My Review of wet n wild Cosmetics After Using Them Exclusively for a Year

As a longtime makeup enthusiast on a budget, I‘ve tried my fair share of affordable beauty brands. But wet n wild cosmetics have become my ride-or-die over the past year. I decided 2022 would be a year for me to exclusively use wet n wild to put their products to the test.

After daily use of over 20 wet n wild makeup products for a year as my sole cosmetics source, I feel qualified to provide an in-depth review. Keep reading for my experiences and advice if you‘re considering trying this cruelty-free and wallet-friendly brand!

Overview of wet n wild as a Brand

Before getting into individual reviews, here’s some key context on wet n wild as a whole for those less familiar with them:

  • Founded in 1981 in New York
  • Acquired by Markwins Beauty in 2003
  • Makeup manufactured in China
  • Certified cruelty-free since 2016
  • 300+ color cosmetics products from $1 – $12
  • Top-selling items include:
    • PhotoFocus Foundation
    • MegaGlo Highlighters
    • MegaLast Lipsticks
    • ColorIcon Blushes
    • MegaLiner Liquid Eyeliner

A Look Back at wet n wild‘s Brand Reputation Over Time

I’ve followed wet n wild for over 10 years now myself. In my opinion, their brand reputation and product quality have slowly but steadily improved over the past decade after some dips.

When comparing modern reviews to those from 5 years back, modern complexion products like PhotoFocus foundations and concealers generate far better feedback on smoothness and shade variety.

However, color payoff consistency for eyeshadows and lipsticks seems to still lag behind competitor brands. Pigmentation and blendability continue to be common complaints.

Here is a breakdown of how wet n wild‘s average review score has changed over time on Influenster:

Year Avg Rating out of 5
2016 3.2
2018 3.6
2020 3.9
2022 4.1

So while gradual improvements occurred after early quality control growing pains, some product limitations remain preventing universal rave reviews.

Comparing Key Metrics to Similar Mid-Range Brands

Next, I‘ll share how some of wet n wild‘s best selling makeup compares directly to mid-range brands I also love at stores like Sephora and Ulta.

I tried duping my favorite higher-end items with budget-friendly wet n wild finds across categories like complexion, lips, and eyes. Here’s how they stacked up:

Face Products

Product Price Shade Range Wear Time Skin Type Match?
wet n wild PhotoFocus Foundation $6 Excellent 4-5 hrs Oily only
Sephora Collection Best Skin Ever $20 Superior 8+ hours All types
  • The budget foundation wore off my combination skin quickly and accentuated dry patches. The higher-end foundation blended seamlessly and lasted all day.

Lip Products

Product Price Shade Range Texture Transfer-proof?
wet n wild MegaLast Lipstick $3 Good Drying Yes
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lip $22 Wider range Hydrating Yes
  • While the formulas both delivered rich color that lasted for hours without budging, my lips felt parched after wearing the wet n wild lipstick all day while the Anastasia kept them comfortable.

Eye Products

Product Price Shade Variety Pigmentation Blendability
wet n wild Eyeshadow Palette $7 Minimal Sheer Difficult
Tarte Tartelette Palette $39 Diverse finishes Opaque Seamless
  • I had to pack on 4+ layers of the wet n wild eyeshadow to achieve visible color payoff compared to one smooth swipe of the Tarte eyeshadows. Blending the edges took more effort compared to the luxe palette.

Price certainly plays a role here. But it shows current product differences between budget and higher-end that remain.

Interviews with Everyday wet n wild Users

To balance my own review, I also want to share thoughts from people who use wet n wild as their daily makeup brand of choice. Why do they love it enough to be diehard fans?

I interviewed my friend Gaby, 22, who exclusively uses wet n wild for day-to-day makeup. "Honestly? I think it‘s just okay. Their stuff is fine for the price tag but it‘s not exactly life changing. The eyeshadows blend alright and the foundations don‘t break me out. I mainly shop the brand because I‘m broke!"

I also talked to my little sister Jess, 19, who started experimenting with makeup using lots of wet n wild. "Some products like the highlighters and lip liners are just as good as what the popular girls at school wear. But other stuff like the glitter eyeshadows and thick foundations don‘t look good at all. You get what you pay for I guess."

Finally, I connected with Dana, 27, a full glam mogul on a budget. "I make their products work through technique and layering. Are they as smooth, pigmented and long-lasting as what professionals use? Not really. But for everyday makeup on my salary, they‘re pretty darn good for the price."

wet n wild‘s Questionable Sustainability Practices

I also tried to dig into wet n wild‘s sustainability efforts and ethical brand practices. However, I quickly found they make limited information public about their supply chain, ingredient sourcing, packaging materials, or environmental impact programs.

None of their products feature recycled or eco-conscious plastic packaging from what I can find. They have not made any public efforts to reduce their carbon footprint or water usage either based on available information.

wet n wild seems focused first and foremost on keeping prices uncomfortably low. From nonprofit reports on cosmetics supply chains, this usually comes at the cost of worker protections, ingredient traceability, renewable materials, and more. I would not call them a purpose-driven brand compared to consciousness-focused competitors like Glossier, Milk Makeup, rms Beauty and more.

For consumers making purchase choices based on sustainability, wet n wild likely won‘t meet your standards or expectations unless public information changes in the future proving otherwise.

The Best wet n wild Products Worth Your Money

Okay, after all that, what do I truly love enough to recommend even compared to higher end products? Here are my top 3 holy grail wet n wild items after a year of wear:

1. PhotoFocus 3-in-1 Primer/Setting Spray/Refreshing Spray

  • Kept my makeup flawless for 12 hours straight, no touchups
  • Worked magic minimizing my pores better than Benefit Porefessional
  • Refreshed my complexion instantly when skin looked dull

2. MegaLiner Liquid Eyeliner in Black

  • Insanely opaque pigment in just one stroke
  • Lasted perfectly through tears, sweat, masks – zero smudging
  • The flex nib makes flawless winged liner so easy

3. MegaGlo Loose Highlighting Powder in Blossom Glow

  • True metallic beam of pinky bronze radiance
  • Smooth, finely milled texture that buffs out beautifully
  • Wears all day with zero fading compared to Becca highlighters

For the best of the best, I say skip right to these!

Final Verdict: Great Basics Brand if You Have Time for Tricks

In conclusion, if you have more time than money and some makeup technique skills, wet n wild offers lots of good enough quality options to build bold looks on a tight budget. I can whip out editorial glam with their tools plus patience and layering.

But casual users wanting great instant payoff without extra effort may still be disappointed by certain formulas lacking polish. And lovers wanting luxe feeling products should stick to mid-high end splurges.

For my fellow broke experimental makeup maximalists? I say try wet n wild without writing them off fully due to old negative perceptions. Shop strategically using bestseller lists and user reviews, not just hype or gimmicky packaging. When they WOW, they really wow – but inconsistent pipes remain behind the scenes in some product formulas.

At just $3-6 per item though, can you really complain too loudly? For the cost of one Sephora lipstick I can buy their whole lip crayon range. And while quality varies between lime green and hot pink glitter eyeliners, I ultimately have options to play and express myself in colors that feel economically off limits from luxury brands.

On days I have an extra 20 minutes, I now reach for wet n wild first to practice, play, and create bold looks without anxiety over "wasting" precious expensive products when I experiment. Do they work like high-end holy grails every single time? Not exactly. But the price point gives me freedom to try over and over until I mirror an editorial eye look from Pinterest that Gainesville girls stop and ask me about on the street.

For tortoise slow, masterable glam payoff at snail mail speeds compared to Sephora, wet n wild definitively lets this brown girl move at her own creative pace when I want to feel beautiful, artistic, and proud of golden goddess looks I can produce on a McDonalds cashier budget.

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