Natalie Anderson is best known for her incredible work on stage and screen, but these days you're just as likely to see her with a podcasting microphone in her hand or hosting an event for her lifestyle brand, The Capsule. We caught up with Natalie to chat about the importance of well being, how makeup artists can make performers more comfortable and why everyone needs at least five notebooks.
Hi Natalie! You’re an actress, presenter and writer. What drew you to such creative careers?
“Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved playing characters and telling stories. In all three of these careers I'm able to still do that. Using your imagination to create something new is an incredibly liberating experience and something I very much thrive on.”
What first sparked your interest in fashion, beauty and lifestyle?
“Fashion and beauty go hand with acting - it’s how you create a character. The way someone is dressed says a lot about them. It's a real expression of personality.
I’m also inspired by Hollywood musicals from the 1930s and 1940s because when I was growing up, I used to watch them with my granddad. I would then try to recreate the looks with my mum’s clothes and makeup. Needless to say my failed experiments with fabric and makeup palettes got me into a lot of trouble at times!
My interest in lifestyle came much later. I travelled to America when I was 21 and it opened my eyes to travel and culture.”
Why did you set up The Capsule?
“Originally, I created it as a space where I could share my favourite finds with my friends. The content was mostly fashion and beauty, but it’s grown so much over the last 18 months that it’s now a fully fledged lifestyle platform. We’ve also moved into live events which suits me down to the ground given my theatre background.
This year, I've also focused on well being. I’ve suffered with anxiety for the majority of my life and through The Capsule I’ve found I’m not alone. So many women have messaged me or responded to our well being articles to tell me that they’ve experienced similar things or that they’ve been grateful for the information we’ve provided. That response has been a real eye opener and it's very rewarding to know you’ve helped someone...even if it’s just a tiny bit.”
Why do you think it’s important to be open about topics such as well being, mental health and self care?
“It's incredibly important to be open about these things because otherwise you can feel completely isolated and alone - that can lead you to a dark place. If we normalise mental health people find it much easier to talk about and deal with.
Imagine if you had a headache. You wouldn’t think twice about going into work and saying “I’ve got a headache and I need paracetamol”. It should be just as easy to say: “I’m having a wobble today, I need a bit of air or to take medication”.
If we get to a place where we can be frank about these issues it leaves people feeling less 'ashamed' and less 'weak' and they can live a much more positive, happy life. Everyone deserves happiness in their lives.”
Why is it important for you to bring people together at Capsule events? Are there any new events in the pipeline?
“Following my discovery with our well being content that a startling number of people are living with anxiety of some sort, I decided that people needed to feel connected. So many people are suffering in silence, feeling like they’re the only ones feeling insecure or anxious. I wanted to get them in a room and show them that they’re not alone and let them share stories so they can feel empowered and inspired by each other.
We have so many followers and ‘friends’ online and yet feel more isolated than ever. Human connection is vital to our well being and to us a society - so I wanted to get people talking and interacting with each other.
I have to say the response has been amazing and it’s definitely spurred me on to keep going in that direction. Again as my background is in theatre, storytelling and creating an experience for the audience, The Capsule events allow me to do something similar for our visitors - I like to create a great experience for them.”
When you’re on set, how important is it for you to connect with your makeup artist?
“One of my very first experiences with a makeup artist was a negative one and it taught me how important that relationship is.
I was 15 and working for the BBC. Our head of makeup was a matriarch so she didn’t suffer fools. However, I had problems with my eye makeup after suffering a reaction but I was too scared to say I was unhappy! It caused quite a few problems as my eyes kept watering. It slowed down the whole shoot and it made me feel terrible. I vowed from then on I would always try to have a good open relationship with my makeup artist.
Since then I’ve been very lucky and now, some of my dearest friends are makeup artists. It’s such an intimate thing and there’s a real element of trust required. Sometimes it’s the little things that put me at ease - I always feel relaxed when I’m offered a cup of tea, I think that’s the Yorkshire in me! It takes the pressure off and makes me feel like I’ve just popped around for a chat!”
How is ‘on screen’ makeup different to the makeup you wear in ‘real life’?
“It actually isn’t too dissimilar from real life makeup if you’re playing a modern character. In fact, you often find you have to wear less depending on your story line or the period of the piece - the difference normally comes from the character.
Highly stylised pieces tend to be much more full on and you can end up sitting in the chair for hours. It’s also the same for theatre make up. That can be very intense as it needs to be heightened so it can read right at the back of the auditorium. The same approach applies to photo shoots. However, I enjoy the process as I like being different characters. And in real life my makeup is very minimal - I hardly wear any during the day!”
What are your tips for staying organised and looking after your well being when you have a busy lifestyle?
“You have to have an excellent set of notepads and planner. I work from about five different notepads for each of my different projects and then I add the info into my main planner. Organisation is absolutely key for keeping focused and not letting things run away with you. You can also schedule in down time if you’re on top of things.
Getting the right amount of sleep is also paramount as you can’t function if you’re overly tired. I use the NEOM range to help me sleep and also relaxing Epsom salts when I have a bath.
Lastly, getting the right nutrients can have a huge affect on your brain functionality. If I’m under a particularly heavy workload I reach for fresh juices, almonds, avocados and beetroot. Beetroot is amazing for helping you retain information and also gives you energy.”
What’s next for The Capsule?
“We’ve just started recording our brand new podcast The Capsule In Conversation. This’ll cover the same themes as our online content but in a much more engaging format - its all about connectivity and being able to relate.
I think we can understand things much more when we hear a person say it as opposed to just reading it. So this was an important part of The Capsule that I wanted to develop. We also have an amazing lineup of guests for this first series which is really exciting.
Online, we're adding to our editorial team with a Food and Travel editor who will join us in the New Year. We’ll then have much more dedicated content in those areas - I’m keen to make sure we’re covering well being from all aspects.
We’ve then got our next big event happening in February which will focus on fashion, body confidence and diversity. It’s incredibly exciting. I’m hoping this will be a really positive, fun and empowering event. My plan is to eventually roll the events out nationally across different cities.
We will also be adding more content to our YouTube channel so you should be able to access The Capsule in whatever format suits you best. Its an awful lot of work but I’m loving every minute of it!"
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