Although she had a turbulent upbringing, today Noella has turned that struggle into her strength. She is an ambassador for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis and is the founder of Malaika, a grassroots nonprofit that provides free access to high quality education and health programs for girls and women in her home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On her beauty…

“I learned that beauty comes from the inside, from your personality, and what you achieve. For me, beauty is about who you are, what you want to be, and what you want to achieve. It’s not just physical.”

Noella

Noella

I was a tomboy growing up and my childhood was quite tough. My family never really had money to dress me and my hair was short, so I never saw myself as beautiful.

More...

On her make-up…

I love make-up, but I believe it’s very important to educate younger girls and women that lots of make-up doesn’t equate to being more beautiful. For their sake, we need to completely change the way we approach it and explain what true beauty is and where it comes from. When people ask me, how many followers I have on social media, I will tell them how many lives I am saving because for me, that’s more important.

I love lipstick, mascara, blush and eyeshadow. However, for me, lipstick is the most important because just applying it puts me in the mood for going out.

On her work as a philanthropist…

We never raise money by using sad pictures. Instead, we use positive imagery. This is the impact I want to have and the mark I want to make. To show that this type of legacy represents beauty to me. That’s true beauty – what you leave behind for your kids, your family, your country and your community.