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Makeup Muses: Chat with Noëlla Coursers Musunka

by Ateh Jewel

We caught up with Noëlla Coursers Musunka, an International model and founder of malaika.org, a non-profit organisation, which empowers Congolese girls through education.
Noëlla was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to a Cypriot father and a Congolese mother. At the age of 5, tragedy struck her family with her father’s death and at the age of 5 Noella was sent to live with relatives in Belgium and later Switzerland. With little contact with her mother, over a 13-year absence, upon her return to her homeland Noella promised herself she would help with the poverty she saw and create opportunities with women in her country.  In 2007, Noella founded Malaika, a non-profit organisation that empowers Congolese girls and their communities through education and health programs. 
“In a way, Malaika is the story of me. The problem in Africa is that women’s education is not a priority. When my father died, my mother didn’t have enough education to earn money, so she couldn’t take care of me. She gave me away because she wanted to give me a chance,” explains Noëlla.

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Today, Noëlla continues her fight for women and education and is a mother of two, living in the English countryside. As an international model she has been the face of campaigns for Max Factor and Black Opal. She’s a force of nature and joyous bundle of energy. We had a peek inside her makeup bag and a beauty chat….

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 “The true foundation of my makeup regime starts with drinking lots of water and 7 to 8 hours of sleep! Makeup means a lot to me. As a mum, I’m always on the go and busy but to put on a pop of lipstick, just makes me feel refreshed. It’s a great way to start the day,” says Noëlla.
“I keep a very basic makeup for my everyday look, but for events I like some glamour and to put more on!
The focus for me is always eyes. I love to design my eye, I love eyeshadow, pencil and mascara and to define the eye.” To recreate the look, try Sacha Cosmetics Matte Eyeshadow Palette, £39.00 and BlackUp’s mascaras which is great for opening up the eyes, BlackUp’s M’Eye Love Waterproof Mascara Volume and Curl in black, £22.50.
“For lips it all depends on my mood, I love berries and nudes.” For a polished day time look try MDMFlow’s Lipsticks, £15 and for more drama and red-carpet events try Makeup 54’s Liquid Lipstick in Rose, £17.00. 

“I came to make up very late because I was a tomboy, I had short hair and I dressed, like a boy because my family didn't have a lot of money growing up.  I have modelled for a long time; it was hard as makeup artists never had the correct foundation. Even the blush didn’t look right as many don’t look the same on a black skin. I think now it’s better as makeup artists have more foundation options. 

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Darker skin changes all the time from Spring, Winter and Summer and I myself have about 10-12 foundations from different brands and I bring them on set. I love Truly Topaz from Black Opal’s Truly Stick foundation in Truly Topaz, £15.”
Whether giving an interview on CNN or a TEDTALK Noëlla is always empowered and passionate, which makes her truly beautiful inside and out. 
You can shop Noella’s favourites and other beauty products optimised for women of colour on Loop Beauty here.