Merit Beauty

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Merit Beauty ⋆ Beautymone
Published by Simone de Vlaming on June 17, 2022

Merit Beauty gained public interest pretty quickly, and I think that’s because they’ve hopped on the minimalist makeup trend. Simple, glowy, and natural makeup are entirely trendy and probably here to stay, so Merit Beauty did an excellent job basing its brand around this.

On top of that, they’re a clean, vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainable brand that is more and more important to beauty customers nowadays. The brand sounds promising as it fits modern trends, but… are its products worth splurging on? I’ve tested the brand and found out if their products are hits or misses. Keep reading for all the details!

Top Picks

9.5
Merit Beauty

Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick

Hydrating, buildable lipstick with a soft satin finish. It’s lightweight, moisturizing, buildable, has a sheer satin finish, and soothes the lips.
9
Merit Beauty

Flush Balm Cheek Color

A cream tint that melts into skin for lit-from-within color that stays flush all day. It’s blendable, has a satin finish, and is lightweight and multi-useable.

Merit Beauty calls itself the antidote to the oversaturated world of beauty, and its goal is to deliver responsible luxury beauty items that are safe for us and the planet. At the time of this post, the brand has seven makeup products and one brush available on their site and at Sephora. But I expect them to add more products to their line in the future, which I’m already excited to see.

They’ve recently updated their packaging, which I think is a great step, the greyish packaging was sleek, but the new, gold packaging looks way more luxurious. I can see this brand being around for many years ahead of us!

Merit Beauty Product Overview

Merit Beauty contains all the staple products for a minimal, every day, and quick makeup look. I tested 4 of their products, which are the following:

  1. Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara – $26
  2. Flush Balm Cheek Color in the shades Cheeky and Raspberry Beret – $28 each
  3. Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil in the shade Marrakech – $24
  4. Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick in the shades Baby and Millenial – $26 each

As I already mentioned, Merit Beauty is a clean beauty brand, and all products are vegan and cruelty-free. They don’t use hormone or endocrine-disrupting ingredients; the products are EU and Clean at Sephora compliant. Moreover, they also partnered with Biba de Sousa, a longtime Hollywood-favorite esthetician who is famous for her no-list. They eliminated another 73 ingredients that are clean but potentially acne-triggering (like coconut oil).

On top of that, Merit Beauty aims to eliminate as much virgin plastic as possible from their products and operations, and their shipment packaging is recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable. You can buy Merit Beauty at their own website meritbeauty.com and Sephora.

Merit Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara

What Is It

It’s an every day, lengthening mascara that tints, lengthens, and lifts lashes with no smudging. It’s a tubing formula that is buildable and easy to remove.

Ingredients

The hero ingredients are Vitamin B5 (enhances shine) and Olive Oil Esters (conditioning).

Water, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Copolymer, Acrylates Copolymer, Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Oryza Sativa (rice) Bran Wax, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Stearyl Esters, Stearic Acid, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Acacia Senegal Gum, PVP (Polyvinylpyrrolidone), Tromethamine, Glycerin, Alcohol, Steareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Simethicone, Steareth-2, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ethyl Hexanediol, Sodium Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol.

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My Thoughts

I’m not a massive fan of this mascara, to be honest. It does tint the lashes, doesn’t smudge, and is buildable and easy to remove. But I don’t find it lengthening or lifting the lashes, and that’s what I’m looking for in a mascara. It’s not a bad mascara; I like how it performs overall, but it doesn’t give me the effect I want. However, if you’re into a very natural-looking mascara that tints your lashes and stays on all day, this is your new favorite mascara!

Merit Flush Balm Cheek Color

Merit Beauty recently changed their packaging of the Flush Balms, so they now have gold packaging. The grey version I have is the old packaging, but the formula is still the same.

What Is It

A cream tint that melts into skin for lit-from-within color that stays flush all day. It’s blendable, has a satin finish, and is lightweight and multi-useable.

Ingredients

The hero ingredients are Vitamin E (antioxidant, conditioning) and Octyldodecanol (smooth, even application).

The ingredients can be slightly different based on the color you pick, but I picked the ingredients list of the shade Raspberry Beret. Octyldodecanol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Hydrogenated Poly (C6-14 Olefin), Polyethylene, Silica, Diisostearyl Malate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Synthetic Wax, Sorbitan Isostearate, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax, Cire Microcrystalline), Tocopherol, Ethylene/Propylene Copolymer, Methicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, BHT, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77492/ 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 15850 (Red 7 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake)

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My Thoughts

Now, this makes me happy! I love cream blush, and this one is definitely one of the good ones. Let me give you a disclaimer upfront, this is more of a sheer, subtle-looking blush. You can definitely build it up in color-payoff but don’t expect Rare Beauty Liquid Blush pigment because that’s not going to happen. This is intended to be more subtle and designed for makeup minimalists.

I think it’s perfect for a quick, simple makeup look as you can quickly put this on your lips and/or eyes too. It has a satin finish, so it leaves a soft, healthy glow beside a soft flush of color which I really like.

It feels super lightweight, like I’m not wearing anything, and the flush of color feels like it’s naturally mine. I like this effect, and I also like the soft glow it gives. It’s just a very natural look and enhances your own features. I like to apply this with a brush instead of using it straight on the face. A brush will give the most pigment compared to your fingers or a sponge.

Merit Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil

What Is It

A slick of sheer color infused with rosehip oil and shea butter for healthy lips all day. It’s somewhere between a lip oil and a light stain, adds just a hint of color, is lightweight and moisturizing, and has a high-shine finish.

Ingredients

The hero ingredients are Shea Butter (softening and soothing) and Jojoba Oil (soothing, antioxidant).

The ingredients can be slightly different based on the color you pick, but I picked the ingredients list of the shade I own, Marrakech. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Ceresin, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Octyldodecanol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Ethylcellulose, Isostearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Dilinoleyl Alcohol, Nylon-12, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Citric Acid, CI 77491/77492/77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 73360 (Red 30 Lake)

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My Thoughts

I love that these are wearable for every skin tone and moisturizing, and the high-shine finish is stunning. On top of that, it feels like a lip balm and looks like a gloss, so happy hydrated lips with a pretty finish are what’s these lip oils doing. I genuinely love lip products like this! It’s not sticky, has a soft tint, gorgeous high shine, is super comfortable and hydrating – yup, it’s fantastic!

Merit Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick

What Is It

Hydrating, buildable lipstick with a soft satin finish. It’s lightweight, moisturizing, and buildable, has a sheer satin finish, and soothes the lips.

Ingredients

The hero ingredients are Squalane (moisturizing) and Vitamin C (anti-aging).

Just like the Lip Oils and Flush Balms, the ingredients can be slightly different based on the shade you pick, but I picked the ingredients list of the shade Baby. Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Isostearyl Isostearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Tribehenin, C10-18 Triglycerides, Polyethylene, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Helianthus Annuus Seed Cera [Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax], Copernicia Cerifera Cera [(Carnauba) Wax], Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Beta-Sitosterol, Squalene, Phenoxyethanol, Tropolone, Aroma (Flavor). May Contain (+/-): CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 15850 (Red 7 Lake), CI 15850 (Red 6)

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My Thoughts

Just like all the products, don’t expect these to be pigmented with one swipe because they’re not. However, you can quickly build them up for more color payoff, this is what I’ve done, and it works well. Even when building up the pigment, it will still be a very lightweight and moisturizing formula which is really lovely.

It’s not the most long-wearing lipstick I’ve ever tried, it’s actually fading pretty quickly (think about 1-1.5 hour max.), and even though I usually wouldn’t be happy with this, I don’t mind it this time.

Why? Because first of all, the shades Baby and Millenial are stunning. Baby is a “my lips but better” shade for me, and I’ve been obsessed with it since the moment I tried it for the first time. Moreover, the lipstick is very comfortable and looks flattering on the lips. I take the non-existing longevity for granted!

Final Verdict

Overall, I think Merit Beauty is a great brand! They’re focusing on minimalist makeup, the everyday type of beauty lovers, and making an impact on being as sustainable as possible. This brand is not going to be for everyone, and that’s completely fine.

I think it’s fantastic that they target such a specific type of makeup lover, really focusing on their wishes and the minimalistic, sustainable vibe. I love both sides of beauty, minimalistic and full glam, but what draws me to this brand is their clean beauty vision, the recyclable packaging, and still delivering luxury, high-quality products.

If you’re a full glam, bright colors, and/or lots of pigment type of person; this brand will not be for you. However, if you’re more of a quick makeup look, simple makeup, or the trendy ‘no makeup makeup’ type of person, this brand is worth checking out for you. I recommend trying the lipsticks and the flush balms as I reach for these two products the most.

FAQ

Merit is a clean, luxury beauty brand inspired by minimalism. Founded by Katherine Power in 2021, Merit was created to reimagine luxury beauty by making it clean, well-edited, and accessible — essentials that have earned a place on your vanity.

Merit Beauty launched direct-to-consumer on meritbeauty.com in January 2021, stores, and online at Sephora in February 2021.

Katherine Power is the founder and CEO of Who What Wear, Versed Skincare, and Merit.

Their products are made in the U.S., South Korea, and Italy. Their warehouse is located in Mississippi. 

Merit Beauty is based in Los Angeles, California, with teams operating on both the East and West Coasts.

Yes, Merit is a clean brand, meaning they use non-toxic ingredients, both natural and lab-created. While no regulated definition of “clean” beauty exists, they focus on safe and effective natural or synthetic ingredients.

In addition to adding good-for-you ingredients to every formula, they eliminated many potential irritants, like added artificial fragrance. They partnered with Biba de Sousa, a longtime Hollywood favorite aesthetician, on their complexion products. She is famous for her “no-list” — another 73 ingredients that are clean but potentially inflammation or acne-triggering (like coconut oil).

Their products are free of parabens, sulfates, and over 1300 additional ingredients.

While they do not add gluten, there is no active testing for gluten in their products.

No, Katherine Powder is a white American. However, the brand is inclusive and tries to create products for every skin type and color.

You can buy Merit Beauty at their own website meritbeauty.com and at Sephora.

Merit Beauty ships to Canada, the United States, Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. Merit Beauty doesn’t ship to the UK, Europe, or Australia. Neither are they available at any international retailers when writing this.

How we reviewed this article

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4 Comments

  1. Is the founder/owner of Merit not aware that their customer service is horrible!
    For that very reason I would not purchase from them. I’ve watched too many unsettling stories on Instagram and YouTube, especially from Wayne Goss. They don’t seem to care about satisfying their customers.

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