“Read to find out if the reformulated Comfort Zone palette from Wet n Wild is truly new & improved or if there really is merit in the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!
Those of you who have been ~dabbling~ in the dark arts that is the makeup community are probably not strangers to the Wet n Wild “Comfort Zone” palette, which I would consider the true drugstore OG. This palette has honestly been around for as long as I can remember (these swatches by Temptalia are from 2011) and searching “comfort zone palette tutorial” on YouTube will get you almost 43,000 videos with some dating to almost six years ago – wowza!
It’s easy to see why YouTubers – especially the ones just starting out – would gravitate towards this palette. The shadows are pigmented and the 8-pan color selection ensures that there are enough neutral shades for the daytime with the inclusion of some more in-your-face shades to pump up the volume to easily bring your eye look into the night realm. Throw in the fact that the shadows are conveniently labeled “browbone,” “eyelid,” “crease,” and “definer” to make it easy for beginners to navigate, and all-in-all, you get a great little staple to your collection. Oh, and did I mention that it retails for only $4.99?
When Wet n Wild announced in December 2017 that its “Color Icon” eyeshadow palettes (including Comfort Zone) got a “new look,” many fans were skeptical because, as we’ve seen in the recent past, reformulation isn’t necessarily a good thing. *cue obligatory side eye at the Subculture palette*
Now we’re here in April 2018 (surprise, surprise – I’m a tad late to the game!) to take a look at both the old and new versions and see what all the hoopla is about. A first glance at the new version shows two immediately noticeable differences: first is that there are two new matte “transition” shades added to bring the pan total up to 10, and second is that gone are the labels “engraved” into the shadows themselves as they’ve been now relocated and numbered to the back of the palette.
Side-by-side, it looks like Wet n Wild has also done a bit of swapping around. Although there are still two columns with four rows each of shadows (aside from the transition shades in the new version), those shades are no longer located in the same place as they used to be. Additionally, the pans themselves are decently smaller to accommodate for the new transition shades with the palette being slightly longer and a lot less wide than the older version.
Above, I’ve labeled the new version (left) and the old version (right) with how the shadows correspond to each other – this is where you can really see that the shadows have “jumped around” a bit. For example, the old browbone shade in the first column (1 O) and the old definer shade in the first column (4 O) are in the same places, but the old eyelid shade in that same column (3 O) has been moved down one, with the old browbone shade from the second column (2 O) taking its place.
Similarly, the old crease and definer shades (8 O and 7 O respectively) in the second column have swapped places with the old eyelid shade (5 O) in column two moving up one for the old crease shade in column one (6 O) to take its place. If that made your head spin to read almost as much as it made my head spin to write, maybe just ignore my words and check out the pictures… hehe
Before I get into the actual swatches, I’m going to go over the “logistics” of it all, similar to how I like to do my dupe posts. I love a good table (old news) so this is really just an excuse for me to put one into this post TBH, but this might also be helpful for you!
|WnW Comfort Zone
|WnW Comfort Zone
|Total Weight (oz)||0.35||0.3|
|Price per Shadow||$0.50||$0.62|
|Price per Oz||$14.26||$16.63|
|Ingredients||Talc, Boron Nitride, Nylon-12, Ethyl Macadamiate, Magnesium Myristate, Dimethicone, Polybutene, Phenoxyethanol, Lauroyl Lysine, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, o-Cymen-5-ol, Methicone, [+/- (MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR): Mica, Iron Oxides/CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Red 40 Lake/CI 16035, Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891, Ultramarines/CI 77007, Manganese Violet/CI 77742, Black 2/CI 77266, Carmine/CI 75470]. (0815)||Talc, Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Magnesium Stearate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Nylon-12, Boron Nitride, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyethylene, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Glycerin, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Silica, [ /- (MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR): Black 2/CI 77266, Bronze Powder/CI 77400, Carmine/CI 75470, Chromium Oxide Greens/CI 77288, Ferric Ferrocyanide/CI 77510, Iron Oxides/CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Mica, Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891]|
The table nicely shows that the new Comfort Zone palette is a better value than the old one as both the price per shadow and the price per oz are lower in the new version. BTW, have I mentioned how tempting it is to refer to the new version as Comfort Zone Prime yet, or CZ’ for short?
I know this is what you’ve all been waiting for, so here we go!
I’ve done the swatches in order of the first column of the new palette going down, adding the two transition shades to the first row of swatches due to poor planning and a bit of indecisiveness on my part.
The first column of the new version and its corresponding shades in the old version seem virtually the same with very subtle variations – for example, 2 O is slightly more taupe than 2 N, while 3 O is slightly less red and more metallic than 3 N. Additionally, 4 N is a tad more pigmented than 4 O.
In terms of the transition shades, I really liked the color of 9 in the pan because I’m into those burnt-orangey browns, but it didn’t swatch all that well on my arm and it kind of crumbled a bit. 10 held up much better and swatched more evenly, but I’m not really into this kind of red-brown since I feel like it makes me look like iZombie 2.0.
The 2nd column is basically the same story – the shades themselves are virtually identical… I would say 8 N is slightly more pigmented and contains more gold flecks than 8 O, but that’s about it.
After all these swatches, I would just like to note that the formulas overall seem to be slightly different – while not necessarily “dry,” the newer formula is a bit less creamy than the old formula is.
I’m no scientist, but I wanted to take a look at the ingredients for both versions and find how many ingredients are unique (as in they appear in one list and not the other) – I basically just wanted to see the extent to which the formula changed from the old version to the new version.
When going through the lists to separate each individual ingredient, I found that both lists contained the phrase “[+/- (MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR)” and I didn’t really know what that meant. I hopped on the FDA’s cosmetics labeling regulations page and found that this phrase is supposed to precede “color additives not common,” as per the website screenshot below:
Notice above in point 1 that ingredients should also be listed in descending order of “predominance” – in our case, this means that if both versions contain the same ingredient, but it’s written higher on the ingredients listing for the older palette than the newer one, this means that it has less “predominance” in the newer formula. What is NOT clear to me from the website is if this “rule” also exists for the “color additives not common” as point 3 above says the common color additives can be “in any order,” yet doesn’t specify for the “not common” ones.
|Ingredients (NEW)||Ingredients (OLD)|
|Nylon-12||Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate|
|Ethyl Macadamiate||Ethylhexyl Palmitate|
|Magnesium Myristate||Magnesium Stearate|
|Lauroyl Lysine||Caprylyl Glycol|
|Caprylyl Glycol||Caprylhydroxamic Acid|
|Ethylhexylglycerin||Silica Dimethyl Silylate|
|(MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR)||(MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR)|
|Mica||Black 2/CI 77266|
|Iron Oxides/CI 77491||Bronze Powder/CI 77400|
|CI 77492||Carmine/CI 75470|
|CI 77499||Chromium Oxide Greens/CI 77288|
|Red 40 Lake/CI 16035||Ferric Ferrocyanide/CI 77510|
|Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891||Iron Oxides/CI 77491|
|Ultramarines/CI 77007||CI 77492|
|Manganese Violet/CI 77742||CI 77499|
|Black 2/CI 77266||Mica|
|Carmine/CI 75470||Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891|
In the ingredients list above, anything highlighted in red is one of the “unique” values I just talked about that can only be found in one list. You can see that there are quite a lot of them, which means that the formula is apparently quite different! In the first section, out of 30 total ingredients between the two lists (16 in the new and 14 in the old), 18 are unique, which comes to 60%, so that means that there is 40% similarity between the two ingredients lists.
Even two of the first three ingredients listed in the “new” version, which are found on both lists, have apparently increased in predominance in the reformulation as Boron Nitride, which is 2nd in the new version, is listed 8th in the old version and Nylon-12, which is listed 3rd in the new version, is 7th in the old version.
In the second section, or the “not common” color additives section, I’m choosing to ignore the placement for the reason I already mentioned of me not being sure if this section is also ordered by “predominance” or not, so I’m just going to look at the ingredients – out of the combined 20 ingredients (10 in the first list and 10 in the second list), eight are “unique,” which breaks down to 40%.
Maybe this’ll mean more to you if you’re Bill Nye or maybe have a background in more science-y things, but to me, this is basically just a long-winded way to prove that they did in fact change up the formula quite a lot!
If you weren’t super deeply attached to the old version, I’d say the new one is actually a pretty good improvement. The addition of the two transitions shades to a palette that lacked mattes entirely in its first edition has made it into a palette that you can pretty easily use for a full comprehensive look without reaching for another palette – although one of the transition shades didn’t swatch that great, I can see how it could possibly build nicely on the eye.
In terms of formula preference, I actually prefer the older version since it feels more “buttery” to the touch, but the new formula isn’t unpleasantly dry or anything. I do kind of miss the engravings of “browbone” and the like on the newer version, but if you used the palette a lot (which I clearly didn’t), they would technically just rub off anyway, so maybe their usefulness is short-lived.
TL;DR – despite formula variations on an ingredient-level and a slight difference in texture (the newer formula is a tad bit more dry to the touch than the newer version), the new Comfort Zone palette’s shades look virtually the same as the old ones, so avid fans, have no fear! With two more transition shades added and the palette staying at the same price of $4.99, the new version is actually a better bargain for your buck and gives you greater versatility than the older version.
Aaaand that’s a wrap, everybody! We can all go home now!
- Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow 10 Pan Palette in “Comfort Zone” // $4.99
- Temptalia // WET ‘N’ WILD COMFORT ZONE EYESHADOW PALETTE REVIEW, PHOTOS, SWATCHES
- FDA // Cosmetic Labeling Guide
*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)!