I Tested Every Fashion Girl’s Favorite Makeup Brand & These Are The Best Products

A minimalist’s dream.

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Merit beauty makeup
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Apparently, makeup is dead — well not really, but a quick scroll through the beauty side of TikTok and you’ll see that all the cool girls are leaning toward makeup looks that emulate not wearing makeup at all. The recent no-makeup makeup craze can probably be traced back to the launch of Glossier in 2014, but since then, tons of other brands, like MERIT, have gotten in on the hype. The trend isn’t just about products that look and feel natural; it’s also about ones that make life (specifically, your beauty routine) a whole lot easier. Multi-use products and those you can apply quickly with your hands have become pillars of the minimal makeup movement — and that’s proven no different with MERIT, the newbie brand shaking up clean beauty.

The self-proclaimed minimalist beauty company launched in January 2021 with a small, curated selection of makeup staples that, according to its website, have “earned a place on your vanity.” Merit quickly became one of the buzziest newcomers to the beauty game due to the no-fuss, high-quality ideology that sits at the forefront of its philosophy.

“When we were working on MERIT prior to the launch, it felt like a peak period in beauty — brands were launching new products every few weeks, skin care routines had 10 steps, and eyeshadow palettes had 50 shades when most of us only ever used one or two,” Aila Morin, Senior Vice President of Brand, Growth, and Innovation at MERIT tells TZR. “MERIT was created to be the antidote to that oversaturated world of beauty — well edited essentials that are curated, clean, and impossible to mess up.”

Eco-friendly production is a major priority for the brand, but Morin emphasizes that the overarching goal is to encourage more intentional purchases. “In 2020, most of us pared back our routines, keeping only the steps that actually made us feel good, not the work that many of our routines had turned into,” she says. “While sustainable sourcing and packaging are important for every single product, the backbone of sustainability in beauty is simply consuming less.”

As it stands, Merit Beauty’s lineup is still the seven products it originally launched with (although there are rumors of a new launch soon): The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick, Flush Balm Cheek Color, Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil, Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara, Day Glow Highlighting Balm, Brow 1980 Volumizing Pomade, and Brush No. 1 Blending Brush.

Wearing a full face of Merit BeautyCatherine Santino

Ahead, get the low down on which Merit Beauty products are worth adding to your makeup arsenal and which you should pass on.

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

The Standouts

What You Can Pass On

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