I tested an eyeshadow palette created for women with melanin in mind

Since becoming pregnant, I’ve been more mindful of the skin care and makeup products I use. Your hormones can send your skin through all kinds of changes when you’re creating a life. Acne, dark circles, and dry patches are just a few of the symptoms that people notice when they’re expecting. This can be a sore spot for women of color and Black women, especially when they’re trying to find products to help them through this time. However, not all makeup brands include them.

I’ve had problems with dry patches and acne over my eyes, so I now look for eyeshadows that don’t irritate that part of my face (especially since I know my skin is sensitive right now). Not all shadows look good on me, though. Therefore, I carefully select products that not only treat my skin well but that also look great.

In the past, my go-to eyeshadows brands were Urban Decay and Too Faced. But recently, I was introduced to a line that is specifically made for women of color and Black women. Mented Cosmetics was started by two Black women, KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson. It started off as a conversation over drinks and evolved into a full-on lipstick collection. The brand aimed to offer nude shades for people of color and make them feel part of the often exclusive beauty realm.

This year, Mented branched out and created an eyeshadow palette with nine shades, the Everyday Eyeshadow Palette ($28). I was excited to try a line that would complement my skin, attend to the sensitivity near my eyes, and work for day and night looks. I received the palette and decided to document my experience.

Here’s what I looked like without eyeshadow:


These are the eyeshadows I used to create my first look: Redbone (1), Queen Sugar (2), Bae-ge (3). Clever names, right?


My friend Shadi helped me apply the eyeshadow after I blessed my face with some foundation. While the eyeshadows are a powdered formula, they set like a cream. For me, eyeshadow can be super chalky, but this palette isn’t. I found that the application process was enhanced by the smoothness of the product.

What the eyeshadows look like on:


My first impression is that the colors blend very easily. The eyeshadow doesn’t come with a brush, but that’s not a bad thing at all. You can experiment with different brushes and see which one you like the best. It took about 20 minutes to do my eyes, and it only took that long because today was my first try. Additionally, these colors are for dark skin, so I didn’t have to worry about my eyes looking ghostly.

Shadi also noticed that the shimmery colors can be used as a highlighter! While they aren’t blinding, they add a nice, subtle shine. I think it’s incredible when makeup can be used for multiple aspects of your beat. It makes you feel like the expense was truly worth it.

Another great thing about the Mented eyeshadow palette is that you can add as much spice to the look as you like. As I said, the palette consists of colors that can be used for work and play. (The above look is more of a night-out-on-the-town vibe.)

Here’s an example of something I’d rock to a job interview, or at a casual lunch with my mom:


For this daytime look, I used the same shadows as before, except for the crease. For that, I used Upside Brown (the color at the center of the palette). The major differences came from how much shadow I used, the darkness of the brow, and the choice to not wear foundation. Sometimes you just want to go for a “barely there” look.

However, I chose to hit the streets in my more extravagant nighttime glow. That’s just how I roll. It is hot as all expletives in Louisiana (plus, I’m pregnant so I sweat a bit more now), so there was the chance that my foundation could melt and make my eyes a smeared mess. Also, some eyeshadows have a tendency to crease. I have deep-set eyes and a problem I’ve had has been the case of the disappearing crease.

While testing the shadows, I rode around, braved a hot Chipotle parking lot for a bowl, and ran a grown-up errand. I felt myself sweating, but every time I checked my makeup, it still looked exactly the same as when it was first applied.

At the end of the day, the eyeshadow hadn’t moved a single centimeter.


Mom is absolutely pooped, but her face is still fleeky.

The removal was easy. I used oil and a wipe for sensitive skin and the shadow came right off. I didn’t have to do a lot of swiping, which rocked because being preggeroni and cheese has shown me how much arm strength makeup can require. As for dry patches and new zits, there were none.

Final thoughts:

Mented’s eyeshadow palette is a dream come true. It comes with a mirror that actually allows me to see my face, there aren’t colors that I feel uncomfortable using because it was created for people who look like me, and the application time is quick. The best part is affordability. I initially thought the palette would be $50 minimum, but it was $28! There’s a good amount of product as well, so I know I’ll get to keep it for a long time.

I recommend the Mented Cosmetics eyeshadow palette to any woman with melanin, even if you’re inexperienced as far as makeup goes. The palette isn’t intimidating, and you can truly have fun piecing together your beat.

For me, it’s important that Mented is around because there was a time when makeup was made for white women, but women of color and Black women made due with what was present. Now, there is a makeup company that caters to our needs. I’m excited to bring a daughter into this increasingly inclusive world.

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