Women We Love Who Love Us: Nicola Cornwell

Nicola Cornwell

Okay, full disclosure. Nicola Cornwell is a very dear friend of mine. That being said, she is a true VRB woman. Since meeting her a few years ago, I have been in constant awe of her accomplishments and the way she has chosen to live her life. I love catching up with her when she blows through town and those evenings usually last well into the wee hours of the night, (both of our significant others are to blame for that as well). Read below to find out why I love her so dearly.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
Born in Aden (Yemen) with British forces heredity on both sides of my family, I grew up never living in one place for more than two years. That wonderlust has never subsided. I probably peaked early when I showed promise as an art student with a painting selected for a British National Exhibition of Children’s Art that toured for two years around major European galleries, when at age 12 my family moved to Australia. Whilst completing a degree at The University of Sydney, I started working in the Sports Production Department at The Nine Network in Australia. My first tasks were logging tapes and buying the boss’s scotch. This led to work as a producer and director for broadcasters and production companies based in the UK and the USA, but with regular travel to major sporting events worldwide. Subsequent moves into management followed with titles which variously included Executive Producer, Head of New Business Development, Head of Production, Director of Content. Life was great until Feb 2007 when my husband Bill committed suicide.  Suddenly things that seemed important no longer were. It was the catalyst for major change.

That involved quitting my ‘old life’ and buying a boat with my new partner Mikey. We lived aboard full-time floating gypsy style as we drifted around the Caribbean for a few years. Followed that up with a two and a half year road trip round America and now we have an on-going project building a house and music recording studio on a tiny island 6 miles long and 2 miles wide in the Caribbean called Bequia. Life is very good again as I vigorously pursue my individual passions of photography, writing, design and DJ'ing.

(Mikey and Nicola aboard their boat Pandora)

What’s your beauty regime?
Sometimes I brush my hair. I’ve given up on make up.

(Nicola on what she calls Custer the Wonderhorse)

How did you come across Violets are Blue?
I met Cynthia in a candle making class in NYC. We instantly bonded. As a long term Dr Hauschka & Dermalogica girl at the time I didn’t have to like her products, (I’m really not that polite), but I did. Now I won’t be without them.

What products do you use?
I’ve used all of them but my favorites and the ones that are always with me regardless whether I’m photographing cowboys from horseback on a ranch in Colorado or racing a yacht in the Caribbean is the Facial Wash and the Facial Serum.

(Our carrot seed serum graces the beautiful island of Bequia)

What’s the one piece of advice you would give your younger self? 
Don’t sweat the small stuff.

(my favorite picture of Nicola)


  • Gina Reynolds Lipps

    Good choice to represent. I have had the pleasure of meeting Nicola and Custer the Wonderhorse.
    Looking forward to receiving my products and happy to donate. Wonderful endeavor. Moving towards using and eating nothing that has been chemically processed. I have sensitive and sun damaged skin. Thanks for post Nicola

  • Julie saunders

    Nicola is truly an amazing person. I love watching her life through her pictures. She is to be admired in every walk of life. Taking it by the balls and running with it. She certainly is special

  • Kay Speakman

    Nicola is an inspiration. I worked with her in London & the just love hearing about her adventures and the amazing life she leads. If VAB products are good enough for Nicola they’re definitely wirth trying!

  • Gina Reynolds

    Wonderful, I too love Nicola’s story. I’m a gypsy at heart. Parents moving every year. Different schools every year. Makes you learn to be adventures and enjoy experiencing new people and places. After having kids young , I kind of got stuck. She has broadened my horizons through her adventures. Met her at BMR. Had the pleasure of watching her ride Custer the Wonderhorse. I am looking forward to trying your products.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.