Merit Beauty Solo Shadow Review

I’ll be super upfront; MERIT Beauty was a brand I didn’t want to like. It came along at a time when brands seemed to be popping up left and right, few standing out as different and it led with “clean”. Yet time after time, MERIT Beauty products impress me.

Their Clean Lash is a bomb mascara. Their Brow 1980 is an excellent brow gel. The Day Glow Highlighting Balm gives a gorgeous, wet shine.

I’m super grateful to receive products from MERIT to try and the latest was the new Solo Shadow and Brush No. 2. I chose the shade Brun, a cocoa brown, because I knew I could create a one shadow smokey eye with it.

MERIT Beauty Brush No. 2, $20, Solo Shadow in Brun, $24 Clean Lash Mascara, $26

Shade Range

Solo Shadow comes in 8 matte shades, mostly neutral. Viper and Nelson are the hardest to wear shades in the range. I would never recommend a grey all over shadow for anyone really.

If you want to use these as liners, Brun and Midnight would be great for that. If I were to get additional shades, I’d choose Midcentury and Social.


In looking at the ingredient list, this appears to be a vegan, waxed-based cream shadow with a good amount of silicone (dimethicone) for slip. The first ingredient is isodecane, and all you need to know there is that it provides a quick dry down and longer wear time.

I found Solo Shadow to indeed be quick drying and self setting. It doesn’t leave any sticky, tacky sensation on the lids, which I really appreciate. Because it does dry down fairly fast, you need to work quick, so don’t overthink it. Get the product on, distribute, slay.

Wearing MERIT Beauty Solo Shadow in Brun, Clean Lash Mascara
MERIT Beauty Brush No. 2, $20

Brush No. 2

This double-ended brush is made with synthetic vegan bristles. It is short, like that of a travel size brush. The domed end has bristles with enough flex to create a soft wash on the lid and use small circular motions to diffuse and blend out the edges.

I found Solo Shadow blended as well with fingers as it does this brush, but usually find that brushes offer a bit more control. Ideally, for the most effortless eye, you’d use a brush and fingers.

The smaller end is quite pointy so it works well for lining the eye or the lower lash line. I actually think this brush could work well for lip color. I’d use the small end to contour the lip with a brownish liner or lip color, then the larger end to blend and buff lip color into the lip.

Do I Recommend Merit Solo Shadow?

Though I’m not blown away and it has a small learning curve, I think once you get comfortable with it, you can create some wearable, flattering, everyday eye looks. Just please don’t buy the gray shade, ok?

If you want to grab a few MERIT bangers, I’d recommend a set. The Five Minute Morning one would be a great makeup refresh heading into Fall. If you decide to order from MERIT, all orders over $40 get free shipping.

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