Her story is a bit of a back-and-forth between Europe and Southern California. In 1990, Petra Strand was enrolled as a student at Elegance International School of Professional Makeup in Hollywood.
After she graduated, the Swedish-born makeup artist moved to London, where she founded her beauty brand, Pixi by Petra.
So when Strand decided to open her first U.S. beauty store, having it in Los Angeles was an obvious choice. Last month, Strand, who now lives in Santa Barbara, was on hand for the opening party for Pixi by Petra on Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice.
The 1,650-square-foot space is outfitted in the brand’s signature shades of pale green and rose pink, its interiors featuring lush grassy tableaux mounted with fresh rosettes. It’s a cozy, inviting space that Strand says feels “like an all-day girls’ party, where you can come in and play with makeup.”
The focus of her brand, she says, has always been on natural, botanical-based beauty products that aren’t tested on animals and that come in smart packaging and are affordably priced. Her line of color cosmetics and skin care products ranges from $8 to $34.
The opening of the store coincided with the launch of the Pixi Pretties Collaborator Collection, a new product line created with a quartet of beauty influencers.
“They got to make their dream product and to have input in the formulas, textures, colors,” says Strand, wearing a pale green and pink dress at the opening shindig. “They were very specific.”
The Collaborator Collection, which retails from $14 to $24, includes Aspyn Ovard’s Eye Accents kit and Glow-y Powder, a highlighter and cheek mineral powder to replicate the natural look espoused by the Utah-based blogger.
British aesthetician Caroline Hirons has long advocated double cleansing skin (hence, the Collaborator Collection’s new two-in-one Double Cleanse), while Judy Travis opted for offering eyeshadow and lip color palettes that work for any skin.
And followers of makeup artist and blogger Maryam Maquillage can define and highlight their skin with her Strobe & Bronze palette, part of a trio of beauty goods created by Maquillage.
Also bowing at the new store are Strand’s new offerings for spring: her Peel & Polish for skin resurfacing and her Rose Oil Blend.
“At Pixi, we’ve always been about bringing back the glow,” she says. “If you feel a little dull, under the weather or stressed, our hero product is the Glow Tonic. We literally can’t make that fast enough. We’ve built our whole skin care line around that.”
With the brand’s emphasis on wholesome beauty, Strand says she next wants to expand into scents.
“We made fragrances 10 years ago, and we’re looking at reformulating them to be natural and treatment fragrances,” she says. “Instead of alcohol, we will formulate them with vitamin water and herbal extracts, to be misted all over the hair and body.”
Pixi by Petra, 1308 Abbott Kinney Blvd., Venice, 424-744 8879, www.pixibeauty.com; hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.