Merit Cava Day Glow Highlighting Balm Review & Swatches
Merit Cava Day Glow Highlighting Balm ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a pale gold with moderate, warm undertones and a dewy sheen with faint pearl. It had transparent coverage, which was as marketed by the brand, that looked like a wet-sheen and not overly pearly (again, as marketed).
It remained dewy on my skin as it never dried down, which made it shorter-wearing and easy to smear if you’re someone who accidentally touches their face! The texture was very emollient, almost oily, and high in slip, but I was able to pat it into place without it spreading and diffusing too readily. It applied best over bare skin, but it was workable over base products but seemed to sheer them out a little bit, though it didn’t create patchiness. This shade lasted for five and a half hours before fading visibly.
FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).
- Charlotte Tilbury Original (P, $38.00) is darker (95% similar).
- NYX Crystal Glare (P, $6.99) is darker (95% similar).
- ColourPop Double Down (LE, $10.00) is more shimmery (90% similar).
- Makeup Revolution Liquid Euphoric Gold (P, $9.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar).
- Natasha Denona Light (PiP, ) is darker (90% similar).
- ColourPop You're a Catch (LE, $10.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar).
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Sunlit (P, $32.00) is darker (90% similar).
- Giorgio Armani No. 02 (P, $62.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar).
- ColourPop Counting Sheep (LE, $10.00) is more shimmery (90% similar).
- Natasha Denona Light (01) (P, $38.00) is lighter (90% similar).
$30.00/0.14 oz. - $214.29 Per Ounce
The formula is supposed to have "translucent' coverage that "impart[s] a dewy, balmy sheen with zero sparkle." It's one of the more emollient consistencies I've come across in a cream highlighter these days! It looks like a solid, dome-shaped balm, but as soon as I touched it, the texture had high slip and felt almost oily as a result. They delivered on the "transparent" coverage as it looked very sheer on with the two shades available looking almost the same on me as a result.
I was surprised--but in a good way--to find that it applied well over foundation and didn't seem prone to lifting up my base products as often, very emollient textures can interact more noticeably when layered over other things in my experience. It worked well over bare skin, too, and had a dewy finish.
It didn't dry down and remained movable hours later, so the shorter-wear time (five to six hours) wasn't a surprise. The product didn't feel tacky, just emollient throughout; I have more "normal" skin on my actual cheek area where I tested this formula (I'm drier near my nose and on my nose). The highlighter was oilier and had higher-slip compared to the brand's Flush Balm Cream Blushes, though they felt more similar than not (but the ingredient lists are not that similar).
Browse all of our Merit Day Glow Highlighting Balm swatches.
Squalane, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, 2-Octyldodecanol, Mica, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaisostearate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Dibutyl Lauroyl Glutamide, Dibutyl Ethylhexanoyl Glutamide, Tocopherol, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Tribehenin, Glyceryl Behenate, Silica, Tin Oxide, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides).
Disclaimer: Ingredient lists are as available by the brand (or retailer) at the time of publishing. Please always check product packaging, if it exists, for the ingredient list applicable to the product you're purchasing, or the brand or retailer's website for the most up-to-date ingredient list.
It looks really nice and glowy…but the “greasy” aspect would be a turn-off for me, as I already have combination skin, this would probably make my foundation break up and my skin would look like an oil slick!
I have very dry/sensitive skin and chronic migraines, and often can’t manage much more than a few basics. So I was eyeing this for days when I can’t deal with makeup but also don’t want to look half-dead. I’m wondering how it would do without primer or foundation, just moisturizer/spf. 🤔 Might just disappear all the sooner, I suppose, especially as it’s marketed as “dewy.” I guess staying damp is meant to accomplish that dewy look, like all these glosses for the face.