From the beginning, Mented Cosmetics has kept inclusivity and accessibility top priorities. Back in 2017, the brand took the beauty industry by storm when they introduced nude lipsticks aimed at women of color. This emergence into the beauty industry was revolutionary at a time where many people of color were struggling to find nude lipstick shades that complemented their skin tones. In the space of a few years, the brand has also added eyeshadow palettes, foundations and blushes to its collection. From lipsticks infused with vitamin E and castor oil to foundations with aloe leaf extract and hyaluronic acid as key ingredients, Mented’s approach to luxurious yet affordable beauty has garnered them a huge fanbase.
KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson always wondered why it was so hard to find the perfect nude lipstick. Their conversation sparked an idea that led to the creation of Mented Cosmetics. ‘’As a dark-skinned black woman, I vividly remember all of the times I’d shop for lipstick, blush, or foundation only to find that none of the available shades worked for me’’, Miller tells Byrdie.
Founded: By KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, in 2017.
Based in: New York City
Best known for: Introducing a wide variety of nude lipsticks aimed at women of color.
Standout product: Skin by Mented Foundation
Fun fact: The brand's name, Mented, is short for pigmented.
Other brands you’ll love: The Lip Bar, Juvia’s Place, Glossier, e.l.f. Cosmetics
From the moment the brand launched, Miller and Johnson had one mission: to help everyone feel celebrated and beautiful in the skin they’re in. They both felt that the beauty industry had been neglecting the needs of women of color, and they ultimately sought to provide a solution for every woman that didn’t feel represented when walking into a beauty store. Mented was launched out of a desire for women everywhere to ‘’find themselves in the world of beauty," Miller says. The brand's story emphasizes the importance of putting customers first when catering to a specific market. Mented Cosmetics has been part of a huge industry shift in recent years; it now isn’t enough to simply create products aimed at women of color—ensuring they are complementary and high-quality is essential.
Something else to love about Mented is that every single product in the collection is vegan and cruelty-free, including the lipsticks—conscious beauty has never looked this good. One of the brand's biggest success stories is the Skin by Mented Foundation. The brand understands how difficult the search for the right foundation can be, so to facilitate customer experience, a 60-second quiz, shade comparison guide, and concealer/contour shade finder—all of which have been a hit—are available on its website. Regardless of where you are in your makeup journey, there’s something for everyone. Additionally, Mented Cosmetics takes pride in formulating makeup products with skin health in mind—finding makeup that will help you look and feel good at the same time has never been this easy.
Ready to figure out which of the brand's popular products are best for you? Keep reading to learn about some of the Mented Cosmetics products and collections we love.
Skin by Mented Foundation
This bestselling foundation promises to give you the coverage you need with the natural finish you love, and after trying it a few times at Byrdie HQ, we agree. One of the things I love about stick foundations is how easy and fuss-free the application process is. You don’t have to worry about getting foundation everywhere—just take what you need for the amount of coverage you desire. In addition to hyaluronic acid, Skin by Mented Foundation also contains aloe leaf extract and grapeseed oil. Expect nothing less than a radiant complexion with this dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic foundation in your makeup bag. For best results, apply in broad strokes and buff into the skin. The brand has many how-to videos on their website if you want more tips on achieving your ideal finish.
Mented’s collection of vitamin E and castor oil-infused semi-matte lipsticks comprises a variety of deeply moisturizing lip shades. Described as ‘’the perfect blend of browns and pinks to enhance your multi-hued lips," your best match is easy to find with the brand's 60-second quiz. An added bonus is the grid on the product range itself, which showcases all of the shades. The lipstick glides on smooth like a balm and dries down to a semi-matte finish. We tried Berry Me and loved how creamy and beautiful our lips looked.
Members of the Mented community have proudly declared that their search for the perfect lipstick is over, and judging by reviews, it's safe to say that this is the brand’s cult product. For best results, apply lipstick at the center of the upper lip first, then move outward towards one corner first. Bring the lipstick back to the center, apply toward the other corner, and repeat with the lower lip.
Created to give you the beach-ready glow you deserve all year round, Mented's bronzer collection comes in four shades. I loved how pigmented the bronzer is. It was also really easy to blend into the skin. When it comes to creating a natural glow, I’ve always turned to liquid illuminators, but now that I’ve tried this bronzer, I won’t be going back. In keeping with Mented’s love of skin-nourishing ingredients, all of the bronzers are enriched with vitamins A and E. The shades are Beach Bum (light), Vacay (medium), Yacht Life (deep), and Out of Office (rich).
If you prefer your lips to have a bit of shine without going over the top, then this gloss is an amazing option. I loved its smooth finish, and the subtle hint of color complemented my melanin beautifully. As someone who has oily to combination skin, I tend to shy away from gloss because I don’t want to draw attention to my shiny T-zone. These glosses are USA-made, and with over seven shades to choose from, you’ll definitely be spoiled for choice. If you prefer a glossy look, apply three coats, but if you like a sheer look, the brand recommends one to two coats.
Everynight Eyeshadow Palette
It isn’t hard to see why Mented’s eyeshadow palettes are so popular: The tones are absolutely gorgeous. I tried the Everynight Eyeshadow Palette, which has ten shades (five shimmers and five warm, blendable mattes).
When I wear eyeshadow, I always tend to lean towards nudes and neutral shades, and this palette didn’t disappoint. As far as the quality goes, each shade packs enough pigment to envelop your lids, and according to the brand, every color can take you from morning meetings to happy hour and everything in between. We also love that each shade is named after the founders' favorite cities and neighborhoods.
High Brow Pencil
The brow market is dominated by a number of well-known brands that are equally successful in their own right. However, as someone who possesses pretty sparse brows, I’m always open to trying out new products. One of the things I love about this waterproof pencil is the precision tip.
Brows are such an important part of any makeup look, but getting your best brows ever does take time—and this pencil cut my usual time in half. The brand claims that it lasts for ten hours and based on the reviews, the Mented community seems to agree, praising the durability and quality. If you want a brow pencil that’s easy to apply and long-lasting, then I’d definitely recommend giving this one a try.
With Mented's Made You Blush collection, you can create and sculpt flushed cheeks in an instant. Each blush has a long-lasting formula that includes a touch of vitamin E. I tried the shade Clay Too Much and loved it—it gave my skin a really beautiful and warm glow. Prior to trying out this blush, I had trouble finding one that was subtle and complemented my skin tone at the same time. It’s buildable and I’m all for the less-is-more approach. Other blushes in the collection include Pinky Promise, Peach For The Stars, and Berried Away.