The Nicolaides Family | RATIONALE


Mother's Day with Christie + Angela Nicolaides

Mother's Day with Christie + Angela Nicolaides

Angela Nicolaides certainly knows how to leave an impression on someone. On the set of our Luminary Mother’s Day shoot, the enigmatic mother of three is recounting a story of neighbourhood children lining up at the school gate to get a kiss from the red lipstick connoisseur. “‘Can you kiss me Mrs Nicolaides?!’” interjects daughter Christie, affecting a child-like voice and laughing. “They all lined up for a kiss because they wanted the kiss mark,” explains Christie. “They all wanted to go home to their mothers and say, ‘Why don’t you wear lipstick, mummy?’” adds Angela, “but the majority of [the mothers] just didn’t wear makeup, so for their children, this was a novelty!”

These days, the playground novelties may be few but the bold lips—and charismatic personality—remain the same. And not just with Angela but in daughter, Christie, too. Sharing a mutual love of said red lipstick, striking fashion and fabulous accessories, the pair also boast a distinctive creative streak. Angela—alongside husband John—is an avid supporter of the Arts and long-time champion of the Australian contingent of artists who take part in the Venice Biennale. In fact, she’ll fly to Venice from the shoot to support this year’s artists. And Christie? She is, after all, the designer whose eponymous line of earrings, crowns and jewellery has been feverishly taking over your Instagram feed and Pinterest boards in recent years.

Sitting down for their interview with the Journal, our conversation is punctuated by lots of laughter, warm affection—and Angela and Christie finishing each other’s sentences. If this were a scripted moment, we would be sitting in Stars Hollow, drinking more coffee than is fit for human consumption. Well and truly grounded in reality, here, the Nicolaides women chat about their relationship, the meaning of confidence and accidental outfit twinning.

Christie and Angela Nicolaides

Christie, you are positively glowing. How did you discover RATIONALE?

Christie: I was going through a period of time where my skin wasn’t great. I was experimenting with a lot of different products…and I had noticed RATIONALE but because my skin is quite [sensitized]—or had been—I’ve always been very nervous to try something new. A couple of my friends use it and one of them suggested that I come in and do a Consultation. I thought, ‘well, you know what? I’m trying everything, I’m just going to give this a go.’ After the first facial, I saw a massive difference in my skin. From then, I decided that I was really going to commit to this; I’m going to do the facial once a month, I’m going to try the products—and I’ve never looked back. 

So it was the culmination of friends and searching for something that was going to work for me. 

And do you feel like you’ve found that?

Christie: Oh, absolutely. It’s actually been transformative. My skin has improved exponentially. And people have noticed, as well, and that’s made me excited about it and made me more diligent about following all of the steps, making sure I’m doing the facials regularly because the more I do it, the better it gets!

And then Christie introduced you to it, Angela? 

Angela: Yes, definitely! She said, ‘Mum, you’ve got to give this a go!’ I’ve always been one to look after my skin but I am getting to an age where I really need to start doing a bit more pampering. So I thought, ‘I’ll give this a go.’ 

I had a facial straightaway—which was a great thing to do—and from the first time I used it, it was just fantastic. I’ve noticed my pigmentation has faded a lot since I started using it…and I feel so hydrated now. I like the way it’s all programmed for you; it’s numbered and it’s so easy to follow. And it’s such a treat at night to put #5 and #6 on. It’s like, ‘oh, I’m going to bed now!’ and you know you’re doing something good for your skin.  

Christie: You know you’re doing something good for yourself.

Christie, how has your mum influenced your approach to beauty?

Christie: I think you’ve always embraced what’s natural and good about you, which is something you’ve passed on to me. Like not fighting the fact we’ve got quite strong eyebrows and not shying away from it. I always wanted to pluck them because there was a period where everyone was plucking their eyebrows really fine, and I just remember my mum and my grandmother saying ‘Do not touch!’ Growing up, you always embraced the natural side of things but you’ve always had fun with makeup. You’ve not been afraid—

Angela: Oh, I’m not scared to wear a red lipstick! (both laugh)


After the first facial, I saw a massive difference in my skin. From then, I decided that I was really going to commit to this...and I've never looked back.

Christie Nicolaides, RATIONALE Luminary

What is something else about your mum that you really admire?

Christie: Mum is a very positive person. I think you see the good in everything; situations that possibly aren’t ideal, you turn into something better. I think that’s a real strength of my mother’s. I think I’m probably a little more cynical but I do strive every day to be a bit more like my mum. 

Angela, what are some of Christie’s personality traits you’re proudest of?

Angela: Where do I start? Her confidence. Just her whole being. She’s a kind, beautiful person who is so clever. And a beautiful heart inside and out. I’m very blessed, very blessed. I’m the luckiest mum around! 

You touched on confidence and how you admire Christie’s…what does confidence mean to you?

Angela: I think what it means, is your ability to cope with any situation. You know, you’re dealt many cards in life and if you can cope with a confident attitude, you can get through anything. You know, that ability to say, right, let’s think this thing through—

Christie: And everything is going to be ok.

Angela: And everything is going to be alright. And I think that’s what confidence is about.

Christie, you’re nodding along. Do you share a similar viewpoint?

Christie: I think so. I think that confidence is something that develops over time, year by year...I do think confidence is a thing of letting go and accepting the way things are. It can take a long time and it never ends. 

Angela: Life deals you so many cards and you’re learning all the time.

Angela and Christie Nicolaides

You share a similar style aesthetic. Who is more likely to steal something from the other’s wardrobe or beauty cabinet?

Christie: It used to be me stealing from Mum but I would say the tables have turned; I think there’s a flip! Mum steals a lot of my jewellery!

Angela: I steal her earrings! I steal a lot of earrings now. 

(both laugh)

Christie: Mum turns up to the office or shop and says, ‘I’ve come to help.’ And within 15 minutes, she’s found a pair of earrings—

Angela: I’m trying things on!

Christie: Do you know, there were times I would go through Mum’s wardrobe and take things I probably wasn’t allowed to, and I remember breaking a pair of Charles Jourdan shoes once when I went out clubbing! But you know what it is? We both love the same things. We’re very similar in our sense of style and we do gravitate towards the same things. 

Angela: When Christie lived at home, we’d be living in different areas of the house and we’d both come down to go out and we’d both be in—

Christie: Polka dots!

Angela: Or the same colour. Both in pink. We would come down in the same colour.

Christie: I do think, I hope you don’t mind saying this, but I do think that as I’ve gotten older, you do sometimes look to me to help you see things in a different way. Because I do think as people age, you don’t want to get stuck in this rut of ‘this is what suits me and that is what I’m sticking to’. That’s why I think mothers with daughters are lucky because we push our mothers to see things in a different way, a fresher way and a newer way. I think maybe forcing them to see something different and a different perspective. And I think that’s a good thing.

Angela: Yes, there would be clothes that I would wear and Christie would say, ‘just try it on’. And you say, ‘oh, wow, I can wear that, I can wear that colour.’ 

Christie: And even with RATIONALE, I said to you that you had to try it. And usually, you’d be the one telling me to do that. So it does interchange; you help each other. 

Angela, truth time. Breakfast in bed: wonderful or woeful?

Angela: Woeful (laughs). I don’t like the crumbs in the bed (laughs)! I would rather jump up, get in the shower, get beautifully dressed and go and have my breakfast out. 

You’ll have to plan something wonderful this year—and you’ll be overseas for Mother’s Day…

Angela: Yes, we’ll be in Venice. 

Christie: We’ll be in Venice together. So maybe we won’t have the Mother’s Day brunch—we’ll have the Mother’s Day aperitivo. A nice spritz!

You’re a close-knit family, so what does Mother’s Day mean to you? 

Angela: Ooh. My boys are not in Brisbane. I’ve got Christie with me which is wonderful but it’s a time when your children all have a sense to call you and say, ‘Hi Mum, how are you?’ It’s that bonding to me that’s very important. I’m very fortunate in that all three children call me all the time but it’s always a nice thing when it is that day, that they’re there. 

Christie: I think Mother’s Day is a great excuse to celebrate your mum. I think it’s a time that a lot of people that maybe have busy lives or maybe throughout the year don’t spend as much time with their mother or focus on what their mother has done for them throughout their life but this is one day to sit back and reflect on your childhood, what you’re thankful for… that, to me, is what Mother’s Day is great for. I try and be thankful all the time but I do think it’s lovely because it means everyone has to do it on this day. And I think that’s a good thing. 


Interview by Hélène Pappas