Take it from a beauty editor who currently has roughly 1000 beauty products lining her apartment—it’s extremely exciting and, honestly, quite rare when a new makeup brand delivers onlyeverything you could ever want from a smartly put-together routine. It’s 2021, and we’re over deceptive marketing, ineffective formulas, and anything that can poison our bodies or the earth. Suffice to say, any new makeup brand that comes our way this year has to be exceptional—smart, durable, beautiful, clean, and strategically minimalist.
Enter Merit, the very first makeup brand that finally checks every single box formulaically while looking chic and esthetically refined in the process. To put it bluntly, Merit is the disruption the beauty space has been waiting for, and we have a hunch you’re going to love it just as much as we do.
As the CEO of Who What Wear, Versed, and now Merit, Katherine Power’s intention while conceptualizing the brand was deliberate and focused—Merit represents a scaled-back, minimalist approach to beauty, prioritizing “well-edited essentials that have earned a place on your vanity.” (You can read her informative letter about the brand and her mission here.)
“Beauty and self-care have reached a fever pitch, a saturated market with products coming out every few days, palettes with 50 colors when we only use two, and more and more additions to the list of what it takes to ‘look good,'” the brand outlines in a press release. “This year, we’ve reset. We learned we don’t need much. We’re accustomed to bare nails, natural hair, and days without makeup. We’re indulging in comfort and minimalism and brands that bring us more with less. Merit was created to reimagine luxury beauty by making it well edited, holistic, and accessible. We’re focused on responsible luxury, creating products that are safe for the body, skin, and planet.”
Here’s what you can expect from the lineup: a multitasking complexion stick that doubles as a foundation and/or concealer; a fluffy soft brush that makes seamless blending a piece of cake; a pigment-rich tinted lip oil that feels divinely smooth and buttery, a balmy blush sure to perk up your complexion via hydrating, easy-to-wear color; a volumizing brow pomade that delivers the perfect ratio of fluffiness, volume, and definition; a clean, beautifully sleek mascara that yields uncompromising lift, length, and flutter; and, last but not least, a fleshy highlighter that’s believably dewy, not disco-tech sparkly. What’s more, every formula is designed to be good for your body, skin, and the earth. Everything bearing Merit’s gilded name is EU compliant, dermatologist tested, facialist approved, vegan, cruelty-free, and void of parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, and more. Additionally, you can expect FSC-certified boxes and 100% recyclable shipment packaging.
We can’t wait for you to try our new sister makeup line for yourself, and to celebrate today’s launch, we’ve asked 13 Who What Wear editors to snap a pic of their customized five-minute Merit face. Below, you can see what the products look like in a variety of shades, and you can also shop each editor’s must-have hero product. (You better believe it was hard to choose just one!) Keep scrolling—we’re sharing all of our editor-approved Merit picks just ahead.