By Katie Gray
Nicole Williams is an ambitious, smart, beautiful and kind woman – who is living proof that it is true that girls do in fact run the world! The stunning model, E! reality TV star of WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends of Sport Athletes) and designer, is taking the world by storm with her business ventures and beauty. The entrepreneur is now officially married to NFL former pro, Larry English. Nicole recently launched her jewelry line Nia Lynn Jewels with Seven 50 which includes simple, sleek and timeless pieces. Nicole has partnered with the all-natural Australian skincare line ‘Body Blendz’ to create her own collection of body scrubs Nicole x Blendz, which is now also being sold by Forever 21. In addition, the swimwear model is also gearing up for her launch of her own swimwear line, which is constructed to accentuate a woman's natural curves. (So yeah, she’s kind of a big deal, and has almost a million followers on Instagram!)
I spoke to the sweet, sexy and sporty starlet about her career endeavors, modeling, star studded wedding, favorite beauty products, collections she has designed, and everything in between:
Nicole X Body Blendz 'Mandarin Mist'
Nicole Williams is bringing her collaboration with Australia's top beauty line, 'Body Blendz' to one of the largest specialty retailers in the United States - Forever 21. Her body scrub is offered in ‘Mandarin Mist’ and was created and crafted entirely by Williams. They are organic and cruelty free products, which is awesome.
She said with excitement, “Yeah, I’ve just been building up my brand. Since I’ve been on E! I took that as leverage, to be able to show everyone what I’m doing. Designing my swimwear, creating this scrub with Body Blendz.” There is more, “We actually have a lip plumper and a lip scrub coming out as well.” (Which goes great with the body scrub.) She said, “I’m excited, Forever 21 just picked it up.” The body scrub is available online now, and they’re hoping it’ll be in stores next. “It’s amazing, it’s so good, and it’s all organic, cruelty free – all natural,” she summed up.
“I honestly used Body Blendz, it’s been for a couple of years now, that I’ve been using it,” Williams said. “I found this company, they sent me some product – and I absolutely loved it.” She added, “I feel like it works.” People often send her products to try, and she always asks them first, ‘Is it organic?’ ‘Is it cruelty free?’ (A lot of them surprisingly aren’t.) “The thing about Body Blendz, is even before I did my own scrub, I actually found that it really worked,” she stated genuinely. “It made my skin super soft, after just one use.” When you step out of the shower, your skin is like night and day. The body scrubs feature a favorable ingredient: coffee! “I continued using it and I love the fact that it has coffee in it, because coffee is really good for blood flow and cellulite and it’s really good for your skin,” she expressed.
Body Blendz's products are the foundation for looking and feeling your best. They pride themselves in using only the highest quality of ingredients, which are rooted in nature, with a little bit of science blended into the mixture. When she had the opportunity to create her own scrub with the company, she was very excited and was all for it. “One thing I wanted, was more tropical smelling, so when they asked me if I wanted to create a scrub with them and put my own ingredients in it and make it smell however I want. I thought it was a great idea.”
“When they asked what smells I like, I said well, I think grapefruit is great and coconut is amazing.” She had a very specific vision of what she wanted her ideal scrub to smell like. She was able to make it come to life. “I asked them about mandarin, because I used to use a mandarin oil from The Body Shop, a long time ago when I was younger. Every time I smell it, it just makes me feel good and it brings back great memories.” It’s neat how certain scents can take us back to sweet memories and transport us to a different place in time. The founder and team flew to LA and brought the samples to her house, where they tested them all. “We found the perfect mix. It’s the perfect smell.” She described it as, “It’s tropical, with a little bit of coffee in the background. It still makes you feel awake and energized, while still beachy.” She exclaimed, “I was super excited.”
She even designed her own package for the product! “The first package that we had, I designed everything on it, the palms and everything.” They also had her signature package, and that came with her robe and scrub gloves included. “When Forever 21 was interested we were like, ‘Let’s just go kind of more Forever 21 looking,’ she explained. “We were like let’s try a light pink, and let’s do pink scrub gloves, and do a little more girly flavor.” Hence why they decided to change the whole packaging and do a whole new look for this venture.
Recently she just did a whole new photo shoot for the occasion, and they have a new campaign. However; “The scrub is the exact same, all the ingredients are the same.” The product is the same as her original, just a new design for the Forever 21 aesthetic. “The only thing I’m doing now is adding a lip scrub and a lip plumper. The natural plumper is cinnamon. So cinnamon makes your lips a little puffy, and has that red tint, so it looks like a real natural pout.” These lip products will allow you to obtain the perfect pout. They have been taking their time developing it, to make sure they get it right. They didn’t want it to taste bitter or for you to get poisoned when you lick your lips. Therefore; it took time to obtain the level of high quality. “We’ve been using all natural products, so it’s hard because you have to get it right,” Williams said. They spent time testing and developing, going back and forth, until they got it right. Now they are in the process of choosing the right containers and packaging for the products. Williams said in a couple of months the products should be ready. She estimated it as even a month!
Will she be creating more scents and products with them? “I would love to,” Williams shared. “I love the company, they’re so easy to work with and I love that they believe in all natural ingredients.” She would love to develop more with them, and has many ideas. “We were talking about tanning oil, something for your hair, maybe even a face serum.” She summed up, “They’re amazing so I think that I’ll just keep adding more and more products.”
Born in Newfoundland, Canada, Nicole grew up wanting to work in entertainment. At a young age, Nicole studied ballet and jazz for years, eventually competing internationally. She always knew she wanted to design, and at a young age she learned to sew and craft her own clothes and jewelry. After arriving in Toronto, Nicole signed with elite modeling agency, NEXT, booking campaigns with leading brands such as Kohl's, Old Navy, Marshalls, Mazda, and Nissan, among others. Her modeling took her around the world, which led to her moving to New York for her modeling career.
“I grew up in Canada, and then my mom moved me and my two brothers to Toronto, and so I started modeling in Toronto,” Williams shared. “The majority of the work we did, was Canadian, and then when I got to the age where I could start traveling by myself and work alone, and really figure out what I wanted to do – I moved to New York.” She lived there for seven years and had signed with a big agency and continued her modeling endeavors. Then she moved to LA and was signed with LA Models, the agency she is currently with. She does a bunch of commercials and other big projects. In LA she met her now husband, Larry English. “Then I landed a spot on the show, with E!, WAGS,” she explained.
For modeling, she has lived in exotic locations like Spain and Taipei. “I was 16 or 17 when I lived in those places for modeling. I was just getting experience for my book, seeing what it was like, living in models’ apartments.” Through the years, she has worked with many brands. She said, “There are a lot of companies I’ve worked with that have been amazing to work with, like Avon. I love working for them.” These life experiences have had a positive effect on her life and career.
The coolest modeling gig she ever did? “I would say the coolest thing I did was seeing my ads in Bebe stores! I did Bebe Sport, so I did all the campaigns. So I had the signage in the mall, so that was cool.” Plus, her commercials with actresses/comedians – Amy Poehler and Julia Louis Dreyfus. “I got to do two Old Navy commercials with Amy Poehler and JLD. (AKA Julia Louis Dreyfus) She laughed, “They call her JLD all the time.” The commercials are funny. “Shooting those two commercials were fun. I had a speaking role, it was me and her going back and forth – it was comedic, so it was really funny.” We laughed, both of us recalling the Old Navy commercial scene.
These experiences have all had positive effects on her career. “I love being creative in the entertainment industry,” she explained. It’s all she really wanted to do growing up, and she is doing it! “I’m just diving in, anywhere I can. And just growing and building,” she added. “That’s why I have so many things going on at once, because I can’t wait because I want to do everything.” She laughed and said, “I literally have so many things going on at once.”
Star Studded Wedding
Nicole Williams and former NFL pro, Larry English, tied the knot on May 19th in southern California. “We got married in Laguna Beach at The Montage, and it was amazing, it was beautiful,” she gushed. The star-studded guest list included Wilmer Valderrama, Reggie Bush, Brody Jenner, and Karrueche Tran. Her bridesmaids included Christina Milian, Shanina Shaik and WAGS co-star, Olivia Pierson.
On married life, “It’s good! It’s really good.” Williams and English now have time to relax after the wedding festivities that occurred this past spring. She said, “You know, it’s good that the planning is over because I was planning a wedding, and I was also launching all of these businesses, and filming for WAGS at the same time.” She had no time for anything. “It was beautiful, and I’m glad the planning is over and that we can now just relax and get back to normal life.”
Her favorite wedding moments? “A couple of my favorite moments, were our two dogs walking down the aisle. Seeing them, Jasmine wore wings, and Ace wore a little tuxedo, that was so cute.” She talked about how watching them walk out before them was really cute. “Our first dance was really fun. Because we didn’t take it too seriously, we danced to New Edition, ‘Can You Stand The Rain.’ It was a little more upbeat, everybody was having fun, and then when I looked to the side I saw all my bridesmaids were doing the choreography from the New Edition video so it was really fun.” We laughed and she said, “It was one of my favorite moments.”
“Everybody that I know who is married told me, to just take it in and enjoy – because it happens so fast. And I tried to do that, because that was the advice I got.” Furthermore; “Now when people ask me, that’s the same advice I would give again.” Time flies when you’re having fun and when you’re busy planning and putting everything together. “The reception is literally a couple of hours and then it’s over. You have the cake cutting, the bouquet toss, the garter toss, you have the speeches and you have dinner, then it’s like all over.” You don’t really have a lot of time to make your way across the whole room if it’s a big wedding. It takes a lot of time to greet everyone individually, talk to everybody, take a picture with them, therefore; time flies. “It’s a lot, so you just have to make the most of it.” Live in the moment and enjoy it!
Being married to a former NFL athlete, do they watch a lot of football together? “If the playoffs are on or something, we’ll watch it. We’re not diehard football fans or anything like that, (she laughed,) but we’ll watch a playoff or go to a friend’s house for a barbecue or something fun like that.”
Nicole Williams’ living room was featured in an interview with the LA Times. “I think my style is more modern,” she described. “I don’t really like a lot of color, I like a grey palette. Greys, blacks, whites, marble. I’m very modern and I like things to be sleek and clean.” Oftentimes, less is more. She explained, “I like clean, I don’t like clutter, so my thing is I don’t have too many things on the counter – maybe a little centerpiece.” Then you are good to go, with a few accents. Copper is the new trend in home décor. “I’ve gotten into the copper for the kitchen,” she divulged. “The kitchenware, the kettle, the paper towel holder, and then just certain elements of the kitchen.” Copper is a great touch for everyone who loves rose gold. “I love rose gold, so the copper touch in the kitchen is so cool, it looks so nice,” Williams shared.
The new season of WAGS is set to premiere in November on E! On this upcoming season of the show, it focuses on the big day – the wedding. “This year was really all about me wedding planning. It was a big difference from the season before when I was waiting to be engaged and wanting to be engaged, and wanting to move forward with our relationship,” Williams shared. “Then the season ended with us getting engaged.” English proposed to her in Thailand. “And then this season hasn’t aired yet, but it was cool because I got to take the cameras around with me cake tasting and wedding venue searching,” she recalled. “Talking with the other girls who are married and asking them, ‘How did you do this?’”
“Things go wrong, there is a lot of emotions and it’s a lot of work. I feel like I had a lot more to film, and there were a lot more emotions being filmed, definitely.” She was able to document all of these memories through filming and it’ll be exciting to watch it on TV and to be able to relive those memories. It’s special because it’s like her own personal home videos. “Yeah, exactly! I can use it as a home video for sure,” she smiled.
“I love filming with Natalie and Olivia, it’s always fun with them. They’re a riot so it’s always fun,” she discussed fun times with her co-stars. “A couple of my all-time favorite scenes, have been filming this year, for season three.” (The new season is premiering Fall 2017.) Laughing she said, “We’ve done a couple of crazy things, where the viewers are going to be like, ‘What are they doing?’ haha.” The premiere date now got pushed to November. “Miami WAGS got pushed, so we have to fall after them so we got pushed. And they wanted to promote our show a little further.” Now there will be time to do that before the new season begins to air. “We just finished doing a new promo commercial. A new commercial, new photos, new promo that looks amazing.” She divulged, “It’ll probably start airing as a teaser on E! in the next couple of months.”
Favorite Beauty Products
“Hourglass is a really good makeup that I like to use, as well as Kat Von D. They’re both cruelty free, so I like to stick with the cruelty free makeup.” She added, “Tarte is another one.” She likes to use natural, organic and cruelty-free products only. “Hourglass has a great foundation, Kat Von D has great contour palettes and her liquid lipstick is amazing,” Williams shared. She uses her body scrub as a face scrub as well, gently. It’s good for making your skin soft and cleaning out your pores. “It gives your face an overall glow,” she said. (There is a tutorial for it, a ‘how to use it on your face’ video tutorial on the Forever 21 Instagram!) “I did it from beginning to end,” Williams shared for her followers. For skin care, she uses a variety of products and likes to give different companies a try. “I just take good care of my skin, I just make sure I wash off my makeup every night - I never leave it sitting there.” Her tip is to use a lot of natural ingredients. “You can use cucumbers on your eyes for puffiness.” She added, “There are so many natural home remedies you can do, I don’t think putting chemicals on your face is the way to go.” Natural is where it is at!
Her favorite lip shade: Kat Von D’s Liquid Lipstick ‘Bow N Arrow’
“It’s the best one, I die for that one,” Williams shared. “I literally run into Sephora and just grab it, I know right where it is.” She said she loves it so much that she stocks up on them. It’s a beautiful lip shade.
There’s also NYX, “I always carry it in my purse, it’s a matte lip cream and it’s the Stockholm flavor.”
Jewelry Designer ‘Nia Lynn Jewels’
She is the designer of her own jewelry line, called ‘Nia Lynn Jewels.’ “I have my jewelry line, I teamed up with Seven 50 Jewels, they are based in New York, and have been around for a while,” she stated. The collection contains yellow gold, 18 karat gold and diamonds. They also have yellow gold plated, and then rose gold with diamonds. “I wanted to keep it really light, I don’t wear a lot of jewelry,” she said. “If I do, it’s barely there, jewelry. It’s just very fine.”
Chokers are in, so the collection features an array of chic chokers. “I did a couple of simple, gold chokers. I incorporated a little diamond snake into some of the chokers, some of the studs and in a ring.” She added, “I did two body chains that are really cool.” She described it as, “Beachy jewelry and every day jewelry, you can wear it in the water with swimsuits and then wear it out at night.”
We share the same favorite piece: the sleek and chic snake choker necklace. “That’s my favorite piece, the snake choker and the snake studs,” she gleamed. You forget you’re even wearing it; because it’s a light, timeless staple piece - not a heavy, gaudy piece that will weigh you down. It feels natural; and these simple, but refined pieces are in style. It’s so cute and is different, which is good to have unique pieces. The choice of snakes in jewelry design, is also popular with Gucci and Cartier.
She took into consideration everyone when figuring out the pricing. “We made a good price range; you have the higher end where if you want diamonds and real gold, you know, it’s real gold, so you pay that price.” Furthermore; “For the girls, my young followers, who want the gold plated, which will last forever still, but is at a lower price, we have that.” She summed up, “So I have something for everyone.”
She is currently designing and launching her own swimwear line. Her upcoming campaign shoot for it, is going to be photographed in Talum. It will feature her and one other model. She’s hoping for it to be launching by the end of September. “It’s going to be more of a resort style collection,” Williams explained of the swimwear aesthetic. The goal is to complement a woman’s curves, and make her feel confident and sexy. “It’s very small, I only have six pieces, but I do have four different color options in the six pieces,” she said. In the collection, there are three one pieces and three bikinis. They are not just like regular swimsuits and bikinis, though. “Each piece is cool, different, high cut and really accentuates a woman’s curves,” she described.
Oftentimes there are sexy tops to bikinis, but the bottom part is not sexy. With Nicole Williams’ line, the bottoms are high cut and sexy. “I like a Brazilian style bikini bottom, I don’t want a white tan line.” Furthermore; “You know, when you go to the beach, you want to show as much as possible, because you don’t want a tan line.” Her swimsuits will feature high cut small bottoms, mesh, and fishnet in certain areas, with a lot of details. They can be worn to the beach or when you’re going out. “You can even wear them with jeans,” she said. It’s like a bodysuit, which is a popular trend to wear with jeans or shorts. As for colors, “I used kind of earthy tones. My swimsuits will be copper and olive, and then white and black.” Since it’s hard to find a good copper, she ended up dyeing her own, a custom color. An added bonus, “The material I’m using has a shimmer, so when you wear it outside it kind of looks metallic. It really pops when the sun hits it.”
She recently modeled in Miami Swim Week. “Yeah, it was fun, I model for Beach Bunny and I love the owner Angie.” It’s a dream come true. “Growing up I always wanted to model for Beach Bunny, because I’ve always loved swimwear - and I’m a swimwear model, and I also always wanted to design swimwear.” It was a cool experience for her.
She has plans to do another swimwear collection after this one, and expand into lounge wear as well. “I want to do leggings too, I feel like it’s hard to find good leggings.” We discussed how Victoria Sport from Victoria’s Secret has good leggings and Topshop has great leggings – but it’s hard because they always sell out right away. Other than that, it’s hard to find a great pair of leggings. “You either have camel toe, or they’re not high cut enough, or they don’t fit the butt, or the stretch goes the wrong way. I’ve ordered so many pairs of leggings and I get them and they don’t fit,” she listed the issues all girls run into when searching for a good pair of leggings. The struggle is real with leggings and every girl can relate. Hence, she wants to design a perfect pair of leggings that fit every girl.
Fashion Must Have: Vintage High-Waisted Levi Jean Shorts
Her must have clothing item is vintage, high-waisted, Levi jean shorts. She gets them from flea markets and the best ones are from the 80’s. “I live in them, I go out at night in them. I’ll wear them all day, and then I’ll put on heels and go out.” She said she is so casual, and loves the jean shorts, especially in the summer. For this cute look, she throws on a pair of Yeezy’s or slides, with the jean shorts and a tank top.
The savvy businesswoman, model, and wife also makes time to support our country's veterans by supporting the Irving Morris Foundation and attends their annual Hope for the Holidays event which raises money to build homes for veterans. As a lifelong animal lover and owner of two French bulldogs, Jasmine and Ace, Nicole also aims to also help support animal non-profit organizations such as PETA and ASPCA.
Tune into WAGS on E! this November to watch Nicole, get her Body Blendz scrub from Forever 21, head over to Nia Lynn Jewels for her jewelry line, and be on the lookout for her swimwear launch! Follow her on social media: @justtnic
Katie Gray is a Marymount Manhattan College alum with degrees in Communication & Media Arts and Business with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. She is a New York City based freelance writer, journalist and reporter. She has had jobs and internships with: Marie Claire, Fox News, 5W Public Relations, NY1 News, Bloomingdale’s flagship, Cumulus Media with radio stations NASH FM & PLJ, Tribeca Film Festival and New York Fashion Week with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Her work has been featured in print and online publications: Brooklyn Reporter, Cupid’s Pulse, The Daily Meal, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Center for Communication, Bensonhurst Bean, and more. You can find more articles from Katie on her website: www.xoxokatiegray.com.