Mented Cosmetics: lipsticks by and for Women of Color

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 Pink, Peach Please, and Nude La La. I ended up ordering 3 other shades on my own: Foxy Brown, Dope Taupe, and Dark Night. I do not have the other shades (Mented #5, Brown 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!

Mented lipsticks: nudes by and for Women of Color, Mented Cosmetics, Mented lipsticks, Mented Foxy Brown, Mented Nude La La, Mented Pretty in Pink, Mented Peach Please, Mented Dope Taupe, Mented Dark Night

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*
Mented lipsticks: nudes by and for Women of Color, Mented Cosmetics, Mented lipsticks, Mented 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*
Mented lipsticks: nudes by and for Women of Color, Mented Cosmetics, Mented lipsticks, Mented 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*
Mented lipsticks: nudes by and for Women of Color, Mented Cosmetics, Mented lipsticks, Mented 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
Mented lipsticks: nudes by and for Women of Color, Mented Cosmetics, Mented lipsticks, Mented 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
Mented lipsticks: nudes by and for Women of Color, Mented Cosmetics, Mented lipsticks, Mented 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
Mented lipsticks: nudes by and for Women of Color, Mented Cosmetics, Mented lipsticks, Mented 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?

*These products were sent to me in exchange for a review. 
However, my opinions about the products remain 100% honest and unbiased.


  1. I love Nude La La, and Foxy Brown on you! Dark night looks stunning too. I have the exact same struggles with finding a good nude. I did pick up another cheap one from MUA the other day but it's slightly lighter than my lip colour. I would have loved to try out this brand if they shipped here x

    Velvet Blush

  2. These all look gorgeous on you! I truly don't understand why brands, especially drugstore ones, don't have more diverse shades and undertones. Good thing there are indie brands that are starting to cater for darker skin tones!

    1. Drugstore shades ARE the worst contenders for lacking diversity! Especially Almay (I'll save that for another post though)

  3. 'Nude La La' really suits you! I also think 'Peach Please' looked lovely as well.

    It makes no sense that brands don't cater more towards women of colour. They're missing out on a huge gap in the market that could get them more profit! Hopefully success of brands like Mented (what a clever name) will encourage more brands to have more diversity in their shades and products.

    Hannah | Whoops It's Hannah

  4. This is such a great post Hannah, I'm so happy to be introduced to this brand. I couldn't agree more, its so frustrating not being able to find products that cater to your skin tone!! Nude La La has to be my fave shade :)

  5. All of the schades look great on you. I love how you bring awareness the a massive problem I recently realised. It's crazy that some Brands still don't have every skintone in mind when creating a product. Great post!

  6. All of these lipsticks look beautiful and so pigmented!

  7. I haven´t heard about this cosmetic brand yet but looks like a good one! I love the first shade! ♥ °₊·ˈ Brown shades suit you very well :)

    Blog de la Licorne

  8. I saw you posting these on your Insta feed. Thanks for pointing them out. I've only ever found one nude shade for my skin tone - Burts Bees Suede Splash

  9. These sounds amazing! I love Foxy Brown on you!

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity