Recently Physicians Formula came out with a new Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Extreme Shimmer collection. One of these new products included Gel Cream Shadow & Liner Trio available in a Nude and Smoky set. I purchased the Nude trio from CVS for $13.29.
Let me just say, woah, $13.29 for eye shadows is quite pricey for the drugstore but the collection has been getting positive buzz over on YouTube so I bought it right away despite some reservations. Physicians Formula is without a doubt my favorite drugstore brand when it comes to powder cheek products (i.e. blush, bronzer, highlighter) but their eye shadows have never impressed me. I know their matte Canyon Classics quad gets a lot of love but the powders simply don’t adhere or perform well on my dry skin. So, naturally, regardless of my fondness for the brand I was quite hesitant to try any more of Physicians Formula’s shadows. But YouTube has turned me on to some exciting new products that I wouldn’t have tried on my own countless times before and I thought this would be one of those times. I should have trusted my gut. This Extreme Shimmer cream shadow trio, as well as the powder palette that I’ll also review soon, are perhaps some of the worst products I’ve used in the past few years.
On the plus side, the packaging is cute and girly but very flashy. The cream shadows come in little plastic pots with glittery pink screw-top lids. Removing the lids for the first time and looking at the shadows, they have sort of a rough textured surface. There’s a drier top layer that you need to break through (or wipe off) first before you can get to the cream underneath. It’s the most noticeable in the darkest Mocha shade which at first glance looks like it might be a charcoal taupe shade but beneath that top crust is actually brown.
The shadows themselves have a thin, creamy texture but the formula is lumpy, kind of like gravy or custard that hasn’t been stirred well enough. I had to really swirl my finger on the product’s surface (longer than I normally would with cream shadows) in order to work out some of the lumps and make sure I had a smooth even layer before applying shadow to my eyes.
If you look closely at my finger swatches and the swatches on the back of my hand you should be able to see that the shadows don’t have a smooth, uniform consistency and are kind of clumpy and lumpy and apply onto the skin that way too. And I’m just talking about the cream itself, I haven’t even gotten to the glitter in the cream yet. And, holy smokes, is there glitter!
If you want sophisticated and refined shimmer then you need to run far, far away from this product because you’re not going to find it here. I’m not afraid of shine or shimmer. Stila Kitten, which is super frosty, is one of my favorite shadows. This trio, however, is a horror. The glitter — yes, I said glitter and not shimmer — is chunky and flaky, comes in non-uniform shapes and sizes (ranging from smaller glitter pieces to large flakes of glitter), and gets everywhere! I dabbed the shadows as carefully as I could onto my eyelids but the glitter still migrated to my lashes, undereyes, cheeks, and everywhere else.
Removing the shadows was a pain in the ass too. A makeup wipe is usually enough to remove most swatches cleanly but not with this trio! I had sparkles left everywhere on my hand. And on the makeup wipe you see how large the pieces of glitter are in these shadows. They’re like flaky pieces of metallic foil. Even after a good wash with a makeup remover and facial cleanser I still had glitter clinging to my skin. Nasty and so annoying.
The color payoff isn’t impressive either. I’d say these go on quite sheer and patchy. I can build up the pigmentation somewhat but in doing so I end up packing on more of that glitter that falls everywhere.
The only person on YouTube that I’m subscribed to that was underwhelmed by these shadows is Mrslolalynn although she’s a lot kinder in her review. I’m in total agreement with her that, rather than on their own, these cream shadows would probably work best as glittery topcoats over colored bases but honestly they’re more trouble than they’re worth in my opinion. I hate to be a party pooper but I just had to add my two cents.
Physicians Formula makes lots of great products; this just isn’t one of them.