Product Review: Wet n Wild “Reserve Your Cabana” Bronzer

Don’t let the name fool you: this “bronzer” definitely isn’t a bronzer… it’s a highlighter!  This kind of #witchcraft is perfect for October and I’m here for it.


Don’t let the name fool you: this “bronzer” definitely isn’t a bronzer… it’s a highlighter!  This kind of #witchcraft is perfect for October and I’m here for it.


I know I just did a first impressions on a different highlighter, but as I discussed in that last post, I’m fully immersed in the highlighter world now because that’s just who I am as a person, so case dismissed.

I picked up this Wet n Wild Bronzer in “Reserve Your Cabana” from my local OVS (if you’ve read my post about finding drugstore makeup in Italy, you’ll know what that store is), which retails for $3.99 on the Wet n Wild website.

Wait, side note: while I’m looking at the website, can we just… take a moment and look at the product description here?

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Never thought I’d have to kink-shame a makeup product, but ok.

Ok, moving right along: as I said at the beginning of the post, what throws me off a wee bit about this product is that it’s marketed as a “bronzer” and is part of their Color Icon Bronzer Collection.  The two other shades in this line (Ticket to Brazil & Bikini Contest) seem to actually be more traditional bronzer shades, but this particular “bronzer” is actually a highlight shade.  Fake news!

Typically when I do a review, I like to make my evaluation based on the claims of the product, as well as any other typical things I look for in the specific type of product if those aren’t already addressed in the product claims (i.e. for mascara, I always need my product to hold a curl and not flake on me).  This one is a little tricky because the claims for the product aren’t really all that easy to test:

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 12.48.51 PM

So for today’s review, I’m going to be evaluating this product on some ~generic attributes~ that I would expect from a highlighter.  I also have ~reformulated~ the way I’ll be doing reviews moving forward, which of course will now be done in Excel.  If you’re curious (if not – feel free to skip ahead, you party pooper), I’m going to be assigning a point value (from 1-10; 10 being the best, 1 being the worst) to each attribute, average it all out at the end, and then round to the closest integer if I have to.  I’m also adopting the ~American grading system~ and each number is assigned to a specific “grade” – I’m maybe not as nice as I thought because I skip from C- to F straight away.  Imo, if a product is worse than a C-, it might as well just be a failure.

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 1.01.41 PM

Also, a lot of credit to this system goes to Temptalia, who I personally think has the best setup when it comes to reviews!

The attributes I’ll be evaluating this highlighter on are the following:

  • Finish
  • Pigmentation
  • Formula/Texture
  • Longevity

1.) Finish | Rating: A+

I’m not a glitter gal when it comes to highlighter – this has already been well-established.  The fact that this highlighter isn’t glittery or metallic, but just gives a really nice glowy sheen is what makes me so hyped about it.

TBH, I wasn’t all that impressed in the store because this product honestly swatches horribly and looks kinda chalky at first.  I think I decided to pick it up because it was 30% off anyway, and boy, am I glad I did!  Again, even though this swatches terribly, it looks beautiful once it’s on your actual face.  I just feel so healthy-looking when I wear it and I don’t have much skin texture, but this is so smooth that I can’t really see it emphasizing anything for anybody who might have a bit of texture to the skin.

2.) Pigmentation | Rating: A

The reason I didn’t give this an A+ right away is because this isn’t the most intensely pigmented highlighter I’ve ever seen, but it still gives decent pigmentation.  I actually prefer a highlighter that you can build up rather than it being one that goes from 0-100 real quick, so this actually works in my favor.

I like to take an ELF Small Tapered Brush, tap into the pan twice, and then apply to my cheekbones.  I usually do this twice to get my desired level of glow.

3.) Formula/Texture | Rating: A+

For $3.99, I’m surprised by how high quality this feels. Although it’s not necessarily buttery, it’s still decently creamy and feels finely milled.  You get a bit of kickback when you swirl the brush in the pan, but again, my preferred method is to just tap my brush to pick up product!

4.) Longevity | Rating: A

This product literally lasts all day from when I usually put it on at 7:30 in the morning before class, to when I finally take it off at about 9:30 at night.  I can even take a 2-hour stress nap in the middle of the day and although I may be a mess on the inside, I at least look like I have it together because my highlight is still poppin’.


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Anybody wanna tell me how a $3.99 drugstore highlighter somehow became my all-time favorite highlighter? No? Ok.

The thing that really sells me on this product is exactly how long it lasts and how “natural” it is – I love the smoothness of the glow and the fact that it looks like the same from morning to night.  This is also really easy to touch up if need be and doesn’t look crazy at all.

One thing I think is interesting about this product (other than the fact that it’s marketed as a bronzer) is that it contains SPF 15 in it.  Not that SPF is ever a bad thing, but it’s strange to me for a product to contain any kind of SPF if it’s not the type of product that’s supposed to go all over your face.  Maybe I should just start putting this all over? Am I doing it wrong?


The price of this is also just up my alley.  You really don’t need much product and the pan is HUGE, so it’ll probably last forever and a day (unless you decide to throw it out after 18 months, as the packaging suggests).  For reference, you get 0.46oz of product for $3.99 with the Wet n Wild highlighter – a Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector contains 0.28oz for $38, and a Jeffree Star Skin Frost contains 0.56oz for $29.


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*Disclaimer: I purchased all above products with my own money and am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!).  As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!

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