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Exclusive: Pixiwoo beauty vloggers Sam and Nic Chapman talk red carpet style and bust beauty myths

by Nadine Baggott and Michelle Johnson

We're firmly in red carpet season, with celebrities from Grammy-winner Beyoncé to BAFTA darling Emma Stone rocking the red carpet both sides of the Atlantic, but with Oscars so close, make-up artists and YouTube sensation Pixiwoo have their eyes firmly on the biggest beauty trends of 2017. "What's interesting is there's a massive trend of Insta-brows and Instagram make-up online, but if you look at the red carpet no celebrities would ever wear that make-up," says Nic Chapman, who launched Pixiwoo with her sister Sam in 2008 and now boasts more than 2 millions subscribers to their beauty tutorials and product reviews. "They don't have heavy contour, don't have their brows done," she adds. "They look like better versions of themselves. And the reason is that that's the best way to look."

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Nic lists Elizabeth Taylor as her ultimate beauty icon, while Sam says hers is fellow bold-lip enthusiast Ava Gardner, but the sisters have modern red carpet icons as well. "Mine is Margot Robbie," says Sam. "I love her; she always looks phenomenal. She's obviously got a beautiful face but she tries out different things and I like that. I also like Jennifer Lawrence because she's just cool."

"I have a couple of people I really like," adds Nic. "Emma Watson, who I think is always a little bit understated and looks great. My other big one is Lilly Collins, because she embraces her massive brows – but they're really hers, so I like it – and I think she rocks a dark lip as well."

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Nic revealed Elizabeth Taylor is her ultimate beauty icon

There's a clear mix of understated beauty and daring style in their list of favourites; no surprise when they're so up for trying new and different styles in their video tutorials. "It's great to push the envelope," says Sam. "I think Jennifer Lopez has always been very good at doing that, but she's also made some terrible mistakes with make-up too, but haven't we all? You can't ridicule J-Lo because she's phenomenal but I like having someone who's imperfect. I think it's a lovely thing to see."

The reason Pixiwoo are so keen to celebrate imperfection is part of their drive to support busy women who aren't beauty experts. "I think the biggest ever make-up myth is that there are rules, that you have to do things a certain way," says Sam. "Although the one rule that is absolutely true is never pluck your eyebrows! I won't let my kids tough their eyebrows at all."

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Sam revealed Margot Robbie is her red carpet style inspiration

"Or that you should put tonnes of make-up on. People put tonnes on rather than picking one feature to stand out; I think that's the biggest mistake," says Nic. "Instead, you should work with your face, use small amounts gradually rather than just covering your face with make-up to hide things."

One thing they both agree on is finding the right tools, and so Sam and Nic have created a new collection of make-up brushes which each features the same shaped brush in various different sizes for their Real Techniques product line. "Not everyone has the same size or shape face, so to create a brush and say 'This is the cheek brush' when some people have tiny little faces and others have big moon faces like me, is not going to work," says Sam.

Find out more in HELLO!'s exclusive video interview.