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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Review: New Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Cream Eyeliner Trios!

OK, I'm not going to tout this new Physicians Formula Gel Cream Eyeliner Trio like it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if you're a gel or cream eyeliner fan, it just might be. Please read on if you're interested in my thoughts because I'm going to tell you about why I think it's a mindblowingly awesome product, but I'll also explain that it certainly is not without a few flaws.

(Let me warn you right here that this review is long and contains many pictures. If you're looking for a quick pros and cons review, this is not it! I do my best to provide my readers with as much information as possible. That's just my style, so if you're cool with that, please read on!)

I purchased the Green Eyes Trio for $10.99 at my local CVS, and I apologize for these photos of the packaging but my CVS insists on wrapping all new products in a heavy dose of clear packing tape these days. If I try to remove the packing tape, it will remove most of the packaging along with it, so I'm afraid we all have to endure these pics:

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Cream Liner for Green Eyes (retail: $10.99 at CVS)

I particularly like that these liners are fragrance free, safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, and also that they're paraben-free.

So let's end the suspense and bust into this package, shall we?
Look! It's an eyeliner Lego tower! I love how these snap apart but you can also just unscrew the level you want without having to take the whole thing apart every time.

To give you some perspective on the size of this little tower of liners, here it is next to a bottle of nail polish.

Here they are individually

The brush

And finally the liners themselves. Please note that the purple shade in particular is NOT accurate in most of these pics. With my camera, the purple appears FAR more blue than it actually is in person. In real life, this is a deep, true purple. I would say it is closest to #2627 on this Pantone Chart, if that helps.

Here are some pics with flash and without flash of each color:

(Again, please refer to that Pantone color above for a truer representation of this purple.)

These pics are actually not too far off from what the green looks like in real life.

And here's your basic black--OR IS IT??? You'll have to hold on for a second before I reveal the answer to that question!

Now when I first spotted the display for these new PF liners last week (click here for that post to see all of the available colors), I mentioned to you that I thought that each pot was roughly around the size of a Coastal Scents gel liner. Well I am delighted to say that my estimation was pretty darn close. In the pic above, my Coastal Scents gel liner is on the left and the PF gel cream liner is on the right.

And here's an aerial view so you can see that you get about the same amount of surface area in both pots:

Since the Coastal Scents gel liners retail for $6.95 each, I can confirm that $10.99 for the Physicians Formula Trio is indeed a pretty good deal! Also, as you can see in the pic above, I have used my CS gel liner in Truffle dozens and dozens of time (I looove it and contend it's one of the best browns out there--click here for my original review) and I still have barely scratched the surface. So each color in the PF trio will last you a long time, that's for darn sure.

So let's take a look at how these babies look on my eyes. In all pics below, I deliberately did not apply any eye shadow to my eyes so that the color would be as true as possible. The only thing I have on my lids is a light dusting of face powder:

Now, did you detect a bit of sparkle in this black liner? If you did, you wouldn't be wrong. I deliberately put the black liner on way thicker than I would ever wear it out of the house because I wanted to try my best to show that you that there is a surprise to this color. You can't see it when you look at the untouched pot, but once you press your brush into this black shade, look what magically appears:

Yep! That's teal green baby-fine sparkle!! Let me tell you, I was very pleasantly surprised that this hidden sparkle revealed itself because I need another basic black eyeliner like a hole in the head. I loooove this color because the sparkle isn't over the top (as you can see in my pics) but it does add a little sumpthin' extra...a little pizzazz, if you will.

Here are some swatches on my hand:

In this pic all three colors are pretty accurate but the green is pulling a tiny bit more yellow than it does in real life. And what's the most surprising is that both the green and purple, which look to be shimmery in the pot, are actually pretty matte when applied. That black though--woo, it's gorgeous.

And here are the same lines after I did a smudge test (with my index finger, I rubbed the lines back and forth for about ten seconds):

As you can see, the only area really worth noting is the area above where I placed the little black dots. It did smudge a bit there, but as you can see it's pretty minimal.

I also ran my hand under water for several seconds and when I patted my hand dry, the lines had not budged. But the best part? These liners remove easily with makeup remover. In fact, I was surprised to see that there were completely gone after just one application of remover with a cotton pad.

So let me try my best to break these liners down for you:

They are a fantastic deal money-wise, the colors are gorgeous, they apply very easily (they don't tug or drag) and the brush is surprisingly good. I was able to get right down into the lash-line with this brush, and it's very soft (no roughness on your lids) yet firm enough to apply a nice, clean line. The only problem with this brush is that it really won't give you one of those razor-sharp extra-fine lines. The line this brush gives is a little on the thick side, but not ridiculously thick.

As for the faults, the only one I can see so far is that the purple color in particular is a little streaky when first applied. I blame that more on me not knowing how much product to put on my brush on initial application (you need a bit more than with other gel liners) so I found myself having to go back over the line once or twice before it was fully opaque. Also, these liners did smudge a bit on my LOWER lash line, but everything smudges for me there. I have found that, as is the case with all liners in my life, the less I apply on my lower lash line, the longer it stays put without smudging. When I used just a tiny amount of the green color on my lower lash line and smudged it out, it stayed put all day. But as for the upper lash line, these liners stayed put for me ALL day and night, until I removed them.

Also, I used the black shade on my water line as well, and it seemed to stay put there for a few hours, which is a miracle for me.

All in all, I would definitely recommend the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Cream Liners to anyone who is already a fan of gel liners, as well as to those just beginning to dip their toes into the pool. For me, the color selection, value and staying power make these far more than just your typical gimmicky product with cute packaging.

Have you tried these liners yet? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. ohh. I want this. These are gorgeous!!! The colors look so pretty on your eyes, too. I'll have to see if they bring these over to PR

  2. I love cream/gel liners, so I've been eyeing these. All your pictures and commentary were very helpful. Thanks :)

  3. The black in this set actually makes me want to buy it. Your swatches were perfect! Your liner looked great around each eye. Can't wait to find this in stores :)

  4. Oooh, these look awesome! I just introduced my 17-year-old niece to gel liners, and now she's way better than I am at applying them. She'd love a set of these... I'll have to check out the hazel set for her!

    Thanks for the review!

  5. ooo i m going to go get some tomorrow!!

  6. The black eyeliner looks fantastic! And I think the purple one really does bring out the green in your eyes!

  7. These look GORGEOUS on you! That green is to die for, I must must must have these, thanks...I already blew my fun money for the week! :)


  8. Those look lovely. The black one reminds me a lot of Clinique's Egyptian liner.

  9. oh thanks so much for the wonderfully comprehensive review. I want these now!!! Especially that gorgeous black with teal glitter! :D *puts on wishlist*

  10. You look so gorgeous with those eyeliners on. I am definitely will grab the PS gel liners when they hit my CVS now.

  11. I really want to try these! But another brand not sold here. Boo. That light green looks like a lot of fun.

  12. Awesome stuff! I find gel liners are less intimidating to apply than liquid. That's why I always go for them more. But - are they hard to remove, would you say?

  13. my hip liner is getting to the point where it could give me en infection if i use it any more, (it's old) so i have my eye on a package of these! i LOVE how each colour looks on you!

  14. Oh wow! I am going to have to find these - I've been looking for colors in that set you just posted. Thank you so much for sharing - another lemming added to the list!!

  15. Love this review! They all look great on you! I'm pretty new to gel liners, but I'm absolutely going to give these a try when I can find them on sale

  16. Miss Tat: Thank you so much! I hope you can find these in PR soon! xo

    Alli: Thank you so much! I was hoping that I could help some of you decide on whether these might work for you, so it really means a lot that you said that. :)

    Phyrra: Thank you SO much for that!! I would love to see what you can do with that black shade--it would look amaaaazing on you for sure. xo

    J: You're welcome! I think this would be a great set for her (and for you as well!). xo

    Joyce: Yay! I'd love to know what you think of them when you get 'em! :)

    Rita: Thank you!! You know, I have a really hard time with purples because certain shades make me look really ruddy or too yellow, and some shades just make me look tired or even like I'm bruised! So it means a lot that you would say you like this one on me--it gives me up! lol. :)

    Amber: Thank you so much honey!! I swear, that green would look unbelievably STUNNING on you. Get it! Get it! lol. xo

    catalina23: Thank you! I have never tried that Clinique liner, but maybe I don't have to now? lol. :)

    Connie: You are so welcome!! I'm so glad it could help, and I can't wait to hear what you think of these when you get them! xo

    Anon: You are too sweet! Thank you, thank you! And I hope you like them as much as I do. :)

    Sirvinya: I am so sorry that you can't get PF there. :( That is a huge bummer considering how much good stuff they're releasing lately. Maybe you can do a swap with a friendly US blogger someday! :)

    ndoodles: Not hard at all to remove! Like I mentioned in my review, they easily remove with eye makeup remover (I only needed one cotton pad per eye to remove them) and with the green shade, I was even able to remove that with my normal facial cleanser. Yay!

    beautifulmonday: Well that settles it! If you need to get a new gel liner anyway, you might as well get one of these fab little trios! lol. :)

    Tiff: Thanks so much, honey!! I would of course love to know what you think of these if you get 'em! xo

  17. Wow! These look great. I just checked my local CVS and a Walgreens and they didn't have them yet. I've been waiting. Anyways, thanks for the swatches.

  18. kali: Oh man, I'm sorry you don't have these in your area yet. I bet you they'll make their appearance soon though! Please come back and let me know how you like them if you get them, ok? :)

  19. Lillian: Totally agree. It's really fantastic. :)

  20. I am totally lemming these!!! grabbing the brown eyes set my next CVS trip. . . .

  21. Hey, I just found your blog! Great info and swatches on these liners. Thanks so much for posting this and helping out the beauty obsessed :)

  22. dicey: I would love to know what you think of the brown trio when you get it! Please keep me posted? :)

    pixiedust2: Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I'm so glad that this review might have helped you determine whether or not you'd like to pick up one of these trios. In my opinion they're fabulous and the staying power is incredible. I'd love to know what you think of them if you try one! :)

  23. I have searched High and Low in the metro New Orleans area and can't find these. They look so good, but just beyond my reach. I even tried to buy them online, but they weren't on the PF website. Were these an early release to you to test?

  24. I FOUND THEM!!! I found a new display at my local CVS yesterday. I haven't really had a chance to try them yet, but they look great!

  25. Hey! I just reviewed the blue ones over at my blog, and the black one in that set has blue sparkles!

    Now I want the green ones even more.

  26. Oh I'm so jealous of you guys over there! They don't have this eyeliner trio here in Australia, or maybe not at the stores near me, and all the other drugstore brands you have, oh I go green everytime I read your blog!

  27. Recessionista!

    I didn't realize the blocks pulled apart until now! I tried to twist them when I first got them & they didn't twist but I didn't think to PULL! LOL!

    Did you notice the sparkles are green in both the black and green from the green set? Emily mentioned blue sparkles in the black from the blue set! I heard a rumor purple sparkles are in the black for brown eyes. WoW!
    No wonder they are called shimmer strips & match to eye color.

  28. LOVED your review! I didn't mind how long it was because it was easy to read, like you were telling a story. It was very enjoyable.


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