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I’ve been in a skin-forward era for quite a while now, so there aren’t too many makeup arrivals that are going to get me super excited any more. But Merit Beauty is one of them! Think of this as a kind of grown up ‘effortlessly pulled-together’ collection of multi-use base products, cream cheek formulas and tinted lip colours. I’ve tried a good few products since they became available in the UK earlier this year so it’s time to share my thoughts…
Let’s start with a pleasant surprise: the Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick* (Suede) | £40. This was not on my radar at all, to be honest. I had a little basket of items I knew I wanted and at £40, I guess I just felt I didn’t need to try a new complexion product when I’m already pretty happy in that department. However, this is one of the items I was actually sent and I’m so glad to have discovered it! This product is meant as a do-it-all complexion stick; it works as a concealer, it works for on-the-go touch-ups and it can even replace foundation if you prefer to spot-apply something where you need it. It comes in 20 shades that look to have a decent gradient from the models on the website (Suede is a pretty much perfect true match for me).
What really knocked my socks off about this product was the texture and the coverage it gives without creating a heavy feel. You simply swipe it onto the skin and you can get a completely opaque finish without any tugging or having to apply layers of product; it just glides straight on. It also gives a great level of coverage without being thick or heavy; it sorts out my noticeable dark circles whilst also looking like ‘no makeup’ makeup. I don’t know how they do it! But the fact it’s neither dewy nor matte and it doesn’t crease or wear off during my typical day also make it a winner for me. I mostly use it as a concealer over a light layer of tinted moisturiser but I do love the flexibility of this formula and will absolutely pick this up again if I get a decent amount of use out of it (and this caveat is only because of the price!)
Next, let’s talk about check products, which were right at the top of my Merit wish list! I decided to pick up the Day Glow Highlighting Balm in Citrine | £34 | because I used to love a golden peach highlight back in the days when I primarily used powder products but really hadn’t come across much on that market in this tone but with a cream formulation. This is truly a highlighting balm formula with a dewy, wet-look finish, so it’s probably not for the oily-skinned amongst us, but it does have good payoff and longevity on my dry complexion. It gives that super-luminous balm finish that melts effortlessly onto the skin, so it looks natural but catches the light beautifully.
I also have the Flush Balm Cheek Colour in Terracotta* | £32 | which is one of the few blush sticks I actually can just swipe on direct from the stick! This is also perfectly-named as it’s a light wash of colour that’s wearable and easy to apply. I apply it with a circular motion and blend out the edges with a brush or my fingertips to achieve a natural flush of colour. This applies evenly, it’s not too shiny or dewy and doesn’t go patchy during my typical work day. I really like this as a ‘true nude’ colour on me; it’s a kind of warm peachy tan colour that will be a blush-bronzer hybrid on those who are lighter than my complexion (though it might pull a bit orange if you have a pink undertone or you’re very pale) and it will work as a blush up to a few shades darker than me. If you have a deeper skin tone: check out some of the other shades (there are some really nice ones in the line!)
Finally for cheeks, we have the Bronze Balm Cream Bronzer in Seine | £.
The latest launch from the brand is a cream shadow, and I have their Solo Shadow in Vachetta* | £26. I really like this formula; it can work on its own for a natural makeup look, or it can be used as a base for powder shadows. It has really good longevity, even without using an eyeshadow primer and it glides on opaquely with either a brush or just using the fingers. Vachetta is a camel beige, which I really like as a 'true neutral' on my skin tone. It's nothing revolutionary, but it's a great basic. I also have the Brush No2 Eyeshadow Brush* | £22 | but honestly; it's not necessary to use this eyeshadow palette and I don't find it to be anything special in general. I like that it's a vegan brush that feels like it's natural-bristled, but it gets thick with product after about one use!
Finally, we have mascara and a lip product. Honestly, I have to give a bit of a lukewarm review to the Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara* | £28. It's fine; it's an ok mascara, but £28 is pricey and I have formulas I prefer that cost under £10. The fibre bristles make it look like this could give some volume, but it truly is just a lengthening mascara. It does work in that respect but my lashes just look a bit thin and underwhelming. Don't get me wrong; I'm not looking for a clumpy, super-volumising mascara, I just want a little oomph, which I don't think this provides. If you only want length and curl, this could work though, and I do like that it doesn't flake or transfer. Last - but not least - let's end it on a positive with the Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil in Taupe | £26. I love a lip oil; they provide a natural, low-maintenance option and a wash of colour that's going to be really nourishing and provide a glossy finish. I like how opaque this is; some lip oils add almost no tint at all but this has a decent level of pigment to it. It feels good, it looks good and I like this 'true neutral' beige nude colour for everyday. You can just throw it in your bag and it will work with any makeup look.
Honestly, my only negative here is the price-point, which is also why it took me a while to finally place an order. I personally think this brand needs to be about 20% cheaper or a little more forthcoming with the discount codes (which currently seem to be few and far between). The products are high-quality and user-friendly, I think the selection of shades is broad (I often find cream blushes, for example, are just numerous variations of pink!)
If you want to see my demo of the formulas, I'll pop the link to my Instagram Reel here as soon as it's live.
Have you tried Merit Beauty?