This Complexion Stick Is So Light and Easy That I Actually Wear Makeup on Hot Days

It’s magic at covering my under-eye circles, too.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.


Real Simple / Tyler Roeland

I usually live in warm places, having grown up in Florida and moved to Hawaii right out of college, so I loathe wearing face makeup. The feeling of sweating off foundation—or appearing even greasier—irritates me beyond words and makes me feel self-conscious. When I discovered The Minimalist complexion stick from Merit Beauty, it quickly replaced nearly every foundation, powder, and concealer in my makeup bag. With summer approaching, it’s all I’ll wear for months at a time.

I’m not a heavy makeup wearer on a daily basis unless I’m dolling up for a night out, but I love the aesthetic blur of full-coverage formulas. This buildable, hydrating complexion stick—positioned as a “best of both worlds” between concealer and foundation—makes my dark under-eye circles (and the occasional blemish) disappear. It allows me to get a clear, bright base on my skin without feeling like I’m about to sweat off everything. It lasts nearly all day too. And because it comes in 20 shades, you can also use it as a contour stick, allowing you to draw out your cheekbones and accentuate your features without having to layer on too much product in the dog days of spring and summer. The brand recommends that you pick a shade three tones darker than your foundation and concealer version for this purpose.



To buy: $38; and

When first trying The Minimalist, I was impressed by how light it felt while still providing impressive coverage. Intended to avoid triggering further breakouts, its ingredients include fatty acids which condition skin and lock in moisture along with sea daffodil extract which helps diminish the appearance of pigmentation and dark spots. Since I suffer from rosacea, I needed something that could quickly make any blotchy red spots disappear—a task at which The Minimalist excelled. I have medium olive skin and chose the shade Bisque, a medium with neutral undertones. I first tried The Minimalist as a sample when the brand re-designed it to have double the amount of product. True to form, it did in fact last for ages—and I quickly rebought the stick when I ran out.

The formula’s also clean, vegan, and cruelty free, all qualities which appeal to my shopping morals; the stick itself is crafted from 43 percent recycled plastic, and the packaging looks sleek in my beauty bag and on my bathroom counter.

While the whole point of foundation and concealer is to be invisible and therefore unnoticeable, my family and friends are so used to my incessant under-eye circles that they started asking me how I’d solved them when consistent use of The Minimalist made them go away. It’s made a tangible, visible difference.

I love that I can use The Minimalist complexion stick for multiple purposes. The frugal spender in me appreciates the bang for my buck, while the (cough) minimalist makeup wearer in me loves how lightweight and user-friendly the formula is as concealer, contour, and foundation. As it gets hotter outside, and I start to avoid putting anything on my skin, The Minimalist from Merit Beauty gives me that whole makeup “look” without the discomfort. I just add eyeshadow and my go-to mascara, and I’m good to go.

The Minimalist from Merit Beauty might just be your new favorite hot weather makeup hack, too. Shop the complexion stick at the brand’s site or at Sephora.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles