Merit Beauty's Customer-Loved Shade Slicks Just Got a Sheer Upgrade—and It's a Must for Dry Lips

I can leave my lip balm at home.

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Merit Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil

Real Simple / Daisy Rodriguez

It's official: Lip oils are here to stay, and I'm not mad about it. I've never been a big fan of lip gloss—I've ripped my hair off my sticky mouth too many times to ever go back to it. So for me, lip oils are the perfect cross between juicy color and hydrating formulation, and it's no surprise that minimalist brand Merit Beauty hit the nail on the head with its latest launch.

The vegan Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil line is part of Merit's core line, but its sheer Gelées iteration of the customer-loved formula is just as noteworthy as the original. The brand introduced four new shades: ‌soft nude "Jeté", classic pink "Les Deux", cherry red "Maraschino," and sleek brown "Mapleton." The Gelées add a customized delicate wash of color due to the infusion of "blooming pigments" that create a subtle hue based on your lips' natural pH for a universally flattering effect unique to you. The plant-derived squalane hydrates and nourishes ‌lips as the quinoa seed oil restores their barrier and can help maintain your lips' moisture balance over time.

Merit Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil


To buy: $24;

While I'm still very much devoted to my Lypsyl lip balm, having to layer it with my lipsticks to prevent overdrying can get annoying. I enjoy switching things up, and the Gelée Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oils are a one-step, nourishing concoction that feels so lightweight, I forget I'm even wearing it. It's also one of my few lip products that don't require constant touch-ups or a mirror to apply it.

I'll usually apply a layer of the sheer brown "Mapleton" shade in the morning, and my lips feel incredibly soft and supple well through the afternoon. Even when I wipe the product off at the end of the day, the difference is clear. My persistently dry pout is now super smooth and renewed with moisture, making it less prone to flakiness. I can even skip my lip balm, making it well worth the $24 price tag.

The doe foot applicator is small enough to get into the tight corners of my mouth, and although I love to wear the lip oil on its own, it adds a much-needed ribbon of hydration to my matte lipsticks without tweaking the color too much.

If you've struggled with perpetually dry and chapped lips, then you'll love Merit Beauty's new ultra-hydrating  Gelée Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oils.

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