The movement to shop Black-owned has picked up steam in the weeks following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police last month. Recording artists like Solange, along with Slim Thug and Paul Wall, have done their part to encourage fans to support Black companies by opening bank accounts at Black-owned institutions.
African-Americans have also shown solidarity in vowing to #ShopBlack. Now, two beauty vloggers have created a challenge to encourage the community to expand on that. They want their viewers to buy Black-owned make up. Called the B.O.M.B. Challenge – short for Black-owned makeup brand – YouTube stars Alissa Ashley and Alyssa Forever posted videos creating flawless looks using only cosmetics from companies with Black founders.
“I started the challenge because a lot of people were challenging me to speak up about the issues going on with police brutality and Black Lives Matter,” Alissa Ashley told Atlanta Black Star. “I felt like creating a challenge in support of Black-owned businesses would be my way of showing support because it’s relevant to my field of work, so it made the most sense to me.”
Alissa Ashley thought of the challenge when she was in Los Angeles, where Alyssa Forever lives. When the self-described beauty influencer asked the California resident if she wanted to collaborate, Alyssa Forever agreed.
“With everything that is going on right now, I think it’s really important for us to uplift and to invest in the Black community if we plan on making any kind of difference,” Alyssa Forever said in the intro to her video.
Both vloggers had similar looks upon completing their designs. Alissa Ashley’s was brighter with yellow, pink and purple hues surrounding her eyes and a bold pink lip. Alyssa Forever favored a darker look with blue on the inner corner of her eye, a black cat eye and a brown lip.
“As far as finding products, it was surprisingly very easy for me because I am pretty close to a lot of the owners of the brands that I used,” 21-year-old Alissa Ashley said.
Brands she used included Juvia’s Place and AJ Crimson, among others.
“All I had to do was shoot over a text describing my idea and they loved it.”
The challenge has taken off so much that other vloggers have gotten on board, sharing their own looks. Freelance makeup artist Jackie Aina then posted her own clip, encouraging non-Black people to support Black-owned beauty companies.
“I challenge all of you (especially those of you who are not Black!) to try some new products [and] support more Black and minority-owned businesses!” Jackie wrote on her YouTube page. “There are a lot of Black-owned brands who are amazing and are often overlooked and overshadowed by bigger brands who don’t even cater to us as much as they should!”
Alissa Ashley believes the challenge can empower the Black community to invest in companies that cater to African-Americans’ needs.
“Often times we find ourselves expressing our frustrations with companies not having our shades,” she told ABS. “When in reality we can easily invest that energy into supporting and uplifting and promoting the brands who do cater to us.”
“It’s important to support Black-owned businesses because bottom line, why are we still giving all of our hard-earned money to people who don’t even cater to us?” she continued. “Who don’t even have us in mind when they’re in their labs creating 50 shades of white? We should support our Black-owned businesses who cater to us because they have us in mind. So we need to start having them in mind as well!”