How to Get The Chicest Makeup Bag I’ve Ever Seen For Free


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If you haven’t heard of Merit Beauty, let me put you onto a celeb-loved brand that launched in 2021 and has already set the tone in what the brand calls “minimalist beauty” (think: TikTok’s “no-makeup makeup trend“). They seriously aren’t exaggerating about being minimalist. Merit’s lineup only consists of 12 products: a foundation-concealer crossover, blush balm, bronzer balm, tinted lip oil, mascara, brow pomade, creamy lipstick, glow serum, highlighting balm, foundation brush, eyeshadow brush, and eyeshadow. Each of its products comes in the sleekest packaging and contains formulas that will give you a natural, dewy makeup look.

I personally first came across Merit in my social feeds. A post showing off the brand’s Signature Bag caught my eye, not because of the storage potential, but because I thought it was a handbag from a designer brand. I simply couldn’t keep my eyes off of it.

Here’s the thing: The Signature Bag isn’t a product you can purchase by itself on Merit’s site. You can score this super luxe, corduroy bag complimentary with your first purchase, no matter how big or small. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s the chicest makeup pouch I’ve ever seen and I just adore the knot design. Truly, you can wear and style it as a show-stopping purse whenever you want.

To secure the bag—and flawless makeup looks—cop any of these incredible beauty products from Merit. We’ve included everything from a lengthening mascara that your friends will mistake for lash extensions to a tinted lip oil that’s near-identical to Clinique’s Black Honey. Or maybe take a peek at the brand’s newest additions: Solo Shadow, Bronze Balm, and Shade Slick Gelées.

You have no excuse not to scoop up something from the brand so that you can, quite literally, secure the (Signature) bag. Keep reading for my faves from Merit (spoiler: there are a lot).

The StyleCaster team collaborated with Merit on a limited-time bundle that includes six of our favorite products from the brand. This gives you ample time to get one for yourself and a couple more for your makeup-obsessed friends and family members. While these products individually retail for a total of $158, the StyleCaster x MERIT Set lets you try all of them for $142.

Here’s what you get (you can choose your preferred shade for each product):

  • Flush Balm Cheek Color
  • Day Glow Highlighting Balm
  • Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara
  • Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick
  • Solo Shadow Matte Eye Color
  • Brush No. 2 Eyeshadow Brush
Merit Beauty Solo Shadow
Merit Beauty.

For makeup minimalists and eyeshadow beginners like me, the Solo Shadow is a must-try. It comes in eight gorgeous neutral and muted colors that are super easy to apply. I love how fuss-free the formula and shades are, plus they come in single-product packaging instead of a palette. Scroll through my full review to see how I got on with the shadows.

Celebrities who have worn this product: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson, Kirsty Hume, Jenna Lyons, Bethenny Frankel

Merit Beauty Brush No. 2 Eyeshadow Brush
Merit Beauty.

Merit couldn’t launch its first-ever eyeshadows without also releasing a brush to go with it. I love Brush No.2’s compact size so I can throw it into my bag for mid-day touchups. One side has fluffy bristles for a quick sweep of shadow, and the other side has tapered bristles to create a wing.

Celebrities who have worn this product: Jenna Lyons

Merit Beauty Signature Lip Matte in Court
Merit Beauty.

Merit’s most recent addition is a matte version of its Signature Lip. This lipstick offers a matte finish without leaving your pout feeling as dry as the Sahara desert. That’s all thanks to the hydrating ingredients in the formula, hyaluronic acid and sesame seed extract. Available in eight gorg shades, achieve a bold, blurred lip with these lippies.

Celebrities who have worn this product: Hilary Duff

Merit Brush No. 1 Blending Brush
Photo: Merit.

Brush No. 1 is meant to accompany The Minimalist, and after once using a different brush to apply Merit’s foundation-concealer crossover, I totally understand why. Brush No.1 blends the product into my skin way faster and smoother. The vegan bristles are extremely soft and gentle, and I love how I can fit the brush into any handbag.

Celebrities who have worn this product: Jenna Lyons

Bronze Balm Sheer Bronzer Merit Beauty

“Bronze Balm has the perfect sheer, buildable formula that gives a wash of natural warmth and depth with just a swipe or two. The satin finish isn’t too matte or dewy,” Elizabeth Denton wrote in her review of the product. I couldn’t agree more with StyleCaster’s beauty writer. I don’t wear bronzer on a daily basis, but when I do reach for one, it’s this sheer bronzer. This balm formula is so easy to apply and blend, and it’s creamy to a T.

Celebrities who have worn this product: Kaitlyn Dever, Sienna Miller, Sarah Jessica Parker

Merit Beauty Clean Lash Lengthening Mascara
Photo: Merit Beauty.

Tint, lengthen and lift your lashes in a few swipes with the Clean Lash Mascara. The brush is designed with precision and curling power, while the formula won’t weigh down your lashes.

Celebrities who have worn this product: Cameron Diaz, Kaitlyn Dever, Whitney Port, Jenna Lyons, Sienna Miller, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jenna Lyons

Merit Beauty Signature Lip
Photo: Merit Beauty.

The Signature Lip is lightweight and doesn’t leave your lips cracked or dry. Even Cameron Diaz is a fan of the formula; she usually reaches for shades L’Avenue, Fashion and Cabo.

Celebrities who have worn this product: Cameron Diaz, Sienna Miller, Kaitlyn Dever

Flush Balm Cheek Color Merit Beauty
Photo: Merit Beauty.

If you’re looking for a blush that makes your skin look so dewy and sun-kissed, beeline straight to the Flush Balm. It’s light and long-lasting and doesn’t appear cakey like other powder blushes do. Choose my fave shade, Raspberry Beret, for the most stunning “faux sunburn” look, or check out the four newest shades: Fox, Après, Stockholm and Persimmon. Oh, and did I forget to mention that Hailey Bieber has worn it?

Celebrities who have worn this product: Miranda Kerr, Hailey Bieber, Kaitlyn Dever, Whitney Port, Jenna Lyons, Sienna Miller, Lola Tung, Sarah Jessica Parker

Day Glow Highlighting Balm Merit Beauty
Photo: Merit Beauty.

I am thoroughly obsessed with the Day Glow highlighter. It’s not the type of shimmery look that powders provide, but more so an “I just drank six glasses of water and got eight full hours of sleep” healthy glow. I used Cava (a champagne hue) for the longest time until Bounce (a rose gold shade) became my go-to. It looks beautiful right above the Flush Balm on my cheeks, as well as on the bridge and tip of my nose and in the inner corners of my eyes—so basically anywhere and everywhere. Check out the newest shade addition, Solstice, especially if you’re going for a glowy, bronzed goddess vibe.

Celebrities who have worn this product: Nicole Richie, Kaitlyn Dever, Whitney Port, Sienna Miller, Sarah Jessica Parker

The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick Merit Beauty
Photo: Merit Beauty.

This sleek stick is a two-in-one foundation and concealer. It has light to medium buildable coverage that’s super lightweight and natural-looking. Pro tip: buy three shades darker than your regular foundation shade to get your new fave contour. The Minimalist has become my ride-or-die foundation since it’s just so easy to apply and blend.

Celebrities who have worn this product: Sienna Miller, Kaitlyn Dever, Nicole Richie, Lola Tung, Ashley Tisdale, Behati Prinsloo, Whitney Port, Jenna Lyons

Merit Beauty Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil in Sangria
Merit Beauty.

The Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil gives you the benefits of both an oil and a light stain. The Sangria color has a smooth and glossy finish, but also a natural deep berry tint that resembles Clinique’s Black Honey tone. Enriched with rosehip oil, shea butter, grapeseed oil and jojoba oil, the formula leaves your lips moisturized and nourished. Trust me, I’ve tried it myself. I’ve also given the four new sheer Gelée shades a go and think I might even prefer them to the Classics. 

Celebrities who have worn this product: Whitney Port, Jenna Lyons, Sienna Miller, Sarah Jessica Parker

Merit Beauty Brow 1980 VOLUMIZING POMADE
Photo: Merit Beauty.

Get the fluffy brows of your dreams with the help of this volumizing pomade. It won’t make your brows all hard and crispy thanks to the vitamin B5 that adds flexibility and fullness. I love that it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing anything on my brows when I swipe on this pomade. It’s that lightweight!

Celebrities who have worn this product: Kaitlyn Dever, Whitney Port, Sienna Miller, Lola Tung, Sarah Jessica Parker





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