These Are The Merit Beauty Products Actually Worth Buying

The abundance of startup beauty brands can prompt eye rolls among even the most diehard makeup and skin care devotees. The market has been flooded with seemingly near-identical emerging brands, making it hard to know what’s worth the investment and which are just really good at social media marketing. I’ve long been skeptical of many of these newcomers, and admit to even feeling overwhelmed by the range of choices that are available.

I am, however, always looking for simple makeup solutions that help to keep my routine pared down without sacrificing on quality. So when I first heard about Merit Beauty, my interest was instantly piqued. I was further intrigued when I found out that the brand is helmed by Katherine Power, who previously founded the skin care line Versed, the wine startup Avaline and Who What Wear, a fashion and lifestyle website and clothing brand. She’s highly regarded as a person with trustworthy judgment in the style and beauty realm and has impeccable taste. She consistently works with people who are at the top of their field, like celeb esthetician Biba de Sousa, further bolstering the brand’s credibility.

Merit is branded as a minimalist’s beauty line, providing shoppers with everything they need and nothing they don’t. It has only 10 products in its lineup — eight makeup staples, one blending brush and one skin-centric serum — presumably everything you need for a gorgeous, glowing face in just five minutes.

After trying out pretty much all of Merit’s products, I can officially say that I’m hooked. I use them daily and love how quickly and easily they give my skin a natural, flawless glow. The line gives you an effortlessly put-together appearance without feeling caked on, overly formal or greasy. Best of all, the reasonable price point makes it easy to stock up on my favorites, like the lip tint or cheek balm.

All of the products are formulated to be skin-forward, and are full of plant-based ingredients like antioxidants, squalane and vitamin B5. I was especially excited to try them out because they’ve also been designed to be safe for acne-prone, sensitive and reactive skin like mine. So not only are you getting lovely coverage from the makeup itself, but you’re nourishing the overall health of your skin as well. All of their products are vegan, cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny-certified as well as EU compliant and designated Clean at Sephora. Merit says it is also committed to eliminating as much virgin plastic as possible from its lineup of products and uses shipment packaging that is recyclable, reusable or biodegradable.

As a sweet touch, every first order ships with a chic corduroy makeup bag. I love to use mine as a handbag, and my partner is constantly swiping it for herself. Below, I’ve rounded out my five must-have products from Merit’s lineup. Buy them individually or save by bundling Merit’s bestselling products and getting everything you need in one go. You’ll be surprised at how much easier and quicker they’ll make your morning routine.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Merit Beauty

Merit Beauty The Minimalist perfecting complexion stick

Merit’s foundation stick is, in my opinion, the crown jewel of the collection. It glides on effortlessly, has a creamy consistency and gives you just the right amount of buildable coverage. It’s incredibly versatile, too. Some days I use it just as an under-eye concealer or to spot correct around my nose or to hide pimples, and when I want fuller coverage I use it as an all-over foundation. It leaves skin looking glowy, but not oily, has a dewy finish and, unlike many hydrating foundations, it actually lasts all day long. It’s available in 20 different shades, is safe for acne-prone skin like mine, conditions and moisturizes the skin and can even be used as a contour — just go three shades darker than your usual hue if that’s how you plan to use it.

Merit Beauty

Merit Beauty Flush balm

I’m a big blush person, so my standards are very high in general, but particularly for tint or balm-type formulas. I have extremely acne-prone skin, so creamy formulas can be quite dicey. But I’m pleased to report that Merit’s blush balm is a great option for anyone looking for that natural, lit-from-within glowy vibe that won’t clog pores. It is buildable, so you can keep it sheer or layer it on depending on your whim, and it hydrates and conditions the skin and looks good doing it. It has a lovely texture that isn’t sticky or smudgy and lasts all day long. It’s easy to blend with fingers or a brush and is available in five flattering, sweet shades. I use it nearly daily.

Merit Beauty

Merit Beauty Clean Lash lengthening mascara

If you love a natural lash, this is about to become your go-to mascara. Despite a lifetime of being obsessed with thick — dare we say clumpy — mascaras, I’m absolutely besotted with Merit’s lovely version. It’s the ideal everyday lash-enhancer: clean, natural and slick. It looks like your own lashes, but infinitely better. The brush gives a really nice fluttery, feathery effect and the formula itself gives lashes a really shiny, wet look that won’t smudge or look dried out even as the day wears on. Best of all, it’s easy to remove at the end of the day, so you don’t have to worry about going to town on your lashes when cleansing your face.

Merit Beauty

Merit Beauty Shade Slick tinted lip oil

Available in eight different sheer shades, this tinted lip oil is perfect for anyone who wants a lighter texture than a traditional lipstick. It gives you the same high-shine finish as a gloss but never feels sticky. It adds a hint of color to enhance your overall complexion, is buildable if you want a bit more drama and feels lightweight. It’s made with hydrating ingredients that nourish and strengthen the moisture barrier of your lips, so it’s good for you too. I love the Sangria and Pink Beet shades, but my partner lives in the Cara Cara and Au Naturel hues. It’s almost impossible to pick just one.

Merit Beauty

Merit Beauty Brow 1980 volumizing pomade

After years of using Glossier’s brow pomade, I’ve switched allegiances for good. Merit’s brow pomade comes in three hues that add color and structure to even the wimpiest of brows (like mine). They make brows fluffy and full, but never stiff or dry. The tube lasts longer than most other brow pomade’s I’ve tried and gives brows a very natural, yet robust, appearance. I never walk out the door without swiping it on first.

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