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Merit Beauty Review: My favorite minimalist makeup

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For the last year or so, I’ve been served ads on Instagram for MERIT Beauty and even went so far as to put items in my cart. But, since I get a lot of makeup sent to me for free or at a major discount given my job as a full-time fashion & beauty influencer, it’s really hard for me to justify paying full-price for new makeup. (Except lipsticks and mascara – I’ll drop some change on those!)

So when my brand manager reached out a month ago and asked if I’d be interested in trying MERIT Beauty, I pretty much screamed YES. MERIT kindly sent me a very generous collection of products and now that I’ve tried them, I can confirm that it is truly a 5-minute makeup routine and easier to apply than any other brand of makeup I’ve used. So, would I spend my own money on this? 100000%. I had to write a full Merit Beauty Review on my blog (vs. only talking about it on Instagram) since I feel that strongly about their products.

One of the FAQs on their website explains minimalist makeup but I also completely agree with how they described their brand. I bolded the words that I especially agree with!

“MERIT is the antidote to the overwhelming, saturated world of beauty with too many steps and 50 shadow palettes. We simplify what it means to get ready by creating well-edited essentials that help you do more with less. All of our products are designed to be buildable, easy to use, and impossible to mess up, so you can look like you but better. We also curate our collections to give you only the products and shades you need, making it easy for you to get ready in five minutes or less.”

Merit Beauty Review

Merit Beauty gives a very natural no-makeup look so it’s not what I’ll go for when I need to take work photos or have a family photo shoot. But for everyday life when I just want to feel polished for running errands or even just hanging out at the house? It’s my go-to. And the timing of receiving their products couldn’t be more perfect with a newborn coming any day now.

I have dry, mature skin (I’m turning 40 this year) so I especially appreciate how hydrating and blendable the products are. These are the products I own, what I like about them and the shades I have.

One thing to note is that MERIT Beauty doesn’t list their full ingredients list online (you can see the full lists for MERIT at Sephora), but from what I’ve read on other sites, they include lots of natural hydrating ingredients like avocado oil, sea daffodil extract, quinoa seed oil and others.

Here’s a quick little before and after before I get into each product. So light and natural, right?

Here’s what I’m wearing in the photo above!

Great Skin Instant Glow Serum

It’s hard for me to explain what the Great Skin Instant Glow Serum even does but I love it. I wasn’t expecting to see that much of a difference in my skin’s appearance since it’s a very thin liquid (like a toner) and not a foundation or tinted moisturizer, but my skin definitely smoother and glowy after I use it. The design of this product is to prep your skin for the rest of your makeup look, but you could wear it on its own as well.

The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick

Other complexion sticks that I’ve tried in the past have been dry, didn’t blend well and left my skin looking parched. The MERIT Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick does none of those things. It provides lightweight coverage like a foundation but also works well as a concealer around my nose and under my eyes. It blends easily with a firm brush and my skin looks great. I have heard that it doesn’t apply as well without the glow serum, but I haven’t tried that myself.

It lets my own skin shine and it’s so fast to use. I have a lot of foundations and tinted moisturizers I love, but I’ve been using this exclusively since I got it! I have shade Dune.

Solo Shadow Matte Eye Color

I’m not great at applying eye shadow and do tend to favor cream shadow since it seems to be a bit more forgiving. The Solo Shadow Matte Eye Color is a bit different from other cream shadows I’ve tried since it is truly matte. That takes a little get used to for me, and I have to blend a bit more, but I do like the way it applies. I have shade Studio but I’m not sure it’s the best color for my skin tone. Of everything I tried, this is my least favorite, but I think it’s more that I didn’t choose the best color for my skin tone.

Flush Balm Cheek Color

I love love love this Flush Balm Cheek Color cream blush. Also, I love the packaging, I love how creamy it is, and I love how easily it blends in. I have multiple other cream blushes and this is my #1 pick now because of the blendability. So, I have shade Cheeky and it’s the perfect color for me.

Brow 1980 Volumizing Pomade

When I wrote my Best of Beauty Awards blog post, I didn’t have a brow gel that I thought was perfect. I liked aspects of the brow gels I had but also had complaints. Well ladies, I have found the perfect brow gel and it’s the Brow 1980 Volumizing Pomade from MERIT Beauty.

It provides volume without the brows looking huge and unruly; I know that big brows are a trend but sometimes brow gels overdo it. It doesn’t drop too much pigment and the formula isn’t too wet or too dry. Also, it provides volume and color without requiring clean-up with a q-tip. I have shade Brown.

Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick

I have dozens of lipsticks and like them all for different reasons. And previously if I could have only picked one lipstick, I would have said the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipstick. It’s a gorgeous shade, hydrating and long lasting and it’s what I always wear for photoshoots and family photos. But the Merit Signature Lip is even better. It’s more hydrating and makes my lips look plumper. It’s truly the perfect lipstick and I’m definitely ordering more shades. I currently have shade Millennial.

Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil

I have only tried one other lip oil so I don’t have a huge sample size to compare to but I do like this Shade Slick Tinted Lip oil better than the other one, which seemed to bleed at the edges. Also, I prefer this over lipgloss, which lends itself to stickiness, while this is hydrating and shiny but not as sticky. I have shade Pink Beet.

Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara

This is one product I haven’t tried yet but I’m going to order it. I didn’t realize that Merit Beauty’s mascara was a tubing mascara and like I shared in this blog post about the best tubing mascaras, it’s the only type of mascara I can wear. Given how much I love all their other products, I’m fully expecting to love this but I am rather picky about mascaras. So, I will update this post with details once I get my hands on it!

For now, these are my favorite MERIT products. I’ll be sure to update this post as I try the rest of their products, so keep an eye out!

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