We Tried Everything From Merit, the New Clean Beauty Brand at Sephora


As consumers become increasingly mindful of what’s in their makeup bags, new clean brands pop up on the regular—and we knew a Merit Beauty review was in order as soon as we laid eyes on the sleek packaging and dreamy campaign imagery. The “clean, luxury beauty brand” makes products that are undeniably photogenic, so we had to put the formulas to the test to see if they measure up to the aesthetics. 

Our makeup routines have been pared down significantly over the past year, so we were intrigued by Merit’s less-is-more brand positioning and promise of a five-minute makeup routine. While skin care may be the north star of our beauty regimens right now, quarantine has proven that staying at home 24/7 doesn’t mean unlimited beauty rest. We still lean on reliable makeup products to brighten up our dark circles and help our faces come alive on daily Zooms (even when we’re guilty of doom-scrolling into the wee hours of the morning). 

Merit’s seven-piece collection just launched at Clean at Sephora (which focuses on products free of parabens, sulfates SLS and SLES, phthalates, mineral oils, formaldehyde, and more), and includes an everyday complexion stick, creamy cheek tint, tinted lip oil, brow pomade, highlighting balm, mascara, and blending blush. It certainly encapsulates what the average minimalist beauty routine might look like right now, so we got six Glamour staffers to test a handful of products for an honest Merit Beauty review. 

Ahead, our thoughts on the new clean brand on the block—plus selfies to show our final result. Get the tea below.

Brionna Jimerson, social media manager

This minimalist makeup definitely focuses more on accentuating the wearer’s natural beauty. The foundation stick is the hero product in my opinion: It’s great for allover lightweight coverage, or just dabbing over dark spots and under the eyes. The mascara, I’ll admit, shocked me. I’m used to major “blam!” Bambi-style lashes but was pleasantly surprised by the demure glam moment it delivered. If you’re not a fan of over-the-top beauty products and just want to look (and feel) like a dewier version of yourself, you’ll love this brand. 

What I loved the most was the cheek tint, which doubles as a lip tint in a pinch. I even added a wash of it over my eyelids! It didn’t crease or leave a greasy feel, which is more than I can say for a lot of products. If you want a subtle “butter wouldn’t melt” beauty look that makes you feel cute AF, you’ll find everything you want (and more) in Merit. The concealer range has room for expansion, but I think this shade captured my deep skin pretty well, and it was very workable. No weird gray or red undertones. Definitely good for a Zoom beat, and I imagine in spring and summer I’ll reach for these products again when it’s too hot to think about makeup. My only regret? Not nabbing the lip gloss!

Minimalist Foundation and Concealer Stick in Tiger Eye

Flush Balm in Raspberry Beret

Brow 1980 Volumizing Pomade Gel in Soft Black

Talia Abbas, commerce writer


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