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It’s time I let the cat out of the bag—I don’t like eyeshadow. While I don’t wear a ton of makeup in general, I especially don’t opt for a lot of eye makeup. Perhaps it’s because it takes me forever to do and I end up hating the final result, or perhaps it’s due to my poor dexterity. But you know what? I’m realizing it might not be a “me” problem. 

After trying Merit Beauty’s brand-new Solo Shadow, I’ve come to the conclusion that I simply wasn’t using the right products. Because even though I tell all of my friends I hate eyeshadow, I actually am a fan of this formula.

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No7 Pure Retinol Cream

The fact that it’s so easy to use makes it perfect for beginners like me who barely know the basics of how to apply eyeshadow. The Solo Shadow is literally foolproof, which was a major shock to me because I always find a way to paint on a clown face or raccoon eyes whenever I get within a foot of an eyeshadow palette.

And that’s the other thing! Merit’s eyeshadow comes in single-product packaging so you can really handpick the colors you think will work for you. Gone are the days of buying an entire palette only to dip into the same two shades time after time. There’s a lot less waste with these individual pots, but there’s also a lot less going back and forth trying to pick a shade.

The Solo Shadow comes in eight stunning shades that won’t scare away eyeshadow amateurs. They’re all neutral tones and muted colors, which is a dream for all of my fellow makeup minimalists. Even the “statement” shades are doable. In fact, I swiped the color Social onto my lids without even realizing it’s technically a soft mauve hue.

My go-to pairing has been Social, the soft mauve, and Midcentury, a warm brown. This was the duo I randomly chose on my first test of the product, which goes to show that again, there’s no messing up with these eyeshadows. Wear a single shade on your lids, or mix and match without worrying about whether the colors look good together—because they just do!

Merit Beauty Solo Shadow in Social
Merit Beauty.

The two shades I’m most excited to try are Nelson, a soft gray, and Midnight, a classic navy. I’m thinking of using them as liners for a soft flick, which, by the way, can be achieved with the dual-ended eyeshadow brush Merit Beauty launched alongside the Solo Shadow. Brush No.2 helped my eyeshadow apply so seamlessly. The bristles are extremely soft and gentle (just like the ones on Brush No.1), plus the tapered end is perfect for creating a winged liner look. 

But let’s talk about the eyeshadow formula. The Solo Shadow is a buildable cream-to-powder moment that offers a soft-matte finish. And when I say this shadow doesn’t budge, I mean it. I have the world’s oiliest eyelids and have struggled with previous formulas creasing. Merit’s new eyeshadows have not creased on me yet, nor do they make a mess around my eyes and on my cheeks. Wherever you apply the product is where it’ll dry quickly and stay in place throughout the day.

I can’t forget to mention the amazing skincare ingredients packed into these gems. Chamomile extract, calendula extract, magnolia bark extract, peptides, and sunflower seed oil make this formula one your skin with love. These ingredients soothe, smooth, nourish, and minimize the look of fine lines. Crusty eye makeup, no more! 

And if you’re a contact lens girlie like me, don’t worry about the shadows potentially causing irritation. I have yet to experience any discomfort from this ophthalmologist-tested formula.

At this point, I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me babble on and on about the new Solo Shadow from my all-time favorite makeup brand, Merit Beauty (which celebs like Hailey Bieber, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz, and more love, too). So go on, add a couple of the versatile shades to your cart for $24 each (also available at Sephora). And while you have a shopping cart open, you might as well throw in a few of my other Merit faves. Remember that you get free shipping on your order of $40+ plus a complimentary Signature Bag with your first order. So go forth and treat yourself to all that Merit has to offer.

Merit Beauty Flush Balm
Merit Beauty.

Hailey Bieber has previously worn the Flush Balm in Raspberry Beret and that was enough to convince me to try the shade. I can confirm that it’s beautiful, easy to apply, and super natural-looking. If you’ve been wanting to give the viral strawberry makeup a try, look no further than this blush.

Celeb fans: Sarah Jessica Parker, Miranda Kerr, Hailey Bieber, Kaitlyn Dever, Whitney Port, Jenna Lyons, Sienna Miller, Lola Tung

Day Glow Highlighting Balm Merit Beauty
Photo: Merit Beauty.

I have yet to write a full review of the Day Glow, but Bounce is my everyday highlighter. It provides more of a dewy look instead of a shimmery finish, which is why I love this balm so much.

Celeb fans: Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Richie, Kaitlyn Dever, Whitney Port, Sienna Miller

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

The Minimalist is what first got me hooked on Merit. The foundation and concealer stick offers the perfect amount of coverage and feels lightweight on the skin. I use my fingers to dab it over my blemishes on the daily, and whenever I’m going for a full face of foundation, Brush No.1 blends this foundation better than anything else I own.

Celeb fans: Sienna Miller, Kaitlyn Dever, Nicole Richie, Lola Tung, Ashley Tisdale, Behati Prinsloo, Whitney Port