, UK, and around the world. Sam and Nic continue to grow as top makeup artists, writing columns for national magazines and newspapers, appearing on major network television as beauty experts, and editing their own digital magazine. Through Real Techniques, women everywhere are transforming their makeup routines, and themselves, with the approachable expertise, friendship, and tools from Sam & Nic.