Saturday, June 2, 2018

New and improved? The new Wet N Wild Comfort Zone palette compared to the original

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Review of new Wet N Wild Comfort Zone palette compared to the original

I have something of a series now comparing reformulated Wet N Wild products with their predecessors (here and here), among them some of my favorite affordable makeup. Those previously revamped products didn't exactly measure up to the originals in my comparisons, so I have to admit I had serious doubts about the new Wet N Wild Comfort Zone palette. Why change something that has been consistently recommended as one of the best drugstore eyeshadow palettes on the market?

I've been thinking the answer to that question for a while. Unlike many redesigns by other brands, Wet N Wild didn't reduce the product size while jacking up the price. In fact, the price has remained the same, while the weight has actually increased (minimally) from 0.3 to 0.32 oz. Because two new matte shades were added, and they are in the largest pans, that should mean that the size of each of the original shades has decreased, however, which is worth noting.

If I had to guess why the change was made, I'd point to the fragility of the shadows, and maybe the packaging too. I can't be sure, but I do know lots of people complained about their Wet N Wild shadows crumbling and shattering with the slightest bump. I don't know if you can see it in the photo above, but the duochrome in the in bottom right of my old palette does has a small chunk missing--I have no idea when or how that happened. If the eyeshadows broke too often after people bought them, you have to assume that they also frequently broke in transit and while they were in stores, so the amount of product discarded might not have made up for the number of sales. (I'd be curious to hear if anyone's new palette has crumbled, but the shadows seem a bit more durable to me.) Of course, there's also the fact that a new release/re-release generates publicity and increases sales.

I've had my OG Comfort Zone palette since 2011 or 2012, and despite appearances, I've used it quite a lot. It has intense, smooth, metallic shimmers that perform really well. I'm not such a fan of the matte shades with glitter ("Definer" on the left and "Crease" on the right) though they are decent for lining the eyes. I like it so much that the reformulation had a lot to live up to. I'm not going to do a full review of each palette, but I am going to compare each shade and show you some swatches and eye looks.

Here is the first row of shimmers, in the (new) order of the new palette, starting with the left hand column. All applied over Wet N Wild primer (reviewed here) to make the colors and finishes as clear as possible for comparison. The old version is on the left and the new version is on the right.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone comparison swatches
When you compare the new and old shimmer shades, the recurring theme is that the old versions are much more reflective and metallic, whereas the newer ones have a more diffused shimmer. Personally, I prefer the older finish, but that's going to be a personal choice.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone comparison swatches

The creamy Browbone shade is now less gold and more peach/beige.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone comparison swatches

The grey-green Browbone shade looks similar in the pan, but is now much less of a silvery sage and much more of a warm khaki in actual use. (Why the old version, on the left, looks so brown in this photo, I don't know.) It's unfortunate that this color has changed so much--it was one of the most unusual in the palette!

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone comparison swatches

The light, coppery Eyelid shade is similar, though less reflective.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone comparison swatches

The warm, dark brown Definer shade is improved in several ways. It's less patchy, and the shimmer is better integrated, instead of being loose glitter that mostly disappears. It is, however, more powdery, as you can see from the swatch. In generally, the new palette kicks up a lot more powder and creates more fallout below the eyes when I apply it than the old one did.

Here are comparison swatches of the right hand column from the new palette, again with the old version on the left and the new one on the right:

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone comparison swatches

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone comparison swatches

The green eyelid shade hasn't changed too much.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone comparison swatches

The bronzey Crease shade is warmer in the new version. A bigger difference, however, is the formula. The old version was amazingly smooth and completely opaque in a single stroke. The new one, however, required several layers to achieve the same saturation for these swatches.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone comparison swatches

The new blue-brown duochrome Definer shade has more of a brown base than red and more of a green shift than blue.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone comparison swatches

The blackened-brown matte Crease shade with gold glitter got a definite upgrade. The new version is much less patchy and the shimmer is better integrated.

Finally, here are the two new matte shades from the redesigned palette: a terracotta orange and a dusty, rosy brownish-red. Both are quite opaque and smooth.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone swatches

My favorite shadow in this palette has always been the duochrome. I don't know if you've noticed, but I have a thing for duochromes. This Wet N Wild shadow is/was one of the most impressive versions of the common blue-brown combo out there--and available for cheap. In fact, I've often said that this one pan was worth the $5 on its own, since you're not going to find many others like it for that price. So my first and most important test was not just to compare the duochromes in swatches, but also on my actual eyes. I wore the new one on my left eye and the old one on my right eye for a full day (over Wet N Wild primer).

Though they are not identical, as the swatches prove, they were close enough that no one would have noticed I was wearing different makeup on each eye. I used the creamy highlight shade from each respective palette on my browbone, and then applied the duochrome to my mobile lid and blended it into the crease.

Here's the old duochrome right after application:

Wet N Wild Color Icon Comfort Zone palette
Wet N Wild Color Icon Comfort Zone palette

And here is the new duochrome:

Wet N Wild Color Icon Comfort Zone palette
Wet N Wild Color Icon Comfort Zone palette

The new version is a bit sheerer and takes a few layers to build up to the same opacity as the old duochrome but, as you can see, it can be done easily enough. Possibly the slight sheerness will make it more versatile for some people. I was surprised to find that I like the new version just as much as the old one. The color differences are subtle, and it's just as striking and pretty once it's applied. I also found that at the end of 6-7 hours, the teal shift of the new version remained more vibrant than the old version did.

Finally, here are a few of the other shades from just the new palette applied. The orange matte and green shimmer:

Wet N Wild Color Icon Comfort Zone palette
Wet N Wild Color Icon Comfort Zone palette

I really like how this turned out! I actually tried to create a shape here instead of just blending everything into oblivion. I should do this again.

And here's just a quick and simple look with a light wash of the reddish matte shade on the lower lid, blended up through the crease, the light beige highlight shade above, and the blackened-brown matte-with-glitter used as liner.

Wet N Wild Color Icon Comfort Zone palette
Wet N Wild Color Icon Comfort Zone palette

There are certainly some differences between the two iterations of this palette. Which one you prefer will depend on a few things. If you loved the smooth, reflective, metallic effect of the old shadows, you might be let down by the new ones. Especially if the silver-sage Browbone or bronze Crease shade were your favorites, you'll find their replacements quite different. You might want to stock up on another old palette while they are still kicking around. On the other hand, if the duochrome is what you care most about, I think the new Comfort Zone duochrome is just as gorgeous--and the new mattes are a nice addition as well.

I'm not sure exactly why Wet N Wild decided to replace one of their most beloved products (yet again), but I think they've put out another quality, versatile, fun palette. I was fully prepared to bash the fuck out of this product, but I was pleasantly surprised. If I'm being really petty (and I usually am), the most annoying thing about the new palette is how it opens. The labeling suggests that the palette should be oriented vertically, but it opens on the side instead of the bottom, which is just wrong. Am I alone in feeling this way?

Have you tried this palette or any of the other new Wet N Wild eyeshadows? I am tempted to compare one of the reformulated trios to the old ones, too, but I should probably stop buying semi-dupes of things I already own.

2 comments:

  1. I bought the old version for the green and the duochrome shades, so this is fine by me. I actually hadn't heard the theory that they were reformulated due to the crumbliness, but that seems plausible. WnW shadows are the only ones I've had issues with breaking in transit. The one I'm worried about is the Silent Treatment trio - I really hope that gorgeous taupey shade is the same, because it's one of my favourites of all time and I'm actually well on my way to using it up.

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    Replies
    1. How do I keep missing comment notifications? Sorry! Yes I love that taupe--that's the trio I was thinking of buying. For science. By the way, I haven't heard my theory anywhere else either, so I may be way out in left field here.

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