The Staff Room.
We continue with our series of The Staff Room and this month we get to sit down with Glisten Cosmetics’ Founder and CEO, the Mother of Wet Liners, Natalie Chapple. In our extra special Staff Room Q&A featuring questions direct from you, Natalie gets down to business, discusses life, her love of colourful cosmetics and has a few laughs along the way.
Name: Natalie Chapple
Job Role: Founder and CEO
Years at Glisten: 6 Years
Erin: Describe yourself in 3 words.
Natalie: Silly, laid back, but no-nonsense.
E: How did you start working for Glisten Cosmetics?
N: Well, obviously I founded the bitch! On a very cold evening in the UK, on the 31 December 2016 I was sitting in bed thinking about what I could do on the side whilst I was teaching. That was so long ago! And then 2017 she was born, the 1st of. She’s a New Year's baby. What star sign is Glisten? A Capricorn? It’s like a “New Year, New Me” kind of thing. I was in bed thinking “what is this year gonna bring me?” and I decided it was going to bring me Glisten Cosmetics!
E: We got asked this a lot on Instagram, what inspired you to start making Wet Liners and do you use them to create looks yourself?
N: I do use them myself, yes! I used to do graphic liner all the time, before it was even a thing! Before Glisten was even born I was a massive lover of those NYX Cosmetics Liners, the ones that were called Vivid Brights or something like that? But they were, no offence, a bit ‘cwap’ because they would dry out in the pots so quickly. They were cool, but when I found out about water activated liners I thought this is perfect because you can just use them as and how you wish! I originally had my products bought and sat for ages, as I was too nervous to sell them at first. I was worried my audience wouldn’t like them. BUT they’ve been great, people love them and I get to do loads of colours - yes it’s probably too many colours, I’m sorry. I’m not even mad at myself. I just like colours and our range is fun! The new website will make it easier to navigate through our collection ha.
(pictured, Natalie circa 2015)
E: Run us through a typical day at Glisten HQ for you?
N: At the moment it’s a bit different as we’re moving offices, so I’ve not been in the office much. Although I came up with the idea in 2016/2017 it’s only been my full time job since 2020. Up until that it was very much a small little baby that was only me and kind of a side thing, now it’s a big baby and we have 9 staff members and need a bigger space. I can’t wait for the new place and to be in! My day at the moment is wake up, take my kids to school; which is by far the worst thing about being a parent, keeping up appearances. “Nice to see you, Julie, how ya’ doing?” only to see them on the school run. I normally wear a really oversized fleece to make myself look really unapproachable so nobody speaks to me.
Anyway, take the kids to school, come home then check my emails straight away. Usually from about 9am I’m doing emails and responding to DM’s or posting for Instagram. I manage all of the Instagram, and Marketing so I plan any posts or campaigns as well as do all of the Product Design. I typically spend a lot of time on calls and in meetings, then it’s back to emails, planning any upcoming email campaigns, scheduling those, more marketing, more Insta… I’ll probably be on Instagram from 9am till 9pm. It’s 12 hours every single day LOL. I’m still working on finding that balance ya’ know. I really don’t class work as work, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it as much as I do.
E: How do you take your coffee?
N: Oat latte, no sugar.
E: If you could choose three albums to listen to on a desert island for a year what would they be?
N: It would be Kaytranada, 99.9%. Then Amy Winehouse, Frank, has to be Frank! Then I would say Doja Cat, Hot Pink.
E: What’s been some of your highlights since beginning the company?
N: Some of my favourite things? I guess you know, Doja is a big thing that makes me happy. The fact she loves my products, she’s messaging me and wearing Glisten lots in her lives. You know, that was really fun and validating. I really enjoyed doing our pop up shop last year in London, then being at the Shrubs & Dubs pop up and meeting other business owners were two really exciting things for us. We’re at Shrubs & Dubs this year at Box Park, Shoreditch from the 13th December to the 24th December again and we’re going to be at Ru Paul’s Drag Con in January, which I’m really looking forward to! Also, I’ve loved doing all of the collabs, I think they’ve all been really good fun. I don’t know if I could pick one that I like the most. I think the cow palette will always be my lil’ baby because that was my first proper big collaboration!
E: And what’s your favourite thing about working at Glisten Cosmetics?
N: That I don't have to answer to anybody haha! Except my Mum who works for me. I’m never really the boss…
E: What do you get up to when you’re not at the office?
N: I do enjoy the gym and lifting heavy stuff. I feel like it grounds me and it's good for mental health which is good when you’re running a business. But I haven’t been in ages because I’m a friggin’ lazy bones. I am also a *professional DJ*...I'm not, but I do like doing that in my spare time. And hanging with my family and pals, being silly. I don’t like taking life too seriously, or try not to anyway!
E: Do you have any secret talents we should know about?
N: Erin’s trying to get me to do something I don’t want to do, this is bullying! When I was 17, I used to be able to do the worm, but not something I've recently tried out and I'm now 31.
E: What’s your favourite Glisten product?
N: Umm, ooh I can't choose. Each one of my products holds a special place in my heart. It would probably be a Blue, but I couldn’t possibly pick.
E: Are there any new products in the pipeline you can tell us about?
N: We do have Vol 2 and 3 of the Artists’ Palettes coming out this month. Wendy’s on the 11th of November and Maytahmi’s on the 18th of November, so set your reminders people! We’re testing our waterproofer which is very exciting. Gamechanger! We’re also improving our Chroma Pencils and making them more into a duochrome, liquid liner rather than a pencil. They'll probably be called something different though. And also bringing out a new duochrome palette that’s currently in production- hopefully coming soon!
E: And what’s a Glisten product you think that people are sleeping on?
N: I’m shocked we still have Frog Palettes available, they’re one of the nicest palettes we have! I'd be quick to grab one of those cuties before christmas. The Shape Shifter should also be a million times more popular than it is. I know it’s mine, I'm so biassed, but it’s so good. If I'm blowing my own trumpet, sue me! But it’s literally the best highlighter palette I've ever used. Prove me otherwise!
E: Our customers want to know what makes your soul happy?
N: Good food and good company.
E: And as always with our deep dives, what is your go-to pizza topping?
N: Plain old margs, with a bit of baz and that mozzarella better not be wet!
We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know the woman behind the curtain at the mystical land of Glisten and love her just as much as we do at Glisten HQ. This red headed hottie is only just getting started with her cosmetics empire and we’re here for the ride.
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By Erin O’Neill