This black-owned beauty brand is selling nail polishes for women of color

KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, the founders of Mented
Source: Mented
KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, the founders of Mented
Source: Mented

Harvard Business School grads and friends KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson are making good on their mission to launch a beauty brand that keeps women of color at the forefront.

In March, the duo's brand Mented debuted with a line of nude lipsticks specifically with women of color in mind. Now, they've launched a line of nude nail polishes, making them one of the very first brands ever to address the fact that many polishes out there billed as "nude" only match the skin tones of very pale women.

KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, the founders of Mented
Source: Mented

"We've all been there — you find a pale pink you think will be your perfect every-day shade, but it ends up looking too white or being too transparent and you're left with a streaky mess," Miller said in an interview. "It's also always been frustrating that a nude nail polish had to be pink — we came up with the idea of doing a soft (but pigmented!) pink, a warm tan and a gorgeous brown because we knew there’d be something for everyone, however you define 'nude.'"

The collection itself, launched Memorial Day weekend, is a set of three polishes, ranging from light pink to dark brown, priced at $8 each.

Mented's nail polishes
Source: Mented

The fashion and beauty industry's recent progress towards considering women of color in their business models is something Johnson knows well. There has been progress in lingerie with Nubian Skin, Target and others, and high heels with Christian Louboutin, but nail polish hasn't gotten that much attention.

"I think women of color have patiently waited on the sideline hoping the beauty industry would eventually address their specific needs," Johnson said. "Although Black women outspend their Caucasian counterparts by up to 80% on beauty, the industry has continued to treat brown beauties everywhere as a trivial afterthought. At Mented we believe every woman deserves to find herself in the world of beauty. We will continue to have women of color as our focus and hopefully the beauty industry will catch on."

Mented hopes to expand further in the coming year, with their sights on lip gloss, blush and eye makeup in the future.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Rachel Lubitz

Rachel is a senior Style writer at Mic. She previously worked for The Washington Post's Style section for more than three years. Feel free to contact her at rachel@mic.com.

MORE FROM

We need to stop and appreciate Tracee Ellis Ross' incredible style evolution for a minute

Thanks to stylist Karla Welch, Tracee Ellis Ross's style is next-level.

Fall in love with Young Paris, Jay-Z protégé and fashion's newest it boy

He's an ambassador for NYFW: Men's, and he's hoping it's more diverse than ever before.

The best looks from NYC Pride 2017 you shouldn't miss

People took to the streets of New York City over the weekend to show their support of LGBTQ people across the globe.

Woman kicked out of pool for wearing "inappropriate" one-piece bathing suit

"This is how rape culture continues to grow," the woman's fiancée wrote in a viral Facebook post.

What Melania Trump wore her 22nd week as first lady — the week she appeared nearly every day

Looks like the move to the White House has changed Melania Trump's reputation as an invisible first lady.

Jennifer Lopez wants you to know that this pic of her flawless abs is not airbrushed, thanks very much

Thanks for asking, but no, that's really what Jennifer Lopez looks like.

We need to stop and appreciate Tracee Ellis Ross' incredible style evolution for a minute

Thanks to stylist Karla Welch, Tracee Ellis Ross's style is next-level.

Fall in love with Young Paris, Jay-Z protégé and fashion's newest it boy

He's an ambassador for NYFW: Men's, and he's hoping it's more diverse than ever before.

The best looks from NYC Pride 2017 you shouldn't miss

People took to the streets of New York City over the weekend to show their support of LGBTQ people across the globe.

Woman kicked out of pool for wearing "inappropriate" one-piece bathing suit

"This is how rape culture continues to grow," the woman's fiancée wrote in a viral Facebook post.

What Melania Trump wore her 22nd week as first lady — the week she appeared nearly every day

Looks like the move to the White House has changed Melania Trump's reputation as an invisible first lady.

Jennifer Lopez wants you to know that this pic of her flawless abs is not airbrushed, thanks very much

Thanks for asking, but no, that's really what Jennifer Lopez looks like.