When the CS team first heard that Alyssa Forever and Alissa Ashley started the BOMB challenge, we were ecstatic. FINALLY, a way for us, as black beauty creators, to support one another. Our beloved muva, Jackie Aina, took things one step further, and used her large platform (over 800,000 subscribers to be exact) to call beauty gurus of ALL ethnicities to take part in this challenge.
The irony is that most people use a full face of "white owned" makeup brands everyday, without blinking an eye. Conversely, the fact that brands are "black owned" seemingly creates an undetected aversion in the eyes of many YouTubers, and many consumers.
The bulk of black owned beauty businesses are owned by enterprising women; a group of entrepreneurs that are growing at record speed.
According to Fortune magazine, "The number of businesses owned by African American women grew 322% since 1997, making black females the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S."
Margot Dorfman, CEO of the Women's Chamber of Commerce, reported,
“We attribute the growth in women-owned firms to the lack of fair pay, fair promotion, and family-friendly policies found in corporate America. Women of color, when you look at the statistics, are impacted more significantly by all of the negative factors that women face. It’s not surprising that they have chosen to invest in themselves.”
So not only do black owned makeup brands exist, there are a plethora of them to choose from. They are another example of how black people have managed to create their own spaces despite being marginalized and discriminated against.
As a black owned business and brand, Cocoa Swatches wants to support the other brands doing, creating, and promoting amazing things. We wanted to do more than create a list that might be forgotten in the next month, when it was no longer "in." So we decided to approach the B.O.M.B. challenge in a different way.
We are going to profile one B.O.M.B every week and showcase some of their products that we love through swatches and tutorials!
Our first B.O.M.B. profile is IMAN cosmetics. Like the women mentioned in the Fortune article, IMAN was frustrated with the beauty industry treated black models.
"I would show up to a shoot fresh-faced, ready to be primped and teased into divineness, and the makeup artist of the moment would greet me with what was a commonplace opener at that time: “Did you bring your own makeup?” And more ethnically diverse models knew what that meant. “There are no foundations for your skin tone.” she said.
It was because of this frustration that she created IMAN Cosmetics in 1994. Check out some of our fave products showcased in the video on the left!