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Conversations: Pixi’s Petra Strand Walks Us Through Her Beauty Routine

And yes, there's plenty of her cult classic Glow Tonic. This boss lady also doesn't believe in giving an arm and a leg for products you'll finish in a week. #preach

You know when you come across a certain beauty product that no one around you has heard of, but you take the risk, take it home and then come to the wonderful, rewarding realisation that the product is – as the kids these days say – dope? That was me two years ago with Pixi’s Glow Tonic.

Of course, the same can probably be said for the thousands who go through bottle after bottle of Pixi’s constantly sold-out exfoliant, which has now attained cult and holy grail status in the beauty lexicon. Just google it and see how many times it appears on a “best of” list. In fact, it is so popular that the brand recently released a limited edition jumbo-sized Glow Tonic, just to satiate the its legions of fans.

Based out of London, Pixi is the brainchild of Petra Strand, a seasoned makeup artist who stepped into scene with one goal: to create natural-centric, no-nonsense, effective skincare for women. Her products speak for themselves. There is no fluff in the packaging – though going minimal is all the rage at the mo, so that’s an extra star for Pixi – or in the look of the products themselves. The pizzazz is reserved for when it goes onto your skin and after when the skin magic is done. (It is named after the mythical pixie, after all.)

With Pixi slowly but surely gaining a rep in Singapore, we thought it fitting to pick at the brains of the woman behind it and her beauty philosophies, whether it is choosing not to believe in beauty icons or that one does not have to pay an arm and a leg for a beauty product that works. Amen to that, sister.

Hey Petra! How has the day been treating you? What has been keeping you busy?
Very well thank you! I am a mum of four so I am always busy. I am currently working with my team on some newness for 2019, which will be incredible. I can’t wait to share!


Are you a morning person? What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I do love mornings before everybody wakes up. I wake up excited to get going every day! I try and get in some quiet time and answer my emails, as my work is also my hobby and passion.


Let’s go straight to Pixi. What was the inspiration behind starting Pixi? Why the name?
I have been a makeup artist for the last 25 years. I was always mixing formulations and colours, creating my signature #PixiGlow. Pixi was born out of my passion to create the best products in the world for real women that was easy to use, and are potent and natural. I am Swedish and in my country, pixies create magic, just like how makeup and skincare do for the skin!


How did it all start?
Pixi started in London 19 years ago, with our own boutique. Every piece of international business has come through the buyers and teams visiting us at the London boutique. We look for the perfect retail partner in every country. Here in Singapore, we are proud to be partnering with Sephora. We are now available in 18 countries and have almost 100 incredible people in our Pixi family worldwide.


What is the philosophy behind Pixi?
Pixi is natural, potent, easy to use, and has products that create our famous #PixiGlow in both skincare and makeup. Our products are packed with incredible skin-enhancing ingredients. The goal is always giving the best quality at an accessible price point. We are a brand created by a woman for women. We only create products that we need ourselves in our makeup bag or in our skincare routine.


Pixi is quite easy on the wallet, given how great the products are. Is this something that was easy to do as a businesswoman?
We only invest in product, we don’t pay for marketing. You should not have to pay a fortune for a moisturiser that you finish in a week. My goal is that EVERYBODY should be able to have great skincare and great makeup.


There are a number of products that feature rose as a key ingredient or scent. Why is that?
You can never have enough rose! Rose is such a wonderful ingredient that gives incredible results across all skin types and ages. Rose enhances the skin imparting such a beautiful glow. I am also a big rose lover! Rose is such a feminine and delicate ingredient. I definitely will be adding more to our Rose Collection in the future, so stay tuned!


Aside from rose, what are other skincare ingredients you love in a product?
I love floral waters and other floral oils, they smell delicious, and are so revitalising for the skin. I love humectants that trap moisture and plump the skin. And of course, I love glycolic acid for its gentle exfoliating properties. Glycolic acid is the main ingredient in our Glow Tonic, which is why so many people cannot live without this.


What are your top fives from Pixi?
This is tricky, I genuinely have so many favourites. Glow Tonic, of course, because this is such an iconic product. This is the perfect skin-prep to keep your skin smooth, with pores minimised and complexion bright. The Overnight Glow Serum (10% Glycolic Acid) radically improves my skin, leaving it rested, smooth, and glowing. Correction Concentrate is what I call it my “8 hours sleep in a jar”; this neutralises dark circles and improves the appearance of darkness under the eyes. Rose Caviar Essence to instantly soothe and hydrate all skin types. This is a unique delivery system with encapsulated floral essences that burst in contact with the skin,  ensuring such a wonderful balance of hydration and efficacy. Illuminating Tint & Conceal which is my daily four-in-one tinted moisturiser, SPF, serum, hydrating lotion, and concealer in one. We tinted this with mineral pigments so it evens out the skin tone and adds a soft luminous glow. This is also waterproof which means this stays on in this humid weather! The cap is a matching full coverage concealer, which I use where I need more coverage.


Can you walk us through your skincare routine?
At night I start with removing my makeup using Double Cleanse which has a cleansing balm that removes everything – even waterproof makeup – on one side, and then cleansing lotion that cleanses the skin on the other side. After Double Cleanse, I apply Glow Tonic all over my face, neck, décolletage and the tops of hands. I smooth on Overnight Glow Serum focusing on my T-zone and sun damaged areas. I let this sink in the skin for a few minutes. Then, I mix Rose Oil Blend with Beauty Sleep Cream and finish off with Hydrating Milky Mist to seal in the moisture.

In the morning I put on Glow Mud Cleanser and leave it on while I shower to get some steam on my face so it works double duty as a detoxifying mask and cleanser. I apply Rose Tonic for ultimate hydration in the morning, followed by the Rose Caviar Essence. I keep 24K Eye Elixir in the fridge and I roll that all around my eyes to de-puff and strengthen the eye area.
Finally, I apply Glowtion Day Dew, a great moisturiser and luminizer in one.


Pixi taps into online personalities like Chloe Morello and Wylie Hoang. Why is this important compared to more prominent ambassadors?
The personal relationship with our collaborators is authentic. These are girls I love and admire and what we create together is a passion project from both sides. I work and create with people within the industry that I admire, and we sit down and they get to create their dream product with us. A Pixi girl is literally everyone. Somebody who loves high performance skincare and make up with a sizzle, packed with great ingredients that make you look like the best version of yourself.


Who is your personal beauty icon?
I don’t believe in icons. I believe that each person should be their own icon and that we need to teach young woman to have confidence in themselves and make the best of what you have. Bring out the most beautiful you. Every woman is gorgeous to me.


Before we let you go, what do you think are some of the upcoming beauty trends in skincare and makeup?
Pixi is not about trends, we are all about classic beauty that never goes out of style. Our products are based on new innovation in either ingredients or application systems and we work hard in focusing on being ourselves and not followers. I believe that natural products will keep getting more and more popular, so will multi-purpose products that have more than one benefit. I’m excited about the future for Pixi. I feel that we are exactly where we want to be with an amazing collection of “must-have” products. I can’t wait to build the Pixi community here in Singapore!


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