It’s a good thing that Physicians Formula is on sale so often at CVS because I probably wouldn’t have purchased this palette otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I love Physicians Formula. In fact, they’re my favorite drugstore brand but, let’s be honest, their products are pricey. The new Physicians Formula #InstaReady Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palettes are $13.29 each which is a lot. I chose the more neutral Nature Nude to try.
Before I comment on the actual eyeshadows I just have to mention the packaging which I think is really cool. I’m not wild about the matte black case — I still prefer the clear acrylic look of their older eyeshadow palettes a la Shu Uemura/Clinique — but I love how its hinge allows the #InstaReady palette to tilt and prop itself up. I also appreciate how much more streamlined this palette is compared to the bulky packaging of their older items. They include a brush which is standard with Physicians Formula but, rather than placing it in a separate compartment which would add bulk, it’s tucked discretely inside the top of the lid. It’s a very clever design, packaging-wise. The design of the powder shadows, however, I don’t like. Some of the strips of eyeshadows are so narrow it’s difficult to get a brush into one color without accidentally picking up some of the neighboring colors on the brush. (Sidenote: I’m sure the By Terry Sun Designer palettes would drive me nuts for the same reason.)
As for the shadows, if you’re a fan of Physicians Formula’s quads (e.g. Canyon Classics) you’ll probably love this new one. I, for one, have never been a fan of any of their quads or eyeshadow palettes. To me, there’s just something about their eyeshadow formulas that’s too dry for my already extremely dry skin and the shadows simply won’t apply or adhere well to my eyelids. Honestly, I thought the Canyon Classics quad was rather chalky and powdery. In comparison, the textures of the #InstaReady shadows, while still a little too dry for my tastes, are a lot better and I don’t get any powder kickup or chalkiness. In my experience their face powders, like the Shimmer Strips All-in-1 Custom Nude Palette for Face & Eyes Natural Nude, have creamier and more buttery formulas and work better on dry skin than the actual eyeshadows in their collection.
The #InstaReady shadows comes in a range of finishes (satin, matte and shimmer) with about medium pigmentation. The one dud is the light pinkish shimmer shade on the right-hand side of the palette which goes on patchy and sheer, so overall the palette is just okay. For drugstore eyeshadow palettes with a traditional powder formula, I still prefer Milani’s Everyday Eyes Palettes.
As you know, I’ve been downsizing my makeup stash and when I bought this palette I had been hoping to find a great all-over, lid brightening, matte shade. The cream shade in the palette looked really promising at first glance. If it had worked out it would’ve allowed me to consolidate all of the essential neutrals into a single palette and made it possible for me to eliminate a bunch of other shadows from my collection. Unfortunately, it ended up being too stark and not warm enough against my skin tone, so the palette was a bust for me.