| Review | MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review

 MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches

| Review | MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review

I was immediately captured by the beauty and simplicity of this brand when it was first released. I saw a press article on the brand and knew I would be picking up products from them. From their aesthetic to packaging, to their overall brand vision, this minimalist brand just looked so chic and very model-off-duty. This has been a very trendy brand style lately with so many people pulling away from the full-on glam for the more sophisticated and understated look. I was kindly gifted the foundation and the highlighter by the brand but I purchased the rest of the products myself because I was so drawn to the brand. As always, all my thoughts are honest and written by me. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


FOUNDATION/CONCEALER 

The Merit Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick retails for $38.00 USD and is available at Sephora. This foundation is housed in a matte gray twist-up tube the twist-up end of the stick looks identical to the cap end, which can be a bit confusing. Just make sure you're pulling off the cap end and not the twist-up mechanism. The cap has the Merit logo on it, while the bottom has the name of the shade. Also, while I love the elegant and chic matte gray, it has that almost rubbery texture, which attracts all the dirt and other makeup. Overall, it is convenient packaging for on-the-go application and traveling. It is what I would want for my minimal makeup collection. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches

MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches

Shades 

This formula currently comes in 20 different shades, which is fairly expansive for a new brand. Shades range from really fair to quite deep, I think most people will find a match in this range but still hope they will continue to add more shades to ensure everyone can find their perfect shade match. The shades come in warm, cool, and neutral undertones. I prefer a neutral undertone but because there are a limited amount of shades, there are only so many neutral-toned medium shades to choose from. Based on their photos of the foundations swatched, I chose what I thought would be my most suitable shade. I will say that the image of the swatches is quite deceiving and I definitely ordered a shade that is a touch too dark for me at the moment. I would go off of the descriptions of the shades for a more accurate assessment of the shades. 

Buff - This shade is described as tan with neutral undertones. I would say that it leans a bit warmer than neutral. The shade is a bit deeper than my current skin tone, I think this would best suit someone NC35-40. I'm currently a bit lighter since I haven't been out in the sun much so, I'm probably closer to NC30 right now. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches
Buff Heavily Swatched and Blended Swatch

Formula 

This formula is designed to function as both your foundation and concealer. It is designed to be used for spot concealing and coverage and not necessarily used all over but you can. The tip of the complexion stick is small, which allows you to really get into smaller crevices of the face and pinpoint conceal imperfections. The tip is domed but I can see as you continue to use this product the shape will change. 

The formula is very pigmented and rich. The complexion stick can instantly cover darkness, redness, and imperfections. This product starts off at full coverage and can be blended out to sheer the look. The formula adheres well to the skin but still blends out beautifully. It has a very creamy and blendable formula that allows you to easily blend with your fingers or a brush. It glides across the skin and sits beautifully on top of the skin without sinking into lines. This is especially important when using this under the eyes. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


The finish is a very natural skin-like texture and finish. This finish should suit all skin types and wear really well on skin types. This formula really does emulate the skin's natural texture and blend into it quite seamlessly. If you have your perfect match, this complexion stick will look really natural and perfect your skin. This complexion stick will transfer if not set but it actually doesn't have a lot of movement throughout the day. I find that on my dry skin, I don't need to set it and it will last 6 to 8 hours. This depends on what I'm doing throughout the day, how much things are rubbing up on my face, and if I'm wearing a mask. 

Overall, I really like this complexion stick concept. This is one of the creamier stick foundation products I have come across and I really like that. The creamy and blendable formula makes it a joy to use and makes it very effortless. When it comes to a minimal complexion, I personally prefer a liquid concealer for perfecting my skin but it is harder to find a liquid concealer that looks natural, like the texture of the skin. The creamy texture of this formula looks much more natural on the skin than a liquid concealer and it's much easier to use on-the-go. This effortless formula is beautiful if you love a stick foundation or if you love a minimalist spot concealed base. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


CREAM BLUSH  

The Merit Flush Balm Cream Blush retails for $28.00 USD and is available at Sephora. This cream blush has an interesting and recently popular packaging. It is a domed cream blush placed into a short and stout little plastic base. Instead of cream blush that would normally be in a stick format, this is almost like a more compact version of a stick cream blush. It has a clear plastic screw-on cap that allows you to actually see the blush color, which is nice when you own quite a few of these. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches

MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


Shades 

There are currently only five shades in this cream blush range that would suit a wide range of skin tones. All the shades are very natural and flattering tones. 

Terracotta - This shade is a warm, yellow-toned light bronze shade with a fine golden shimmer throughout and a subtle rosy undertone. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches
Terracotta Heavily Swatched and Blended Swatch


Formula 

The first thing we should discuss is the format of these blushes. The domed shape looks very cool but as you use it more and more, that shape will significantly change and you won't get as much precision when applying directly from the tube. You will then have to use a brush or your finger to apply the blush. In general, you don't get a whole lot of precision because the dome is so large but the point of this range is that it is effortless so, you don't really need precision for application. 

You also don't need precision because the formula is so sheer. I would consider this formula to be more of a cheek tint because the pigment is incredibly sheer and it doesn't really build up very much. It offers a fresh hint of color and a glossy glow to the skin. The texture does look wet and glossy but it isn't greasy or sticky at all. I love the fresh and glossy finish that this blush offers; however, I'm also a huge fan of anything that will make my skin glossy. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches

MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


This formula is meant to be really sheer and look really natural on the skin. If you want more color from your blush, this will not be the formula for you. Also, because of the glossy and sheer texture, this formula is not designed to last a really long time. Depending on your skin type, you can get about 3-6 hours of wear out of this cream blush. It really depends on your skin, the climate you're in, your activity level that day, etc. 

Overall, this cream blush is a bit pricey and it doesn't deliver very much pigment or wear. I think it is beautiful but the formula isn't for everyone. I would consider picking up another shade but I'm on the fence because these are so sheer and a bit on the higher end. While effortless and pretty, I'm still trying to justify the price. I would recommend these though if you have dry skin or just love a glossy cheek. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


HIGHLIGHTER 

The Merit Day Glow Highlighting Balm retails for $30.00 USD and is available at Sephora. This highlighter is housed in a simple and chic cream-colored plastic twist-up tube. The packaging is designed to be more practical than for aesthetic purposes. It's a very travel-friendly format, which makes it great for touching up. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


Shades 

This formula is currently only available in two shades, pale yellow-toned gold and rose gold. I typically find these balmy highlighters do not vary widely in the way they look on the skin and so the shade selection is more about your preference than what will show up on your skin. These are more about the texture they leave on the skin than the color. 

Bounce - This shade appears in the tube to be brilliant rose gold with a strong bronze tone but really only the very fine silvery shimmer shows up on the skin. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches
Bounce Heavily Swatched

MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches
Bounce Heavily Swatched


Formula 

This extremely sheer balmy highlighter formula has gained a tone of popularity in the past couple of years. I'm not complaining because I love a glossy highlight. While this highlighter comes in two shades, I don't think it really matters which shade you choose because the base color doesn't show up on the skin at all. Rather, you should select the shade based on the tone of the reflects. The shade Bounce I have here seems to have cooler-toned reflects that is almost a bit silvery. This is the kind of formula that you can keep layering but it won't build any color but the shimmer will get a bit more apparent. 

The reflects also don't play a huge role in how this highlighter looks on the skin but it's more about the texture that it gives the skin. This is a glossy and wet highlighter that leaves the skin with a healthy glossy glow to the skin. What I love about this formula is that it is extremely thin and lightweight. Also, it doesn't have any stickiness or tackiness at all! In fact, it doesn't even feel wet like other balm highlighters, which would normally cause my hair to stick to my face. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


What I also love about this formula is that you can actually see the very fine shimmer on the skin, which I usually don't find to be the case with these balm highlighters because the shimmer is often so sparse. This formula actually has enough very fine shimmer that is visible on the skin but the shimmers don't emphasize texture or pores because of the glossy texture. The shimmers give the skin the look of glistening water in the sunlight. This is a very effortless formula that you can blindly swipe on and you don't really even need to blend the edges because it blends so seamlessly into the skin. 

Overall, while there are other highlighters like this one, there are few aspects of this one that makes it stand apart from the competition. The visible fine shimmer in this one actually gives a glistening look, unlike other balm highlighters. It really looks like water glistening in the sunlight, which is so stunning! This is a look I try to achieve by using a cream or powder highlighter under a balmy glossy highlighter; however, with this highlighter, I can achieve this look with one step! For the price, I really think this formula is beautiful and well worth purchasing! 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


EYEBROW GEL 

The Merit Brow 1980 Volumizing Eyebrow Pomade Gel retails for $24.00 USD and is available at Sephora. This brow gel has a beautifully luxurious reflective gold tube with a very small spoolie applicator. This is what drew me into this brow gel because I wanted a gel with a very small spoolie that would allow me to get precise and detailed with shaping my brows. This small spoolie picks up every single hair and separates the brow hairs nicely giving your brow more volume and texture. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


Shades 

This brow gel currently only comes in three shades and all the shades lean quite cool-toned. Typically the most flattering tone for brows is cool; however, those with reddish hair or reddish tones in your hair may want a warmer shade but that is currently unavailable in this range. I definitely think these shades will suit most people but I still think they need to add more shades. 

Brown - This shade is a cool medium brown shade that will suit hair colors, even those with light hair but just want their browns to be a touch deeper. 



Formula 

The tiny brush of this brow gel is the big reason why I purchased this brow gel. The small tapered cone-shaped spoolie allows you to pick up each hair and define it. It also allows you to properly shape and groom the hairs in the direction you want them in. This formula offers just a little bit of pigment to make the brows appear a bit fuller but doesn't deepen the brows significantly. It just offers a tint and when brushed across the skin, leaves a light shadow. I really like the way it naturally fills in the brows. It doesn't look like you have product in your brows but more like your brows are more shapely than they actually are. 

The gel is not a strong-hold gel. It is on the lighter side but does hold the hairs where you place them. If you're looking for something to glue your brows into a shape, this isn't for you but if you like a natural-hold, this is perfect. It just looks like your brows but better and that's the point of this formula! This gel gives you a very soft and natural definition with very little effort, which is my kind of brow product. I really don't like fussing over my brows every day and this gel makes my brows look polished very easily. 

Overall, I really enjoy this formula and in particular, the small spoolie. The small spoolie really helps you manipulate each hair and get the shape you want. It also helps brush through, thickening, and defining each hair. I love the way it offers a very soft and natural look with very minimal effort. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


LIP OIL 

The Merit Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil retails for $24.00 USD and is available at Sephora. This lip oil is housed in a chic and simple clear plastic rectangular tube with a reflective gold cap. The applicator is a small slightly angled doe-foot sponge applicator. It is the perfect small size that allows for precision application but still being large enough to pick up enough product to cover the lips. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


Shades 

This formula currently has only four shades that are all very wearable and span a range to suit a wide range of skin tones. The formula is very versatile that allows virtually all shades to work for just bout any skin tone. 

Au Natural - This shade is a soft warm nude shade with a hint of a blush tone. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches
Au Natural on Lips

MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches
Au Natural Heavily Swatched and Blended Swatch


Formula 

This formula really is slick, as described in the name. It glides effortlessly onto the lips and you can feel this slight slip when you press your lips together. The texture honestly feels AMAZING! I was truly shocked when I first applied it because I often don't like the texture of most lip oils. Most lip oils feel way too oily, almost greasy or they are too thick. This lip oil has the perfect slick, smooth, and plush texture that feels SO COMFORTABLE! It just is instantly hydrating and only after a few minutes, you can feel this formula smoothing out the texture of your lips! It really feels so creamy, luxurious, and delightful! This formula is incredibly nourishing! It feels more like a serum than an oil! 

The shade is semi-sheer but you actually get a surprising amount of color. It definitely gives my skin a very nice obvious tint that still looks extremely natural. The slight translucent texture of these lip oils makes them versatile for a wide range of skin tones because it doesn't drastically change your lip color. It just gives you a naturally enhanced lip color. It gives your lips this soft glossy look but it isn't a mirror-like shine. It actually looks just a little softer than a typical lip gloss. As it wears away, the gloss starts to go first and gets even softer. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


This light and slick texture won't last long on the lips but they aren't meant to. I would say it will last up to 1 hour or so if you don't eat or drink with it on. Realistically, I wear this for about 30 minutes before it starts fading because I am drinking water regularly. However, even when the color has worn off, the hydration and smoothing effect is still there. It feels so comfortable and very hydrating, which just what I want when I'm wearing a lip oil. I want nourishment over color and this formula really delivers that. 

I think this is BY FAR MY FAVORITE lip oil I have ever tried! I definitely want to pick up more shades and I hope they will continue to release more shades! 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


THE LOOK

Here is how everything looks on the face. Together without any other products, these products create a very natural, fresh, and polished look. It really is the bare minimum to just enhance the complexion and facial features but not overwhelm your face with makeup. I did use the complexion stick as a spot concealer and not as an all-over foundation, which is why you can still see my sun spots but you can get fuller coverage if you want. 


MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches

MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches

MERIT Beauty - Full Brand Review and Swatches


FINAL THOUGHTS 

If I had to choose my winners from the brand, I would have to say my very favorite product is the lip oil! The formula just feels so cushiony, smooth, and comfortable! The color looks very fresh on the lips and the formula smooths over lip lines. It really gives the lips a luscious look and it feels so hydrating! It is a lip color that lives in my handbag because it is so easy to blindly touch up and give my lips hydration throughout the day. My other top picks are the highlighter and the brow gel. The highlighter is unique because of the ratio of fine shimmer to gloss. It gives your cheeks a glistening effect that other glossy highlights don't. I think this formula is a standout from the brand and is one worth picking up. The brow gel is a lightweight gel that helps softly hold the hairs and adds just a light tint. I love this for a quick and polished look. Overall, I am very impressed with the brand and all its products! I highly recommend looking into this brand and I look forward to seeing more from them!


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