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Shopping·5 min read

Merit CMO Aila Morin on All the Chic Stuff You Should Be Buying

Plus, she shares the podcasts that help turn her brain off.
Aila Morin
December 28, 2023

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Skimm Her Life is a series in our weekly newsletter, Skimm Your Life, where smart women share their favorite things.

For our final Skimm Her Life interview of 2023, we’re going out with a bang. Today, the CMO of Merit, Aila Morin, is here to share all of her chic favorites — from minimal and easy beauty products to entertaining podcasts. Aila, take it away…

Smartest purchases you’ve made recently?

The Oura ring. It’s been so helpful to be aware of my sleep patterns and movements, and to schedule breaks or workouts to offset travel days. I regret not getting it sooner; it was in my cart forever.

Something you always have in your bag?

Right now, I’m swapping between the Khaite Lotus bag when I need something bigger, and the St. Agni woven shoulder bag when I’m in the mood for something smaller. Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm in Sweet Mint for when I want a balm instead of gloss, Undo’s hair clipsunglasses, Racquet Club LA key chain with everything attached, and L’Occitane hand cream. I also always have a thin cashmere sweater tossed in my bag (psst…we love this one).

What’s on your nightstand?

I always have the Nuxe’s dry oil and a lotion (right now it’s Oribe Restorative Body Crème). I never have time to get my nails done so this gives them a healthy glow and tidy cuticles. I usually do my Dr. Dennis Gross mask for nine minutes before sleeping, so that’s usually there too. I love the Tatcha Camellia Gold Spun Lip Balm at night, or Biba de Sousa’s Lip Treatment. I also keep Moon Juice Magnesi-om within reach, and a tumbler always.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I really believe in being really passionate in your career, but also present in your personal life. Building a company is challenging and takes time, and to be continually inspired, you need time off.

Favorite surprisingly useful item under $25?

A pack of iPhone chargers so there’s one everywhere I need one — it’s crazy how many years I spent carrying (and losing) one charger. It’s made life so much easier.

Your current favorite book and/or podcast to listen to?

For me, podcasts are a way to turn my brain off. The last thing I want to do is listen to a business or news podcast when I’m trying to wind down. These days I’m mostly listening to “Mention it All” or “Two Judgey Girls” for Bravo roundups; it’s fun, keeps me present, and lets me decompress.

Your favorite Merit products?

I have been using the same products everyday since prior to launching the brand. I put on Great Skin Instant Glow Serum, then quickly scribble on The Minimalist, Flush Balm in Fox, and a dot of Bronze Balm in Clay on my forehead and nose. I just blend it all out with Brush No. 1. Then, I run Brow 1980 in Blond through my brows for definition; I only wear mascara on the days I have events.

For people new to Merit, what products do you recommend starting with?

Great Skin and The Minimalist — it has a skin-like finish and truly lasts all day, which I had never found with clean makeup products prior. In addition, they’re both soothing and supportive of my sensitive skin, so they leave it better by the end of the day.

Do you have an unconventional or hacky way to use any specific Merit products?

I use Great Skin prior to SPF, but also in the middle of the day to combat winter dryness. I tap it into the skin, add more Flush Balm, and I look awake again. I love to apply a tiny bit of Shade Slick in Bel Air over Solo Shadow in Vachetta — it gives my eyes a “wet” neutral finish that’s really pretty at night. I usually use whichever Signature Lip color I’m wearing on cheeks when I travel so I can carry one less product, and when I forget mascara, I use Brow 1980 for a little lash definition in a pinch.

What sets Merit beauty products apart?

The beauty industry has never been more saturated. At Merit, we keep things simple to actually make the process of getting ready easier. Designed by makeup consumers, not artists, our products are impossible to mess up, on-the-go friendly, and are created with sensitive and maturing skin in mind. It should be easy.

Psst: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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