Over the years I’ve shared quite a few honest beauty brand reviews. I personally like reading reviews from individuals who have actually tried products AND are not being paid to post about them.
Two years ago the MERIT Beauty team reached out when they first came out with a few products. I’m not going to lie I was rubbed the wrong way when they asked for a whole list of demands in return for some free product. I chose to pass and continued on my clean beauty way (we all know I have way too many products already anyway!)
But last December a friend of mine insisted I try their cream blush. She said it was the best she had tried and so I picked some up at Sephora. WOW. I was truly impressed by how creamy it was and it lasted all day. From there I decided to explore more MERIT Makeup on my own terms without any demands for free work or free product.
So it goes without saying but this post is NOT sponsored. I purchased all of these with my own money and have spent the last few months trying out and writing down my MERIT beauty reviews. Full product reviews are below but first let’s dig into the brand.
What is MERIT Beauty?
MERIT Beauty was founded in early 2021 by entrepreneur Katherine Power (founder of the lifestyle site Who What Wear and Versed Skincare). The inspiration came from her sharing her “5 Minute Makeup Routine” and her minimalist makeup approach.
The idea caught on and by 2021 MERIT Beauty was sold in all Sephora stores across the US. They are now available in both Canada and the UK Sephoras as well as on their home site.
MERIT Makeup Ingredients
MERIT Beauty prides itself on its minimalist approach to both the makeup look and its ingredients.
All of their products are EU-compliant, free from over 1400 potentially unsafe ingredients. Certified by Leaping Bunny. They are also certified cruelty-free and vegan.
For this struggling with acne, all of their products are formulated in partnership with celebrity esthetician Biba de Sousa to be safe for acne-prone skin.
MERIT Beauty Products
At this point Merit Beauty primarily focuses on makeup products. They have recently come out with a skincare serum (which I have not tried yet) so I assume a larger foray into skincare is coming but as of right now here are their line of products:
- Flush Balm Cheek Color – their take on a cream blush
- The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick – their alternative to foundation and concealer
- Bronze Balm Sheer Bronzer – their cream bronzer
- Day Glow Highlighting Balm – a cream highlighting stick
- Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara – clean mascara
- Brow 1980 Volumizing Pomade – a tinted brow product
- Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil – their version of lip gloss
- Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick – a creamy lipstick
- Brush No. 1 Blending Brush – their blending brush
Below I’m reviewing each of these merit products in detail.
My Overall Review of MERIT Beauty
Overall I really really like MERIT products. Not all of them are my favorite (read each description below) but if you’re looking for a minimalist beauty brand with clean makeup products, I think you’ll really like MERIT beauty.
That being said, if you don’t like cream products this probably won’t be your brand. I also think they could benefit from a setting powder product but instead I usually just turn to another brand for that. I would definitely recommend some of the MERIT products if you’re in the market for trying out something new, but other than a couple of products I wouldn’t say everything is a smash hit.
MERIT Makeup Review
LOVE! I think this might be my favorite cream blush ever. It goes on smooth and has the perfect amount of pigment. I also love how small and portable it is. A great product to keep in your bag and use as a touch up for a little fresh flush.Buy Now!
Not my favorite. I found it moved A LOT and definitely not for anyone who has a lot of coloration or acne they're trying to cover. I also had a hard time finding the perfect shade for my skin tone. They have quite a few shades but it's not super nuanced so you might find yourself in between like I did.Buy Now!
Personally, not pigmented enough for me. I found I had to use a lot to get the effect I was looking for (Tower 28 has a better cream bronzer in my opinion!), I also found the packaging a little bulky. I was surprised given how much I liked their cream blush but if you like a very light bronzer, this might be the perfect one for you.Buy Now!
I really liked this highlighter though I'll admit it doesn't stand out as any better than some of my other favorite highlighters. That being said the price point is a bit more affordable than some other highlighter brands I love (looking at you Westman Atelier...)Buy Now!
Personally not a fan. I found it gave my brows a powdery look with not a whole lot of definition. I kind of looked like I had caterpillars on my face. I just wish this had more of a gelling effect and gave individual hairs more definition.Buy Now!
I thought MERIT's mascara was *pretty good*. Not my favorite but not a total flop either. It doesn't smudge or flake but I found I needed to use a lot to get the kind of effect I was looking for.Buy Now!
Beautiful! This reminds me a lot of the ILIA lip oil which I love. Would highly recommend for a solid lip gloss that isn't super sticky and you can keep in your purse for whenever you need it.Buy Now!
Also a great lip product! I don't love the packaging but as a product it lasts long and goes on super smooth. Another good option from MERIT beauty.Buy Now!
Surprisingly I found myself reaching for this brush a lot. I have quite a few brushes but for whatever reason I find this one to be very effective at blending everything in. It kind of eats up the bronzer but I do think that has more to do with the bronzer than the brush since I've used it with other cream bronzers. If you're in the market for a new blending brush I think you'll really like this one!Buy Now!