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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review & Comparisons: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Nude Palette for Face & Eyes in Natural Nude

When I first saw the new-for-2014 Physicians Formula Nude palettes in person a few months ago, I thought that the Natural Nude palette MIGHT contains some shades that are similar to some of the shades in the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. You might recall that in 2011, I did a pretty extensive comparison of the original Physicians Nude Palette to Naked 1, so I thought it would be fun to purchase the Natural Nude palette and do some comparisons to Naked 3 (with some bonus Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette comparisons too).

But first, a quick review of this palette.

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Nude Palette for Face & Eyes 
in Natural Nude
(retail: $13.95, 0.26 oz)

This palette comes in one additional shade, Warm Nude, which you can view here.

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There is a bottom compartment to this palette that contains an applicator, brush, mirror and how-to info:

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There are twelve shades in this palette that can be worn individually on the eyes or face, and you can also use your blush brush to blend all twelve shades together to use as highlighter. This is what all twelve shades look like when blended together:

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What's neat is that even if you use a blush brush, stippling brush, etc. to blend all the shades together, it's not going to mess up the shadows for individual use. All you need to do is give the palette a quick tap and each shade should be clean and vibrant again. If you do encounter residue on the lighter shades (dust from the darker shades) it only takes a quick swipe with a clean Q-Tip to get them back to normal again. In other words, don't worry that if you swirl all of the shades together you're never going to be able to use them individually again. Not the case at all!

All swatches done on bare skin with a clean finger (each color swiped twice):

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Swatched on bare skin, no primer

The first two rows in this palette contain the whites and pinks, and all of these shades are shimmers. They are all pretty one-dimensional as far as shimmers go, with the except of the third shade in the first row. This is a lovely peach with a rose-gold flash (even prettier in person).

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Swatched on bare skin, no primer

The third and fourth rows contain the coppers and bronzes. Again, all of these shades are shimmers. Nothing too complex here--no duochromes, glitters or satins. Just straight-up shimmers.

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No primer

In the above photo, I applied the darkest brown shade from lash line to crease. Then I took the peach shade with the rose-gold flash and lightly swept that on my crease and blended upward. I finished this look by swiping the cream color (second color, top row) on the inside corner of my eye and under my lower lashline to highlight. 

Summary: After using this palette as both eyeshadow and highlighter several times, I can tell you that I love it both ways. Using all colors together creates a lovely, warm champagne-pink shade that's wonderful on the tops of my cheekbones and above my brows. Using these shadows individually is also great--the colors are shimmery but also natural-looking on the eye, and the lighter shades in particular are EXCELLENT as highlighters on the inner corner, brow bone and under the lower lash line. All of these shadows apply nicely, blend beautifully and have a soft, buttery consistency. None of them are dry, hard or chalky and the only issue I had was that they tend to be a bit powdery and they do kick up a fair amount of fallout (especially when you use them with a blush brush). But the texture and pigmentation of the shadows are so nice, I'm willing to forgive some fallout. Honestly, the texture of these shadows really reminds me of the old formula Wet n Wild shadows--they are creamy and buttery just like that. I wonder if that has to do with the fact that Markwins (owners of Wet n Wild) purchased Physicians Formula in 2012. Hum....anyway, I love this palette and I think it's a true multi-tasker.

Now, on to the lookalikes!

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Urban Decay Naked 3 vs. PF palette

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Swatched on bare skin, no primer
  • The pink shades above are UD Dust vs. the third shade, second row in the PF palette. You can see that the UD shade contains a lot of glitter and it's quite flakey. The PF shade is a straight shimmer, and a bit lighter than the UD shade (it also lacks the glitter). 
  • The bronze-y shades above are UD Trick and the third shade in the third row in the PF palette. You can see that the UD shade has more of a rose tone to it, whereas the PF shade is more of a true bronze. 

Those are the ONLY two shades in the PF palette that even remotely resemble any of the shades in the Naked 3 palette. BUT, I decided to bust out my Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette and do a little dupe-hunting, and came across something interesting:

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Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette vs. PF palette

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Even though they don't look even remotely alike in the pan, the second shade on the top row of the PF palette is similar to Too Faced Champagne Truffle, which is the larger pan on the lower right side of the Chocolate Bar Palette:

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Swatched on bare skin, no primer

As you can see, the PF shade isn't pink like the Too Faced shade (it's cream), but the gold flash is identical. Here's an intentionally blurry photo that really captures their similarities:

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See how the shimmer in both shades is identical?

And one more look-alike:

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Swatched on bare skin, no primer

This is Too Faced Hazelnut next to the darkest shade in the PF palette. You can see that the PF shade is lighter and warmer, but I still think they're similar.

I hope this post helps give you a better idea of what you can expect from the Physicians Formula Natural Nude palette. I think it's a wonderful little mult-tasker and the texture of all of the shades is buttery smooth and easy to work with (aside from a bit of fallout). The pigmentation is quite nice too, even without primer. And it's a nice added bonus that there are some Urban Decay and Too Faced lookalikes to boot!

Physicians Formula goes on sale constantly at CVS and Rite Aid, and this week (through 4/19) all Physicians Formula cosmetics are 40% off at Ulta, both in-store and online (don't forget to use the coupon I mentioned in this post). So if you want this palette, you'll never have to pay full-price as long as you're patient!

Do you own either of the new-for-2014 Shimmer Strips Nude Palettes? Thoughts?

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.


  1. That third shade in the first row (with the gold shift) looks similar to Too Faced Satin Sheets, at least from what I can tell. I LOVE Satin Sheets, so it would be awesome to have a drugstore alternative! The eye look you did with this is really pretty.

  2. I searched like crazy for the warm one when they first came out.. terribly excited because I love the older nude palettes except for those frustrating little strips of color. In use however I found that while it does a lovely gold/champagne neutral eye.. it pretty much only does the one look. There simply are not enough dark colors, or variations of color, unlike the older palettes that give you several to choose from. Also since they all have that same champagne shimmer they tend to blend together too well, hard to see definition between the shades. It does make a gorgeous highlighter and I wound up giving it to a friend who would get more use out of it that way. The formula is lovely.. very creamy and smooth. Let's hope there are more shadows coming in the future that feel like these.

  3. Great dupe job! Thanks so much for the review. :)

  4. Kmart is having a lot of physician formula products on clearance if u would like the pics i tagged u in my instagram shortii83

  5. If their eyeshadows are of similar quality to the old WnW, I hope they come out with more!

  6. Ooooooh pretty. I just love their packaging. :)

  7. I was not thinking to buy this palette until I saw this post G. and if Ulta has it in stock still in the store I am going to buy today since I will be in the shopping center! I really like it and can't wait to use it so many different ways!

  8. I'm so glad you shared swatches! I was eyeing this at Ulta on Monday, and was really wanting it, but held back because I noticed something odd... this palette had TWO versions available. One, like the one you got, then another where all the pinks in the top two rows were replaced with light golds, but the bottom two rows were identical.

    There was also the darker version with the darker pink, so I know it wasn't that palette that was accidentally in the wrong packaging

    Weird right!!!

  9. Love that top row, third over shade! It's beautiful :)

  10. So do you like this new format better than the shimmer strips? Sure does give one a lot more colors! OR do you like both for different uses? Thanks!

  11. Love this review! I want to try the Naked palettes but can't stomach the price - glad you provided such a great review and alternative for those of us that don't want to break the bank!

  12. Just bought this! If I use a small face brush, I squeeze the bristles with my fingers, and I can easily sweep over the shades I want for bronzer, highlight, or blush vs having to mix all the shades. I love it!

  13. Hmmm interesting! Might have to check this out. Have a few CVS coupons and extra bucks that expire soon but was hesitant after the last shimmerstrips didn't wow me. Thanks!


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