The pursuit of the perfect foundation could potentially go on forever—but thanks to Rihanna and her 2017 Fenty Beauty launch, more and more brands are being put to the test. Meanwhile, in Black-owned beauty land (the best land of all), the founders of Mented Cosmetics have never swayed from their desire to center darker shades.
In fact, after seeing several years of success and amazing feedback from their brown-girl-friendly nude lipsticks, perfect gloss, and everyday eye palette, KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson knew foundation was naturally their next frontier. Launched last week, SKIN by Mented is a win.
Their new made-to-glide foundation stick comes in 16 shades in four shade sectors, from light to dark across a range of cool, neutral and warm tones. Upon getting shade-matched at their launch last week, I found myself taking home a tan color as my base, a medium shade for my contour, and a light shade as my highlight. I definitely felt it was accurate for where my lighter brown skin should fall on a darker skin-focused line, so I was ready to go!
First impression? The formula is so light, I instantly forgot how naturally poppin’ I was looking as I walked out of the event, and it stayed on well into the evening for a dinner date. Unlike Fenty’s foundation and similar offerings, Skin by Mented has a warm (but not orange), dewy finish that should pair especially well with dryer skin, and is easily transformed into a smooth, matte finish with the use of a setting powder.
As for Johnson and Miller, the New York-based entrepreneurs knew what they were doing when they decided to center the everyday, non-makeup-pro black woman on-the-go as their primary consumer. From the brush to the packaging size, the products are so user-friendly, and users will definitely appreciate the natural ingredients that give it a texture that feels equally as right.
Miller told The Glow Up the company worked to build trust with their line of well-received nude lipsticks, and they wanted to do that with the foundation as well. Their goal was to get the much-anticipated product right the first time, to keep a customer for life. That strategy, she says, is what has allowed them to grow so quickly.
It might seem a big risk to center the novice, working black women as their primary consumer, but Johnson assured us this was a no-brainer. “I think there are a lot of pro conversations happening on the fringe, but also you have this whole middle that’s being ignored. So we’ve said we want to be the voice for women of color everywhere—and that absolutely includes the middle.”
Johnson and Miller wanted to make a lightweight, hydrating, buildable formula. I gotta give it to them, they succeeded. If there are any drawbacks to using SKIN by Mented, I’d say they’re the typical negatives that come with stick foundations: a little added labor in applying them and also more effort to blend. However, Mented’s added moisturizing ingredients, aloe leaf extract, grapeseed oil, help with all of that. But the beauty of this stick is that with a balancing highlighter and contour shade sticks, you only need a few weapons of choice to look beat to the gawds. The best part? If you’re willing to take a few extra moments to buff and set, it’ll last.