The abundance of new beauty brands can make the eyes roll even among the most die-hard devotees of makeup and skincare. The market has been flooded with seemingly almost identical emerging brands, making it hard to know which ones are worth investing in and which ones are really good at social media marketing. I have long been skeptical of many of these newcomers, and I admit to even being overwhelmed by the variety of options available.
However, I am always looking for simple makeup solutions that help me keep my routine pared down without sacrificing quality. So when I first heard about Merit Beauty, my interest was instantly piqued. I was further intrigued when I found out that the brand is run by Katherine Power, who previously founded skincare line Versed, wine startup Avaline, and Who What Wear, a fashion and lifestyle website and clothing brand. clothing. She is highly regarded as a person with reliable judgment in the realm of style and beauty and she has impeccable taste. She constantly works with people who are at the top of her field, such as celebrity esthetician Biba de Sousa, which further bolsters the brand’s credibility.
Merit is branded as a minimalist beauty line, providing shoppers with everything they need and nothing they don’t. She has just 10 products in her line—eight makeup staples, a smudger brush, and a skin-focused serum—presumably everything you need for a gorgeous, glowing face in just five minutes.
After trying almost all of Merit’s products, I can officially say that I am hooked. I use them daily and love how quickly and easily they give my skin a flawless, natural glow. The line gives you an easy-to-wear look without feeling weighed down, overly formal or greasy. Best of all, the reasonable price makes it easy to stock up on my favorites, like lip tint or cheek balm.
All products are formulated to be skin-friendly and packed with plant-based ingredients like antioxidants, squalane, and vitamin B5. I was especially excited to try these out because they have also been designed to be safe for reactive, sensitive, and acne-prone skin like mine. So not only do you get beautiful coverage from the makeup itself, but you also nourish the overall health of your skin. All of their products are vegan, cruelty-free, and Leaping Bunny certified, as well as EU-compliant and designated Clean at Sephora. Merit says it is also committed to removing as much virgin plastic from its product line as possible and uses shipping packaging that is recyclable, reusable or biodegradable.
As a sweet touch, every first order ships with a stylish corduroy makeup bag. I love using mine as a tote bag, and my partner constantly steals it. Below, I’ve rounded up my five must-have products from the Merit line. Buy individually or save by bundling Merit’s best-selling products and get everything you need in one go. You will be amazed at how much easier and faster they will make your morning routine.
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beauty to merit
Merit Beauty The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Bar
Merit’s foundation stick is, in my opinion, the crown jewel of the collection. It glides on effortlessly, has a creamy consistency, and gives you just the right amount of buildable coverage. It’s also incredibly versatile. Some days I use it alone as an under eye concealer or to correct blemishes around my nose or to hide blackheads, and when I want fuller coverage I use it as a full foundation. It leaves skin looking radiant, yet not greasy, has a dewy finish, and unlike many hydrating foundations, actually lasts all day. It’s available in 20 different shades, it’s safe for acne-prone skin like mine, it conditions and hydrates the skin, and it can even be used as a contour—it’s only three shades darker than your usual shade if that’s how you plan to wear it.
beauty to merit
Merit Beauty Flush Balm
I am a big blush person, so my standards are very high in general, but particularly for tint or balm type formulas. I have extremely acne-prone skin, so creamy formulas can be quite dangerous. But I’m happy to report that Merit’s blush balm is a great option for anyone looking for that natural, lit-from-within vibrance that doesn’t clog pores. It’s buildable, so you can keep it sheer or layer it at your whim, and it hydrates and conditions skin and looks good doing it. It has a lovely texture that is not sticky or smudge-proof and lasts all day. It’s easy to blend with your fingers or a brush and is available in five sweet, flattering shades. I use it almost daily.
beauty to merit
Merit Beauty Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara
If you love natural lashes, this will become your favorite mascara. Despite a lifetime of being obsessed with thick—dare we say lumpy—masks, I am absolutely smitten with Merit’s charming take. Ella is the ideal everyday lash enhancer: clean, natural and slick. He looks just like your own lashes, only infinitely better. The brush gives a very nice soft and fluttering effect and the formula itself gives the lashes a really shiny dewy look that doesn’t smudge or look dry even as the day progresses. Best of all, it’s easy to remove at the end of the day, so you don’t have to worry about hurting your lashes when you cleanse your face.
beauty to merit
Merit Beauty Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil
Available in eight different translucent shades, this tinted lip oil is perfect for anyone who wants a lighter texture than a traditional lipstick. It gives you the same high-shine finish as a gloss, but it never feels sticky. Adds a pop of color to enhance your overall complexion, buildable if you want a little more drama and feel lightweight. It’s made with hydrating ingredients that nourish and strengthen your lips’ moisture barrier, so it’s good for you, too. I love the Sangria and Pink Beet shades, but my partner prefers the Cara Cara and Au Naturel shades. It is almost impossible to choose just one.
beauty to merit
Merit Beauty Brow 1980 Volumizing Pomade
After years of using Glossier’s brow pomade, I’ve changed allegiances forever. Merit’s brow pomade comes in three shades that add color and structure to even the weakest brows (like mine). They make brows look fluffy and full, but never stiff or dry. The tube lasts longer than most other brow pomades I’ve tried and gives brows a very natural yet robust look. I never walk out the door without passing it on first.