Growing up, I was made to feel like I was not beautiful because of my dark skin color and tightly coiled hair. I was often picked on by my peers. I remember crying endlessly as I was being called names like "black", "African booty scratcher", or "nappy head". The bullying did not just stop at words but it became physical. Girls would take turns pulling on my hair. I even remember one guy spitting on my hair. The constant teasing and bullying damaged my self-esteem.
My saving grace was my father’s encouragement for me to pursue an understanding of science which shifted my focus. In the first grade, my father entered me into my first school science fair. My father would spend countless hours teaching me how to develop my science fair project. The hard work that I put into my science fair project paid off when I won first place in the school science fair. From that moment, I began to gain confidence in myself. What I understood from that experience was that I may not have been viewed as the prettiest girl in the room but I knew that I could be the smartest girl in the room. Science had become my oasis and my strength. It became my love.
This love for science later led me to major in chemistry/molecular biology at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. One day while in my organic chemistry lab class, my eyes were opened to the world of cosmetic science. My professor, who also owned his own cosmetic company, wanted my classmates and me to understand how to practically apply organic chemistry to our everyday lives. So, he made a decision to have us create lotions and hair relaxers instead of conducting the regular lab experiments. I was bitten by the creative bug and began working alongside my professor outside of class learning as much as I could about cosmetic science.
It was during my research with him that I learned that it is a substance called melanin produced in the skin cells that gave me my dark complexion. With this information, I came to an epiphany that my dark skin color did not make me inferior but it was divinely orchestrated and it made me beautiful and unique.
I also realized that the cosmetic industry lacked effective treatment products that took into account the unique structure and function of ethnic skin and hair. This was just the impetus that I needed to develop my company Nuekie, Inc.. My company is purposed to provide quality skincare products for people of color (i.e. African/African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, Native American, Pacific Islander).
I decided to create this blog to be a resource in empowering you with the information you need to have healthy skin and hair. Just as I have discovered my beauty, my mission is to inspire you to discover that you are perfect in beauty!
Please feel free to send me your questions concerning your beauty needs. I will do my best to answer your questions in upcoming posts. I look forward to sharing my knowledge as a cosmetic chemist with you!
Peace and Blessings,