Review: Merit ‘Minimalist Complexion Perfecting Stick’

Have you ever been shown an Instagram ad so compelling that you bought something you’ve never heard of before? Well, that’s why we’re here today. 😆

Several weeks ago, I passed over an Instagram ad for a clean, minimalist beauty company called Merit. She had never heard of them but the ad featured this really cool makeup bag that was free with her order, it was so cute and it was tied in a knot. (And now they’re giving away a “holiday” version with EVERY order!) All I really wanted was the bag, so I clicked through and was intrigued by the company and their products!

I bought this”Minimalist Complexion Perfecting Stick” and that lip oil (which I also love, but we’re not going to talk about that today). As soon as it came, I was converted! I shared it on Instagram and you were all just as intrigued, especially about this stick thing that’s “not foundation or concealer, but will replace both.” Naturally, you all asked for a review after I had a chance to give it a full test drive, so today, that’s what you’ll get!

Merit Beauty “The Minimalist” Complexion Perfecting Stick Review

(Well, if that’s not a mouthful)

First, who the heck is Merit Beauty?

I knew I loved what I read about the brand on the website and that it is a clean brand, meaning it meets EU requirements (and also qualifies under the “Clean at Sephora” standards). But I realized that I had never googled. them before the time I sat down to write this post, but this is just getting started, was Merit founded by Katherine Power!? Also known as co-founder of Who What Wear and also of Avaline, that “clean” wine company that launched Cameron Diaz? (No idea Katherine Power was its co-founder, haha!)

So damn, this company is even cooler than I thought!

Let’s move on to the stick review: first, a before and after so you can see the difference, but also how natural it still looks when applied.

Merit Complexion Stick: before and after

(These photos were lightened slightly so you could see better, but are otherwise unedited for more accurate representation! Zero makeup on the left, and just the merit stick applied on the right!)

What is it?

Okay, so yeah, it says it’s not foundation or concealer, but… is it? And it actually works like both, at least I I think she does it as someone who has a pretty minimal approach to makeup these days!

To give you a bit of background, I was a huge fan of Beautycounter’s SkinTwin Concealer and used it as my foundation most days (I mean, instead of foundation because COVID happened and my makeup routine was greatly curtailed). measure!) but they put a production stop due to a packaging issue (the applicator kept breaking!), so I needed to find something to help me in the meantime.

This stick came at the perfect time, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have considered ordering it. And I still have a bit of the BC concealer left, so I’ve been playing around with both to compare. I love both, and still use both!

I would say that Merit Stick is more matte, which is interesting, because matte products usually don’t go well with my skin because it’s already drier. But magically, I have no problem with this product! I make sure to apply moisturizer beforehand, so that may have a lot to do with it. But it does a great job of not setting fine lines or emphasizing dry areas of the skin.

(I also heard from a reader with oily skin that it works great on her skin too! So just an FYI for those with skin on the oilier side!)

How is the coverage? Does it stay all day?

I love the coverage it provides as it is so natural looking! And I would say that the coverage is easily buildable and blendable – you can go light with the first application and then you can build it up in certain areas as needed for true medium coverage. I like to blend it out with a foundation brush. You can see from the photos that it does a good job of evening out skin tone, brightening under the eyes and covering dark spots/areas that are a little red/uneven.

I don’t think this product can be full coverage. At other times in my life when I really needed full coverage, this would not have been enough for me.

In terms of longevity–this coverage STAYS. It wears very well and stays on all day. I feel like a lot of products wear off after several hours, but this has gotten me through LONGGG days.

Who is this product best for?

If you’re someone who wants light to medium coverage, doesn’t like to feel like they have makeup on their face, wants an all-in-one product (i.e., doesn’t want to have to use multiple products for concealer and foundation). ) and want a product that is pretty foolproof to apply – you’re going to love this product.

Also, someone who wants a “middle of the road” product as far as texture goes, it’s not “rocky” or “matte” but it’s also not hydrating and it’s also not drying. It is somehow the perfect “goldilocks” in the middle.

Also, if you are someone looking for products with minimal and clean ingredients, this brand is EU compliant (they have a LOT of strict regulations for ingredient safety in Europe vs. the US).

How do you apply it?

I like to apply it with a foundation brush. (Sadly the one I have is from Sephora and they don’t make it anymore! But Merit sells one that has rave reviews!) I bet you could also use a wet beauty blender or even blend with your fingers if you prefer.

What shade are you/how did you choose?

As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to foundation/concealer, I’m usually the second lightest shade, with neutral undertones. I had a color match once at Sephora (which I highly recommend!) and that’s what they told me, and it has never failed no matter what brand I use. (Knowing its undertones is really important!) So at Merit, that corresponding shade is called “Linen.” I am also “Linen” in my Beautycounter concealer. (Strange coincidence?!)

My only bone to pick:

Updated to add: I don’t know if this is just a “me” thing, but the packaging makes it very difficult to figure out which end is the cap to remove and which end is the swivel base. I accidentally took the base off before trying to remove the lid and it’s getting annoying! Minor thing, but I hope they can update this in the future. (I had to remind myself that the cap is at the end with the “T” and not the “M” 😂)

Bonus: It’s affordable!

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise about this product was the fact that it is so affordable – $38 for a product that pulls double duty is definitely a win in my opinion!

Where can I buy it?

You can buy directly from Merit’s website (which is what I would recommend for you to get the free makeup bag) or at Sephora.

Any other product you recommend?

I own and LOVE the lip oil in “Marrakech” – feels like a gloss but super hydrating. I am also very intrigued by your “blush” balm cheek color and may order you to try it out next!

That’s it! I hope this was helpful and that you like it as much as I do if you’re a minimal makeup girl!

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