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Nude Lip Colors for WOC? Try Mented Cosmetics

Nude Lip Colors for WOC? Try Mented Cosmetics

By Cici @cici_heranpark

There is a hole in the Beauty Industry for Brown and Deeper toned skin that is slowly but surely being filled.  I remember talking about this with an Aunt.  We talked about how the current standard “Nude” lipsticks cater to people with lighter complexions.  The baby pinks and light brownish beige colors are not as nude as they should appear when worn by women with darker skin tones.

I teamed up with Mented Cosmetics to bring you a “Nude Series!” I created six looks to go with all six nude lipsticks in the Capsule Collection.  Now usually, I do not reach for creamy matte shade lipsticks but these definitely changed how I felt about creamier formulas in a lipstick.  I prefer a more matte formula when wanting to wear a solid color but these are moisturizing and pigmented enough for me to make them my Go-To nudes. They look very natural and compliment me very well.

These lipsticks look great with every look I did.  Of course the darker shades stand out against my skin tone because I am a medium tan complexion. The lighter shades are very nude and are all I need on natural/neutral days.  What I love the most about the Capsule Collection is that it comes with a mixture of medium and dark browns with both cool and warm shades.

Each look below showcases each shade on my complexion.

From left top to bottom right. Dope Taupe, Foxy Brown, Nude Lala, Dark Night, Mented #5 and Pretty in Pink.

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Founders' Faves

Founders' Faves

It was hard but we managed to pick out our favorite Mented products! Do you spot any of your faves on our list?

KJ Miller


Amanda E. Johnson

Mented #5

Dope Taupe

KJ's Fave Nude
Amanda's Fave Nude

Send Nudes

Baby Brown

KJ's Fave Gloss Amanda's Fave Gloss


Brown Bare + Mauve Over


Dope Taupe + Send Nudes

KJ's Fave Duos Amanda's Fave Duos

Glow Out

Glow Up

KJ's Fave Glow Amanda's Fave Glow

Yes We Tan


Brown & Bougie

KJ's Fave Nail Polish
Amanda's Fave Nail Polish

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Bridal Looks: A Twist on the Ordinary

Bridal Looks: A Twist on the Ordinary

It is that time of year again: Wedding Season!

With a wedding to have and loved ones to attend, a staple look that is special, yet still the best representation of you is a must. Here are our current favorite looks we have seen to give you some inspiration.

Look One: Soft & Glowy

I think we can all agree that Meghan Markle’s makeup for her royal wedding was the epitome of perfecting the no-makeup makeup look.

Source: Getty Images

Through light foundation, blush, mascara, brows, and the perfect nude lip her look captivated not just brides to be but the attention of millions! Her makeup artist Daniel Martin described her look as timeless, effortless, and chic with a focus on her eyes.

Watch our Bridal Beauty: Two Looks | Women of Color to learn how to create your own Soft and Glowy Look or if you want to take it up a notch go Glam and Glowy.

Want the entire breakdown of these looks? Read "The Guide: To Summer Wedding Makeup".


Look Two: Bold & Gold

This look is meant to make you shine! The gold will be remembered for making your eyes pop.


To recreate this look, grab your Everyday Eyeshadow Palette and have your blending and shadow brushes ready,

  1. To start, begin by blending a light layer of Queen Sugar on your crease. Begin to deepen the crease with Brown Out, focusing on the outer “v” of the eye.
  2. Now if you want sharp definition, begin to make a cut crease (carving out your lid) with concealer. If you are wanting a softer look, you can skip this step.
  3. Blend the crease out and pack First Date in the inner corner and first third of your eye. For an added pop of shine, apply some under the brow bone too.
  4. To finish off the eye, blend out any hard edges with your blending brush. Then finish of with applying eyeliner, lashes, and mascara!
  5. Finish off the look with your perfect nude (Peach Please is being worn in the image above) and Glow for Grown Ups in the shade Glow Out for a soft highlight.

Quick Tip! Our Peach Please lipstick is the perfect shade for a light cream blush! Dot on the apples of your cheeks and blend for a natural flush.

View Images of our customers' bridal looks below!

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We Need to Talk About Social Media

We Need to Talk About Social Media

Social media is one of the most important innovations of our generation. It connects us in ways never before possible. It democratizes the power of celebrity and has helped us learn everything there is to know — it even taught this beauty enthusiast how to make lipstick (which turned out to be a pretty worthwhile endeavor).

Despite all that, a month ago I felt deeply compelled to walk away from social media completely. 

Let me explain.

A month ago I turned 32 and decided to take a break from social media. I deleted Instagram, Twitter and Facebook from my phone, and for 3 solid weeks I let myself forget about documenting my life so I could focus on living it. Then, as inevitably happens when you give up something cold turkey, I got the itch and went crawling back. In some ways it felt like reuniting with an old friend — so many laughs (oh hey #InMyFeelings challenge), so many feel-good moments (literally everyone on the planet seems to have gotten married). And yet, it also felt a little defeating. I didn’t miss spiraling down a 30-minute long Twitter-binge, but that’s exactly what I found myself doing within a day of my return.

Worse than the time sink, though, is this ever present desire to prove that I’m living a life worth viewing. In fact, it was this very desire that sent me on my social media break in the first place. I was coming home from an amazing birthday trip and thinking about which pictures I would post to Instagram, when it hit me: I don’t even want to post these photos. I love that they’re just mine, and that they represent a rare few days where I got to take a break from my ever-present stress. So why was my first instinct to post? Not only is it exhausting (I firmly believe there are far too many filters on IG) — it’s anxiety-inducing! I have to make sure I choose a pic where my stomach is sucked in and my hair is laid and my outfit is cute and my smize is perfectly smized…by the time I’m done I’ve chosen the perfect — and perfectly disingenuous — depiction of my life, and that’s not how I wanted to remember that moment.

I want to be clear — social media isn’t a bad thing; I had just let it become a bad thing for me. So I’m in the process of relearning how to use it. I’m posting a lot less frequently, and when I do, I pause and ask myself why I’m doing it. Is it something I really want to share, or something I feel compelled to share for the likes/retweets/validation… Sometimes those lines are blurred, and I’m still working on creating my own rules. But I am working on it, and for now, that’s what maters.


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Spring Lip Colors for Melaninated Skin

Spring Lip Colors for Melaninated Skin

Thanks to Mented Cosmetics for sending their newest lip colors & glosses for me to test out!
Spring Lip Colors for Melaninated Skin 
You all know that I love a good lippie! I love makeup in general, my collection is massive! I’m no beauty blogger, but I love to share makeup looks & brands that every woman can pull off here, as well as makeup for moms when you’re wanting to feel fab after dealing with children all day. I was so happy when Mented Cosmetics reached out to me, because I love their concept. Mented is a makeup brand for women of color, and they focus on finding the perfect nude for melaninated skin. It doesn’t matter the background or culture, you can find the perfect shade for you. Have you ever tried nudes that look like you’ve just eaten a powdered doughnut? Well Mented makes sure this doesn’t happen to you! 
Spring Lip Colors for Melaninated Skin
All Mented Lipsticks & Glosses are Vegan, Paraben-Free, non-toxic, cruelty free, and made in the United States. So you can feel confident that you are wearing makeup that’s also healthy for you as well, and you know where it’s been sourced from. Mented has a wide variety of colors that look good on various shades of women. 
For the season they’ve released three new lipsticks and a line of lip glosses.
Spring Lip Colors for Melaninated Skin
These shades are perfect for sun kissed skin and glowing hues. 
Spring Lip Colors for Melaninated Skin
These lipsticks go on soft and velvety and they have a light pleasant smell. They aren’t drying and feel pretty good and moisturizing. 
Spring Lip Colors for Melaninated Skin
Spring Lip Colors for Melaninated Skin
These shades are rich, shiny and smooth. They look good with 1-2 coats. 
Spring Lip Colors for Melaninated Skin
I love to change up my look for the Spring, and Mented’s new lip colors are perfect for melaninated skin. For more on Mented Cosmetics and to shop their full line, head to the website!
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Pro Tutorials: Gloss & Glow

Pro Tutorials: Gloss & Glow

Our Gloss, Glow & Go Collection was created to have your melanin popping all summer long! Our new Summer Glosses have the same silky smooth (non-sticky) and buildable formula you all loved with our original Gloss Collection. Formulated to give your cheekbones and high-points of your face a sun-kissed glow, our Glow for Grown Ups Collection is a must-have.


Watch the tutorials below by some of our favorite beauty influencers learn quick tips on how you can easily incorporate these goodies into your everyday routine. 

Ericka Ajanae

Sabrina Mills


China Bell

Loving these tutorials? Watch more on our video gallery

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Through the Ringer: Everyday Eyeshadow Swatches

Through the Ringer: Everyday Eyeshadow Swatches

Photo by: Hannah Padilla

When creating our Everyday Eyeshadow Palette we focused on creating the perfect go-to palette for women of color that would be highly pigmented, blendable, and easy to carry on-the-go. We're proud to say that our palette is also cruelty-free, paraben-free, non-toxic and vegan!

Our Everyday Eyeshadow Palette encompasses every part of its name. Between our nine shades, an array of looks can be created whether it is day to night, casual to glam, or holiday parties to relaxing on a beach. Our colors are buildable and blend beautifully on the eye.


Our 7 soft matte shades and two gorgeous metallics are formulated to feel velvety smooth and pop without the need for primers. 

Traveling this summer? All you'll need is our Everyday Eyeshadow Palette! Share your #MentedOnTheGo looks with us on social media @mentedcosmetics. Happy blending and safe travels!

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Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

Summer is finally here and summer travel is well underway. I find myself going to bachelorette parties, weddings, school reunions, destination birthday parties, and random road trips. No matter the occasion everything is picture worthy and therefore you need your best face. I find myself thinking of the smart British voice on the London Tube that says ‘Mind the gap’. She’s obviously warning you not to fall in the crack between the subway car and platform, but really it can be applied to so many things. For summer travel I think of two things; the transition from winter to summer beauty and beauty travel essentials.

Mind the gap people! Winter skin is not summer skin. Don’t fall in the cracks. Not only should you transition your skincare routine, but you should transition your beauty routine as well. In the winter to make sure my skin stays moist I use a heavy cream moisturizer and a light toner. In the summer my oily skin takes over. I use my Clarisonic twice a day, a light gel moisturizer, and a serious toner. It’s all about fresh glowing skin. Same for cosmetics. In the winter I do a full face with foundation, eyeshadow, and lots of blush. I want to make sure I stand out against the harsh grey backdrop of New York City. But in the summer, it’s all about the glow! In the summer I wear a lighter liquid foundation, mascara, blush, and a glow product. I want my skin to shine through and to look as natural as possible.

What’s the other gap? Knowing exactly what you need to travel with in the summer to achieve your perfect summer glow. Summer travel is always last minute and can be stressful. Don’t get caught slipping and pack the wrong products. Everyone remembers that one photo you have on a beach somewhere with friends and they’re all golden and perfect in their flowy dresses and you look like you’re doing the most in your out of season outfit and too much makeup. Keep it simple. Liquid foundation, concealer, blush, mascara, liner, and glow! My makeup bag is instantly lighter and I have no problem with TSA, lol.

KJ and I have thought about your summer needs and just in the nick of time. We recently launched our limited edition summer Gloss, Glow, and Go campaign. It features 3 color popping lip glosses and 3 shimmer lotions. These shimmer lotions are the perfect subtle summer highlight that you need to look golden all summer long. During the day I love adding Glow Up (rose gold) over my blush to give an instant boost of fresh. And at night I’m all about our classic gold called Glow Out that’s makes me look golden and needs no filter.

At Mented we believe you should have the beauty look and options you want all year long. We want you to find yourself in the world of beauty and love the person you find. Hopefully we can help! 

Glow On,


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Gloss, Glow, & Go Collection

Gloss, Glow, & Go Collection

Summer is here and we're coming in HOT with our new Summer Collection! We want you to Gloss, Glow, & Go with our Glow for Grown Ups (3 shimmer lotions) and new pops of color (3 glosses) to our Gloss for Grown Ups collection! 

Glow for Grown Ups

These shimmer lotions are soft, buildable, and blendable. Each shade is packed with shimmery pigment that will give you a flow from within look.

Glow UpThis rose gold will glow up any summer look. Glow Out: Our classic gold shimmer will add the perfect subtle warmth all summer long. Glow On: This is the bronze glow you've been waiting for.

Summer Lip Gloss 

We've expanded our Gloss for Grown Ups Collection with 3 new fun pops of color for summer. This lip gloss is shiny and smooth without overdoing it, and provides just the right amount of color to add some pep to your step - and your lips! 

Pink About Me: A subtle pop of pink for your perfect pout. Coralition: A warm coral peach that’s reminiscent of a summer sunset. #1 Cran: Stand out with this cranberry color all summer long.

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Rep Your Squad

Rep Your Squad

You have seen them all over social media and at our Pop-Up shops. After many requests, we are excited to announce that our Mented T-Shirts are finally here! Rep your squad and your support for the Mented Family with our #GoNude T-Shirts. Show us your love by posting a photo of yourself using the hashtags #MentedFam and #GoNude.

Shop our shirts here.


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Voices: The Essential Nude Lip

Voices: The Essential Nude Lip

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones wearing Mented #5

For women of color, finding the perfect nude lip is elusive. We all know what it should look like on our lips – enhance the natural color and amplify the depth – but we can never seem to find it. All that's changed with K.J. Miller and Amanda Johnson's new company, Mented Cosmetics: a niche beauty brand of nude-tone makeup essentials made for women of color, by women of color.

I’ve always thought that finding the perfect nude lip should be like finding an effortless wardrobe essential – a little black dress, an iconic white t-shirt, a classic menswear blazer, a timeless pair of jeans, or a power stiletto – an essential go-to that never goes out of style.

My signature go-to lip was influenced by a 20-year career in NYC’s performing arts industry. In 1987, I became the first African American Radio City Music Hall Rockette and danced with them for 15 years. And just like our iconic eye-high kicks, we were known for an indelible bold red lip thanks to MAC Cosmetics Russian Red.

After hanging-up my Rockette dance heels and transitioning to Broadway, the classic red lip remained my calling card, but sometimes it felt too femme fatale, vampy and aggressive. When I tried swapping it out with a nude lip, the lighter shades knocked the pigment from my lips and looked chalky, while the darker tones were too moody, muddy, and earthy.

So when the Mented Cosmetics Capsule Lip Collection came across my radar, featuring six of its most popular nude lipsticks, I snatched it up! At $16.50 per lipstick, it's an affordable luxury, and all of the deeply-nuanced, semi-matte, highly-pigmented shades are exclusively-formulated to compliment pigmented skin tones: Pretty in Pink, Nude La La, Dope Taupe, Foxy Brown, Mented #5, and Dark Night

After I swatched from light to dark, Foxy Brown was The One. It’s my perfect nude – classic, beautiful, and unique – with rich, warm, raisin-sienna undertones and a creamy, smooth, hydrating finish.

Finding my essential “no-lipstick lipstick” nude fits perfectly into my core beauty philosophy: minimalist with an emphasis on classic, timeless, high-low cult products. Mented’s formulas also matched my social responsibility: vegan, paraben-free, non-toxic, and made in the USA.  

Back when I was a Rockette, my stage face started with perfectly-clean skin. Fresh out of my teenage years, I used what the other Rockettes used, straight from the pages of Seventeen magazine: Neutrogena facial cleanser, Sea Breeze astringent, St. Ives apricot scrub, and Clearasil moisturizing lotion! And to remove the layers of stage face, including stubborn eyelash glue, we used Pond's cold cream cleanser. Now in my post-Rockettes life, I’m committed to a beauty regiment based on gentle, pure, holistic, soothing products.

I'm a dedicated morning runner, so before I head-out the door, I use stuff designed to withstand sweat and protect me from the elements. I start with a gentle charcoal scrub mixed with a pinch of Epsom salt, followed by Thayers Witch Hazel Toner with Rose Water, and CeraVe Moisturizing Cream or Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream with SPF, depending on the season.

I’m really into nurturing my hair because when I was performing, my curls were either pin-curled to my head or pulled into a twist to accommodate the elaborate headpieces. To lock-in moisture, I mix Moroccanoil Treatment Original Hair Oil with DevaCurl Heaven In Hair Intense Moisture Treatment, and slick it below a "Rockettes Unite" baseball cap, a nod to my role as an advocate for our union workers’ rights during a 2002 labor dispute.

Post run, I clean and hydrate with an AmorePacific trio: Treatment Cleansing Foam, Enzyme Peel, and Moisture Bound moisturizer.

When I need to even-out my complexion, Giorgio Armani Beauty is like Photoshop in a bottle, with a weightless, dewy finish. I use Luminous Silk Foundation for evenings, and super-sheer Maestro Fusion Makeup for daytime. If I don’t wear foundation, Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder and Paper are amazing for knocking-down shine without leaving a white cast or residue.

Back in the 80s and 90s, before women of color could find really nuanced makeup shades, I’d go to The Make Up Center on 55th Street in NYC for bespoke foundation, concealer and powder. It cost a fortune, but they'd customize the perfect match for your skin. They’ve since closed, but they specialized in theatrical and stage make-up, and catered to theater, film, ballet, fashion, and television VIPs.

On my lips, I use Homeoplasmine at night for deep moisture. I love a good, light, clear lip balm, always have a tube of Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm on-hand. When I want a dramatic bold red lip, my standbys are MAC Cosmetics’s classic Russian Red or Ruby Woo. When I want an innovative spin on color, I’ll mix it up with Hue Noir's Perfect Pout Hydrating Lipstick in “Carmen Jones” or The Lip Bar's “Bawse Lady” Liquid Matte. Both brands were recently tapped by Target for national retail partnerships, and it’s just so empowering to see a retail giant throw its support behind diverse, niche, multicultural beauty brands.  

I'm a huge Pat McGrath fan – she knows how to make women of color look beautiful but never overdone or theatrical. The Mothership II: Sublime Palette eyeshadows is my go-to for a blended-out smoky eye. To finish the look, I trace my upper lids with a super-thin line of MAC Cosmetics Liquidlast Liner in Point Black. I’ve always got a tube of the iconic green and pink Maybelline Great Lash Mascara on-hand, or L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise when I want a feathery look.

On mani-pedi, I bring my nail technician Mented’s Nude Nail Trio and choose a soft pink, nude putty, or rich brown, depending on my mood. From head to heel, Mented’s got you covered with nude essentials!

Pretty in Pink: A sophisticated, girlish nude with fresh pink undertones, the perfect summer go-to.
Nude La La: A remodeled update on classic Seventies toffee shades. This is retro done right.
Dope Taupe: A grounded, autumn earth-tone baseline for a secure, confident woman.
Foxy BrownA warm, rich nude with a reddish-sienna tone. It’s the final polish that pulls my whole look together.
Mented #5: A dramatic, bold nude lip with deep purplish passion, the perfect accessory for a wild night out.
Dark Night: A dark chocolate tone with a high-definition sheen. This is an introspective nude with a deep soul.


Bio: Jennifer Jones is an award-winning American performer. In 1987, she became the first African American Radio City Music Hall Rockette. In 2002, she transitioned to a Tony Award-winning Broadway career. For additional information, follow her @rockettejenn on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


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Mented Harlem Pop-Up

Mented Harlem Pop-Up

We were in Harlem Friday, May 18th for our one night only Pop-Up Shop.Harlem holds a special place in our heart because that's where the Mented HQ is located! Check out some highlights from the event and don't forget to join our mailing list to find out where we are heading next! If you have images from the event share them with us on Twitter and Instagram @mentedcosmetics.

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