This article was originally published in October 2022 and has been updated since.
When Merit Beauty first hit UK shores in early 2023, it became a brand some makeup fans had yet to hear of – but quickly learnt to love.
I first discovered Merit on holiday in LA in March 2022. The brand’s minimalistic display stood out to me amongst the black and white Sephora branding and I immediately recognised its blusher from an interview with Sarah Jessica Parker’s makeup artist, Elaine Offers.
In an interview with Vogue, Offers revealed that she used Merit’s Flush Balm in Cheeky on the set of And Just Like That.
Being a sucker for any kind of MUA/celebrity endorsement I had of course committed this information to memory and immediately threw the Beverly Hills shade in my already over-flowing basket while State-side.
To say I left LA with a suitcase bursting at the seams full of CVS, Sephora and Ulta goodies is an understatement. I even squeezed some of that iconic Cheesecake Factory bread in there (who knew you could buy it at Ralph’s?).
With so much new makeup to test and try, it’s truly testament to Merit that my little Beverly Hills blusher became a staple in my daily routine for months post-trip.
Needless to say, when I spied a Merit email in my overcrowded inbox, my heart did a little ‘pitter patter, pitter patter’ when I read the brand was coming to the UK in February.
Merit is founded by Katherine Power, whose CV would leave anyone feeling insecure; founder of skincare brand Versed, founder of fashion brand Who What Wear and co-founder of Avaline wine with Cameron Diaz.
I mean, I did warn you.
Katherine came up for the idea of Merit after she posted an Instagram video of her 5-minute makeup routine. Turns out a lot of people (including myself) don’t fancy spending more time than that to make themselves presentable every day.
Not only is Merit refreshingly minimalist, but it’s also one of the few new brands that instead of targeting Gen Z, is coming for us long-forgotten millennials and older.
When I met the team to discuss the UK launch last year, they explained they noticed a gap in the market for this audience, with every new launch being either Gen Z or heavily trend focused.
From the jewellery inspired packaging to the minimalist approach, Merit is a brand that is not only visually appealing, but it’s product with purpose. This is the brand for you if you simply want great products and less back ache from lugging around a hefty makeup bag.
Want to read more about Merit? Eliza’s beauty editor shares her thoughts on what you actually need to pick up (and what you should hold fire on for now) in her own review.
The best Merit products
It’s time to add these must-haves to your wish list.
My first purchase from the brand and a decision I implore you to repeat. Flush Balm is a mini roller ball of cream blush goodness, which departs a natural glow that requires the laziest amount of finger blending.
Pick between my favourite shade Beverly Hills and Sarah Jessica’s Cheeky.
You may have spotted this baby going viral on TikTok. Not only is it the most beautifully designed piece in Merit’s collection, it’s also one of the most popular.
Designed to make bronzing easy with its unique oval applicator, this is the sister of Flush Balm in eight shades that will never make you look orange or grey.
Lip oils have been everywhere, and we have them to thank for our long-awaited return to the glossy side. Shade Slick is Merit’s version of a lip oil and it’s a much more elevated experience than your beloved glittery Y2K Juicy Tube.
The sheer nude shades have enough colour to allow you to forgo lipstick, and there are also some great bolder hues.