The Ment

Mea Culpa

Mea Culpa

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “mea culpa.” I was watching a TV show - Law & Order I believe - and one of the characters uttered these words. I didn’t know exactly what they meant, but I picked up through context clues that someone was offering a fancy-sounding apology.

And now it’s time for mine.

I’m offering this mea culpa (Latin for through my own fault) because during the first two weeks of August many of our new customers had a less-than-stellar delivery experience, and that pains me to no end. Since the day we launched we’ve striven to provide amazing customer service, and I think we’ve largely succeeded in that goal. We answer every email within 24 hours, we offer a generous exchange program so every woman can find her perfect nude, and, crucially, up until last week we shipped every product within 3 business days (and the vast majority within 1). I LOVE running a business with top-notch customer service - when we get reviews like the one below I swell with pride, because I know a business like ours lives and dies by the service it provides.

The thing about running Operations for a startup, though, is that it’s predictably unpredictable. Having launched just 7 months ago, we don’t have the benefit of years of data to help us predict when our largest volume spikes will be. And as a new company that’s been fortunate enough to receive a fair amount of attention from the press, many of those spikes are entirely out of our control, because we don’t really get a heads up when Essence is going to write the most spectacular article about our nudes and shoot our sales through the roof.

Make no mistake - I’m not complaining. I love Essence and the writers and editors who contributed to this feature. I love the writers at Allure and Teen Vogue and Bustle and Yahoo Beauty too. I love every single person who has ever written a word about Mented because they have contributed immensely to our success, and we are beyond fortunate to have received so much praise.

But this doesn’t change the fact that we are still learning how to prep for the huge swings these features can sometimes bring. If every article swung our sales the same way, we’d have a formula by now, trust me. But not all press is created equal. Sometimes you’re featured on a homepage on Friday (hello, pay day) and sales explode. Other times a great article brings lots of traffic, but few conversions. Some articles bring neither. Adjusting our inventory levels and fulfillment policies so that we are ready for any eventuality has been my number 1 project this month, and I am confident this era of 10-business-day ship times (oof) is one we will never have to speak of again...

But just in case I’m wrong (it’s happened before) please know that we are doing everything we can to deliver on our promise to you - the promise we made to always hear you, celebrate you, and prioritize you. We know delivering on that promise means giving you great products and amazing service - that’s exactly what we intend to do.

With Lipstick and Love,

KJ

Mented Co-Founder and Co-CEO



Read more
The Guide: To Summer Wedding Makeup

The Guide: To Summer Wedding Makeup

It’s wedding season! If you’re the lucky bride-to-be, bridesmaid, or a dear friend to the bride, you’re aware of how stressful planning for a wedding can be. Here at Mented we’ve taken a vow to always have your back. So we've created a step-by-step guide to make your perfect summer bridal look simple.

 

 

Soft and Glowy Bridal Look

Step 1: Light Foundation & Concealer

Like always make sure to properly moisturize and prime your face before applying your base. This will smooth the surface of your skin for a flawless application. When choosing a foundation it’s ultimately up to your preference. We recommend a satin or matte finish for a natural look that will last all day long.

 

Step 2: Bronzer
Lightly apply bronzer to add warmth and dimension to your face.

 

Step 3: Lightly Fill Brows
Using a brow pencil or powder fill in your eyebrows following your natural eyebrow shape. 

 

Step 4: Soft Shimmer Eyeshadow
For your lids apply a soft shimmer eyeshadow of your choice. Our bride is wearing a champagne shade and a soft brown in her crease to add depth to her eyes.  

 

Step 5: A Touch of Highlighter
Glow inside and out on your wedding day by applying highlighter above your cheekbones. For those with light to medium skin tones use a champagne color. If you have a deep to dark skin tone use a rose gold or bronze highlighter to look lit-from-within.  

 

Step 6: Mascara
Go in liberally with your favorite mascara to add volume and length to your lashes.

 

Step 7: A Gorgeous Nude Lip
Go in with a gorgeous nude lipstick that will complement your soft and glowy makeup effortlessly. Our model is wearing our lipstick in Peach Please.

 

 

Glam and Glowy Bridal Look

Picking up where we left off with the soft and glowy bridal look, we're adding a little drama for those brides that live for glamour!

Step: 1 Bronzer
Deepen that bronzer to chisel out your cheekbones and add more definition to your face.

 

Step 2: Soft Smoky Eye
What’s a glam look without a smoky eye? Go in with a chocolate brown on your outer crease to add dimension. Make sure to blend well for a soft transition from your shimmer shadow.

 

Step 3: Lashes!
Apply wispy lashes to add a little drama to your look.

 

Step 4: Under Eye Shadow
Take a small eyeshadow brush and run a soft brown eyeshadow under your lower lash line from tear duct to outer corner.

 

Step 5: Apply Eyeliner to your Waterline With a white or peach colored eyeliner lightly line your waterline. This will help your eyes pop and make you look more awake.

 

Step 6: Soft Blush
Don’t be afraid to add blush underneath your cheekbones! This will add warmth to your face.

 

Step 7: Add Highlighter
For a glam look can you really have too much highlighter?

 

Step 8: A Gorgeous Nude Lip
For this look our model is wearing our soft tan, Brand Nude.

 

 

Get to know the bride-to-be!

The lovely model for this tutorial is our graphic designer, Winnie. Read her story on becoming a Creative in Voices: Insights into a Creative.

 

Read more
Voices: Insights into a Creative

Voices: Insights into a Creative

"I love what I do and no two days are the same. It keeps me on my toes," says Winnie.

 

Winnie is a freelance designer, art director and graphic designer for Mented Cosmetics. “I’ve always been creative, it was just a matter of plugging my creativity into something that could flourish into a career.” Winnie began honing her professional interest in design as an Advertising major at Howard University, she gravitated more towards the creative strategy and process behind campaigns. “I was so inspired. My senior year a group of women came to speak in one of my graphic design classes. They were all creative leads from various agencies in Washington and New York. They were bosses, they were creative, and they were black women; I knew that’s what I wanted to be.”

An eye opening experience happened for Winnie when it was time for her to enter the workforce. It was 2008 and companies weren’t hiring, especially young creatives with little to show in their portfolio. Being resourceful, Winnie began reaching out to local businesses and fulfilling their graphic design needs, whether it was business cards, logos, or posters.  This gave Winnie the practice she wanted, but it wasn’t leading her to the agency experience she so desired. Winnie left Washington, D.C shortly after graduation to live in Atlanta. Savannah College of Art and Design had opened an Atlanta campus a few years before and Winnie decided it was worth a shot to see if she had what it took to get in.

I’ve always been creative, it was just a matter of plugging my creativity into something that could flourish into a career.

“I took a total leap of faith,” says Winnie. “I applied to a Master’s program at Savannah College of Art and Design. I met a few people who had graduated from there with soaring design careers. I knew this was the next step that would take me in the direction that I wanted to be."

A few months later Winnie got her acceptance letter and began her program. It was challenging but offered new insight and experiences. After an intense 2 years in their Master’s program, Winnie came out on the other side feeling confident and ready to hop back into the workforce with new eyes. She was offered a position at an ad agency in Brooklyn from a creative director she had previously interned with. She quickly jumped on the opportunity. However, things weren’t smooth sailing from there. "Life hands you curve balls, you just have to be ready for them. I thought I was on my way to the pie in the sky dream job I always imagined myself to have."

Unfortunately, once Winnie relocated to New York, the job she was so excited to start was no longer available. With a broken heart, but not a broken spirit, Winnie knew she was in the city that would offer her every experience she could ever want. She picked up freelance work quickly and shortly after picked up working as an in-house designer for the marketing team at a safari tour operator. It wasn’t quite the advertising dream job she had imagined but it was growing her portfolio. “You have to be resourceful, as cliché as it sounds, there’s no straight path to success, even for the lucky ones.” says Winnie. “When you get knocked down, you must get up, dust off and be resourceful!”

Life hands you curve balls, you just have to be ready for them. I thought I was on my way to the pie in the sky dream job I always imagined myself to have.

Winnie still kept her eyes open for opportunities and one day an opportunity came knocking! A past freelance client of Winnie’s sent an email saying she knew of an agency that was looking for a designer. This was the role she had been looking for. She hopped on the job immediately and thrived there. She knew this agency experience was what she both wanted and needed. After 3 years, Winnie was promoted to Art Director and oversaw projects for major brands in the beauty industry such as Maybelline, Sally Hansen, and Dark and Lovely. Winnie loved the experience, yet she was yearning for more. “I realized I had so much creative responsibility, but little creative power.” says Winnie. “I trusted my creative talent and I knew there was more out there, but this time I wanted to call the shots.”

Again, taking a leap of faith, Winnie decided to leave her role as Art Director to freelance on her own. This time with a roster of clients under her belt and a whole lot more experience. Winnie knew leaving her full-time job was risky, but she knew if she played her cards right, many doors would open for her. “I had a good rapport with the agency I was working at,” says Winnie. I knew that it was all about the manner in which I left. I didn’t want to burn a bridge, but I wanted to let them know it was time for me to move on.” Leaving with her respect and high regard, Winnie to this day has been asked to come back and do some work with her former agency; but freelancing has opened many doors to various opportunities. Making connections anywhere possible, Winnie has been able to design for big brands such as IBM, Target and several cosmetic companies. Winnie’s work this year has brought her to places such as Paris, London, Dubai and Las Vegas designing for top brands.

“Every project is a little different, it’s what’s exciting, thrilling and rewarding about my job. I don’t know where my work will take me next year nor what I will be doing, but nothing is better than knowing you create your own destiny.”

Read more
Mented Cosmetics: Lipsticks by and for Women of Color

Mented Cosmetics: Lipsticks by and for Women of Color

Floraful

By Hannah @floraful_blog on August 3, 2017

Left–Right: Pretty in Pink, Peach Please, Nude La La, Foxy Brown, Dope Taupe, Dark Night
Guys, I think I'm finally done with searching for (and buying) nude lipsticks.

Since I've started this blog and started getting more and more into makeup, I was always on the hunt for that perfect nude or rosy mauve shade. But most nude shades I bought let me down: they either hardly showed up on my already pinkish lips, blended with my skin tone, or made me look ghastly. I'm talking about the following most popular ones: Kat von D in "Lolita", MAC in "Velvet Teddy", Stila in "Patina", Gerard Cosmetics in "1995", and ColourPop in "Lumiere". Most nude and mauve lipsticks were made for fair-skinned ladies.

It's sad that it's 2017 and the mainstream beauty industry STILL isn't creating shades with ethnic minorities in mind. It's even sadder considering that black women spend 80% more on makeup and skincare than any other groups. Women of color do not just struggle with finding makeup: most nude-colored bras and shoes also lean towards the lighter side, ignoring a larger demographic.

As a Filipino/Indian woman who wears NC40 foundation in MAC (or NC25 in the winter), I've experienced the struggles with finding eyeshadows and blushes that would flatter my skin tone, seeing some brands' darkest foundations are a tad lighter than me, and a nude lipstick I could wear everyday with ease. The women of Mented Cosmetics* shared my struggles, and birthed the brand to develop gorgeous lipstick and nail polish shades for every women. Their name "Mented" came from the "pigmented", to show that there are lipsticks pigmented enough for us brown ladies! Here is a snippet from their biography on the website:

"We created Mented Cosmetics because we believe every woman should be able to find herself in the world of beauty. We know you'll love being put first - because when it comes to beauty, no one deserves to be an afterthought."
I first heard about Mented Cosmetics through an article on Allure Magazine on my Facebook news feed, and I was so intrigued. After a little window shopping on their website, I fell in love with some of their shades. Mented Cosmetics has 9 lipstick shades, and they sent me 3: Pretty in PinkPeach Please, and Nude La La. I ended up ordering 3 other shades on my own: Foxy BrownDope Taupe, and Dark Night. I do not have the other shades (Mented #5Brown Bare, and Brand Nude). They were also gracious enough to send me their nail polish trio, which I will be trying on and reviewing soon!

A Mented lipstick costs $16.50. Although I don't have the pictures of the caps on here, they are shaped like a bullet, and packaged exactly like the MAC lipsticks. The only difference is that Mented Cosmetics is actually cruelty-free and vegan (yay!!)
Formula-wise, these lipsticks are EXTREMELY creamy and they glide on like butter. They are that smooth. I sometimes have a problem with lipsticks that claim to be a creamy, moisturizing formula but still dry out my lips. I don't care if they fade or if I have to constantly re-apply them after eating: I love them that much. They are perfect for my chronically, iron-and-vitamin-deficient dry lips. Although I do hope that they create lipliners to solve the feathering and bleeding problem. The lipsticks have a bit of a shine too, but you can make them more matte by dusting translucent powder or using the Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer.
Okay, here are a rundown of the shades, and how they look on me:
Pretty in Pink
This baby pink is not my most favorite shade, but still pretty and wearable, especially for spring (this goes well with floral minidresses and sandals). It's more cool-toned which is probably I don't find it as flattering as the other shades.
Peach Please
I usually shy away from peach lipsticks, but I was pleasantly surprised with this! I actually do like this one a lot! It's as light as Pretty in Pink but it suits my warm skin tone a lot more. This is another wonderful spring/summer shade.
Nude La La
Now THIS is my most favorite shade of the bunch. I will absolutely do my best not to lose this, or else I might cry (ok, that's a bit extreme...but I might!) This is described as "a perfect pink for darker lips". This shade was made for me. I would say this is more of a medium pinky-brown. Very workplace friendly too!
 
Foxy Brown
This is the shade that drew me to Mented Cosmetics in the first place. And it is one of my favorite shades (behind Nude La La, but not too far behind). If you're not sure whether you are in the mood for a vampy brown or a classic red, Foxy Brown blends both into this sexy brick red. There's a bit of golden undertones too. It's one of those shades you can take from the office to a night out with your lover or girls.
Dope Taupe
This is another shade that took me by surprise. But then again, it shouldn't because if you see the swatches on my arm, it looks like a blend of Nude La La and Foxy Brown, both of which I love. It's more on the golden brown side. And this is darker than MAC Taupe, which hardly shows up on my lips.
Dark Night
This deep chocolate is the ultimate 90's grunge shade. It feels to me like a creamier version of Kylie's True Brown K liquid lipstick. I'll set this aside for the fall, as it'll go well with my brown scarves, olive green jacket and black boots. This would AMAZING on deeper skinned ladies.
 
Guys, I can't express enough my love for the Mented lipsticks. I could've saved SO much money and time (from years of walking around the makeup aisles aimlessly and making impulsive purchases on unflattering nude lipsticks) if I found out about Mented Cosmetics earlier. They are what the beauty industry needs: a way for every women to feel beautiful, no matter what skin tone they are. Because you, you who are reading this, are beautiful no matter what standards society imposes on what the "ideal beautiful woman" should look like. I see so much potential for Mented Cosmetics, and I know they will make it big. According to this Washington Informer article, they are going to release lip glosses, blushes and eyeshadows in 2018. I seriously cannot contain my excitement!
If you are interested in Mented lipsticks (or nail polish), you can get a 15% discount here. Unfortunately they only ship to the US right now, but hopefully they will open up to international shipping in the future!

Which of the following shades are most appealing to you?

More importantly...what are your opinions about the mainstream beauty industry not accommodating to ethnic minorities?
Original article on Floraful
Read more
6 Nude Lipsticks for Women of Color

6 Nude Lipsticks for Women of Color

Unlikely Martha

By Mimi @glossymimi on June 30, 2017

If I may cut straight to the chase, the mainstream hue of nude does not include me or other women of color.

When you say the word nude, based on definition you assume the color to be your skin tone.

Somehow the universal shade of nude is depicted in hues of peach, pink, and beige. That’s somebody’s nude, not mine.

I’m glad to see brands starting to address this gross misrepresentation of “nude”. The amount of time it has taken for this issue to come to light is alarming and we still have an extremely long way to go but the journey of a thousand miles really did start with the first step. Some of our conversations are finally being heard at the level that brands are noticing that there is an entire portion of the human population that patronizes the beauty and fashion industry that is hard pressed to find a cute dark brown, or tan, read nude shoe, or lipstick or bra or……

I digress.

One of my new favorite cosmetics line is Mented Cosmetics.  Mented offers a line of what I consider true nude lipsticks for women of color. Mented sent me over 6 shades from their line  and after trying them out for a couple of months I am truly smitten with them.

These lipsticks are vegan, paraben-free, non-toxic, cruelty free, and proudly made in the USA. As I’ve searched for the perfect shade of nude or pink I always find that something is a little off in the coloring that makes it hard to really compliment my darker complexion, that even includes red lipsticks. These nude lipsticks seem to have the perfect undertones that compliment my skin color.

My daily makeup routine is extremely minimal but lipstick is a staple and I have fallen in love with these Mented lipstick colors. I don’t leave home without Dope Taupe and Nude Lala.

(l. to r. Dark Night, Foxy Brown, Nude La La, Pretty in Pink, Mented #5, Dope Taupe)

If you have been on the search for the elusive perfect shade of nude that is complimentary to a darker complexion I stand behind Mented and this philosophy quoted from their website,

"We know you’ll love being put first – because when it comes to beauty, no one deserves to be an afterthought."

Amen.

 Original article on Unlikely Martha

Read more
DIY Summer Manis

DIY Summer Manis

Are you loving our limited edition Nude Nail Collection ($15)Our nail lacquers are long lasting, deeply pigmented, and dry to a high-shine finish. These lacquers are vegan, cruelty free, and made proudly in the USA. Make the entire collection yours and spice up your classic nude nails this summer without having to visit a nail salon. Yes, you can DIY like a professional and we’ll show you how!

 

  1. Apply a base coat of Pinkish by Mented Cosmetics.
  2. Paint the tips of your nails with Penny Talk by Essie.

     

     

     

      


    1. Apply Brown and Bougie by Mented Cosmetics to all nails excluding the ring finger.
    2. Use Let’s Snow by Essie on the ring finger of each hand.
    3. Take Brown and Bougie and create tiger stripes on top of the white base coat.

     

      


    1. Apply Yes We Tan by Mented Cosmetics on all of your nails
    2. Apply a second coat of Yes We Tan to all of the nails excluding the ring finger.
    3. Go in with Sephora by OPI, “The Golden Age” on your ring fingers (use at least two coats for optimum shimmer!).
      Read more
      Mented Cosmetics x We, Ceremony

      Mented Cosmetics x We, Ceremony

      KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson are the founders of Mented Cosmetics, a beauty line for women of color. Unlike many other companies and pop culture figures in the makeup industry, Mented isn’t mistaking diversity for a trend. It's devoted to celebrating the beauty of women of color through accurate representation. Miller and Johnson have been able to create a brand that reflects the preferences and needs of our community, while developing a thoughtful business model. As women of color themselves who see this demand, they offer products and a mission that are both “authentic and refreshing.” While their products are appealing enough, Miller and Johnson exude infectious confidence and kindness. It's because of this that attached to their brand is a feeling of familiarity and altruism, regrettably absent from other brands we carry and wear everyday. Speaking with Miller and Johnson, we learn how theater, entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for beauty led to a company many women know they’ve been missing. 

      Can you tell our readers about Mented Cosmetics and its origins?

      Mented, which is short for pigmented, is an upscale beauty line for women of color. We founded the company because we were tired of feeling like afterthoughts in the world of beauty - we firmly believe every woman deserves to be prioritized and celebrated by the brands they patron, and at Mented we strive to do just that. 

      We've been seeing a lot of designers and leading cosmetic companies coming out with nude lines and an expansion of nude shades to appeal to a trend rather than to be inclusive. How does Mented retain its authenticity without falling into the trap of a trend?

      We started with nude lip shades because our brand is all about classic, everyday beauty, and we think nothing signals everyday beauty like your go-to nude shade. That said, unlike the “nudes” so many other brands offer that try to put everyone in a one-size-fits all pinky/beige box, our nudes come in a wide range of colors to complement every skin tone. So we think our brand truly has the breadth to draw people in, and we deliver on our nude promise in a way that’s both authentic and refreshing. 

      Some argue that the cosmetics industry profits off people's mostly women's, insecurities. How does Mented fit into this conversation and do you both see a responsibility in changing societal beauty standards or the way women feel about themselves?

      KJ: If you look at beauty trends today, there are a lot of brands and influencers out there saying you need to transform yourself. Put on ten pounds of foundation, highlighter, contour and lashes and then you're beautiful. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good beat, but at Mented we don't think makeup is about transformation - it's about enhancement. You're already gorgeous, we're just giving you some options to enhance your natural beauty. And Amanda and I go makeup-free all the time (though you'll never catch me without a brow...), because makeup is like any other great accessory - you wear it when it suits you.

      AJ: The beauty industry has created a certain standard of what and who is beautiful. For far too long women of color have been excluded from that standard and that has created certain insecurities within those cultures. Mented means to change that. We have the beauty of women of color as our focus and seeing positive images of brown beauties will change the way those women feel about themselves. We aim to celebrate the beauty of diversity.

      In addition to Mented being a company with women of color as its core customer, we love that you both are bringing more representation and visibility to women of color as entrepreneurs. What advice do you have for other women of color who are looking to start their own businesses?

      KJ: My advice is to make sure it's something you're passionate about. I've launched other startups in the past, and I ended up walking away from each of them because I wasn't truly passionate about the idea. If it is something you're passionate about, then I say go for it. Figure out a way to pursue it, even if you can't do it full time. Amanda and I worked on Mented for a full year before we quit our day jobs, and part of what made us so confident that this is something we could run with was the fact that we never grew tired of spending every morning, evening, and weekend working on the brand, even with the stress of our corporate careers.

       AJ: My advice would be to just start. Women overthink their life plans and so often that results in regret. We should attack entrepreneurship as fiercely as we do everything else that we multitask. Any idea that you just can't stop thinking about and imagining what could be, that's the idea that you should explore as a real business.

      We're interested in the women behind the brand. Tell us about yourselves and how you two met.

      KJ: Amanda and I met at Harvard Business School, where we both graduated in 2014. Prior to business school, I was a fashion buyer by day and standup comedian by night. Random, I know, but it was a ton of fun. Luckily no one in the Mented office has had to endure my standup set. Also, I live in Harlem, I'm happily married, and I've been a Beyoncé stan since her 'No, No, No' days.

      AJ: KJ and I met during the HBS Show, a variety show, at Harvard Business School; we've always shared a passion for the theater. Before school I was in investment banking and consumer marketing and post HBS I ran the digital business development group at a luxury retailer. I love living in NYC and exploring museums and various neighborhoods. I'm a beach bum and I love television.

      At We, Ceremony, we believe there is a special bond that unites women of color and that we're inherently a support system for each other. Who are or were some of your role models in your life?

      KJ: My mom is without doubt my biggest role model. She's the hardest working woman I know, and she graduated from medical school in the South at a time when almost no one who looked like her was doing the same. She's overcome so many barriers, and has worked incredibly hard to give me and my sisters a better life than the one she had.

      AJ: My mom has shown me in so many ways, overtly and obscurely, what it means to be a woman and a good person. She came from very humble beginnings and created a life for my sisters and me that was full of opportunity, love, and strength. She is a wealth of knowledge and confidence and I wouldn't be the person I am without her.

      In addition to building an empire and beauty and cosmetics, what are some of your other passions?

      KJ: I grew up singing and performing, so I'm pretty passionate about music and theater. My husband and I make it a point to see a live show every month, and we often aim for more. On a more professional note, I've been so humbled by the number of people - particularly women - who have helped me and Amanda as we've built this brand, and I've become really passionate about paying that forward. I spend a lot of time working with women about building their own startups. There's lots of institutional knowledge out there, but so much of it is hard to access if you aren't...ahem...a white guy. So I'm all about spreading the wealth and making some of that knowledge more accessible.

      AJ: I consider myself a lifelong student and I love volunteering. I love to absorb the world around me. I'm often at museums, the movies, reading the latest bestseller, or going down the rabbit's hole on Instagram. I can't get enough of new stories, funny memes, or solid reporting. I also love giving back to the people and institutions that have helped me. I'm a volunteer with the New York Junior League, a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and a board member of the Howard University Alumni Association.

      And lastly, one of the questions we ask all of our interviewees - what is one thing about your culture that you'd like to share with us? (This could be a misconception that you'd like to dispel or an aspect that you are particularly proud of.)


      KJ: I LOVE THIS QUESTION. You know, black women often get a bad rep for being loud or aggressive, and it drives me nuts because the people who say this are (wrongly) trying to cast one of our best qualities - our vibrancy - as a flaw. Black women may laugh louder, dance harder, or walk tougher than other groups (or do none of these things, because we're not a monolith), but this is exactly what makes us so special. We endure racism of our skin color and the sexism of our gender, and yet here we are, laughing and dancing, and loving and being. I love how vibrant we are, and that's something I won't let anyone make me feel bad about.

      AJ: I want people to know that Black people are just as layered and complex as everyone else. We are soft, strong, messy, organized, and just as worthy of love and compassion. I love the quote from the show Dear White People, "Sometimes being carefree and black is an act of revolution." We are always trying to tell people how we are people too, but sometimes we just need to laugh and enjoy life in order to find the strength to keep going. We would all be better off if we truly sought to see the humanity in everyone. 

      Original article on We, Ceremony

      Read more
      Mented DC Pop-Up

      Mented DC Pop-Up

      We had a blast at the Mented DC Pop-Up at Femme Fatale! Thank you to everyone who came out and made the event unforgettable. We had a great time meeting our loyal Mented family, whether you've been supporting us from the beginning or just recently fell in love with your true Mented nude. This is just stop two in our Summer Pop-Up Tour, next up is AFROPUNK Brooklyn on August 26-27th. 

      [powr-multi-slider id=9d67054c_1499876175]

       

       

      Read more
      5 Reasons You Need A Nude Lipstick

      5 Reasons You Need A Nude Lipstick

      From Carpools to Cocktails 

      By Amber Dorsey @fromcarpools2cocktails on July 10, 2017 

      You might've seen on my Insta Stories or in my feed that I recently discovered Mented cosmetics and their line of nude lipsticks. I had heard about them before but suddenly they were back on my radar and it was like it was meant to be! 

      So here's the thing: people will argue all the time about WHY is there even a reason for nude lipstick? Particularly for women of color. Can't you just put on vaseline and call it a day?Looking at you Luvvie. The answers to those questions is simply because and no, Vaseline is not the same thing.

      This is because most lipsticks that claim to be "nude" or "warm" and work for WOC are not made by actual women of color. I know,crazy right? They have us out here looking like Ashy Larry, but yet (and even slightly more disturbing) we still try them out and hope that this one will be the one that gives us that flossy, glossy natural glow we haven't seen since 1997 and our obsession with MAC's lipglass (original of course). More often than not, we're seriously disappointed.

      Mented to the rescue! When I opened the box I did a little hand clap of excitement. Vegan lip products made by black women for all women of color? It was hard not to be excited. They areall beautiful let me just tell you. My brain is going crazy with all the fun looks I want to create with these hues. So why on earth would a WOC want a "nude" lip stick? Well, I can give you five simple reasons a nude or neutral lip color is necessary for all.

      1)  Lips can become discolored over time and sometimes you want a lil somethin' to even things out. All the while appearing as if you don't even have any thing on. It's called natural makeup folks. It's a thing.
       
      2) Sometimes you just want an extra pop of color that's not actually color. Mented has a range of shades that compliment so many skin tones from a soft subtle brownish pink to a deeper dark espresso.

      3) It's the perfect compliment to a smoky eye. There's nothing worse than having fabulous sultry eye makeup but no lipstick that exactly works with it.

      4) No smudging issues. Let's talk about how liberating it is to eat without your lipstick wearing off on your food or your face! The barely there look is so effective you'll forget you're even wearing anything!

      5) Red doesn't always work. I knooooow. I love a red lip. Really, I do, y'all know it's true. However, there are times when you just want to keep it simple and that's when a neutral lip color comes in handy. Kanye shrug. I said it. 

      *Bonus - these Mented lipsticks are moisturizing as all get out. When I put on lipstick one of my pet peeves is how it drys my lips out or how if I apply lip balm it tends to run.

      Original article on From Carpools to Cocktails

      Read more
      Summer Beauty Essentials

      Summer Beauty Essentials

      It’s officially summer! As the heat increases our summer beauty routines pare down.

      Below are our top 10 Summer Beauty Essentials that are simply a must! 

       

      1. Mario Badescu-- Rosewater Facial Spray

      This spray is an absolute must have for the summer! Spritz this all over your face to help wake you up and give your skin a hydrating boost. In addition, it can also be used as a setting spray to give your look a dewy finish, or sprayed on for a midday pick-me-up to help re-energize your skin.

        

       

       

       

      2. Neutrogena-- Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

       


       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

        

       

      Since it’s summer wearing sunscreen is a must! This sunscreen applies easily and absorbs quickly for a smooth non-greasy lightweight feel on your skin. It serves as a perfect base before applying makeup. 

       

       

       

       

       

      3. NARS-- Radiant Creamy Concealer

      With the heat, it’s impossible to wear a full face of foundation. To lighten your routine apply concealer to all imperfections and wherever else it is needed. This concealer provides medium to high buildable coverage and leaves a smooth and luminous finish while concealing imperfections and fine lines.

       

       

       

       

       

      4. Laura Mercier-- Translucent Loose Setting Powder

      To set the concealer we recommend Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder. It goes on evenly, blends easily and feels insanely soft and silky on your skin. And let’s not forget that it’s mattifying as well!

      5. Mented Cosmetics - Nude Nail Collection
      Before heading out the door it's only appropriate that we touch up our mani’s with a fresh color. Pinkish, from our new summer nail collection, is a must-have for a clean, every day nail look. The polish dries quickly and evenly without leaving any streaks!

       

       

       

       

       6. Benefit Cosmetics-- They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara

      To keep your look simple apply Benefit's They’re Real! Mascara. This mascara lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts and separates your lashes; what more could you ask for?

       

       

       7. Mented Cosmetics-- Summer Lip Collection 

      To complete your look pick your perfect summer nude from the Mented Summer Lip Collection. These shade offer the perfect warm tan with hints of pink that embody summer! It leaves your lips feeling super soft and moisturized throughout the day! 

       

       

       

       

       

       

       


      8. Clean & Clear-- Oil Absorbing Sheets

       

       


      It’s inevitable to have oily skin in the summer. Throughout the day you can blot your face to get rid of any grease or excess shine. The best part about these sheets is that after blotting your face, there are no smudges or mishaps to your makeup!

       

       

       

      9. Simple - Micellar Cleansing Water


      We can all agree that taking off your makeup at the end of the day is the worst thing ever, but it’s important to do so. After using a makeup wipe follow up with Simple’s Micellar Cleansing Water on a cotton round! This product gently lifts any makeup still on your face even after using a wipe. It leaves your skin feeling hydrated and clean! 

       10. Neutrogena-- Hydro Boost Water Gel

       

       

      Hydration is key! To finish off your night routine use this oil-free moisturizer to amp up dry skin with hydration. Did you know this product can also be used as a primer? 

       

       

       

      Read more
      Go #RedWhiteNude!

      Go #RedWhiteNude!

       

      This Independence Day we dare you to go #RedWhiteNude! 

      Proudly made in the USA, Mented Cosmetics is vegan, paraben, and cruelty-free. 

      Show your patriotic side with a red, white and blue outfit and pair it with a nude lip for the perfect Fourth of July look. We consciously create each and every product in our collection with women of color in mind, to provide you with quality cosmetics that enhance your natural beauty. 

      So join us as we go #RedWhiteNude - and have a fun day with your loved ones!

      Read more
      5 Best Nudes from the BET Red Carpet

      5 Best Nudes from the BET Red Carpet

      Don't worry, we did the work: we found the 5 best nude lips from the BET red carpet. It's all about bold eyes and nude lips that look great on all skin tones - from light brown to deep chocolate. Check out the below to find the perfect lip shade for every look.

      [powr-image-slider id=f305fbec_1498616211]

       

       

      Read more
      30 results
      Continue shopping
      Your Order

      You have no items in your cart