Get To Know: Mented Cosmetics

Mented Cosmetics

Last Updated on November 20, 2022

Mented Cosmetics is on a mission to make sure everyone can find the perfect pigMENTED nude shade for them.

It used to be super hard for black women to find a good nude shade–but not anymore. More black-owned brands are popping up with well-suited shades for our melanated skin tones. And for that, we are thankful. In this article, we’re shining the light on one of these superstars – Mented Cosmetics.

TL;DR: Mented Cosmetics brand profile

The beginnings of Mented Cosmetics

In 2015, KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson decided to launch a cosmetics line with melanin in mind. There was certainly no accessible, inclusive makeup shade range at this time.

Johnson and Miller had been close friends since they met as Harvard Business School students. They trace their entrepreneurial origins back to an evening hangout in early 2017 where they’d met up in Miller’s apartment and started to talk about makeup. Specifically, they discussed a common makeup grievance: neither of them could find a nude lipstick that looked good on their dark skin.

Johnson and Miller both worked in corporate environments and needed office-friendly makeup that was more modest than the vibrant and vivid tones commonly advised to Black women. “I’d been seeking for a naked lipstick for three years,” Johnson explains. Miller adds that it was a light bulb moment for both of them.

As such, they immediately created a business plan. They knew where to begin because of their professional experience in the retail industry. The founders approached manufacturers and told them that they wanted to make nude lipsticks for women of color. However, the reaction was always the same: the manufacturer provided pinks and beiges. “That is not a nude lipstick for a brown girl,” says Johnson.

So, rather than working with a manufacturer, most of whom had high minimum purchase orders and didn’t understand their objective, the duo decided to take matters into their own hands. As they learned how to make their lipstick, they bought dyes, pigments, and molds. They also watched YouTube videos and tried out recipes in their kitchens.

Within a few months, they had a polished nude lipstick line for women of color and were ready to test it. To do this, Johnson and Miller reached out to a group of Black influencers, many of whom they’d used when they needed product recommendations for people with darker skin tones. They then sent them their homemade samples to test and review.

Their efforts were rewarded handsomely when those influencers began wearing and raving about Mented lipsticks in their content, generating organic pre-launch publicity for the enterprise. After several months of painstaking preparation, Mented Cosmetics finally hit the market in spring of 2017, with some significant demand.

That’s how Mented was born. The Mented cosmetics line, which is short for ‘pigmented’, offers everything from eyeshadows to lipsticks — for skin tones in tan, brown, red, and pink.

“We want all women, from light to tan to dark skin tones, to feel like they have makeup that actually works for their complexions, so we’ve created the shades to help accomplish that.”

KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson, Co-founders
Source: Mented

Through the four years that followed the launch, they broke down barriers in the beauty and retail industries. For instance, Miller and Johnson are the 15th and 16th African American women to raise $1 million in venture capital. This is a significant feat as Black women get less than 1% of venture capital funding overall.

As they’ve grown their businesses, they haven’t lost sight of their main goal: to make women of color more visible and inclusive. Since Mented started, the beauty industry has made a big change toward being more inclusive. This has only made Mented and its mission even more important to the public.

The beauty philosophy of Mented Cosmetics

From the start, Miller and Johnson had one goal in mind: to make everyone feel celebrated and beautiful in the skin they were born in. They both thought that the beauty industry was not meeting the needs of women of color. Therefore, they wanted to help every woman who didn’t feel like she was represented when she went into a beauty store.

Besides that, Mented Cosmetics takes great care in making quality, non-toxic makeup products for your skin. Their products are made of high-quality, cruelty-free ingredients. Furthermore, they are vegan, safe, and free of parabens.

Mented is determined that every woman should find herself in the world of beauty. That belief is what drives them to make products and build communities. Even though Mented’s inclusive mission was first meant for women of color, the company now serves anyone who wears makeup.

Mented Cosmetics product range

Mented Cosmetics put inclusivity and accessibility at the top of its list from the start. Thus, the brand’s product offering includes Lip, Face, Cheek, Brow, Eye, and Nail products. You can find Mented Cosmetics in over 700 retail stores. They also have a strong direct-to-consumer (DTC) online presence that helps them balance their retail presence with their online presence.

Mented’s approach to luxurious but affordable beauty has won them many fans. Here are some of our favorite products for people who can’t decide which to try first.

  1. Mented Cosmetics Skin by Mented
Get To Know: Mented Cosmetics
Skin by Mented (Ulta Beauty), $30

Skin by Mented is a complexion stick that can be used as a foundation, concealer, or contour stick. The creamy formula is lightweight, buildable and hydrating. Also, the product is vegan, hypoallergenic, and comes in 16 shades. This is the perfect foundation if you have dry-combination skin and want a natural finish.

Usage tip: Glide the stick across the areas of your face as needed. Buff and blend with Mented’s foundation brush till you get your desired finish. (Grab the foundation and brush duo here.)

2. Mented Cosmetics Semi-Matte Lipstick

Get To Know: Mented Cosmetics
Semi-Matte Lipstick (Amazon), $16.50

The popular Semi-Matte Lipstick by Mented come in a variety of browns and red to complete a natural, nude look. The full-coverage formula is moisturizing and dries into a semi-matte finish. It is also vegan, paraben-free, and gluten-free. It is available in 9 shades.

Usage tip: Slide across your lips and smack together until it’s entirely coated. For long wear, consider using Mented’s matching waterproof lip liner before applying the lipstick. (Get the lipstick and liner duo here.)

3. Mented Cosmetics Sunkissed Bronzer

Get To Know: Mented Cosmetics
Sunkissed Bronzer (Ulta Beauty), $22

Makeup is not truly complete without a good bronzer – bronzers provide a complimentary wash of color on melanated skin. Mented’s Sunkissed bronzer is one to have, as it brings depth and warmth to the complexion. The pigments are also rich and blendable, providing that natural, sunkissed glow. Finally, the formula is infused with antioxidants Vitamins A and E, and it is vegan. It comes in 4 shades.

Usage tip: Swipe a loose powder brush over the bronzer. Then, flick off the excess and apply where light hits the face.

4. Mented Cosmetics Everyday Eyeshadow Palette

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Mented Cosmetics
Everyday Eyeshadow Palette (Amazon), $28

The Everyday Eyeshadow Palette was designed to flatter all melanin skin tones. It boasts a mixture of highly-pigmented mattes and shimmer hues. It’s easy to apply and can be used any time of the day. The vegan formula is also paraben-free, cruelty-free and safe for skin.

Usage tip: To create a sultry look, apply the shade closest to your skintone as base, and blend. Then, apply a shade darker onto the lids and blend. Afterwards, blend the darkest shade into the outer part of your crease. Finally, use your shimmer shade to highlight the inner corner of your eyes.

5. Mented Cosmetics Lipgloss

Mented Cosmetics
Lipgloss (Amazon), $15

Infused with castor seed oil, Mented’s moisturizing lipgloss glides over the lips beautifully and provides shine. The formula is buildable from a light coat to full coverage. The gloss is vegan and available in 7 complimentary shades.

Usage tip: For subtle shine, apply one coat. For a more opaque appearance, apply three coats.

6. Mented Cosmetics Nude Nail Polish

Mented Cosmetics
Nude Nail Collection (Mented Cosmetics), $15

This nail lacquer trio consists of pink, tan and brown shades. Each polish is highly-pigmented with full coverage. The creamy formula goes on smoothly and dries quickly into a glossy finish. And, it’s fragrance-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Usage tip: Apply a top coat to dial up the shine and protect the polish from chipping over time.

Where to buy Mented Cosmetics

Fans and visitors of Mented Cosmetics can shop for the perfect naked lip color and other items on their website, and at:

Why Mented is worth trying

Miller and Johnson created Mented Cosmetics so that every woman can find herself in the world of beauty, no matter how dark or light her skin is. Customers love their products for many reasons, including:

  1. They create cosmetics for people of color: From their original nude lipsticks to their eyeshadow palettes and blushes, they make sure there’s an array of shades to suit people of color. Particularly, they are trail-blazers known for providing the perfect nude hues to suit dark skin tones.
  2. Mented meets everyone’s beauty needs: Mented’s inclusive mission started as a way for women of color to get makeup. The business has since grown to serve anyone who wears makeup. As a result, the founders are committed to ensuring that each customer finds the perfect shade. In fact, you can use their Shade Finder to quickly find the right lipstick, foundation or concealer. Otherwise, their 60-second online quiz is a great place to start.
  3. Ethically sourced and precisely formulated: Mented products are not only brilliant, but also gentle and caring. All of their cosmetics are cruelty-free, vegan, paraben-free, and non-toxic. So, you can feel good about spending money on a brand that puts your health first.

Wrapping it up

We’re big fans of Mented Cosmetics, and here’s why: the brand makes it easier than ever to get cosmetics that is actually tailored to you. Whether you’re looking for the perfect foundation shade or neutral lip color, Mented Cosmetics has it all. It also comes at a price that won’t break the bank and at a quality that will last all day. At Mented, you come first!

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