I tried new clean beauty brand MERIT

There’s yet another new clean beauty line on the Sephora block called MERIT.

The brand was founded by serial entrepreneur Katherine Power, known for brands like Who What Wear, Versed, and Avaline. 

Power seems like the person everyone wants to be friends with. I’ve been particularly impressed with what she’s done with Versed and honestly don’t know how she’s banging these brands out, solid ones at that.

merit-beauty-products-laid-out

Currently sold in Sephora and on their own site, I predict MERIT will eventually be sold in Target due to Powers’ existing relationship with them. You heard it here first.

MERIT sent me several of their products to try, plus a bag that reminded of the knapsack Davey Crockett carries on a stick. It honestly made me laugh imagining it and I cannot take it seriously. Knapsack aside, let’s talk about the MERIT products themselves.

merit clean lash and lip oil

Merit Beauty Clean Lash

I’ve tried many “clean” mascaras. Most of them have 2 things in common: mediocre lashes and mega smudge/run factor and quickly.  I am happy to report that is not the case with MERIT Clean Lash.

MERIT Clean Lash stands up to life. It withstood workdays and the naps that followed. It defines lashes far better than most clean formulas I’ve tried.

close up of eyes wearing merit clean lash mascara

My lashes looked really good. They weren’t “false lash status” but still pretty great for the impressive wear time. It never smudged or flaked and that impressed me right off the bat. We need to be able to sweat, cry, put in eye drops. We are busy human beings. 

The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick

As the name states, this completion stick is meant to be a minimalist makeup solution. There are things I really like, and also dislike about this product.

FORMULA

When used as a concealer, or an eyelid primer, it creases very little, if at all, which is somewhat miraculous to find.

As a foundation, if you have visible pores, dry patches or texture, it certainly won’t hide it, so be sure to moisturize well prior to application.

It does contain silicone, which I love in complexion products, but it’s fairly low in the inky list. 

I find this doesn’t blend well with a damp beauty sponge so opt for a brush or fingers. I think I actually like fingers best.

PACKAGING

Here is where problems arise. While I love a stick format for easy application, the product inside detached from it’s casing after only 2 uses and can actually fall out if you aren’t careful. I’ve seen multiple other reviews that mention this same issue.

The casing itself doesn’t feel luxury, nor cheap, but it is plastic with a gold metal interior. I would like to see this packaging redesigned because the product inside is deserving of something better.

Flush Balm Cream Blush

The color Terracotta is a great non-pink cheek color for those who already have natural redness in their face. I like the other shades in the range as well, though I’d still like to see something more vibrant.

FORMULA

This is  a nice cream blush, not sticky and easy to apply and blend.

PACKAGING

Once again, the packaging is where things fall short. This feels especially plastic-y and cheap. The product is housed in a short, squatty little deodorant-like tube. It doesn’t appear to be functional, as in, it doesn’t twist up or down.

Brow 1980 Volumizing Eyebrow Pomade Gel

I’m going to sound like a broken record here but once again, I liked the product itself, not the packaging. This is definitely a reoccurring theme with MERIT.

FORMULA

I like the texture of the brow gel. It doesn’t dry down hard or crunchy, doesn’t feel sticky and defines the brows enough, but allows for building, without having to use restraint.

PACKAGING

I will forever be confused when I use this. Time and time again, I reach for this brow gel, assuming the longer end contains the product, when that is actually the handle. 

I want to be objective here ,so I suppose most people wouldn’t need a mascara size amount of brow gel, but have you seen my eyebrows?

I really wish it were flipped, with the smaller end being the handle as I think it would be easier to work with too, allowing you to get closer to the face. I feel like I’m going to go through this very quickly and wouldn’t be able to justify the price point.

I like the small cone-shaped brush. I find the thinner tip is nice for smaller areas of the brow and it deposits an appropriate amount of product.

Wearing all MERIT products. Lip Oil shade is ‘Cara Cara

Brush No. 1 Tapered Blending Brush

This is a versatile brush with vegan bristles, that is comfortable in the hand. I liked it for blending both the complexion stick and the cream blush, so it serves it’s purpose quite well. 

The density and length of the bristles is also great for applying and blending cream bronzer. 

No complaints here, just might be a little on the pricier side is all. 

Merit Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil

I love almost all lip oils and a tinted option just makes it even better.

I tried the Merit Lip Oil in Sangria, Cara Cara and Taupe, all flattering and easy to wear shades.

 It feels nice on, applies well and really the only downside, and this could also just be the fact that it’s an oil, it needs frequently reapplied. I don’t mind that, but if you do, I’d suggest lining and filing in with a lip liner first and dabbing this on top vs. swiping all over for a bit longer wear time.

However, I will say, that for 0.23 oz., $24 feels unnecessarily high. I’d also like to see an expanded shade range. If they were to do so, I think it would make a great bridal touch up product for my more natural anti-lipstick brides.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

The MERIT formulas are nice and with some packaging upgrades, I would solidly recommend the brand for makeup minimalists. 

MERIT makes one of the better “clean” mascaras on the market and the lip oil, though overpriced, is a nice product.

I liked the cream blush, but didn’t feel that it was anything special.

I liked the formula of the complexion stick, but the packaging really needs revisited because $38 products should not immediately break.

The brush is really nice, but this particular one isn’t a must have if you own a brush with a similar shape and density already.

Products provided for review purposes. No compensation received. Post contains affiliate links.

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