Melissa Merk on How to Slay Your Selfie Game

She's a YouTube sensation whose beauty tutorials and relatable chillness keep her fans coming back for more but it's not as easy as it looks. The Vancouver native reveals just how much goes into the perfect post

melissa merk

(Photo: Jenna Wakani)

Almost half a million fans subscribe to beauty blogger Melissa Merk’s YouTube channel for her popular GRWM series, fashion hauls, healthy meals and other unfiltered snippets of her life. Her most popular tutorials have reached over a million views and hundreds of thousands follow along for apartment tours, dog walks and outdoor adventures. The 23-year-old Vancouverite has built a loyal following simply by being the. most. chill. YouTube phenom in the business.

Merk uploaded her first video back in 2008, at age 15, and joined the YouTube Partner Program three years later. Realizing there was a real audience for her fun, relatable video content, and that she could make more money from her hobby than from her part-time job, she quit her gig (see ya, Boston Pizza!) and pursued her passion full-time. Now, she’s set to grow her brand across her many social platforms, especially Instagram.

With impossibly big blue eyes, sky-high cheekbones and that enviable year-round summer glow, Merk has attracted an Instagram following over 70,000 strong, making way for new business opportunities on her favourite app.

Her laid-back West Coast vibe makes beauty blogging look way easy, but a massive social media presence takes work, even for an influencer as cool and casual as Merk. FLARE tagged along as she created a typical beauty look for her Instagram on a recent visit to The Six and broke down what’s really involved in a beauty star’s selfie.


Canadian YouTube and Instagram beauty star, Melissa Merk, needs her skin to be a perfect canvas to showcase her fresh, new looks. Having struggled with acne since she was a teenager, Melissa recently changed her skincare regimen to include Normaderm by Vichy. She also reached out to a Dermatologist and a Nutritionist to get advice on how to get a healthier lifestyle.

You don’t have to be an Instagram beauty star to have the perfect skin routine. Normaderm Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel clears away excess sebum and impurities without drying out your skin. It’s also important to treat your skin with Normaderm Corrective Anti-Acne Treatment; this global acne care contains LHA and now has 50% more Salicylic Acid for reinforced efficacy. The results: it reduces the appearance of pimples (by 75% *) also reduces the look of pores, as well as blackheads, shine, and acne marks.

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Melissa Merk’s Selfie Tips

Regrettably, we don’t all have the time and resources (or patience, TBH) to recreate such involved looks on the reg, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still slay our selfie game. The beauty guru rounded up her best tips to cover up those sleepless nights, hide blemishes and breakouts, and keep you ready for your close-up anywhere, anytime.

Merk says the most important step for a photo-ready look is to create the perfect canvas with flawless skin. Every morning, she washes and hydrates her face with a lightweight moisturizer. At night, she deep cleans with a spin brush and cleanser, then adds hydrating eye product and breakout treatment. For acne care, Merk reaches for a drying spot treatment to help zap blemishes while she sleeps. She also works facemasks into her routine: “I use a lot of charcoal detox masks. I also have a collagen one that’s really moisturizing that I like to apply after.” Who even needs a filter?

Quick fix
If you’re strapped for time, remember this: clear skin, full brows, can’t lose! “I like to just even out skin tones, so foundation and concealer are a must. So are good lashes and eyebrows,” she explains, recalling the best beauty advice she received in her over-plucking youth: “Leave your eyebrows alone!”

Flattering light is the real MVP of every successful selfie, and Merk is all about that soft, natural lighting. “I have a couple windows in my house that are kind of frosted and translucent, so I take lots of selfies by the diffused window light,” she says.

As for digital re-touching? “Ya, I do it,” Merk admits. “I was just watching something with Khloe Kardashian and she said she always uses Facetune. People think celebrities are so perfect, but most of them edit their photos.” Just don’t overdo it, she warns. Merk smooths out her face and brightens her eyes on Facetune, but she avoids the fake, airbrushed look. Then, she runs her photos through VSCO for a subtle filter with warm tones.

Discover a new routine with Normaderm from Vichy Laboratories

Mara Vezeau -Integrated communication and medical relations leader, Vichy Laboratories Canada

If you’re in your early twenties, back-to-school may also mean back to outbreaks and imperfections. Tackle these issues by introducing anti-acne ingredients, such as LHA, salicylic acid and Pre-Resorcinol, into your daily routine. Clinically proven by dermatologists to be efficient, these fast-acting formulas will help reduce pimples, the look of pores, as well as shine, redness and acne marks.

Keep your acne under control by using twice a day this hypoallergenic and paraben-free two-step routine for a clearer, smoother skin:

First step: Use the Normaderm Deep Cleansing to cleanse excess sebum and impurities without drying. Formulated for acne-prone skin, with anti-bacterial and keratolytic ingredients to help target and prevent new imperfections, this first step is beneficial to make your skin look clear, feel fresh and comfortable.

Second step: Hydration may seem to be an optional step, but in fact, this hydrating care treats and prevents all signs of acne . Use the Normaderm corrective anti-acne care that combines Phe Resorcinol, Air Licium™ technology, LHA and now 50% more Salicylic Acid, to reduce the look of acne pimples by 75%* as well as shine, blackheads, pore visibility and acne marks.

Third step step: Adopt a clean lifestyle where sleep, good life balance and healthy eating are your main focuses. Reach for key food ingredients that are rich in mineral Zinc like lean meats, tempeh, baked beans, nuts and seeds to improve quality of skin. To reduce redness in the skin, look for rich Omega-3 food such as salmon. Finally, opt for food that are low in glycemic index like quinoa, brown rice or oatmeal to help stabilize the blood sugar and therefore avoid inflammatory spikes which may lead to acne.

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