Merit Beauty Review: Luxury, Clean Minimalist Makeup

Merit Beauty - Minimalist Makeup Brand Review
Beauty essentials for the everyday minimalist

Flat lay of Merit Beauty products on a white marble table

Merit Beauty is like the grown up, more sophisticated version of Glossier. I’m sharing an honest Merit Beauty review, plus a quick five-minute makeup look featuring products from the luxury, clean brand.

Merit Beauty is a relatively newish minimalist beauty brand launched by Who What Wear co-founder Katherine Power. Merit is marketed as a minimalist beauty brand that is focused on “responsible luxury,” which they define as creating products that are safe for body, skin and planet. All products are vegan and cruelty-free.

I was first introduced to Merit Beauty by way of a Sephora Favorites Clean Makeup Set, which included the Flush Balm in the shade Cheeky. I decided to order via their direct to consumer website and ordered the Katherine Power Set, which included products for face and eyes.

Merit Beauty Review

A review of every Merit Beauty makeup and skincare product via The Beauty Minimalist
The Complete Merit Beauty Collection

Great Skin Instant Glow Serum 

Marketed as a bi-phase serum formulated with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, you can use this to prime and prep your skin for an instant glow. I have very sensitive skin so I was a little hesitant to try this (a 24-hour patch test first), but over the last few weeks it definitely helps my skin look healthy and hydrated. That said, there is room for improvement with the packaging. Using the pump method gets a little messy and may even waste some of the product. I’d prefer a dropper but otherwise, it’s a great product.

The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick

I was the most excited to try this seeing as I don’t currently own a foundation stick and have always worn liquid or cream foundations and tinted moisturizers. I ordered the lightest shade, Bone, which seems to be a perfect match for my fair complexion and cool undertone.

I totally get why they formulated a stick foundation (that apparently doubles for concealer) – a stick makes application a breeze and much less messy than a liquid formula. The coverage is light, but seems to be a buildable formula if you needed more coverage in certain areas. It took me no more than three minutes to apply and blend out the foundation with this stick. This stick is a must-have if you hate liquid formulas or want something easy to use on-the-go. I’ve been using The Minimalist for a year now and I love it!

Brush No.1 Blending Brush

I’m a sucker for the brushes brands peddle with their makeup products. A clear plastic bin next to my desks is a graveyard for the RMS blending brush, Rare Beauty foundation brush and so many others. The good news is this blending brush is the exception. The bristles are SO soft, I couldn’t believe how easy it was to blend the foundation stick. I use this to blend out the foundation stick; however, it also works great with other cream products including the blush and bronzer stick.

Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara

I didn’t have high expectations for this mascara; primarily because nothing has come close to Glossier Lash Slick but this is also a tubing mascara so I couldn’t rule it out. I think I may love this more than Lash Slick. Both work wonders with making my lashes look long but Merit’s wand is slightly thicker and helps add just the tiniest hint of volume as well so my lashes look bigger both in length and thickness.

Brow 1980 Volumizing Pomade

The formula feels very similar to Glossier Boy Brow except the brow spoolie is larger in size. I was able to get fluffy, natural looking tinted brows. The packaging looks more luxurious than most brow pomades so no real complaints here. One year later and this brow pomade has replaced Boy Brow for me, despite the higher price point.

Merit Minimalist Beauty Review
Great Skin Serum, Foundation Stick, Blending Brush, Brow Pomade, Mascara, and Flush Balm

Bronze Balm Sheer Sculpting Bronzer 

Last year I set out to find the perfect cream bronzer and while I sampled quite a few different brands, I’ve landed on Merit’s Bronze Balm because it’s honestly so easy to use and doesn’t look orange on my pale skin. It’s VERY beginner friendly thanks to a buildable formula and sheer finish. I have the shade Quince, which is best for fair skin tones.

Flush Balm

I have the shade Cheeky, which is described as a cool pink but pulls more berry on my complexion. I recently was able to sample the shade Beverly Hills, described as a soft peach and this actually pulls more pink on me and I’m obsessed with this shade. It’s very easy to blend with a brush and has this beautiful watercolor effect on the cheeks. My only complaint is that it doesn’t have staying power. It starts to fade within a couple of hours. It’s definitely a product you would need to keep with you for touch-ups if you want it to last all day. My Cloud Paint blushes definitely have longer staying power but in comparison, this cream blush is not as messy.

Day Glow Highlighting Balm

I have a love/hate relationship with highlighters. I want to look like a glazed donut without any glitter or sparkles. This highlighter stick is similar to its other formulas, sheer and lightweight in texture but definitely gives you more of a “wet look” for highlighter. I love that it’s not tacky and my best advice is to blot, not rub when blending. I have the shade Cava (champagne, ideal for fair skin tones) and apply this to the top of my cheekbones, cupid’s bow and bridge of nose.

Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick 

I’ve never been a huge lipstick wearer, most formulas feel heavy and the matte finish can really accentuate my dry lips. The good news is, Merit’s Signature Lip is not like other lipsticks! It feels like a tinted lip balm with a satin finish. I have the shades Millennial (classic pink) and Baby (neutral pink). Millennial is much more flattering on my skin tone compared to Baby, which pulls more brown than pink on me.

Shade Slick Vegan Tinted Lip Oil

I’m not a huge fan of tinted lip oils. While this feels comfortable on the lips, it did not have much staying power. I have the shade Pink Beet, which layers nicely on top of the lipstick but doesn’t add much else.

Overall, I am definitely impressed with most of the products in this collection. To sum it up, I highly recommend the Complexion Stick, Blending Brush, Bronze Balm and Signature Lip.

Merit Beauty Solo Shadow in shades Vachetta and Viper

New! Solo Shadow

Any makeup minimalist will tell you – ditch the eyeshadow palette and opt for a ‘one and done’ wash of color instead.

Solo Shadow is a cream to powder eyeshadow and available in eight shades (four neutral and four wearable colors). It has a sheer formula that melts into your eyelid and blends beautifully with a finger or brush. Merit launched Brush No. 2, a dual-ended brush that has a fluffy end for blending and a tapered side for more precise application. I have the shades Vachetta (warm beige) and Viper (warm green).

You can watch me demo a full face of Merit Beauty on my Instagram Reels here.

You can shop Merit products here (you’ll get the signature corduroy pouch with your first purchase) or on As an affiliate, I make a small commission when you shop through my links. If you do, thank you so much!


This post was originally published in January 2022 and updated as of August 2023.

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