- Clean formula
- Can be used as a contour and bronzer
- Easy to blend with fingers, brush, or sponge
- Natural, sun kissed glow
- Subtle sculpting
- Doesn’t settle or accentuate skin texture
- Not long wearing (4-6 hours)
- Shade range could be better
MERIT Bronzer Stick Review
Let’s analyze MERIT Bronzer stick that gives a natural, sun kissed glow. Bronze Balm is buildable, easy to blend, and perfect for those new to cream bronzer.
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MERIT Bronze Balm is the easiest cream bronzer stick.
Oh, cream bronzer – how I love thee! I truly believe cream bronzer is the easiest formula in the bronzer world. Cream bronzer may look intimidating, but I truly believe it is the easiest formula in the bronzer world. Let’s talk one of the newest members in the clean bronzer realm: MERIT Bronze Balm. The MERIT bronzer comes in 5 shades that promise to subtly sculpt and add warmth to the complexion. And, an added bonus, it’s acne-safe and formulated to the EU clean standards. While it sounds promising, will it perform? Let’s get into MERIT Bronzer Stick Review.
Quick Rating Rundown
:MERIT Bronze Balm
Promises vs. Performance: An impossible to mess up bronzer stick.
Meet MERIT Bronze Balm, dubbed “the easiest bronzer ever” that’s “impossible to mess up.” MERIT bronzer has sheer, buildable pigment that adds subtle definition and warmth to the complexion. It promises to be blendable, for a second skin look without looking orange, streaky, or cakey. The bronzer has an oval shape designed with ease of use in mind for precise application. Its formula is infused with fatty acids to condition and moisturize skin, and is formulated with no acne triggering ingredients.
My Review Thoughts On MERIT Bronzer Stick
Hello, glowy, sun kissed skin! MERIT Bronze Balm is the perfect minimalistic, foolproof cream bronzer on the market. I love the oval shape that makes it easy for precise application along the hollows of my cheek, hairline, and jawline. The cream-balm texture blends out like a dream, and can almost be blended to nothing if you apply too much. Trust me, this formula is über forgiving, but it can be built up to a more intense bronze/contour! I don’t have any problems with the MERIT bronzer lifting or disturbing any makeup below, either. It applies easily whether you apply it directly to the face, then blend it out, or dip your brush directly into the bronzer. It also blends beautifully with fingers!
How It Wears
Everything about this bronzer from formulation to finish is *chefs kiss,* but where Bronze Balm struggles is its longevity. Even when set, it doesn’t have the 8-10 hour wear that we often want out of products. That being said, MERIT does not have any longevity claims (for any of their products) and takes pride in being a minimalistic makeup brand. On its own, this bronzer has about a 4 hour wear before it begins fading. For the best longevity, I’d set it with a powder bronzer to help lock it in place. If you want to stick with a clean formula, I recommend ILIA NightLite Powder Bronzer. Let’s move to the next part of the MERIT Bronzer Stick analysis.
Let’s Review How It Compares: Is MERIT Bronze Stick the best bronzer?
MERIT Bronze Balm is the perfect entry to cream bronzer product. Its foolproof formula blends effortless into skin, but can be layered for more intense color payoff if desired. The MERIT Bronzer gives the face a beautiful, sun kissed glow and is perfect for achieving the TikTok famous glass skin look. If MERIT Bronze Balm wass longer lasting, this cream bronzer would be even more of a winner in my book.
A favorite of mine, which I have dubbed the industry standard cream bronzer, is Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer. This one is more of a true cream-to-powder formula and is almost as foolproof as the MERIT bronzer. It gives a glowy bronzed complexion for all day wear with its sweat and water resistant formula. And, I’ve got to give it props, having a 7 shade range is pretty bomb. Fenty is known for their inclusive shade ranges and this cream bronzer is no different.
Comparison to Top Performers
I’ve got to say: I love my cream bronzers and can’t get enough of them. I have added so many to my collection over the past year as brands continue to launch their own cream bronzer. And I truly believe cream bronzer is foolproof and easier to use than powder. We’ve already established that the Fenty cream bronzer is the industry standard, but there are several others I enjoy.
Best Cream Bronzer (Clean)
The overall best cream bronzer in clean beauty is Saie Beauty Sun Melt. This cream bronzer is housed in a pot container instead of stick form. The formula is dreamy, from its beautiful creamy pigment to its effortless application, and long wear. The shades of Sun Melt are the perfect blend of bronze and contour, giving a warm sun kissed glow while also defining the face. It can be blended out with the fingers, a brush, or a sponge, applying without disrupting any makeup below. Sun Melt doesn’t fade, settle, or accentuate skin texture and truly looks like a second skin for a full 8+ hours of wear.
The other two bronzers that are worth a mention and have stelar performance are made by Gucci and Nars. We are talking about the coveted Gucci Poudre De Beaut clat Soleil Bronzing Powder. To be noted, it is a powder and it is a luminous finish, but what a dream. And we have Nars Laguna Bronzing Cream which is natural finish, a cream in a pot, and it just does everything really well apart from being clean.
Most Similar Option
EM Cosmetics So Soft is another favorite bronzer of mine. Michelle Phan really nailed it with this product, from formula to application. It has an emollient texture that glides onto skin effortlessly, giving a subtle contour and a warm, sun kissed complexion. Like MERIT Bronze Balm, this cream bronzer isn’t the longest lasting on its own, but paired with a powder bronzer on top you’ll get an all day bronzed glow.
Best Matte Cream Bronzer
One could say the Milk Makeup Bronzer Stick is the trailblazer for cream bronzer because of its user-friendly formula. It has a soft matte, cream to powder finish that subtly sculpts and adds warmth to the complexion. I wouldn’t call this bronzer as foolproof as MERIT Bronze Balm since it does dry down pretty quickly. But, even still, it is a beautiful bronzer stick if you’re looking for more of a matte finish.
MERIT Bronzer Balm DUPE
This review would not be complete without MERIT Bronzer Stick Dupe options. You might be surprised at what we think is a great merit bronzer dupe, but hear us out. This bronzer has a whopping 1.0 oz of product which is 3x more than average, which brings the true value down to $9.60 (if rated at 0.3 oz of product, the average amount). Also, not only do you get a lot of product for your money, this might be considered the cleanest bronzer, and it is one of the best performers on the market along with Gucci and NARS bronzers. We are talking about Saie Beauty Sun Melt Bronzer being the best Dupe for Merit. You might want to try this product.
If you want to spend even less money, there is a great bronzer in the drugstore category. There is no surprise with this one, it is the elf putty bronzer coming in around $6.00/.3oz. It’s not in a stick form, but it is compact, performs really well, natural finish, and somewhat clean. Also, it has 8 shades to choose from.
Advertised Product Highlights
MERIT Bronze Balm Sheer Sculpting Bronzer
Edited by Maddie