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Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Trio are sets of eyeliners that look like plastic crayons and are almost as worthless because only the tips of these ‘crayons’ contain usable product.

Overall, these pencil-like eyeliner trios are better in theory than in practice—particularly because these creamy eyeliners aren’t supported well and are bound to break as soon as you begin applying. Once the tip snaps off—that’s it!—there’s no more product.

If you are successful in applying this eyeliner without it breaking, don’t count on the 100% waterproof claim. At best, you’ll get about half an hour of wear time before the formula breaks down and a serious amount of smudging starts to happen around your eyes.

It’s a shame this product doesn’t wear better, because the colors would be fun and dramatic enough for a glamorous night on the town. They come with three shades per set, and each set is matched to enhance a particular eye color. Although that seems helpful, it mostly backfires—at least if you use the color meant to enhance your eye. For example, the set for blue eyes includes a blue eyeliner among its colors, but blue eyeliner next to blue eyes competes with, rather than enhances, natural eye color. A contrasting color such as brown or black can have the opposite effect.

Note: Although Physician’s Formula directs you to apply these pencils along your eye’s waterline (i.e. the rim of the eye) we do not suggest applying eyeliner to this area. Any product put along the waterline is likely to break down and get into the eyes, so it not only looks messy and smear-y in short order, it causes eye irritation, too. Not pretty!

  • Sets include bright and neutral color options.
  • Can’t sharpen or twist up.
  • Points break easily.
  • Not waterproof; smudges and smears easily.
Last Updated:01.31.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
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Brand Overview

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 don’t 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

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 and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.

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