Natalie Imbruglia was the it-girl of the 90’s. Let’s face it, who didn’t want to be the doe-eye, flawless skinned ingénue with the hit album, rockstar boyfriend and blossoming acting career. Fast-forward 15 years and while Imbruglia might have changed, the short crop she rocked in the iconic Torn video clip has grown out to a chic lob and she has relocated to London to work on her acting career and charity work, our desire to be this natural beauty is still the same.
Imbruglia is in town to celebrate the launch of Kailis Jewellery’s new Enlightenment collection, of which she is the face for. Before partnering with Kailis, Imbruglia, who has been working with the brand since 2011, wasn’t always so enamoured with the classic jewel. “I wasn’t really big on wearing pearls to be honest. But when I saw Kailis’ designs, I thought they were really young, and modern, something I was really excited to wear.” she said. The history of the brand was also important to Imbruglia. “Learning more about the jewellery making process and that it was a family company really appealed to me. The level of design was really high and I love wearing them now.”
Thanks to brands such as Chanel and Dior, pearls are having somewhat of a revival. But do you have to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn to work the look? Not according to Imbruglia. “Kailis has a really fresh take on how to wear pearls so you don’t feel like you have to have an outfit with a 60’s vibe just to pull it off. They are designed so you can wear them with casual clothes, so there is more opportunity to wear them now. They are more versatile.”
So what tips does Imbruglia have to wear them in a more modern way? “Don’t be scared to wear them in the daytime with jeans and pumps. It feels quite rebellious and fun to wear them in that kind of way. People always comment when you wear pearls. They stand out.” Since working with Kailis, Imbruglia has developed a real appreciation for the jewel. “They are something different and fresh and I love that they warm to your body temperature.”
So what does she think of the new collection? “The new collection is fantastic. Kailis are the only company in Australia to be doing Guilloché. I’m loving the rings in the collections. I would happily wear the Accendo Ring and Lucernae Twist Ring everyday. The pendant is also great as you can really see the Guilloché.”
After achieving fame as Beth Brennan in Neighbours, worldwide music success with her hit single Torn and endless column inches with her highly publicised relationship with Silverchair singer Daniel Johns, Imbruglia has been relatively quiet on the media front of late. So what has she been up to? A quick scroll through her Instagram sees her having recently completed some epics climbs up some of the world’s most challenging mountains as part of the Virgin Group’s Strive Challenge, hanging with Richard Branson, doing charity work in Ethiopia and celebrating her 39th birthday (for the record, she doesn’t look a day over 30).
She also honed her acting skills in LA for two years with Ivana Chubbuck, after which she then won a role in her first play. While she wants do to do more theatre and TV, her time is currently being occupied by a myriad of projects. “My skincare line (ILUKA Skincare) which I have been developing for a few years is launching next week which has been keeping me busy, and I’m currently working on an album. I like variety. I get bored doing one thing so it’s nice being able to change it up. I feel very blessed that I get to make a living out of doing something creative.”
Speak of skincare, what are Imbruglia’s beauty secrets? “Use Iluka products” she laughs. “Sleep, lots of water. Just the basics. I think people get too fancy when it comes to skincare. Adopt a simple skincare regime and as much as possible, cleanse before you go to sleep.” Famed for her glowing complexion, why did Imbruglia decide to develop a skincare line? “It was something i always wanted to do since I was little girl. I was approached and I thought if I was going to do this, I don’t want to put anything harmful on my skin. All too often we are not conscious of what we are eating and what we are putting on our skin so for me, it was important that the products were natural. They have no parabens, sulfates or harsh chemicals. It was also important that the range was affordable so it’s at a mid-point price range that anyone can afford, but I put a lot of effort into the packaging so it feels high-end.”
So with lots of new projects coming out, how does she feel about social media and using it to promote what she is working on? “I love Instagram. It is very important to connect with your audience more than ever, especially with things like music. You need to move with the times.” So does she feel like she needs to have a social persona and a private persona? “No, Instagram is all me. It was not a work tool for me when I started using it. Obviously fans follow it, but for me I found it easier to express myself through pictures rather than words. It’s a direct way to interact with my fans that feels comfortable to me.”
Has she had any trouble with social media trolls? “I haven’t had anything negative that I’m aware of, and if it’s there don’t tell me! It’s all been very positive.” Does she feel pressure to post certain things or not post certain things? “No I’ve been doing this a very long time, so there are certain things I don’t talk about, or lines I wouldn’t cross and that’s just become second nature to me. I know what I’m comfortable sharing and what I’m not comfortable sharing. Instagram has provided the biggest insight into me throughout my career.”
In a world where new “celebrities” are popping up everyday, does does she feel pressure to stay relevant? “No, and that’s why people are interested in what I do, because I’m not trying to flog something every year. When I’m actually doing something that I’m passionate about, it’s authentic so people are actually interested. It’s one of the reasons why the Kailis partnership has worked so well. I’m very careful with who I partner up with.”
So after almost 23 years in the entertainment industry, how is Imbruglia feeling about her career? “I feel less of a careerist now. I am focused on doing what makes me happy. I’m more about doing what I want to do in the moment. I’m not steering the ship to arrive anywhere.” So has this outlook changed over time? “Yes, I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. I want to have a good time. Creatively I want to challenge myself, but I’m not trying to build a career. It’s happening by default through having fun and doing things I want to do.” So does she have any regrets? “No, everything is a learning experience. A bad acting job has lead to something else and I’ve gotten something out of that. I’m not a believer in regret. It’s more about your reaction from that and what you take from it and learn from it.”
So what are Imbruglia’s pearls of wisdom for people trying to make it in the entertainment industry? “Don’t compromise. Be true to yourself no matter who you are or what you are doing. People will try and convince you to do things but ultimately you have to be happy with who you are, what you are doing and how you represent yourself. That’s something I’ve always lived by. You might miss opportunities but the right one always comes back around.”
Images courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar Australia and Vogue Australia