Milabu Rating

  • Overall
    (3.8)

Price Category: Pro-Grade

  • $38.00 Retail

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Pros

  • Great for on-the-go touch-ups
  • Light to medium coverage
  • Lightweight feel on skin
  • Creamy texture is easy to blend/buff into skin
  • Doesn’t look cakey or heavy
  • Natural skin-like finish
  • Long wearing for a cream foundation (4-6 hours)

Cons

  • Small amount of product for price
  • Not an all-day wear
  • Minimal shade range (only 20 shades)
  • Doesn’t build as well as claimed
  • Can accentuate texture/dry spots
  • Can look patchy

Overview

A concealer and foundation in one, MERIT Beauty Minimalist Complexion Stick provides natural, light to medium coverage.

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MERIT Beauty ‘The Minimalist’ Complexion Stick has many uses.

Founded by Katherine Power in 2021, MERIT has branded themselves as “a clean, luxury brand inspired by minimalism.” Power’s goal with MERIT was to take a clean, accessible approach to luxury beauty. Not only do the products look beautiful sitting atop your vanity, but they are also full of beautiful ingredients. “Responsible luxury” is what MERIT calls their approach, with all products being vegan, cruelty free, Leaping Bunny certified, EU-compliant, and Clean at Sephora. In addition, the brand has partnered with celebrity aesthetician Biba de Sousa, who is famous for her “no-list,” which bans another 73 clean, but potentially acne-triggering ingredients (like coconut oil).

I’ve tried a few MERIT products already and do enjoy them. I finally got my hands on the revamped Minimalist Complexion Stick. With all the buzz around this product, I had high hopes for this one. But, would it live up to the hype?

Promises vs. Performance: Is it a concealer, a foundation, or more?

According to MERIT, The Minimalist is “not a foundation or concealer, but it will replace both in your makeup bag.” The multi-use complexion stick provides breathable light to medium coverage as a foundation or concealer. In typical MERIT fashion, the formula is infused with skincare benefits and is formulated without acne-triggering ingredients. Additions like fatty acids conditions and lock in moisture while sea daffodil extract helps diminish the appearance of pigmentation and dark spots. Plus, it can be used as a contour. For the perfect contour shade, MERIT recommends choosing a shade three shades deeper than your base.

MERIT Beauty recommends applying The Minimalist Complexion Stick with a brush to allow the product to buff and melt into skin. Of course, I picked up my trusty Bobbi Brown Face Brush ($54) to get the job done because this brush never lets me down. The creamy texture blended out easily, providing a solid light coverage. I will say, this cream foundation doesn’t immediately look like its one with the skin. It does take a bit to melt in and really give that skin-like finish. When blending, it can look patchy, but swiping a bit more product on will help eliminate any patches. I do find it is a buildable formula without becoming cakey or heavy looking.

How does it wear?

For me, most cream face bases look better as you wear them and this one is no different. Once my natural oils start to mix with the formula, it starts to melt into the skin for that skin-like finish MERIT promises. The formula is breathable and doesn’t contribute to any excess oiliness (at least on my combo skin type). I wouldn’t call this an all-day, long wear product, but it does wear with minimal need for touch-ups, settling, fading, or creasing for around 5 hours. I’m sure a gripping primer plus setting powder and spray combo would help extend the longevity, too.

Quick Rating Rundown

This Product

(3.8)

:Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation Stick

Price: $38.00

0.22 oz

Value

(3.9)

Application

(4.3)

Coverage (medium)

(4)

Texture (natural)

(3.9)

Longevity

(3.5)

Shade Range

(3)

Extra Benefits

(4.1)

BEST CREAM/STICK

(4.1)

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Application

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Coverage (medium)

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Texture (natural)

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Longevity

(4.4)

Shade Range

(3.3)

Extra Benefits

(4.7)

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Texture (natural)

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Longevity

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Shade Range

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Extra Benefits

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Our Rating Criteria

How It Compares: The amount of product for the price just doesn’t add up.

I do want to say I am going to keep playing with the MERIT Minimalist Complexion Stick and try it out as a concealer and even pick up a contour shade (personally, I think it will be a stunning contour formula!). There are some things I love about this cream foundation and some things I don’t love as much. Starting with the good, I love that it is more naturally formulated for sensitive, acne-prone skin. I also appreciate that MERIT did double the amount of product in the tube (it now has 1.7x more product). However, I do also have some gripes with the amount of product for the price. The Minimalist is only 6.5g/0.23 oz of product, whereas other cream stick foundations, like Lancome and Huda Beauty, have over 9g for the same price. For this reason, I can’t fully recommend The Minimalist as the best cream face base. There are so many other stellar products that outperform this one, and are more cost effective.

Speaking of the best cream foundation, I personally think Lancome Teint Idole Stick (rated **** 4.2) is an industry standard. An oldie but a goodie, this foundation stick still has an A+ performance. It seamlessly blends into skin, providing medium to full coverage with a natural matte finish. What I love most about this Lancome foundation is its skin-like finish. Even though it’s fuller coverage, it doesn’t look dry or cakey (as long as skin is prepped well!). On my skin, it lasts a solid 6 hours which I’m happy about for a cream foundation.

Looking for something else?

Maybe you’ve discovered cream foundations aren’t for you… In that case, head on over to our MILABU PICKS article, The 12 Best Foundations You Need To Try(rated **** 4.0+). We’ve included our favorites from most long wearing, best up and coming, best for oily skin, and more.

Advertised Product Highlights

MERIT Beauty The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick

# OF SHADES: 20

COLOR: Light with neutral undertones

FORMULATION: Cream stick

FINISH: Natural

COVERAGE: Light to medium

LONGEVITY: Long wearing

SKIN TYPE: All skin types including sensitive and acne-prone

PROTECTION: No SPF

BENEFITS: Contains fatty acids that condition skin and lock in moisture; Sea daffodil extract helps diminish the appearance of pigmentation and dark spots; Multi-use product that can be used as foundation, concealer, and contour

OTHER: Cruelty free; Vegan; Non toxic; Made with 43% recycled plastic

CLEAN BEAUTY CLAIMS: Formulated to EU standards; Free of parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrance, soy, and 1300+ other ingredients

Edited by Maddie

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