Nadine Jolie Courtney Beauty, Travel, Royalty Wed, 01 Apr 2015 06:34:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Surprise: I’m Pregnant! Wed, 01 Apr 2015 06:34:01 +0000 The cat’s out of the bag! (Are you guys surprised? I feel like it was the worst kept secret ever. Seriously, this took Herculanean efforts. SO MUCH TO TELL YOU.)

When Erik and I found out we were pregnant, it was like everything in our lives had been leading to that moment. Even though we’d only been together for 11 months, it felt so perfect. We’re not ones to do things by half-measures, and we both wanted to be young(ish) parents but were up against the clock. I was 33, he was 40. We’re hardly geriatrics, but we’re no spring chickens, either.

A lot of people said: What’s the rush? Why hurry? (Those are the same people that didn’t understand us going to Japan on our third date…getting engaged after 3 months…getting married so quickly…)

If you’ve been wandering through your life in blurry black and white, when things suddenly shift into focus color, you don’t question it. You run with it.

I cannot wait to keep you guys updated–finally, FINALLY–on our pregnancy journey. (I just used the word “journey.” Can I have a handful of red roses now?)

And, PS: we were the #4 story on tonight and were trending worldwide on the west coast Twitter feed: yay!

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NJC Hall of Fame: The beautyblender Tue, 31 Mar 2015 00:08:38 +0000 There are very, very few beauty products that “wow” me—but when I discovered the beautyblender, it literally changed my beauty life.

First, a little background. I’ve had ruddy skin requiring foundation my entire life. Ever since I was 12, I’ve been cursed with a red Rudolph nose, not to mention acne-prone skin that easily breaks out, leaving behind red splotches long after the zits have faded. Getting a better handle on my skincare over the years has dramatically helped—to the point where, now in my 30s, I feel confident going out into the world without foundation. (I’m talking about going to the grocery store, not hitting up, say, a beauty event. Let’s not go crazy.)

Despite learning how to deal with my skin so that breakouts were rare, I still hadn’t been able to venture into the waters of BB creams or tinted moisturizer. They’re always too thin, too flimsy, too “what’s the point?” for my redness. On the other end of the spectrum? Full-face foundation? Surely you jest! (It cakes on my nose, feels like paint, and leads to—you guessed it—breakouts.)

The only thing I’ve been able to wear for years has been mineral powder foundation. I used to love it, but after more than a decade of zero variety, I’d started to crave greener pastures, looking longingly at the shiny new offerings from all the beauty companies and grumbling in frustration that none of them were for me. Oh, foundation—I hardly knew ye.

Until, that is, I met the beautyblender.

I’d seen it around for years, but didn’t give it much thought. After all, it’s just a glorified $20 makeup sponge, right? How amazing could it really be?


Read more of my review here at

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How to Transform Your Beauty Routine from Winter to Spring Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:00:11 +0000 Your winter beauty routine is really all about survival: keeping yourself covered, protected, and hydrated while battling harsh elements, freezing temps outdoors and moisture-sapping heaters indoors. As the flowers bloom, sun shines, and temperatures rise, however, your beauty routine has to evolve along with them.

Here, we take a look at the most practical tips for transitioning your beauty routine from winter to spring, from head to toe!

Read more of my piece on!

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Newlyweds: Episode 3 (My Favorite Earplugs and 40 Chews) Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:53:52 +0000 If you watched last night’s episode, you saw another reason why I’m a giant weirdo (we like to call it “quirky” ’round these parts), specifically: my habit of chewing food 40 times to digest it properly. It stemmed from my trip a couple of years back to Viva Mayr, that Austrian med spa I blogged about here and here and wrote about for Fox News. (Plum Sykes wrote a hilarious piece on them for Vogue, too.)

NJC Austria

Well, I’m back in the land of Viva, this time at their brand-new, not-even-open-to-the-public-yet sister spa called Viva Altaussee. I’m writing about it for some awesome outlets, so you’ll be hearing more from me on the Altaussee front soon. Suffice it to say: I am using the Austrian spa getaway as a writers’ retreat and trying to get as much done on Wisteria as possible. T-minus 6 weeks until it’s due!

Viva Mayr Altaussee Austria med clinic

But back to the episode.

Phew. So, I’ve got a hair-trigger temper, huh?

Erik and I bicker like most married couples–which is to say, constantly, and about the silliest things. I didn’t realize until watching this week’s episode, however, how quick I am to snap at him. It was a genuine eye-opener for me.

Of course, you’re seeing things as they were over a year ago–and despite what some in the Twitterverse/Facebookland seem to think, I actually do try to be a good person and to learn and grow. I can’t remember a lot of what we filmed, so it’s an interesting thing each week, reliving what we got up to back in the day. I’m hoping you get to see a bit more of my supportive side as the show continues!

I’ve received many questions wondering which brand of earplugs I was talking about. They’re called Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs, and I am stand-outside-their-balcony-in-the-rain-shouting-their-name obsessed with them. Unfortunately, they don’t drown out everything, so if your partner snores like a chain-saw, you’ll still hear it. But they muffle noise significantly: way better than those crappy foam earplugs. (I mean, you might as well ball up pieces of tissue and stick them in your ears. Which I’ve totally done, by the way.)

Macks Pillow Soft earplugs

Finally, as you saw at the end of the episode, I had a minor pregnancy scare. (TBH, it really wasn’t much of a scare, since I was on the pill–hence Erik saying it would be a miracle–and was pretty sure it was just my migraines.) Taking the test got me thinking about whether I did want kids, however…which is something I’ve been waffling back and forth on for years now.

When Erik and I met, I was more firmly in the “kids are great, but not for me” camp. I love my career, traveling, my social life, nine hours of sleep, what have you. But each day I spent with Erik cemented my certainty that he’d make a wonderful father…and that maybe, just, maybe, our family wasn’t complete with just the two of us.

The test was negative, as you saw, but from that point on, I realized I was ready.

Watch this space!

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Newlyweds: Episode 2 & Honeymoon Photos Wed, 18 Mar 2015 06:41:40 +0000 Erik and I have very different travel styles. He’s all about lists, plans, and itineraries, and I like to go with the flow. He wants to wake up early to pack AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE into each day. Meanwhile, if I’m awake before 11 am, the day is already a failure (or I clearly didn’t have enough fun the night before).

When we were planning our honeymoon, we knew two things: we wanted it to be long, and we wanted it to be epic.

One of those choices was a very big mistake.

Going to Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia all but guarantees the epic part. I worked with the tourism boards to put together some next-level awesome experiences–not to mention, did a lot of good old-fashioned planning, researching, and booking myself–which meant we spent the trip doing things like climbing the Harbour Bridge and celebrating New Year’s Eve at the Opera House in Sydney, riding a junk boat under the stars and Hong Kong skyline in the middle of Victoria Harbour or eating pork buns at the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant Tim Ho Wan, and climbing around Hobbit holes and exploring the Waitomo glowworm caves in New Zealand.

However, one month is a long time to be away from home, even under the most ideal of circumstances–and by the end of the trip, we felt like we’d been on honeymoon for a year.

Did I mentioned we’d only been dating 8 months by that point…and were already married? Oh, and had cameras following our every move?

Voila! Drama, served on a platter!

When Erik and I saw the episode and our fight at the Big Buddha, we alternated between laughing and groaning. On the one hand, it was entertaining to rewatch and remember how irritated we were with each other that day. (Read all the backstory here on On the other hand, as I also say in the blog post: if you get into a fight at a gorgeous temple in Hong Kong, you’re an asshole.

Here are some more behind-the-scenes photos from our honeymoon!



Hong Kong Cathay Pacific

Erik Courtney Cathay Pacific Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Business Class

I’ve been lucky enough to fly International Business Class a couple of times, and Cathay Pacific Business Class smoked them all.

Erik and Nadine honeymoon Hong Kong 2

Hong Kong view 2

Hong Kong night harbour

Hong Kong junk boat 2

That VIEW. I’d been dreaming of Hong Kong for years because I was dying to see the famous Hong Kong skyline. For the best views, take the tram to the top of Victoria Peak during the day, and then ride a junk boat through the harbour at night.

Hong Kong chef

Food at Bo Innovation, helmed by three Michelin-starred chef Alvin Leung.

Hong Kong horseracing

A day at the races! Sha Tin and Happy Valley Racecourses are two of the most famous in the world.

Hong Kong snake soup

Snake soup: eek!

Hong Kong street

Sams Tailor honeymoon

Hong Kong Big Buddha

Hong Kong statues 2

Hong Kong statues

Hong Kong dragon

Temple Hong Kong

Hong Kong has so many must-visit temples, including Sik Sik Yuen Wong, Chi Lin Nunnery, and of course the Big Buddha.

Sevva 2 Hong Kong

Sevva Hong Kong 2

Sevva Hong Kong

One of my favorite afternoons in Hong Kong was spent at Sevva, a beautiful art-inspired restaurant and bar in the Princes Building. We had afternoon tea and champagne and ate delicious cakes while overlooking the city skyline.

Hong Kong Discovery Bay


QT hotel stairway

QT hotel hallway

QT hotel room

QT Hotel

The QT Hotel

Kangaroo Island windblown in wild


Kangaroo island binoculars

seals on kangaroo island

Kangaroo Island


Qualia sunset

Erik Qualia


At Qualia, off Hamilton Island


Hells Gate

Queenstown Below Zero


Gunpowder rum

Wellington cocktails


To see more from our honeymoon, click here!

And here are more photos on our Facebook page.

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Shake It Off: Live Tweeting With Internet Haters Wed, 18 Mar 2015 06:17:01 +0000 I’ve spent the majority of my post-college life on the internet. I’ve made a career of being somewhat in the public eye, baring my soul, and telling people how it really is. At times, it cost me my jobs, my mentors, and yes, even some friendships. But those of you who have known me for a while know that oversharing is just a part of who I am.

It’s no secret that when you watch a reality show like Newlyweds, there are going to be things that make it and things that end up on the cutting room floor. I’ve often explained to my friends that Erik and I have understood the deal: the interesting stuff is what they’re going to focus on.

Unfortunately, the interesting stuff often isn’t the flattering stuff…and if what you saw on TV tonight was all you knew about me, you might not think I’m a very nice person. And if you were tweeting the show? HOLY MOLY. The Twitterverse was not feeling me tonight.

I could lie and shrug and brush it off, but the truth is: it hurt my feelings. I am, indeed, neurotic. I am, like most people, less than angelic at times. There are times when I lose my cool, embarrass myself, and behave in a way that isn’t me being the best person I can be. But I was also insulted like people were getting paid for it. In reality, I’m a sensitive, dorky person, and the reason I became a writer is because I have trouble communicating at times: it’s much easier to write and compose your thoughts. And you can’t stutter or speak too fast in a blog post.

I’ve grown a lot in my first year of marriage with Erik.

I wrote back in 2013 about my marriage fears and whether I was even the marrying type. Part of what I was wondering in that blog post was: who would put up with me and want to live with me forever? Those fears were tapped into by negative tweets: this girl is neurotic, angry, complains way too much…and what poor sap would put up with that relationship. Lord knows I’m not perfect! But I’m also loving, supportive, sensitive, and kind–and Erik knows that.

When Erik and I went on our first date, one of the things that brought us the closest was how we both felt so different from everybody else. We often felt like aliens, trying to explain to our fellow aliens what it’s like to be human.

I had never met somebody who got that part of my soul before and didn’t just understand it but accepted it. Erik understands it innately. He accepts me fully. I’ve embraced the things about Erik that he’s felt judged for by others. I worship him and feel so lucky to be by his side. That’s why we’re perfect for each other.

Tonight also made us think, however, about all the times we tear people to shreds while watching, say, The Bachelor. We’re not mindful of the fact that they’re actually people: they’re thrown in the category of “reality TV characters” and therefore “lesser” (although still very much fit for our gleeful consumption).

When Erik and I signed up to take part, our friends warned us that we were opening ourselves up to negativity. Tonight was our first taste of it, and it sucked! But we’re happy and we’re healthy and we try to be good people and we have each other, so…

On with the show.


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Watch Erik and Me on the Steve Harvey Show! Tue, 17 Mar 2015 11:00:20 +0000 Remember how Erik and I went to Chicago two weeks ago? I can finally reveal the real reason for the trip: we were flown out as guests on the Steve Harvey Show!

Our episode airs this afternoon, so tune in, and be sure to let me know what you think on Twitter @NadineCourtney.

Erik and Nadine from Newlyweds on Bravo on the Steve Harvey show

And don’t forget to watch tonight’s episode of Newlyweds, which takes you behind the scenes of our honeymoon in Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand.

Erik and Nadine from Newlyweds on Bravo on the Steve Harvey show

So. Much. Drama.

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New Video: #DearMe Mon, 16 Mar 2015 21:05:03 +0000 If you could go back in time and give advice to your younger self, what would you say? Here, 5 pieces of advice I wish I’d known…

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Our Interview on Thu, 12 Mar 2015 11:00:37 +0000 We talk the proposal, our second wedding in Dallas, wedding-day nerves, and our favorite memories of the big day.

Here’s a little excerpt:

NJC: Hands down, I was most nervous about meeting Erik’s mom Sister Brigid. It’s not every day that you meet a nun, and I wasn’t quite sure what to talk to her about. (Our conversation was definitely a little awkward at first!) I just wanted her to like me and to make Erik feel proud. Luckily, she is the sweetest woman on the planet and she’s pretty much a dream mother-in-law. I was sad on the big day not having my own mother Nancy by my side, but I felt like she was there with me in spirit. I was also nervous about the little things: would I trip walking down the aisle? Would I get totally overwhelmed with emotion and smear mascara everywhere at the altar? (You dream of being that perfect, magazine-cover bride, but alas that’s just not me!) I was especially freaked out that I might spill wine on my dress. We actually had a second wedding later in Dallas for my huge family (since my grandmother is too old to travel), and I was terrified of ruining the dress!! The ceremony went off without a hitch, though. Erik and I wrote our own vows, the sun was setting behind us right as we said “I do,” and celebrating with all our friends was a blast.

Check out the full interview here!

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Photos from our wedding! Wed, 11 Mar 2015 22:22:49 +0000 Continue Reading]]> I’ve been waiting FOREVER to share these with you guys!

We got married at the Montecito Country Club, which is just a couple of miles from where I went to boarding school. Once we saw the giant picture window overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the venus was a lock.

Nadine and Erik wedding Montecito Country Club

My dress was Monique Lhuillier. My ONLY criteria for a wedding dress was that I didn’t want something strapless. Funnily enough, the dress I picked was strapless–but we added lace cap sleeves.

Nadine Jolie Courtney Newlyweds Monique Lhuillier wedding dress

I wanted to do my own makeup – it was so important to me that I looked and felt like myself on my wedding day.

Nadine Jolie Courtney makeup

My hair was done by celebrity hairstylist Mitch Stone, and I absolutely adored it. He did a great job, no?

Nadine Jolie Courtney wedding

Bliss and Bone created our wedding invitations, our wedding website, and all our wedding collateral. Love, love, LOVE their stuff!

Bliss and Bone Nadine Jolie Courtney Newlyweds wedding invitations

We had two weddings: this one in Santa Barbara, and a second one in Dallas. My grandmother is too old to travel, and the majority of my aunts, uncles, and cousins live in the Dallas suburbs. Meanwhile, all of my friends are in LA and Santa Barbara is only a 90 minute drive. So, we made the expensive but ultimately more practical decision to have two weddings: one for (mostly) family, and one for (mostly) friends. Sadly, the Dallas wedding wasn’t featured on TV, but I’ll be doing a post on it, too!

Erik and Nadine Newlyweds dinner

Nadine and Erik Newlyweds wedding bouquet toss

Erik and Nadine Newlyweds wedding cake

Erik and Nadine Newlyweds

See over 150 more photos from our Montecito wedding on our Erik and Nadine FB page.

Thanks to our photographer Miguel Fairbanks for all the wonderful shots!

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Just a little reminder… Tue, 10 Mar 2015 11:00:21 +0000 Our show Newlyweds: The First Year premieres tonight on Bravo at 10pm EST!

Erik and I will be live-tweeting with my beauty friends, so come play along on Twitter. The show hashtag is #Newlyweds; our couple hashtag is #ErikandNadine; and you can tag us at @NadineCourtney and @ErikCourtney.

Hope you watch, hope you love it, and come say hi on Twitter!


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New Video: My 10 Year Blogging Anniversary! Mon, 09 Mar 2015 06:00:13 +0000 Can it be true? It’s been TEN YEARS since I started beauty blogging?

Back when I started, beauty blogs didn’t really exist. Sure, there were one or two floating around, but there were none on the national stage–and beauty blogging certainly wasn’t the juggernaut career it is today.

I started anonymously blogging under the pseudonym Jolie in NYC…amassed a huge following…and was outed by the New York Post. It was a national scandal. I had a two book deal with HarperCollins within a month. It was CRAZY. (And you can read more about it here.)

Now, ten years later, the beauty industry has completely changed. There were times when I questioned my “beauty path” (cue violins), but I’ve been having a blast these past few months in my spare time making the videos I want to make: honest, a bit silly, and down-to-earth.

I’m older but am certainly not wiser. After all, the older you get, the more you realize how much you don’t know!

Hope you’re enjoying watching them as much as I’m enjoying making them!

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New Video: Our Chicago Trip! Wed, 04 Mar 2015 02:16:48 +0000 Erik and I went to Chicago this weekend – it was the two year anniversary of our first date! I’ve been to the city a couple of times but it was Erik’s first visit, so we hit all the highlights: the Willis Tower, Michigan Avenue, The Drake Hotel, the Art Institute, the Field Museum, several pizzarias, and, of course, as many fancy cocktail bars and great restaurants as we could stomach.

We stayed at the brand-new Virgin Hotel, which is actually the world’s first Virgin Hotel. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the brand: chic, sleek, modern, friendly, and fun. The rooms were around $150-$185 a night, which is an excellent deal for what you get. They were still working out some kinks, but it only opened a month ago, so it was to be expected. There’s free Wi-fi, they have a Tesla on offer to shuttle guests around, and from 6pm-7pm every night, any drink you want at the bar is free! That’s my kind of hotel…

We also got lucky and scored a last-minute reservation at Alinea: one of the best restaurants in the country! It’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime meal and can get a reservation, DO IT. The same owners run The Aviary, which is literally the best cocktail bar I’ve ever been to. It also requires a reservation, but they also take walk-ins. (You won’t be disappointed, I promise.)

Can’t wait to tell you more about our trip in a couple of weeks…in the meantime, thanks for a wonderful visit, Chicago! We can’t wait to return!

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New Video: Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer Review Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:00:32 +0000 Scary no-makeup video! (Insert spooky Halloween music here.)

I have extremely oily skin and so am always looking for a great primer that won’t break me out, will help get rid of oil for hours and makes my foundation stay put. This primer (Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer SPF 30) hits all the marks. It’s not cheap though: $48, eek!


Worth every penny, though, I promise.

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New Video: On Writing! Thu, 19 Feb 2015 05:01:59 +0000 Hi friends!

Clearly, I am WAY over-caffeinated in this video. My 3rd book is due in May, and so I spend most of my days at my kitchen counter, working on the edits and trying to get it all done as quickly (and as well) as possible.

But despite being overworked and underslept, I managed to eek out a few minutes to do a video, yay! (I actually posted this on Monday, as promised, but haven’t had a chance until now to post on le blog. Boo.)

This video has some dish on my “process” (look at me, sounding all writerly and pretentious!), plus a few of my favorite tips for writing. If you’re looking for a great writing guide, two of the best ones are Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird. They’re both essential classics.

Big hugs and hope you’re having a great week!


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