In the Before Times, my makeup routine could be described as “minimal at best.” Before heading to work (or anywhere, for that matter), I’d dab on a touch of concealer, a wash of bronzer, two coats of mascara, and a pinky-nude lipstick — and call it a day. Now, though, after almost a full year of working from home, the thought of swiping on anything — even a product as innocuous as a tinted lip balm — falls on the same exertion level as mopping my kitchen floor. (Read: Sadly, not fun.) But then I met Merit — and I was transported back to pre-COVID times, when wearing makeup was enjoyable.
Merit is a new luxury clean beauty brand inspired by minimalism and created by Katherine Power, the mastermind behind two of Target’s biggest style and beauty brands, Who What Wear and Versed Skincare. Made up of seven “impossible-to-mess-up products,” according to Power, Merit was designed for those, like me, who aren’t big on makeup but sometimes want a little extra oomph every now and then with their everyday look.
“I felt compelled to create a brand that would reimagine luxury beauty for modern consumers like myself, by making it cleaner, well-edited, and accessible,” Power tells Allure. “Merit is the antidote to the overwhelming, saturated world of beauty with too many steps and 50 shadow pallets being dropped every week. It’s built around the concept of minimalist beauty, and the fact that we just want to look like ourselves, but better.”
As of today’s launch, Merit is made up of six makeup products for eyes, lips, and cheeks, as well as one application brush. Each product is vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated to meet the European Union’s standards of clean beauty. As for its packaging, Merit comes housed in sleek gray, black, and clear tubes and pots with gold accents for a luxe effect, while its outer packaging is made of blue-hued, post-consumer recycled boxes. First-time orders come with, perhaps my favorite touch, a chic brown makeup bag, which I may or may not have tied up and used as a purse during my last grocery store run.