Mented Cosmetics: review and swatches

Today I’m sharing some products I’ve been testing from Mented Cosmetics, a brand I’ve been eager to try for some time now.

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of talk about “supporting” Black-owned beauty brands, which I find a troubling mindset to begin with. When we view buying from Black-owned brands as “support” we fall into the mindset that Black-owned brands aren’t a part of our regular purchasing habits, which only perpetuates white dominance in our culture. When there are big initiatives to “support” Black-owned businesses, especially when those initiatives are created by non-Black people, it creates a patriarchal dynamic that we are being charitable by going out of our way to support Black-owned businesses. In reality, we often do have to go out of our way to buy from Black-owned businesses, because Black-owned brands often have much less access to finances, and thus, success and visibility in a majority white, Euro-centric market, but that also means we as non-Black people have to do our due diligence in seeking them out.

I take responsibility for not seeking out Black-owned beauty brands in the past, and I fully plan on incorporating Black-owned brands into my daily routines, not as an act of “support,” but to make them as much a part of my regular buying habits. I plan on seeking out Black-owned brands going forward and replace products from non-inclusive brands with brands. 

In fact, I find that many Black-owned brands are more inclusive of ALL skintones than brands founded by white people – even though many of these often state in their mission as creating shades for the “forgotten” or “excluded” skintones – which really illuminates the double standards required for Black-owned businesses to gain exposure. 

I suspect many people are unaware of Mented Beauty for this reason, which is a shame, because there are some really fantastic products in the line.Mented Cosmetics’s website specifically states “We want all women, from light to tan to dark skin tones, to feel like they have makeup that actually works for their complexions, so we’ve created the shades to help accomplish that.” If only we could see that kind of language and inclusivity of all skintones from white-owned brands.

The brand has a full range of products from foundations to blushes to lip products, though I started with the bronzer, lipstick and lip gloss to start with. 

One of my favorite aspects of the brand is the matte black packaging. The products are sleek, streamlined, and come in matte black packaging…my favorite. After trying 3 products from the range, I know that I’ll be back for more in the future! 

The first product is the Bronzer in the shade Vacay and is $22 for 10g/.35oz. There are 4 shades total, and the shade range goes from light to deep. The shade Vacay is the second shade in the range, which I feel works well for my skin tone. I think there could have been a 5th shade that’s even deeper, but I think the 4 shades cover a much wider shade range than most brands. It’s definitely a warm toned bronzer that pulls slightly red, but it’s not too warm for my skin. The formula is extremely soft and silky, though it’s not powdery at all. I find that my usual bronzer brush (the Real Techniques blush brush) picks up too much product. Instead, I like a softer brush to apply this product – I’m currently using the Real Techniques multitask brush (discontinued), but a dense bronzer brush would work great over a stiffer brush. I’m extremely impressed with this bronzer – from the slim compact to the shade to the formula.

The Lipsticks come in a wide shade range with a semi-matte and matte finish, and are $16.50 for 3.8 g/.13 oz.. I chose the Semi-Matte lipstick in Peach Please, which is a brownish peach. I find that it’s a perfect deeper peach shade for when I have a tan. The formula is lightweight and moisturizing, and has a medium coverage with a semi-matte finish, as named. This is an extremely comfortable formula for me to wear, and I find myself reaching for it a ton ever since I got it! However, since it is more moisturizing and creamy, it is not super long-wearing. I get about 2 hours of wear from this before I need to reapply, but given the lightweight formula. I’m okay with the wear. 

Finally, the Lipgloss is $15 for a generous 7.3g/ .26oz. I have the shade Coralition, which is a coral peach shade that is the perfect warm summer shade for me. The formula of these glosses is also extremely lightweight and moisturizing – there is no heaviness or stickiness here! I love how light and glossy these are, though the lightness also means that these last between 1-2 hours for me. It’s a tradeoff you will always get when choosing lightweight vs thicker formulas, and I really appreciate this formula in the hotter months. I am definitely interested in more shades of this! 

Here are swatches of all the products: 

I also did a couple comparison swatches: 

I compared the bronzer to the Marc Jacobs O!mega Tantastic bronzer, and you can see that Vacay is much warmer. 

I compared the lipstick to MAC Whirl, which is cooler, MAC Taupe, which has more a red/terracotta lean to it, and Urban Decay Epigram, which is much more orange. 

I also couldn’t really find a similar shade to the gloss. I swatched the now-discontinued Nars Lip Glide in Lure, but you can see that is a little darker and much more opaque.

I’m also wearing the Bronzer in Vacay, Lipstick in Peach Please, and Gloss in Coralition in this photo:

Overall, I recommend checking out Mented Cosmetics, no matter what skintone you are. Although it appears that the foundation is suited for deeper skintones, the color products would certainly work for everyone. From the packaging to the formulas to the price point of the brand, I really don’t think you can go wrong. My next purchase from the brand will definitely include a blush, nail polish, and foundation. This is a brand that could easily replace most of my daily staples. 

If you’ve tried any Mented Cosmetics, let me know what you think! And let me know if you have any recommendations from the brand, or other Black-owned beauty brands I should be aware of.

As always, thanks for reading.

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