My name is Mouna Moussa. I am half Sicilian and half Lebanese. My mother is 100% Sicilian (from Italy) and my dad is 100% Lebanese (the Middle East). As far as I know, going back generations, it’s all Sicilian on one side and all Lebanese on the other. I’d say I’m Mediterranean. People sometimes think that I’m Latina! I swear there isn’t a week that goes by that someone doesn’t talk to me in Spanish!
I’m the owner of Armand Life Ink, LLC (my own personal brand), which is a multi-media communications agency specializing in the areas of entertainment, including but not limited to music, production, and management. Armand Life Ink was created with a vision to develop brands, forge partnerships, and cultivate successful careers through creativity and forward-thinking strategy.
In my earlier years, I think of Sophia Loren and Mariah Carey and Princess Jasmine (from Aladdin) as beauty icons in my mind. I’m talking way before my time. Sophia came to mind because of the music in her movies. My first memory of Mariah Carey was her video with Boyz II Men. Back in the day, Mariah was so lively, natural, and carefree and to me she could pass for any ethnicity (I loved that).
I think I was drawn to someone Arab (like Princess Jasmine) and to see it as a little girl on a Disney movie just stuck with me.
People have a particular feeling towards Arab women (I can’t say the same for Sicilian women). They assume we are meek and follow men and are submissive—only. We can be these things when balanced in a healthy way, however we are the backbone of our families. We are educated and we are independent, too.
To be honest, my beauty routine is something I am working on and my goal is to be consistent on a daily basis. But for now, it’s simple. On a typical day, it’s a shower to wash my hair and exfoliate from head to toe. Then, I throw my mane up in a high bun or a braid. Sometimes I let it down with my natural curl, if the weather is cooperating.
From there it’s moisturizer on my face, a tinted sunscreen, Bare Minerals, and some attention to my eyes. I’ll do a purple liner to pop my green eye color, some mascara, and run a little comb through my eyebrows.
At night I wash my face, exfoliate, and add a night cream. I always make sure to sleep with my hair off my skin.
I feel a little lip-gloss, fresh skin and some sun always makes me feel beautiful. I also love to have my nails and brows done. I swear by Anastasia’s Brow Wiz.
Anytime I get any physical fitness in, especially a Zumba class, I walk out feeling myself.
If I really think hard, I can say I realized I was a Brown girl in Middle School. I looked different from the majority of girls I went to school with. I remember my older brother telling me I would appreciate these differences when I got older, and that one day all of the things I thought I didn’t like about myself would be the very things others would be jealous of. He was right.
As I entered college at Temple University, it was the first time I really saw a divide in people and groups and saw more clique-ish behavior than I ever experienced growing up in Easton, PA. I didn’t feel Black or White—which is the natural category we tend to place people in. I just felt different and I loved it.
I had a handful of friends, and one in particular, who would get upset when someone would try to classify me. She always barked back saying “She’s not white, she’s Lebanese and Sicily is right above Africa…so!”
It was then that it hit me how much stereotyping and judging off of looks occurs and also that for all intensive purposes, I am a brown girl. Amazing.