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Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner Trio for Hazel Eyes

I don't know if you remember back in December when I showed you the display for the new Eye Candy collection from Physicians Formula, but I was kind of freaking out about these liners. First of all, if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that automatic, longwear eyeliners are my number one favorite makeup item. I just adore them because 1) I have super oily skin 2) I hate sharpening pencils. So whenever a new version hits the drugstore, you can be SURE I'm going to purchase it and review it for you.

But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that Physicians Formula would give us TRIOS, and in their Shimmer Strips line, which automatically means fun, unique colors! I had amazing success with their Shimmer Strips Gel Cream Eyeliner Trios, so I really had high hopes for these as well. I immediately purchased the set for hazel eyes when I spotted it at Rite Aid because I think this trio offers the most unique shades in terms of what can currently be found at the drugstore level.

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing
Eyeliner Trio for Hazel Eyes
(retail: around $9.99)

I have to call your attention to a few things right off the bat. Number one: the price! Around $10 bucks for three full-sized liners! These pencils are the EXACT same size as my Revlon ColorStay automatic liners and the amount of product you get is identical as well (0.01 oz per pencil). Considering just one ColorStay liner retails for $7.49 at CVS, this is a steal.

Second, I'd also like to call your attention to the variety of different colors available in this collection. This is such a departure from what you ordinarily see in the world of longwear automatic pencils, which usually just come in the standard black and brown (although Revlon does mix it up a bit with teal, bronze and charcoal options). Anyway, my point is that Physicians Formula is taking things to a whole other level, as far as I'm concerned.

Here are some swatches taken with flash and without flash:

I found it a little interesting that the shade that states on the package to contain "Black + Pink Shimmer" has the least detectable shimmer of all. The package doesn't really say that the other two shades contain shimmer, but I found that both the taupe and the pink liners have much more visible shimmer overall. But please note that this is very fine micro-shimmer/sparkle and it doesn't read as glitter on the eye. The effect is very subtle.

That said, I think the taupe shade is a very true taupe (yay!) and I actually wore it in this review (scroll all the way to the bottom of the post) if you'd like to see how it looks on the eye. In the above swatches, you can kind of see this shade has both pink and silver sparkle/shimmer to it. I love that because it warms up the coolness of the taupe just a touch, which I think makes this liner a wearable taupe for both cooler and warmer skintones.

The pink shade is actually more of a warmer, mid-toned grape-ish purple-violet shade in real life. My pics make it look much more pink than it really is, but let me tell you, I was VERY happy that it wasn't a true pink in real life because I don't know many women who can pull off pink eyeliner. The fact that this is a grapey-purple-violet makes it so much more wearable to me, and it's really stunning in person. This shade has silver shimmer/sparkle running through it as well.

As for the black + pink shimmer shade, this isn't a very deep, rich black, but on my eyes it does read black (as opposed to dark brown). I have a hard time pulling off intense blacks around my eyes, so I enjoy that this is a softer, very wearable black for me. But again, I can barely detect the shimmer.

What would a longwear automatic eyeliner review be without my smudge test, right? For this test, I take my index finger and rub it back and forth with a lot of pressure for about 10 seconds. Let's see how it did:

All I can say is WOW. These babies don't budge. And I was very happy to see that the shimmer didn't migrate all over the place after the smudge test either!

So let's get down to the nitty gritty:

I've been using all three of these shades for several weeks now. The texture of these pencils is smooooth and creamy and they glide on my skin with ease. In fact, I was sure they'd smudge the first time I used them because they were that silky on the eyes. But NO. In my experience, these liners do not smudge, fade or run one bit on my upper lids, and I have only experienced the TINIEST bit of smudging on my super-oily lower-lid region, and the smudging only seems to kick in after about seven hours of wear. But even then, it's minimal for me.

In real life, I think you will be quite impressed with the pigmentation of these liners. One swipe is all I need for a very nice level of color, but of course you can build for more intensity by going over your line a few times.

And once again I'd like to point out that I am overjoyed by the variety of beautiful and unique shades offered in this collection. I never in a million years thought I would ever see a shimmery taupe or purpleish-violet automatic eyeliner in a truly longwear formula at the drugstore.

I should also add that, according to the package, these liners are: made in the USA, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, dermatologist approved, safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, and also paraben free as well.

FINAL VERDICT: In my experience, these pencils live up to their claims by providing longwear color to even my super-oily skin. They glide across the lid with such ease that you might be convinced they'll fade or smudge within the hour, but for me they did just the opposite. These liners stay put all day and night for me, and I can get at least seven hours of wear on my lower lid before I start to see a tiny bit of smudging. Because of their longwear, water-resistant properties, you'll need to remove them with makeup remover but they're worth that extra step for me. The colors available, combined with the insanely low price (three full-size liners for $10) make these a no-brainer in my book. I give them my very highest recommendation.


  1. I think I may need all of these! I love eyeliners. Will try to find them on sale. =)

    Oh did the magic red machine give you a $10 off blush face or bronzer product from PF too? Very excited to use that with the sale!

  2. Ok you have me convinced: I need these! Haha now I just have to find them- haven't seen them anywhere yet :(

  3. I am OBSESSED with eyeliner for some reason and these look awesome. I rarely wear retractable liners though. Not because I don't like them, but because of their limited color range. Needless to say I am really looking forward to buying these. Thanks G!

  4. Oh, wow, you've piqued my interest. I'm generally not into automatic eyeliners but your smudge test definitely sold me! I'm going to check them out the next time I go shopping.

  5. I'm all over the cream liners. I want the glam gel liners for green and hazel eyes. They look so pretty, and they last all day. I don't think I've seen a liner with that much potential, in the drugstores.

  6. you are making me feel better about not owning any UD liners like the rest of the world! i am totally buying these next time PF is on sale!

  7. Physician's Formula is BLOWING MY MIND with all of these new products coming out! I can't wait until I spot these at the store. =)

  8. These look awesome! Might you have a review of the Eye Candy shadows on the way? :)

  9. Physician's Formula is on the come up!!! I have one of the metallic gel liner trios that's amazing!

    I thought about you today...the "slotbox" printed out the $10 Physicians Formula product. I couldn't not believe it!

  10. I have been looking for a eyeliner that won't smudge. This one looks really promising. Thanks for the swatches and detailed review.

  11. I am so excited for these! I really like the gel cream liners but I don't really like having to use the brush all the time. I got my gel cream ones for BOGO1/2 off so hopefully these will have something similar, but even if they don't they are still a great deal!

  12. OMG they're soo pretty saw them a few days ago at my local shoppers for 20 bucks =( but totally going to try them after seeing your swatches =)

  13. I hope there's a BOGO sale coming up because I want these and one of those Happy Booster blushes too. Either that or maybe I'll get lucky and get the $10 off PF coupon!

  14. Thank you for the review G since I am down to the nub on my Rimmel liners, i think i will try them too! Maybe we can all get lucky and a sale will come soon.

  15. I really want the purple one. The color is gorgeous! Thanks for the review. :D

  16. I just want to let you know that you're amazing in your reviews. You tell us absolutely everything we need to know! <3

  17. I am in total agreement with you about these liners. great value, long lasting ans I'm so glad to see PF stepping up their game this season. I cannot wait to get their gelliners which are GLAM and metallic-y. If you know when thats coming out.. please let us know!! Thanks!
    - Beauty & All That

  18. I love these as well!

    I love the little self sharpener at the bottom!


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