Mented Cosmetics: The Perfect Nude for Women of Color

Mented Cosmetics is a beauty brand that recently came to my attention. The founders KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson just launched the company a little over a year ago. Beginning as a niche makeup brand, these women focused on merging the organic beauty industry with a far overlooked demographic: women of color.

This all started with the what the term “nude” means. Similarly to the lingerie brands making nude colors for every skin tone, Mented Cosmetics did this for lipsticks. When a woman of color shops for a nude or neutral lip color, the options are just not there. This is a problem Miller and Johnson regularly faced in their quest for their perfect shade. And from there, they knew that was a problem they could fix together. So they made it their goal to reach these women, and it sure did work.

Having both graduated from Harvard Business School, Miller and Johnson knew that if there was a market for such products, it would work. And it did. That is how they raised $3 million in funding to grow. And this not only helped to expand their brand, but it also gave inspiration to all other multicultural brands.

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Photo via Moguldom

In an interview with Forbes, Miller said, “how crazy is it that two professional women with disposable income who are enthusiastic about beauty couldn’t find something as simple as an everyday lip color? If these big brands with big budgets aren’t going to prioritize us as women of color then we were going to create it ourselves.” Although the beauty industry has made progress in becoming more inclusive, it just is not happening fast enough. It seems many major brands just do not see the market for such products or even acknowledge it. But Miller and Johnson made it a priority. Along with that, they ensured their brand would be vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, non-toxic, and made in the USA.

In order to make this all happen, they browsed beauty counters and realized in order to find their perfect everyday shade they needed to buy multiple shades and mix them while a white woman would only need one. And they were certainly not the only women with this struggle. So they did the work. They created their own shades, beginning in their kitchens and grew immensely from there.  

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Photo via @MentedCostmetics

Mented Cosmetics now sells lipsticks and glosses to suit women of color. And they have even expanded into eyeshadows and nail polishes without any plans to slow down. With their new funding after lots of pitches, Miller and Johnson are working harder than ever on product development as well as hiring new team members to help expand their reach.

And I’m not the only one impressed by what these women have accomplished in such a small amount of time. The influencer community has quickly gotten on board and have been gushing over their products, only further adding to their customer base. Mented is short for pigmented, and that is exactly how to describe their products. They are not lacking in formula, shades, or texture.

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Photo via @MentedCosmetics

On the Mented website Miller and Johnson promise to not only invest in women of color, but focus on them. Minorities have so often become an afterthought in the beauty industry, and they are what Mented is all about. They also promise to provide honesty, wonderful customer service, and representation.


Cover photo via The Coreport