COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – It’s a problem many people of color face: finding a shade of makeup that is deep enough or pigmented enough for their skin tone.

KJ Miller, CEO of Mented Cosmetics and a Gahanna native, co-founded a makeup line to fix that problem.

“It really started with this idea and belief that everyone should be able to find themselves in the world of beauty and no one should be treated like an afterthought,” Miller said. “We started the company because we couldn’t find makeup that worked for our skin tone. Two deeper-skinned Black women.”

Miller and her classmate from Harvard Business School, Amanda Johnson, experienced what so many women of color face first-hand – the lack of depth and diversity in the multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry.

“It was hard for us to find foundation, lipsticks, blushes,” Miller said.  

Out of that struggle, the company was born in 2017.

“We started with nude lipsticks because we felt like nude lipsticks were a holy grail product that everyone should be able to find, but for us, we just couldn’t find,” Miller said. “Since then, we’ve expanded to every major colors cosmetics category.”