Laura Mercier Highlight 01 vs Wet 'n' Wild Reserve Your Cabana

Makeup is one of my favorite things. I love reading about it, looking at it, and wearing it. One of the most entertaining parts of makeup, for me, is the "dupe hunt". I love comparing similar products...and its even more fun if they are on opposite ends of the price spectrum. Today, I'm comparing two wonderful highlight products. 

Laura Mercier Highlight 01 vs Wet 'n' Wild Reserve Your Cabana

Now, before we start...I know. Reserve Your Cabana is not actually a highlighter. It is marketed as a bronzer...but come on. I am pretty fair, but there is no way I could use this shade as a "bronzer". I hope that they were just thinking of how nicely this would reflect light on a sunny day when mixed with the other shades...I hope. But hey, there are no rules in makeup. You can use whatever you want however you want. 

Laura Mercier Highlight 01 vs Wet 'n' Wild Reserve Your Cabana

You can tell, even without any context, that these two products are two very different sizes. Reserve Your Cabana (RYC from now on) contains 0.46oz while Highlight 01 (H01 from now on) has 0.26oz. You get almost twice the product with the RYC, though the packaging makes you think that it is even bigger than that.

I actually prefer the larger size of RYC for everyday use. I find it a lot easier to get whichever brush I am using into the product without having to swirl too many times. However, the large size is really awkward for travelling. The H01 is definitely more compact and travel-friendly. 

 Wet 'n' Wild Reserve Your Cabana

I do have one rather major thing to note about RYC, especially when comparing it to H01. RYC is soft. So so soft. You may notice that my RYC looks suspiciously like it was embossed by a cheap paper towel. Well...that is because it is. The product broke approximately five minutes after I purchased my pocket...before I made it to the car. Remember when I said that it was the size keeping me from travelling with this one? Yeah...well that wasn't my only reason for leaving this thing home.  Not to mention, it kicks up powder pretty freely when you use it. 

The H01 is tough. My particular little compact has been to North Carolina, Indiana, Illinois, Nevada, Missouri, and all over California. If you travel, this one should definitely be considered.

As everyone knows, I recently moved. I didn't bother bringing the RYC. It would just fall apart in the move.

Laura Mercier Highlight 01

The real difference here is in the type of reflect you get from these. The RYC is a lot more subtle and flat, whereas the H01 has a lot more of a glassy shine--in comparison. By no means is H01 going to give you that crazy-town/alien/gloss highlight that seems to be popular these days. But it is definitely going to be more pronounced. You could, conceivably, use RYC as a finishing powder (though it is too shiny for my 1996 brain) and look completely perfect in daylight. There is just too much shimmer for H01 to be used all over.

I don't really have a preference here. Which one I prefer generally depends on what my other makeup is doing that day. For more matte looks, the RYC is my go-to. If I am using shimmery things I tend to grab the H01. The H01 makes a much nicer brow/inner corner highlight, but I prefer the RYC for my cheeks...especially as I am starting to get those tiny wrinkles.

Laura Mercier Highlight 01 vs Wet 'n' Wild Reserve Your Cabana

These are both a pale, creamy champagne. Both colors are really flattering on fair skin tones, regardless of undertones. I think that if you are darker than a "lighter medium", you should check out the darker shades of both products if you still want to use these as highlight. 

I actually like both colors equally. On my skin, the colors look almost identical. I think on every coloring, they would be really close. They are near-identical in color.

Laura Mercier Highlight 01 vs Wet 'n' Wild Reserve Your Cabana

I don't have any "action shots" of these two because...well, these are both on the more subtle end of the spectrum. Not a single full-face shot really showed these prominently, which is what I like. In the sunshine, both of these gave off  a subtle glow which looked quite natural on my skin. Surprising, I know, but I do prefer natural makeup looks. Especially when it comes to my skin. I promise that if you've seen a picture of me, I had one of these on.

RYC sells for $3.99 on the Wet 'n' Wild website, though you can grab it anywhere you see this brand sold. I grabbed mine at CVS when it was on sale, and they have "buy one, get one 50% off" sales all the time. The price per ounce here is $8.67, which I think is completely acceptable.

H01 sells for $40 at Sephora. You can grab it from the brand website, or from a Laura Mercier counter in your local department store. The budget-minded would wait for the annual Sephora sales...but otherwise I don't know that these go on sale often. The price per ounce here is a whopping $153.85

For scale, you could buy 17 ounces of RYC for that price.

Are these dupes? Do you need both?
Obviously you don't need both. I don't want to be that "omgsoaweesomeyouneeeeedit" person who says that each one is super unique and you must have both. They are close enough, for me, that I would not repurchase them both. If you love higher-end things, then you will be happy with the H01. If you are fine with drugstore gems...RYC is the one for you.