More than likely, the first brand of cosmetics you ever tried was Wet ’n Wild, now a familiar name of tried-and-true drugstore beauty essentials. The classics are all still there—and yes, their eye- and lipliner pencils and nail polish are still at the pricing they debuted at in 1979: 99 cents.
Wet ’n Wild eyeliner, eye shadow palettes, lipliners, lip gloss, lipsticks, nail polish, body shimmers, bronzers and blush all remain in the top 10 best-selling items in the Nielsen ratings for cosmetic industries. Time and time again, beauty blogs and magazines have singled out their products as affordable favorites—an alternative to splurging on the high-end “prestige” brands that offer similar results.
So remind me again: Why is it that you haven’t even glanced at the Wet ’n Wild selection at the drugstore since you were 12? Especially when now isn’t the best time to wander into Sephora for a $12 tube of lip gloss.
With nothing in the line costing more than $5.99, Wet ’n Wild has undergone an evolution in its products without compromising value and quality, leaving behind the stereotypes (and expectations) of drugstore brands.
“Our main initiative has been to improve the overall quality of the brand through three main factors: ingredients and formulas, packaging, and the communication of the brand,” says Shawn Haynes, senior vice president of marketing and global brand development. “We like to reward our shoppers for being smart and savvy about the cosmetics they purchased, so as a result, we continue to push the envelope with ingredients and ingredient technology.”
A new favorite is the Speed Gloss, launched this spring. The “energizing” lip gloss (with nifty transparent applicator!) contains ingredients you’d typically find in energy drinks such as gingko biloba, ginseng and acai that leave your lips conditioned, shiny, colored—and with a bonus minty tingle. Try “Hyped,” a gorgeous nude perfect for casual days. Other standouts include their minerals blush ($3.99), Natural Wear 100% Natural Pressed Powder ($4.99) and their way-too-pretty i-sparkle eye-shadow palettes ($4.99).
Most remarkably, Wet ’n Wild remains the only PETA-approved brand in mass market today, opting to buy its raw materials itself rather than through a third party.
“It’s part of our corporate responsibility,” Haynes explains. “We want to be able to make a difference.”