Hello! It has been..awhile since I’ve posted a full length review on here, but as usual, limited free time has kept me away from sitting down and writing long form reviews. However, if one thing can lure me back to my laptop on a non-work day is a very hyped brand that has also taken over my beauty vanity – Merit Beauty.
I’m sure you’ve all come across Merit Beauty by now – they have very effective and ubiquitous social media marketing and their relatively small edit of products are specifically designed for a minimal look. And even for a makeup lover like me, I find myself running shorter and shorter on time and can really appreciate a small edited routine.
I’ve tried a decent selection of products at this point – all purchased on my own – and can safely say that most of them have made it into my everyday routine. The only products I haven’t tried are the foundation, brow products, and mascara. I simply have too many foundations at the moment so I’m avoiding purchasing more until I use up some foundations. Same goes with mascaras and brow products. I also generally don’t tend to experiment with brow products, so they were less interesting for me. The stick foundation is definitely on my list to try at some point, though.
Products I’ll be talking about in this review are the: Day Glow highlighting balm, Flush Balm blush, Shade Slick lip oil, and Signature Lip lipstick, and Brush No. 1.
Day Glow Highlighting Balm ($30 for 0.7oz/5g)
The Day Glow Highlighting Balm is supposed to be a balmy highlighter with ultra fine shimmer to give a natural dewy glow. To me, this is ideal hybrid between a clear highlighter balm and a traditional cream highlighter stick. It maintains the light dewy texture of a balm while being ultra lightweight and having just a bit of shimmer for a really beautiful subtle sparkling look.
I find myself reaching for this often because it applies well right from the stick onto the skin without moving any product underneath, and blends with just a few taps. The formula would work well for any skintone, but if you have combination or oily skin and highlighters can be a bit tricky for you, this is really ideal. It gives a nice dew without looking shiny or oily, and the non-greasy formula also means it has pretty great lasting power. I can get almost a full 8 hours of wear even on humid days, which for a cream product for oily skin is pretty impressive.
This comes in 3 shades, and I have the shade Citrine, a soft gold shade.
Flush Balm Cheek Color ($28 for .31oz/9g)
The Flush Balms are creamy blush tints that give a really healthy subtle flush. They come in a really easy to apply little pot that I like to swipe straight onto my cheeks, and they are super blendable without just blending away into nothing. They have a lightweight formula with a sheer-light coverage tint so that even the deeper shades can be really user friendly.
Because of how creamy and blendable these products are, they are really hydrating – a plus if you have drier skin. However, for my combination skin type, I found these to fade quicker than other cream blush formulas that I’ve tried. It could be that the shade I have in this blush – Terracotta – is on the verge of being too light for me, but I found the hydrating nature of this to work against my combination leaning oily skin. I am certainly curious to see how the other shades will last for me, but if I’m honest, none of the 4 other shades *really* call to me.
I don’t think that there’s anything bad or faulty about this product – but given that the shades aren’t really my style and the creaminess of these makes them a little less versatile for me, this is the product that gets the least use out of my Merit collection. My hope is that they will release some deeper neutral shades to try in the future.
Shade Slick Lip Oil ($24 for .23oz/7 ml)
Shifting into lip product territory, the Shade Slicks were part of their original product launch and were one of the first products I saw really gain popularity in the beauty community. They aren’t like many other lip oils on the market where it’s a thick cushy oil (like the Clarins Lip Oils or the Dior Lip Glow Oil) that have minimal pigmentation, but they’re a thinner serum-like formula that have mid-level pigmentation. I also really love the glass packaging and the gold lid – it makes it feel luxe without feeling too delicate or heavy.
Generally the thinner serum lip products don’t really work for me as they feel greasy and sit on top of my lips, but that is not the case with the Shade Slicks. They’re thin as in they feel lightweight, but they don’t slide around all over my lips. The pigmentation of these is also just at the right level to cover any signs of flakiness and uneven pigment without looking too done up. It’s the type of product that you could still apply with a bare face and it wouldn’t look like you forgot to do the rest of your makeup. I also find these to be pretty moisturizing, though for me, they don’t replace a dedicated lip balm completely. Once the shine fades – after about the one hour mark for me – the color leaves a slight stain-like effect that sticks around for a little longer.
There are currently 8 shades and I have 2: Cara Cara, a soft red orange, and Taupe, a midtone camel brown shade. I apply Taupe in this Instagram reel, and Cara Cara in this one. I am definitely interested in trying more shades of this, but both of the shades I have get a lot of use in my regular makeup rotation. The lip oils don’t have any fragrance, which is a plus for me.
Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick ($26 for .1oz/3 g)
The Signature Lip lipsticks are hydrating lipsticks with a satin finish that come in a very manageable range of 8 shades. When these launched earlier this year, the packaging caught my eye right off the bat as it is attractive and elegant without being too clunky or over the top. The lipstick is also fragrance free, which I always appreciate
I’ll get right into it – these lipsticks are fantastic and of my favorite formulas I’ve tried in recent years. They are perfectly well rounded, in that they are hydrating and balmy but they still feel so lightweight I barely notice them on my lips beyond a light just-applied-lipbalm moisturizer sensation. They’re buildable and have enough pigment for an opaque look, and they’re capable of looking lived in in the most effortless way while still looking polished. Every time I wear these lipsticks, no matter what shade i wear, they blend beautifully and it’s like my lips are naturally tinted that color – which is also because each of the 8 shades truly are signature lip worthy.
The texture of these lipsticks is also a really soft, comfortable formula to apply. They have a balmy consistency that gives off just the right amount of pigment with each swipe. I have heard that some people had issues with these lipsticks breaking in the tube, and that has only happened with one of my lipsticks – Cabo. I have a feeling this happens when it’s exposed to warm weather, since for awhile during the summer, I was carrying it around in my daily bag. I find that the easiest way to prevent them from breaking it to only turn up a little bit of the bullet at once.
With this range, I own the shades:
- Baby – a beige pink, and one of the few beige pinks I can wear as it has just the right balance of beige, and isn’t too bright or too pale on me
- Cabo – a warm orange red, applied in this reel
- L’avenue – a brown with berry tones
- Slip – a midtown tan brown
- Tiger – a muted brick brown red – applied in this reel
Each of these shades is beautifully balanced in terms of shades, and hard to pin point as just one color. I actually don’t really have dupes of any of these shades in my own collection – everything is just a little bit off from what these shades are. Of these, I find that the shades I reach for the most are Slip and Tiger, though all 5 of these shades are in my regular rotation.
Lip swatches of all the shades:
I also have a recent Instagram reel showing application of all of these shades:
Brush No. 1 ($30)
This is a dense kabuki brush that has a slight taper. This was designed to work with the Complexion Stick, which I’ve tried once or twice with a sample of the product. It works well to blend out stick or cream complexion products, but my favorite Merit product to use this with is actually the Flush Balms. I find that the denseness of this brush helps to build up the pigment in what is otherwise a pretty sheer blush formula, and really blends out the product effortlessly.
While I don’t have the Complexion Stick, I did have a little sample of it. I didn’t get to use it enough to fully form thoughts for a review, but I was impressed with how easily it blended out on my skin, and really made my skin look like the best version of itself without being cakey. It doesn’t have a dry texture at all, but it also doesn’t have a very dewy finish, which means that it doesn’t slip and slide around my face. I currently have too many foundations in my collection, but I definitely do want to try out a full size at some point.
In this reel, I applied my sample of the Complexion Stick with the Brush as part of a full face routine using Merit:
I also have another reel from earlier in the summer where I used Merit Beauty products for a full face look.
Overall, I am really impressed with the products in the range, and I think most of them really do live up to their hype. The only product I wasn’t blown away by was the Flush Balms, which I think may be a little too dewy for my liking. The lipsticks are the standout product of the range for me with the Day Glow Highlighting Balm and the Shade Slick lip oils following closely after.
I find that the sets on Merit’s website are a great way to try a few of their products for a discounted price. I like buying from Merit directly if I’m getting more than one product because they often have gift with purchases. The website has a great lip set with their lipstick and shade slick, which are 2 of my favorite products from them.
I have yet to try the Bronze Balm, or the brow gel and mascara, but I’m definitely planning to at some point. As far as what I want to see from them next, I’d love to see a blotting powder or lip liner, as those are typically products that I also love to wear.
What have you tried from Merit, and what are your thoughts on them?
As always, thanks for reading.