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My secret to no-makeup makeup is this creamy blush balm that’s basically a 2-in-1 bronzer

One thing I know to be true when it comes to beauty: Blush is upsettingly underrated. I also know that I love makeup. But as much as I wish I had the time, I’m not wearing a full face every day — except for cream blush.

Those days (most days) are when I reach for the love of my life, my trusty MERIT Flush Balm.

Other shades of the cream blush include a baby pink, soft orange-y red and luscious deep berry. 

$30 at MERIT

While I have it in a few colors, my daily go-to is the versatile rusty and warm nude shade Terracotta. All I do is swipe it from the apple of my cheeks up to my temples. Then, I’ll take it over the bridge of my nose (trust) and then on my forehead near my hairline, basically every place you would normally put blush, bronzer or contour. I’ve even swiped it on my eyelids and my lips for a little extra life.

There are so many reasons to love the MERIT Flush Balm beyond the versatility. It’s wildly blendable and lightweight, with microfine pigment powders that provide a flush of color (hence the name) without covering up my natural skin texture. As someone who has hormonal acne-prone skin, I love that it’s formulated without acne-triggering ingredients. Plus, the formula has a fun vitamin E skin care bonus to condition the skin.

Credit: MERIT
Credit: MERIT

When I first swiped on the MERIT Flush Balm on a totally bare face, it was shocking to see how glowy and smooth it looked on my textured skin. I literally love my skin when I wear it.

Another thing I love is that the cream blush, as well as the entire MERIT lineup, is both vegan and cruelty-free. As for sustainability, the blush’s packaging uses 43% recycled plastic. It also ships in either recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging.

No, $30 is not the cheapest, but my beloved MERIT Flush Balm has lasted me for months — and a little goes a long way. Honestly, I don’t remember a day that I haven’t worn it on its own or as part of a full makeup look.

Other shades of the cream blush include a baby pink, soft orange-y red and luscious deep berry. 

$30 at MERIT

If you liked this story, check out the best-smelling fall perfumes that feel like a warm blanket in a bottle.

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