5 Minutes With: Petra Strand, founder of Pixi Beauty


Ask any beauty blogger about this brand and they are instantly all peals and squeals. Why? It’s one of the hottest top-quality, cheap-and-cheerful beauty brands to debut since it officially came to the U.K. nearly 10 years ago with its Soho, London flagship store and then hit mass North American shelves at Target a mere five years ago. That’s practically baby years for a beauty brand. Part of her success? Her natural beauty approach and roster of Hollywood fans (see: Oprah Winfrey and Helena Christensen). So how does one take the idea of a beauty line and create it into a sure-fire success? Stylesight quizzes Petra Strand, the 20-year makeup veteran and creator of Pixi Beauty on her runway favorites, inspirations for the coming season and how she’s managed to build her global beauty brand into a cult following.

Stylesight: What were your favorite beauty looks on Fall 2013 runways?
Metallic makeup! Love the new mineral pigments in shimmery metallic to catch the light and enliven the face (Petra recommends the Seasonal Reflection Kit).

SS: Music, fabrics, art, icons: which of these are inspiring you for the S/S 14 season?
PS: Music – Always my sister’s music. She sings like an angel and writes like a poet!
Art – I love any flower art, especially in watercolor.
Icons – Audrey Hepburn is always an inspiration. I love the classic beauties like Grace Kelly, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Bergman.

SS: Your motto that has set you on a path to success?
PS: Work harder than anybody else, don’t listen to negative people and do it YOUR way. I certainly don’t feel I have succeeded yet and I have so much more I want to do – I get up and work hard every single day.

SS: What is the secret to succeeding in the beauty business? Is there one?
PS: No secrets, just old fashioned hard work! Never give up on your dream. Somebody is going to do it – it may as well be you. You have to do something you are really passionate about to keep at it for the long-haul. Absolutely nothing happens overnight. I’m living proof: I started Pixi Beauty 15 years ago.

SS: Good luck charm (item, person or pet)?
PS: Fairies of course. I’m inspired by the legends of the Pixies in the Swedish forest where I grew up. Stories told to kids growing up.

SS: What is one thing that helps give you an inspirational pick-me-up?
The thought of women all over the world using Pixi products now is so inspiring to me – I want to create better formulas and more beautifying colors than last season. I always try to create better and better products than the season before.

SS: First experience with beauty? Tell us about a moment or memory.
PS: My poor brother had to endure countless “makeovers” that I forced him to sit through at a very young age. Makeup, hairstyling – the works.

SS: Beauty product (skincare or makeup) you’d never live or leave the house without?
PS: I’d never be without the Illuminating Tint & Conceal! It’s skincare and makeup all rolled into one – it’s a nutrient-rich lotion with SPF 20, has a tint, is mineral-based and water-resistant. Gives just enough coverage with some much needed “anti-dullness” glow for my tired skin. In the cap is a full coverage concealer to use on troubled areas or around the eye as an eye primer.

— Glynnis Mapp, Stylesight Beauty Editor



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