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WWD

WWD

WWD Beauty Inc Issue October 2018, page 36

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Spotlyte Interview with KJ and Amanda

Spotlyte Interview with KJ and Amanda

The Path: How the Women Behind Mented Cosmetics Revolutionized Lipstick For Women of Color

For decades, women of color have been unable to find shades that work for them throughout the beauty aisles. Progress has been made (options for foundation and concealer have increased!), but lipsticks that actually work on deeper skin have remained elusive for far too many brown girls.

In this interview for Spotlyte, Miller and Johnson share their definitions of nude, what’s next for the brand, and how — after only a brief year and a half in business — Mented has managed to secure itself a top spot on the must-haves list for so many women of color.

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Oprah Magazine

Oprah Magazine

12 Beauty Brands Created by Women of Color

KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson started Mented in 2014 after asking themselves why it was “so hard to find the perfect nude lipstick," according to their website. Since launching, the line has expanded to eyeshadows and nail polishes. Earlier this year, the two raised $3 million to grow their company, Forbes reported.

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PitchBook

PitchBook

Why VCs are pouring money into beauty brands

Of the 50 VC deals for beauty companies that have closed so far this year, several have been for companies that sell makeup directly to consumers. Among them are Glossier, which brought in $52 million, and Mented Cosmetics, which raised more than $3 million. 

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Inc

Inc

4 Crucial Things You Must Do to Stay on Good Terms With Your Investors

How you communicate is also key. KJ Miller, the co-founder and CEO of Mented Cosmetics, a New York City-based beauty line for women of color, says she used to send out short monthly updates, thinking people didn't want to read lengthy communiqués. But she would often get back questions from investors, asking for information she could have easily provided up front. So she switched to bulleted emails, which would provide more information but be easier to digest. Her investors "actually do love data," Miller laughs. "The more I can give them, the happier they are. But doing it in a bulleted manner keeps it from seeming like they need to read a novel every time I email them."

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HYPEBAE

HYPEBAE

I Found the Perfect Nude Nail Polish for Brown Girls and It's Only $8 USD

The fall season calls for nude and earthy nail polish tones. I’ve officially retired the pastel shades for a more subtle hue that I constantly get compliments on. For black women it can be difficult to find flattering skin tone products in the modern beauty market. Thanks to the Fenty Beauty Effect, brands have begun to produce makeup and other items that fit a wider range of people.

My current go-to nude shade is a secret I hold dear to my heart. After some aggressive requests from my friends, I have finally decided to let the cat of out of the bag. Mented Cosmetics‘ “Yes We Tan” is my go-to polish for Fall 2018. The vegan formula is long lasting and easy to apply.

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MADAMENOIRE

MADAMENOIRE

Buy Black Friday: Mented Cosmetics

But you don’t have to know anything about makeup to know that the beauty industry is centered around and still caters to White women. So shades that compliment our skin tone or appear as they should on our skin, are hard to come by. Y’all know what I’m talking about nudes that make your lips look ashen or pinks that don’t quite complement your melanin. It’s been a problem. But now, there’s Mented Cosmetics. This brand, created by KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson over a class of wine, their aim was to find nude lipsticks that actually work for women of color. This desire eventually led to a thriving cosmetics company that creates lipsticks that are vegan, paraben-free, non-toxic, cruelty-free products, made in the USA.

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STYLECASTER

STYLECASTER

The Best "Nude" or Neutral-Toned Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

Mented Cosmetics Brown Bare Lipstick$16.50 

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ADWEEK

ADWEEK

Facebook Is Helping SMBs and Ecommerce Brands Set Up Shop in The Market @ Macy’s

The social network and the department store chain teamed up on the holiday initiative

Facebook teamed up with department store chain Macy’s on a holiday gift for select small and midsized businesses and ecommerce brands—the ability to display their wares in The Market @ Macy’s for the holiday shopping season.

More than 150 brands including Charleston Gourmet Burger Co., Inspiralized, Love Your Melon, Mented Cosmetics and Two Blind Brothers will be a part of the initiative, and The Market @ Macy’s will be open at nine Macy’s stores: New York; Pittsburgh; Atlanta; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; San Antonio; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Seattle.

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The Zoe Report

The Zoe Report

Mented — a Black-owned brand — has products that look chic, feel amazing, and have a genuine intention of catering to everyone.

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Hello Giggles

Hello Giggles

For my eyes, I mixed the shadows First Date and Second Date from the Mented Cosmetics Everyday Eyeshadow Palette ($28). I applied it with my fingers, Pat McGrath style. I only put the shadow on my lids, though, because again, I didn’t want to look overdone.

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Beauty Independent

Beauty Independent

Women Of Color Offer Perspectives On Fundraising In The Beauty Industry At BeautyX Capital Summit

If you received an email likening a brand to Glossier for women of color, would you click on it?

KJ Miller, co-founder of Mented, figured the eye-catching message would pique interest, and it was one of the many tactics she used to get her brand seen by early-stage investors. As a black woman navigating a fundraising environment where less than 20 women of color have collected in excess of $1 million in capital, she had to try almost every attention-grabbing trick she could imagine, and her hustle paid off. Mented secured $4 million in funding, including $3 million from CircleUp Growth Partners in a seed round.

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