We Talked to the Owner of Glisten Cosmetics About Inspiration, Creativity, and Collaboration

Glisten Cosmetics has been one of Liv and I’s favorite brand since we first found out about them! In fact, their split liners won two categories in the Giulia’s (mine) Choice Indie Mood Awards – for Favorite Eyeliner of 2020 and for Most Unique Concept of 2020. I always find that the owner Natalie’s products inspire me to create, and the Glisten Instagram feed – wow! It is an endless source of stunning looks!

So, we were so excited to get a chance to interview Natalie for the blog! We hope you enjoy learning a little more about the human behind the scenes of this awesome brand!

* This post is not sponsored. All images are from us, Natalie, Glisten’s Instagram, or Glisten’s website. We do have an affiliate code with Glisten, though – INDIEMOOD20 for 20% off!

IM: What led you into starting Glisten Cosmetics and how did you come up with your branding and name? 

Natalie: I started Glisten back in 2017. I had just passed my teacher training and the pay was RUBBISH! I wanted to have a little side business that I could do in my spare time to help with childcare costs. I wanted my ‘side hustle’ to be something I enjoyed, and I loved doing my makeup.

I started with cosmetic glitter as I loved it, and it was something I knew that, if it flopped, I could use it anyway. I initially invested £200 to start Glisten. I’ve not looked back since, and in 2020 I finally stopped teaching and now I’m working full-time for Glisten!

IM: Your palettes are always inspired by some sort of decade – how do you choose which decades to draw inspiration from and how do you decide how to translate them into the shades of your palettes?

Natalie: My palettes have been inspired by things I love. Disco Dynamite was my first idea – I look back at this palette now and I cringe a little as I would do it soooo differently – but it’s inspired by all things disco. It’s a 9-pan matte colour palette. 

Totally Botany was soon after. I love plants (who doesn’t?), and with this palette I wanted to add something extra, so for every sale I donated money to One Tree Planted. 

1991 is my birth year, and I have such a love for that era. I do look back at the 90’s and think it was only yesterday, but in reality it was 30 years ago!

Everything I’ve made or done stems from things I enjoy. It would be hard to sell something you don’t love so it has to come from that place of love. 

IM: Can you talk more about how you choose your product names? They are always so well thought-out!

Natalie: Product names, I always think I do this so badly, haha! I normally just write down a few and then ask my son, maybe he’s the genius behind it!!

IM: Can you talk about your glisglos collaboration with all the different makeup artists? That was one of my favorite collaborations I’ve seen – it really uplifted independent creators – and I’d love to hear more about the process.

Natalie: The process isn’t easy! I would approach artists and ask if they’re interested. Then, I would send a document explaining the deal and how it works, and they would accept or decline. The artist would then let me know what colours they were thinking about. They would have to send me a few options in case another artist has a similar idea. I would then create samples. They received the sample and would give me feedback, which would either lead to a new sample or lead to the original one being put into production. Once production is over, it’s marketing time! The whole process takes around 9-12 months if not more. I am currently running a very similar collaboration right now with another influencer(s) and a different product! It’s in the production stage, so it should be out soon!

IM: What led you to creating your wet liners? How do you choose which shades to create for the line up?

Natalie: Eyeliner is my first love. On my personal Instagram, I have makeup looks I did back in 2015 using the NYX colour liners. What annoyed me about these products is colour liner like those would dry up. I hated that. So I decided I wanted to get some water activated liners on the market. 

Colour range was huge for me. I wanted everyone to have a colour that complimented their skin tone. I couldn’t do that without a full range of colours and shades. 

IM: Which one of your palettes is your favorite? What palette would you like to create (without giving too much away…)?

Natalie: Oh, I like each of my palettes for different reasons. I love Disco Dynamite’s colour story, I love the donation part of Totally Botany and I love the artwork of 1991. 

I’m currently working on 2 palettes, but neither of them are for eyeshadow. They are both for different products. I’m so excited for this year’s releases, 2021 is going to be a strong year for Glisten!

IM: Can you talk a bit about your sustainability initiatives? For example, using biodegradable glitter, donating proceeds from your Totally Botany palette to One Tree Planted, etc. Why is sustainability important to you and what other areas would you like to do more in in terms of sustainability?

Natalie: I think every brand should do something small to help the environment. Rather than a few people being perfect, if we all made small steps, we would be in a better place. Biodegradable glitter was a big move for me. It just didn’t sit right with me that something so beautiful could be harming creatures. I have recently discontinued all my glitters. Unfortunately plastic glitters are still the most popular, but I would rather sell no glitter than plastic glitter. For the Botany Palette donation to One Tree Planted, it just seemed like a really simple idea that fit with the palette perfectly. 

I will be continuing to make small steps over the coming years. All my palettes will continue to be made out of cardboard rather than plastic, and all of my envelopes (that I send products out in) are 100% recyclable. Let’s hope all brands continue to make small steps. 

IM: Where do you want to see Glisten go in the future?

Natalie: I’m so excited for Glisten’s future. I want to continue to give more opportunities to smaller influencers. I would love to be featured in stores across the UK and beyond, but most of all I want to keep spreading love and compassion.

Thank you again to Natalie for allowing us to interview her! As always, if you would like to see us interview a specific brand owner, just let us know in the comments!

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