Nude Wear Touch of Glow Foundation
This subtly luminous foundation has a lot going for it, but let's get the disappointing news out of the way. The formula contains a potentially problematic amount of Tropaeolum majus extract. Also known as nasturtium, this plant is a good source of vitamin C, but one of its principal ingredients is benzyl mustard oil, a fragrant oil that can cause acute irritation and contact dermatitis (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). What a heartbreaker! Otherwise, this is a brilliant option to enliven dull skin with a satin-smooth, shimmer finish.
The illuminating quality is a nice touch for dry skin, and even someone with slightly oily skin can use it with a sheer dusting of powder to temper the shine. Initially, the formula goes on dewy, but it sets to a soft, natural-skin finish.
There are only two shades—Light and Light/Medium—both of which are flattering and offer light-to-medium coverage. (Note: Light is a tad too dark for fair skin.)
The fragrance-free, liquid formula is dispensed via a pump applicator and comes with a foundation brush. The brush gets the job done, but blending is just as smooth, actually smoother, with your fingertips or a sponge.
We admit that the frosted-glass bottle and its adorned rose-gold and pink accents make for adorable packaging. Unfortunately, however, we experienced a bit of a mishap when the pump portion of the bottle became detached from the lower half and leaked some of the contents into our makeup bag. We were able to put it back together, and perhaps it was just a fluke, but we'd be remiss not to mention the issue.
Were it not for the irritancy risk, this foundation would earn our seal of approval as an attractive, luminous option. This is a classic case of "just because it looks good on, doesn't mean it's good for you." Single tear.
- Subtle luminous finish elegantly enlivens dull skin.
- Fragrance-free liquid formula blends seamlessly.
- Flattering shades.
- Contains a potential irritant that spells trouble for skin.
- Packaging can result in product leakage (although that might have been a fluke).
Physicians Formula At-A-Glance
Strengths: Inexpensive; almost all products fragrance-free; outstanding cleansers; pressed powder with broad-spectrum sunscreen; several bronzing powder options (primarily for fair to light skin tones); one of the only lines at the drugstore selling matte finish eyeshadows; the loose powder; most of the blushes; good liquid liner; excellent automatic brow pencil.
Weaknesses: Dated moisturizer formulas; several sunscreens lack sufficient UVA protection; jar packaging; several of the makeup products epitomize wasteful packaging; the shade selection for almost all the foundations and concealers is awful; tons of gimmicky products that dont perform as well as you'd think but are eye-catching in their compacts; the lip color and lip plumper; mostly average to disappointing mascaras;the Organic Wear products either have undesirable textures or contain irritating ingredients.
There aren't really any doctors at Physicians Formula (the founder of the company was an allergist, Dr. Frank Crandell, but that was back in 1937), and no physicians currently sell or endorse it either. The company asserts that "The term hypoallergenic is more than just a cosmetic claim for Physicians Formula. It is the basis for every product that is created. Physicians Formula honors this claim through stringent product testing and quality control. In fact, Physicians Formula products are formulated without 132 known irritating ingredients still found in many cosmetics on the market today." While the line doesn't list the "132 known irritating ingredients" that they claim not to use, one of their newer products contains menthol, which serves no purpose for skin other than to cause irritation, and other products contain alcohol and witch hazel, which won't make any cosmetic chemist's or dermatologist's list of anti-irritants.
It's good that the skin-care products have been streamlined. There are some excellent makeup removers and a couple of gentle sunscreens whose sole active ingredient is titanium dioxide. Surveying this line in its entirety reveals that makeup is its major focus. However, as you'll see from the Physicians Formula makeup reviews below, things aren't exactly rosy there, either.
For more information about Physicians Formula, call (800) 227-0333 or visit www.physiciansformula.com.
Physicians Formula Makeup
Does this assortment of makeup products have what the doctor ordered? The enormous selection of makeup (no other line at the drugstore sells more individual pressed powders, concealers, or powder bronzers) has seen some noteworthy improvements in recent years, but far too much of it is still built on gimmicky premises or eye-catching graphics while performance and texture are given short shrift. And for a line where just about every product carries on about its goodness for sensitive skin and the non-comedogenic nature of its ingredients, they're not using anything that other companies aren't also using, not to mention that many of the ingredients that show up in these products (such as waxes and occlusive thickening agents) can absolutely clog pores.
Still, for a line with increased retail presence in major drugstores, you may be wondering just what to pay attention to, and the good news is that there are indeed some finds among all the mosaic powders and oddly packaged concealers. Physicians Formula has never done foundations and concealers well, and for the most part that still holds true today. Only one of their concealers is recommended, while the others are best described as dismal. The expansive powder category has several attractive options, including a pressed powder with sun protection and many worthwhile bronzing powders. You'll also find best beauty buys among the blushes and other key products, including the matte eyeshadows, felt-tip eyeliner, brow pencil, and a few of the mascaras. There isn't anything medical or extra-pure about Physicians Formula makeup, but if you know what to look for and are on a budget there are some products that any doctor concerned with the subject of beauty would appreciate!
Note: The shade range of this line does not cater to darker skin tones. In fact, for some products, only those with fair to light skin will find options.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.