Poring over the fashion pages of Australia's top magazines, chances are you've noted Nicole Adolphe's styling byline. A veteran in the industry, she's finessed some of Cosmopolitan's most iconic covers, dressing Miranda Kerr, Jesinta Franklin (nee Campbell), Lara Worthington and Jennifer Hawkins - to name a few. With a personal style that has garnered a public following on its own, she is known for her knack of marrying unlikely garments and making the look entirely effortless and chic. With that, we were eager to pick her brain and see how this sharp fashion eye translates into beauty (especially when we discovered a past life that is after our own heart). Nicole took us on a tour of her Bondi Beach neighbourhood and filled us in on how she fell into styling, her simplistic approach to beauty and how she really feels about ageing.
"I always loved fashion, but I studied Psychology first…
… then primary school education. For some reason when I left school I felt compelled to study at Uni, so I have a Bachelor of Arts in both as I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to do. Then being a stylist came second to my dream of wanting to work for a magazine - any magazine - and doing anything at a magazine. After applying for an internship at every mag I could see at the newsagent I finally landed an internship at ELLE magazine.
I was a beauty editor for a while…
…after spending my early days at ELLE sourcing product and assisting on still life shoots, I got a job at STUDIO magazine (which no longer exists) as the Editor’s PA. She realised I was super keen on fashion and beauty and could whip up the copy in record speed, so she started me up as Beauty Writer. Then I went to DOLLY magazine as Beauty Editor for six years before stepping into the fashion departments at CLEO and Cosmo, most recently as Fashion Director. Now I freelance for GRAZIA, Fitness First Magazine and Women's Health.
I have a very minimal approach to beauty.
I prefer to focus on good skincare so that I don’t have to wear makeup. Lately I have been using Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist. Blush is my key beauty product as without it I feel like I look sick and dull. My beauty look is really rosy cheeks and a natural bare face. Blush just brightens up my face and gives me cheekbones.
I would like to say it’s ok to age gracefully but there is nothing graceful about it.
I haven’t decided what my plan will be but I cannot stand wrinkles and the ageing texture of the skin, so I’m going to try and few things and see what I think. I’d say 'yes' to Botox but 'no' to fillers and facelifts or anything that’s invasive and changes the way my face looks. Women with too much work look older. When they’re trying to look younger… I don’t want to be that person.
I have the same daily beauty ritual.
I use Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil-Control Foam Wash, then I put my Shiseido eye cream on. I apply two dots under the eye and pat around the eye area so I don’t stretch the skin – I certainly don’t need more wrinkles in this area. Then I use the Shiseido IBUKI Protective Moisturiser with SPF. If I plan to be out in the sun on a shoot, I will also use a heavy duty 30+ sunscreen from the Cancer Council. Then I apply blush with a blush brush, I purse my lips as if giving a kiss to see my cheekbones and this is where I apply it.
I have naturally extremely frizzy curly hair...
… so I go over the top on hair products. I have everything: Moroccan Oil, KMS Hair Stay Anti-Humidity Seal, Schwarzkopf Ultimate Repair Anti-Damage Mask, straightening balms, de-frizzing sprays… you name it. I also love Pure Hair Food products. My hair is still a frizzy mess unless I get out my Richard Kavanagh straightening iron. I also get my hair chemically straightened, but for some reason, maybe as I’ve been doing it for so long, it doesn’t work anymore. Hence, I can’t live without Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine and Redken All Soft Argan Oil.
I find relaxation in getting active…
… or maybe I just tire myself out so I have no choice but to feel relaxed! I do a lot of walking, very fast – as fast as some people jog, so I'm told. I like to skip when I get the chance - it’s great for fat burning – and Hula Hooping is great for abs. My ideal Saturday is coffee at my local, do the Bondi to Bronte walk, surf for an hour, hang at the beach with friends, do a yoga session in the arvo (a flow class at Power Living), have a few wines (sav blanc) and a cheese plate at the local wine bar, The Shop Wine Bar Bondi. Then I head home, have a bath and to bed.
I believe in eating anything and everything in moderation.
I don’t cut anything out and I eat junk food all the time but just try to make sure I train everyday. My favourite drink is freshly squeezed orange juice. My breakfast is always avocado and goats cheese on toast with sea salt. My morning snack is always chocolate – I like Darrell Lea Rocky Road. I’ll have a salad with a protein for lunch with chicken or fish with rocket or lettuce, I like salmon sushi as well. Afternoon snack is always something like yoghurt or fruits like mango, cherries or grapes. Dinner I always eat out and I like prosciutto & olive pizza at Daorazio Bondi or pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut. Dessert is a must and always chocolate. Any type, but I love Maltesers.
I’m super low key, because most of my days are spent dressing the models...
… carrying boxes and suitcases of clothes and doing up models’ shoes. I live in denim shorts in summer and jeans in winter with flats. I have so many pairs of jeans and denim shorts I should do a market stall. I like short cute printed boho dresses worn with boots. I pretty much never wear heels, not even when I go out, but I like boots as they toughen up a look even in summer. The majority of my wardrobe is black and grey, but if I buy something bright, I love prints and mixing them back with black. Alexander Wang is my favourite designer for clothes, shoes and bags. I often buy Isabel Marant, Iro, See By Chloe and Rag and Bone. Australian labels I love are SIR the label, Stevie May, Bec & Bridge, Maurie & Eve, One Teaspoon and Zimmermann. I love my Dion Lee boots too."
Story by Rikki Hodge-Smith; Interview by Sigourney Cantelo; Photography by Alice Mahran