The Ment

How to Dress for a Sexy Date Night

How to Dress for a Sexy Date Night

How to Dress for a Sexy Date Night By Nichole Alabi on March 12, 2017

Is it me or has dating gotten super casual? Well I still believe in getting dressed up for date night. Here are my tips for dressing for a sexy date night brought to you by my friends at Mented Cosmetics. #NudesatNight

Lipstick:

Foxy Brown by Mented Cosmetics

What I’m Wearing:

LOOK 1: Zara Dress, Christian Louboutin So Kate Pumps
LOOK 2: Zara Dress, Stuart Weitzman Highland Boots
LOOK 3: Zara Cardigan, Faux Leather Camisole and Pants
LOOK 4: Reformation Bodysuit, Zara Lace Skirt
LOOK 5: Zara Suede Shirt, Zara Faux Leather Skirt, Stuart Weitzman Highland Boots
LOOK 6: Missguided Bodysuit, Maximilian Fur Vest

Original Article on NicholeAlabi.com

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Tiny Clutch? Here's 4 Must-Have Beauty Products For A Girls Night Out

Tiny Clutch? Here's 4 Must-Have Beauty Products For A Girls Night Out

It’s girl’s night out and you’re getting ready. It’s time to squeeze all of your bare necessities into your tiny clutch for those quick runs to the bathroom! There’s only so much you can jam pack into a tiny clutch, so you’re left with the tough decision of deciding what makeup essentials will make the cut. Guess what? We’ve done the hard part for you and created a list of 4 must-have beauty products for the perfect night out!
 
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Mented Labs: Behind the Scenes

Mented Labs: Behind the Scenes

"We love your lipsticks - how do you guys make them?"

 

We get this question all the time. We'd love to tell you, but then we'd have to kill you...

 

HA! Joking. Our product development process is fun and inclusive - keep reading for a behind-the-scenes look into how we create the shades you love.

 

1) Research

This is arguably the most important part. If you want to make a standout product you have to know what products are out there. Every season we gather the team for a group shopping trip to understand what's out there and where the products fall short. We also conduct surveys and focus groups to understand our customers' pain points.

 

2) Create
Fun fact: every shade you love gets its start right here in the Mented labs. It's always exciting to see the shades you've envisioned start to take shape.

 

3) Test
Now for the fun part. We love focus groups because they give us a chance to connect with customers. We also typically bring wine...because what goes better with makeup than a pinot?

 

4) Launch!
Once we've researched, created, tested and refined (and by the way there are many iterations of this process), we're ready to launch! If we've done the steps right, we're launching a great product to an excited customer base. Our summer collection of lip shades launches in June - so you'll see the fruits of our labor soon!
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Fashion Arch x Mented

Fashion Arch x Mented

MENTED COSMETICS 

By Ngono Louise Messinga on April 11, 201

Mented Cosmetics. Did you ever hear the story about the two college friends who created a cosmetic line for women of color? Well, if you haven't let me tell you about these two amazing women that I had the pleasure of meeting KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson. They created an amazing beauty line called Mented.

KJ Miller (in blue) is originally from Columbus, OH.  She attended Harvard for undergrad, majored in Philosophy, and after college spent her career in retail as a Buyer - first for Sears and then for a mid-size eCommerce company in NYC. She went on to get her  MBA from Harvard Business School, and spent two years in management consulting before going full-time on Mented Cosmetics.

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Amanda E. Johnson (in black) is a southern belle from Charlotte, NC. She attended Howard University undergrad, majored in Finance, and then started a career in investment banking. After a few years she decided to transition into a consumer marketing group at Time Inc where she fell in love with marketing and product. She graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA and then ran the Business Development group at Barneys New York before going full-time on Mented Cosmetics.

 

How do you know each other?

We met at Harvard Business School, where we both graduated in 2014. We actually met on the set of HBS' annual show - KJ played a professor and Amanda ran costumes. We eventually bonded over our shared love for all things retail and consumer, and when we graduated we knew we wanted to pursue a venture together.

Mented, short for pigmented, is an upscale makeup line for women of color founded on the belief that every woman should be able to find herself in the world of beauty.

What is Mented Cosmetics?

Mented, short for pigmented, is an upscale makeup line for women of color founded on the belief that every woman should be able to find herself in the world of beauty.

What inspired you both to create this beauty line?

Honestly, we were tired of spending so much of our hard-earned money on makeup and so often feeling disappointed. Every time we shopped, we felt like we were afterthoughts - relegated to the smallest selection of shades or told that the only looks that would work on us were bold, bright and fierce. We simply wanted an everyday, clean-beauty look, and it felt like no one out there was trying to create it for us. So we decided to do it ourselves.

What are some the ingredients used in Mented Lipsticks?

We think what's important is what's not in the lipstick - no parabens, no toxins, no animal byproducts. Also, our lipsticks are deeply moisturizing and fully pigmented, which means you don't need to pair them with anything else - no liner or balm or gloss. We like to call them "one-step shades."                     

How did you decide to come up with the color scheme for the lipsticks?

We handcrafted each of our six shades to enhance the natural browns and pinks in a woman's lips. We wanted to give women of all hues the perfect nude and neutral shades to wear day in and day out, without a lot of fuss.

What are your top three favorite shades?

This is a hard one! We love all of the shades lol but KJ's fave is Mented #5, and Amanda's is Dope Taupe. We wear these colors almost every day. 

Being women of color, what are some of the challenges you faced while creating Mented Cosmetics?

 One of the big challenges was raising capital to launch the line. Raising money is always difficult, but it's no secret that the majority of venture capital goes to men (and white men at that). But we're nothing if not persistent, and we've now closed on $400K in funding.

 

 

What suggestion can you recommend to the consumers on how to select the best color that soothe their skin tone?

We always say look at your lips - they'll guide you to the right shade. For example, Amanda's lips are light brown on top, and very pink on the bottom. That's why Dope Taupe, which is a mixture of light brown and pink, is perfect for her. We also feature the shades on women of all hues on our Collection page, and if you check out our blog The Ment you'll find tons of videos of women of varying shades trying on all of the color.

What should we expect to come soon from Mented Cosmetics?

This summer we're expanding our nude lipstick collection and launching a limited edition run of nude nail polish. Fall we'll introduce nude lip gloss. By next Spring we'll be introducing eyeshadow, blush and a host of other products - so keep an eye out!

Omg I purchase all six shades and I have to say I'm in love with all six lol. Check out the shades below and run over to Mented and get all six shades at a great price. You'll thank me later xoxo.
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Original article on Fashion Arch

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5 Steps to A Fresh Face

5 Steps to A Fresh Face

An everyday beauty routine is essential in a busy woman's life. Mented co-founders KJ and Amanda show you how to achieve the perfect fresh face in 5 easy steps.

1. Foundation - Tinted Moisturizer is great for light coverage and allows you to build.Warm it on your hand, evenly spread it across your face, and then blend. 

2. Concealer - Find the right shade to brighten your dark undereyes.Warm it on your hand, dab it under your eye from the inside out and outside in. The point is to brighten and blend. 

3. Liner & Mascara - Use liner to give a tiny bit of drama and mascara to open your eyes. Keep your liner really close to your lash line and apply as much mascara as possible!

4. Blush - Whether a powder or stick, blush adds a pop of color to your face. Apply to the apple of your cheek and then blend it out.

5. Perfect Nude Lip - Use your natual lip color, a mix of brown and pinks, to help guide you to your perfect nude lip. See the full collection on models of different skin tones. 

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A Letter of Rec

A Letter of Rec

Natasha Boler's Letters of Rec

My Letters of Rec - Mented Cosmetics

By Natasha Boler @itsbolerbaby on April 7, 2017

Let's be honest... in the beauty world, especially in terms of cosmetics, women of color are often overlooked. Which is perplexing, given studies show time and time again that we are one of the top spending populations. Why wouldn't you come get these coins?! In addition to companies missing out on the money, we are left missing out on products that we want because we're limited to shades that don't work with our complexions. I will acknowledge that it seems that a few brands are getting hip, and we are seeing a slight increase in cosmetic retailers looking out. 

While I do go for a bold or bright lip from time to time, I really love a nude/neutral lip. Truth be told I'm the same when it comes to nail polish too. Call me boring, but my nails go with every outfit and I love that! Getting back on track... If a makeup artist asks me what I have in mind for a lip, 98% of the time I'm gonna ask for a nude lip. After I ask for a nude lip, however, I usually hear a long deep sigh because they know they have some work to do. 

Off the shelf nude lipsticks rarely work for me, and women with similar and darker skin tones. Not cool. I have a collection of "nude nopes" lipstick because I'm hopeful and apparently didn't learn my lesson the first couple times around. However, Mented Cosmetics is here to save the day! Birthed from the same frustrations, the founders of Mented Cosmetics took matters into their own hands, or kitchens if you will. Mented, short for pigmented, is a cosmetic company created with black and brown women in mind. 

Imagine my excitement when I heard the news! Mented offers 6 shades that are sure to foot the bill for the wide range that is melanin magic. The colors are Dark Night, Foxy Brown, Mented #5, Dope Taupe, Pretty in Pink and Nude La La. Love these names! The lippies are moisturizing, go on smooth, are well saturated in color, and come in super cute/sleek tubes. 

I did my review of Mented Cosmetics while visiting my family in Chicago. I asked my mom, two sisters and my sister-in-law to try them on and here are their favorites. My mom is a makeup minimalist and looks great in Dark Night! My oldest sister is a fan of Dark Night as well, and you can see why. My older sister is a lipstick fanatic, and had a hard time selecting her favorite but narrowed it down to Dope Taupe and Foxy Brown. In the photo together, my oldest sister stuck with Dark Night while my older sister layered Pretty in Pink on top of Mented #5. My sister-in-law found that Pretty in Pink and Nude La La are her true nudes. Together we decided that Mented is a lipstick line that works for the family! 

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You can see my review of all the shades in my very first video review below! Spoiler: While it was hard to pick a favorite, Dope Taupe took first place!

My Letter of Rec: When you see a problem, or as I like to say, an "opportunity", find or create the solution and run with it! The founders of Mented Cosmetics left their corporate jobs to fill the gap that overlooks black and brown girls in the cosmetic industry. Talk about Black Girl Magic! I'm sure to a certain degree you are creative, entrepreneurial, business-minded and savvy, technically astute, and intelligent enough to get the ball rolling. But if you aren't, chances are you know someone (who knows someone) that is.  Don't doubt yourself and be too quick to shoot down ideas, you never know where it will take you. Check out Mented Cosmetics, and let me know what you think!

Original article on My Letters of Rec

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Mented x The Co Report

Mented x The Co Report

The Co Report

Mented Cosmetics - Nude Lipsticks For Women of Color

By CoCo Bates @The_CoReport on March 20, 2017

Mented Cosmetics is a black-owned makeup brand that specializes in formulating nude lipsticks for women of color. This brand was birthed from a conversation between the two Mented Cosmetics founders, K.J. Miller & Amanda E. Johnson. They were discussing their struggle for finding nude lipsticks that complimented their skin’s complexion and realized that there were very few options that catered to this very specific niche. Black women in America spend $7.5 billion per year on beauty products. We should not be considered an afterthought when it comes to providing products that will suit the needs of black women. “We created Mented Cosmetics because we believe every woman should be able to find herself in the world of beauty.”

Currently, Mented Cosmetics carries 6 amazing shades, Dark Night, Dope Taupe, Foxy Brown, Mented #5, Pretty In Pink, and Nude LaLa. These are all shades that can be worn on any occasion by the fairest of skin tones to the darkest of complexions.

All of their nude lipstick shades retails at an affordable cost of $16.50 and can be purchased on their website at www.MentedCosmetics.com. Be sure to follow Mented Cosmetics on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Original article on The Co Report

Models: Dagny Zenovia, Courtney Camille, & Sabri’A Price
MUA: Jessica Harmon
Video Assistant: Clare Wineman

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Mented x TexturedTalk

Mented x TexturedTalk

TexturedTalk founder, Charlene Walton, sat down with Mented Cosmetics to discuss natural beauty. Mented and TexturedTalk both share a passion for women of color embracing and celebrating their own beauty. See the entire interview below.

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Q: What is the ethos of TexturedTalk?

A: In the most simple terms, natural hair in all forms, textures, lengths and curl patterns are beautiful. My goal in creating Textured Talk was to have a space for educational conversations about hair care so women can feel more confident while rocking their natural curls. What I’ve found is that women are craving education. And though it may seem like everyone is now on the band-wagon 85% of my site traffic comes from people who have never visited my my blog before. So everyday women are still googling and searching for the answers to their most pressing natural hair care questions. With so many blogs, tutorials and products on the market I wanted a place that combined everything as a one-stop-shop for women. With Textured Talk you get the best of all three worlds.

Q: How important is it that you build a community and conversation about natural hair care?

A: It’s extremely important. Everything starts with a conversation. If we continue the conversation about naturally curly hair hopefully it will become the new norm. But honestly, I know there’s still long way to go. Employers are still able to discriminate candidates based on hair choice so we’re far from natural hair, whether curly or locs, being the norm. The conversations through blogs, hair tutorials, etc serve as the catalyst to make women and little girls know their beauty matters. There’s something powerful about seeing other everyday women - not movie stars - but regular women embrace their hair. This rubs off on other women and inspires them to try new things. What blows my mind the most from the explosion of the natural hair over the past few years is there is now a new generation of young women growing up and all they will know is natural hair. Moms now are extremely more educated about healthy hair care than our moms were (depending on your family). I know personally, all my mom knew about was a pressing comb and a relaxer. The idea of wearing our natural hair was never even a discussion.

Q: How do you encourage women to celebrate their natural beauty

A: Although I'm a blogger and we love for people to follow us and take our advice, it saddens me when women are obsessed with “good hair”. Don't envy the girl with perfect curls but more importantly, follow women with hair that more closely resembles your texture. Natural hair can be very scary but my advice is to master one style at a time. Once you are comfortable with that hairstyle you can make it your own and put your own spin on things. I feel the same way about make up. Master one thing at a time and make it your own so you feel comfortable in your own skin.

Q: We all love a good beat face, but what are your go to products for a natural beauty look?

A: I always joke that since I have conquered hair I’m obsessed with makeup now but it’s true! For a great no-makeup look but with a little coverage I’m love with the NARS Tinted Moisturizer. My boyfriend hates when I really pile it on so this gives me the soft natural look. If you want more coverage to camouflage trouble spots Becca’s Ultimate Complexion Coverage NEVER lets me down. It took me a while to find my color but now me and Tobacco are seriously BFFs. I’ve never found a more perfect liquid foundation that matches my skin perfectly! I also I literally can’t stop using the L'oreal Telescopic Mascara. It’s so underrated and overlooked. I love a good set of false lashes, but who has time for that everyday right? And last but not least, your face isn’t truly beat without a good set of brows. The Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil gets me right every time! Quick and to the point for a natural brow that doesn’t look too drawn on and crazy.

Q: How important is a staple nude lipstick?

A: If you know me you know I love a good bold berry lip color; however, I’ve been really digging nudes lately. A staple nude lipstick is everything. So far, Nude LaLa is my favorite from the Mented line. It gives me just enough subtle color without being too distracting.  It’s perfect to go from the office, a quick lunch meeting with the girls and then of course a date with your boo.  Also with nudes you don’t have to worry about the awkward half-on/half-off look after eating or drinking because it just blends right into your natural lips. So important, especially in a professional setting.
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What's In A Name?

What's In A Name?

A rose by any other name is still a rose right? At Mented we take pride in naming our products and infusing a little love and personality into each one. Actress Adrienne White explores the personalities of each Mented lip shade. Which Mented lipstick are you?

 

 

Production Credits:

creator: @adriennerosewhite

make-up artist: @jlens_makeup

creative consultants: @myahhollis @anniemaygay @bee_knows

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5 Best Nudes of the Oscars

5 Best Nudes of the Oscars

Here at Mented we love how a nude lip can complete a great red carpet glam. Here's to the top 5 women of color that got the nude lip glam right at Oscars 2017. 

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Top 5 Red Carpet Looks

Top 5 Red Carpet Looks

This awards season bold eyes and nude lips have been the red carpet trend especially amongst women of color. There were a lot of hits but also a few misses. We want to highlight the women who got it right and wore the best nudes of the night.

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Our 5 Favorite Nudes

Our 5 Favorite Nudes

"Nude" is simply defined as being bare, and as lovers of natural beauty "nude" is the inspiration for everything we do.  Unfortunately for women of color, when the beauty industry talks about "nude" we're often left out of the conversation. A pale pink lip and a beige shoe isn't "nude" for all of us, and we're tired of making due with what's available.

We created Mented because women of all hues should be able to find and buy their perfect nudes, and know those products were created with us in mind. That's why we're celebrating five amazing brands offering women of all shades their perfect nude. Check out the list for our 5 favorite nudes!

1. Christian Louboutin 

Christian Louboutin nude ballerina flats   Christian Louboutin nude flat

Christian Louboutin "Nudes" Collection Of Solasofia Ballet Flats Photo courtesy: Christian Louboutin, Photographer: Sofia Et Mauro

Our first pick is Christian Louboutin’s nude ballerina flats. If you didn’t hear about Louboutin’s Nude Collection in 2016 (and how could you have missed it?) — now you don’t have to wait for it to launch.

The collection includes the brand’s classic Solasofia flat in seven shades of nude; from Nude #1 – Light cream to Nude #7 - a rich dark chocolate shade.

This collection is an expansion of Louboutin’s first inclusive nude collection, launched in 2013 with heels in seven shades of nude. 

KJ loves that Louboutin came out with these flats since she doesn’t wear heels often: “These flats are great - there's no reason style and comfort can't go together.”

2. Nubian Skin

Nubian Skin nude lingerie  Nubian Skin nude lingerie

Photo courtesy: Nubian Skin

Founded by Ade Hassan, the UK brand Nubian Skin launched in 2014 and shortly after it went viral. Nubian Skin’s ad campaign features beautiful black women with medium to dark skin tones in a variety of perfectly matching nude bras and panty sets.

Since the success of the first launch the brand has continued to grow to include more shades and larger sizes.The brand currently has 4 shades of nude, which you can shop for on their website by skin-tone:  Berry, Cinnamon, Caramel, and Café Au Lait. 

We love the Essential T-shirt Bra because it is smooth, supportive, and of course our true nude! So whether we wear this under a simple white tee or under a dress we can trust that it will blend seamlessly with our skin.

Amanda loves the line saying "I love feeling like my true self is celebrated."

3. Kahmune

Kahmune nude heels   Kahmune nude heels

Photo courtesy: Kahmune.com

Kahmune is a new luxury brand that is truly catering to all women - and with affordable prices to boot. Founder Jamela Acheampong’s debut collection will be available for pre-order in February. The collection will feature two styles: strappy block sandals and a classic pointed stiletto in 10 colors.

On their website kahmune.com you can pick your perfect color with suggestions based on popular foundation colors (MAC, L.A Girl, and Black Up cosmetics). For example, if you wear MAC’s NW45 (medium dark) you’re best match is ENUGU “The Fiery Copper of Nigeria”. If you’re more of a L.A Girl Soft Honey your sole mate would be RIO.

Acheampong explained, “The idea of diversity, and more importantly, inclusivity, is still a huge problem in the beauty and fashion industries. The motivation was to provide nude shades to fit darker skin tones, but I thought it was important to ensure that all skin tones are represented."

4. Juvia's Place

Juvia's Place nude palette   Juvia's Place nude palette

Photo courtesy: Juviasplace.com

If you are addicted to watching YouTube makeup tutorials or following beauty influencers on Instagram you have likely seen reviews for Juvia’s Place Nubian Eyeshadow Palettes.

The brand carries a multitude of products but is most well known for its eyeshadow palettes Nubian 1, Nubian 2, and Masquerade. 

With most eyeshadow palettes we typically end up using just a few shades out of a platte. We often have to prime our eyes with a lighter color and hope for the best, or stick to the few shades that are bright enough to be seen without appearing chalky.

Juvia’s Place palettes were created with women in color in mind and take the guesswork out of eyeshadow. 

5. Spanx

Spanx nude    Spanx nude

Photo courtesy: Spanx

Gone are the days of wearing white undergarments beneath white pants (contrary to popular belief, it shows!). You should be wearing nude colored underwear, but when you're a brown beauty it can be hard to find one that actually matches your skin tone.

SPANX has answered our call with one of it’s newest products the Skinny Britches High-Waisted Mid-Thigh Short ($52.00). It comes in sizes XS-XL and in 5 colors! The colors we found to be brown-beauty friendly are Naked 3.0 and Naked 4.0. These shorts are perfect to be worn under skirts, dresses, and light colored pants.

Since the launch of SPANX in 2000, it has become a household name and is viewed as an essential undergarment brand for every woman to own. SPANX has been around for almost two decades now but they are never lacking when it comes to innovation.

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