There have been a lot of strange makeup challenges making their way around the YouTubes right now. The full face highlighter challenge. The full face kid’s makeup challenge. The full face liquid lipstick challenge. Obviously Jefree Star has been pushing on these pretty hard as a way to push his highlighters and liquid lipsticks, but he’s inadvertently helped another great makeup challenge take off: after all of the controversy arose about old racist rants surfacing from his MySpace days, a lot of black YouTube beauty gurus have been promoting the B.O.M.B. Challenge, or Black Owned Makeup Brand Challenge. The first video I saw related to this challenge was Jackie Aina:
She mentions the Black Lives Matter movement in her video as well, and I think she does a great job of talking about how you can use beauty culture and an appreciation of makeup to be empowering – it’s not just about pretty colors, y’all!
Now as I’ve been preparing to try out the Black Owned Makeup Brand Challenge for myself (I’ve got the most gorgeous shopping list EVER!), one of the first brands I wanted to try out was Juvia’s Place. Because I follow Stephanie Nicole, when I saw that she had done a video about them I definitely had to watch it and once I did, I started getting a bunch of suggestions about related videos that brought up some controversy (Stephanie Nicole addresses this as well). Here’s Stephanie Nicole’s video about Juvia’s Place three palettes:
She’s a fan of the palettes and that was enough for me – I decided to order the Masquerade palette. It’s the biggest and the most colorful of the three, and seems to best match my style of makeup looks (though the Nubian 2 is catching my eye…damn it). What I love about Stephanie Nicole’s videos is that she does a lot of research and provides a lot of information: she does cost breakdowns so you can see how much you are paying per gram as well as how these palettes stack up against other similar palettes or brands. Juvia’s place has some great value, especially in the larger palettes for how much you get and how much you pay per gram. The smallest palette, the Nubian, is the most expensive per gram but is still a pretty good deal.
The Masquerade Palette is a pretty standard cardboard palette – it feels nice and sturdy and the stickers or wrapping or whatever is on the outside is really nice. The cover art is absolutely stunning, and it makes me want to try to recreate something similar for a photoshoot! Once you open it up, you do get to my two minor complaints. First, there is no mirror in the palette. I usually get ready in front of a mirror anyway, but because of my eyesight I never have my glasses on (duh!) so I usually ignore whatever mirror I’m using and get real up close and personal with the mirror in the palette…assuming their is one. And mirrors are so ubiquitous now that I almost can’t believe it when there isn’t one; the same thing happened when I opened the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moon Child Glow palette. Even a cheap mirror is better than nothing. The other complaint I have about this one is that the yellow sticker/wrapping around the actual shadows is super glossy and looks super cheap – like really cheap. There is something about it and the lettering of the shade names that just looks a little tacky. Both of these complaints are so minor though – after all, I’m not rubbing the packaging all over my face! What really matters is the quality of the shadows and that’s where Juvia’s Place shines – literally!
If you watch any of my Facebook live broadcasts, you know that I’ve been buying a ton of makeup lately, and this palette has some of the best colors that I have found in a long time and I think they out perform some of the big brands that I’m used to buying in Sephora. These shadows pack a lot of color to them and apply really beautifully. They do swatch better with a finger than with a brush, and they need just a little bit of work when applying, but in playing with them I find that I get much better results and much more vibrant, true colors from these shadows that from the TooFaced palettes I’ve been picking up at the Nordstrom Rack. Here’s a breakdown of some of my favorites from the palettes:
Bori – this is one of the most unique shadows I’ve run across in a long time. It’s a neon pink with a yellowy sparkle – it’s a little bit lighter and a little bit less blue-toned than Star Power from the Jeffree Star Beauty Killer palette, and the addition of the subtle sparkle makes this really gorgeous!
Chi – I love purples, but so many of them are red-based and not enough go for that blue-based purple that I really love. Well, if you love blue-based purples this shade is EVERYTHING! It is so gorgeous, like a deepened cornflower blue with a rich metallic sheen.
Giza – This highlight shade is giving me life right now. It’s got the faintest little pop of champagne and is metallic and gorgeous. So many light highlighting shades end up looking muddy or chalky, but this one really holds up and is beautiful. It’s got a little peachy warmth to it, so it works better with warm looks, but the color is light and subtle enough that you could use it to highlight cooler looks as well. Very versatile!
Zola – This light blue has finally convinced me that blue eyeshadow doesn’t have to be totally 80s. I’ve seen some good looks, but that thought was always in the back of my head – but no more! This metallic lovely is bright and shiny but plays well with others and it has an icy beauty that I really love, especially when playing with Mali!
In fact, as I was swatching I didn’t find any colors in this palette that were losers to me; some I might use less and aren’t as keyed in to the kinds of looks I do (sorry Ada and Burkina!) but they were still pigmented and lovely – they made me want to branch out and try new things!
Now let’s chat a little bit about the controversy around this brand. If you watched all of the Stephanie Nicole video above, you got a little taste (though many of you probably didn’t – no shade, she definitely makes long videos! If you want to go back and hear her thoughts on this, you can skip to 20:56) but I wanted to share a couple of other perspectives and give you my thoughts. First, here is a video from Tifjef069:
While I think that there is a little bit of what Stephanie Nicole talks about where some of the anger at Juvia’s Place seems to stem from not getting free product (and that speaks to this whole world of entitlement that we find ourselves in on the daily) but I think that Tiff does bring up a part of it that Stephanie misses – that this is a black-owned makeup brand who started by saying that they wanted to uplift their own community, but that when they did start sending out PR products and things, it went predominantly to larger, white YouTubers. Is it a smart business decision? Absolutely! Juvia’s Place has to pay for every single palette they send out, so are you more likely to see a return for a palette sent out to someone with 25,000 subscribers, so someone with 250,000 subscribers? Obvi. I get the decision. And maybe once they grow a bit more they will expand their PR to include more of the black YouTubers who helped them build momentum in the first place – that’s hard to say because we’re still in the middle place. But I think it’s unfortunate that they made this decision to really turn towards these larger YouTubers and ignore the place where they came from. It’s not just about free products and it’s not just about having PR lists and affiliate codes. For me it’s about living up to the things you say you stand for, and one of the things Juvia’s Place wanted to stand for was uplifting black women through the beauty industry. It doesn’t mean that I won’t support them, because I want to diversify the companies I buy from and consciously buy from B.O.M.B.s that have great products (for me, it always comes back to the QUALITY of the products!) and Juvia’s Place does. But I want to acknowledge what Tifjef069 is saying, because I don’t think it’s just hurt feelings over not getting free product. Let’s hope that Juvia’s Place will continue to grow and as they become even more successful they get back to supporting independent artists and YouTubers who have helped them grow.
Just for fun, here’s another video from a smaller YouTuber called Life With Meech who was inspired by Tifjef069’s videos and presented her own thoughts on the Juvia’s Place controversy:
I’m very excited to try out the B.O.M.B. challenge for myself and try out some products from companies that don’t get as much mainstream attention. I’ve been repping a B.O.M.B. for a while now (y’all didn’t forget that I was a Tyra Beauty Independent BeautyTainer, now did ya?!) and I’ve already got a list of about 14 companies that I want to order from to get ready for the B.O.M.B. challenge, so look for LOTS of reviews to come. If Juvia’s Place is any indication (and I believe it is) there are a lot of Black Owned Makeup Brands out there that you may not be finding in Sephora or Ulta, and you may not be reading about in mainstream media, but have some pretty killer products that can help you create whatever fabulous look you want to create. Makeup should be fun, and I think part of that fun is opening up to new ideas and perspectives – as well as new products – to see what the world has to offer!
Now Go Forth & Get Painted!
Tags: Black Lives Matter, BOMB Challenge, Champagne Dreams Productions, cosmetics, drag art, drag king, drag performance, drag queen, drag show, drag troupe, eyeshadow, Jackie Aina, Janessa, Janessa J, Janessa J Champagne, Janessa Jaye, Janessa Jaye Champagne, Jeffree Star, Juvia's Place, Life With Meech, lipstick, makeup, makeup forum, Masquerade Palette, Miss Jaye, Nubian 2 Palette, Nubian Palette, Sephora, Sephora Inside JC Penney, Stephanie Nicole, TifJef069, Tyra Beauty, World of Champagne, YouTube, YouTube makeup Challenges