Pauline Cosmetics is a beauty brand created for women of color across the globe, to share and showcase a different type of Afro beauty, culture and experience so they can feel seen, celebrated and own their power in whatever space they are in.
Pauline Cosmetics started official operations in Kenya, East Africa in 2014 and has since built a loved brand for its people and received local and international recognition. We are now taking our true, tried, tested and loved products to the world.
Our vision is to be a beauty brand that showcases and celebrates different aspects of Afro culture that is powerful, beautiful and bold, to inspire women of color in pride across the globe.
About Nelly Tuikong
Pauline Cosmetics was founded by Nelly Tuikong, who was born and raised in Kenya. She later on went to the US for her studies, where she received her Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) from Indiana University in 2010.
It was during her time in university where she realized she was having a hard time getting makeup for her skin tone, even with the many makeup brands that existed at the time. Nelly was puzzled, but at the same time she understood that this was part of a much wider problem.
Growing up, Nelly was bombarded with TV and magazine commercials that promoted fairness and the push to lighten darker skin tones. Some of the same global brands that did not provide makeup to serve the vast Afro skin tones were focused on selling face creams that promoted fairness to an entire continent of melanin rich people.
Global makeup brands at the time did not particularly have any interest in serving the African region, let alone the large population of women of color in its respective countries.
Coming from Kenya, Nelly understood that the modern African woman, like any other modern woman, valued how they looked from head to toe. She also understood that this woman wanted to feel seen, wanted to be appreciated for who she was, and wanted to be celebrated. This was because Nelly was also that woman.
Nelly got a strong nudge to work on creating a makeup brand that would serve the gap in her country and continent by creating products for the diverse Afro woman, from the dark rich cocoa tones of South Sudanese women to the warm caramel shades of Ethiopian women and beyond.
While beauty has come a long way in creating more representation for many women, Nelly believes that representation is beyond skin stone. It is also about celebrating our cultural differences that make us all unique.
Her mission continues to champion a different narrative and experience for women of color.