Drugstore Elegance with Physicians Formula Cosmetics

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup, Product Reviews

physicians formula cosmetics makeup

Earlier today I set my mind to doing a shimmery gray eye and pink cheek look with a few items from Physicians Formula.


physicians formula cosmetics makeup karen fotd

I wanted a friend to keep me company, so I asked Tabs. He shot me a dirty look for waking him up, but he shoots me dirty looks all the time; I’m used to it. πŸ™‚

Elegant isn’t a word I always associate with drugstore makeup, but when it comes to the looks possible with these four items from Physicians Formula (each about $12), I think it fits.

physicians formula cosmetics makeup eyeshadow palette

My favorite part of the look is the eye. I think it’s something I’d wear out to a fancy restaurant, assuming, of course, I ever go to one (yes, El Hub, that IS a hint!).

Shimmer Strips in Smoky Brown Eyes ($11)

The overall look relies heavily on Shimmer Strips in Smoky Brown Eyes ($11), a palette of nine coordinating eyeshadow shades from cool-toned brown to gray and silver.

physicians formula cosmetics makeup eye

I feel like the shadow colors totes resemble Clinque’s and offer the same soft, non-gritty texture with medium pigmentation. Gotta love the delicate shimmer, too. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

Organic Wear Mascara in Black Organics ($10)

physicians formula organic wear cosmetics mascara

To accentuate the gray eyes, I reached for a black mascara, applying four coats (!) of Organic Wear Mascara in Black Organics ($10). It boasts a formula that’s free of harsh chemicals, synthetic preservatives and parabens.

This baby builds crazy good, with absolutely no clumping or flaking, and the stubby brush managed to grab even my wimpiest lashes.

I love the definition Organic Wear delivers, and it lengthens and thickens well enough, but it’s not going to satisfy someone with dramatic drag queen lash lust. If you already have long, full lashes and just need a lil’ something-something to define them, look no further. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

Organic Wear 2-in-1 Bronzer & Blush ($14)

physicians formula organic wear cosmetics blush

The Organic Wear 2-in-1 Bronzer & Blush ($14) powder duo comes in the same cute beige and green packaging that the Mascara comes in, and it makes the same claim about having all-natural ingredients, too. I’m not always influenced by those kinds of claims, but when a product performs well, particularly a drugstore product, and just happens to be all-natural, it’s icing on the cake.

The product comes in a variety of shades. Pink Rose, part of the Light Bronzer/Pink Rose duo, is a matte peachy pink that looks light and natural on my cheeks, lasts all day long and layers with ease.

Unfortunately, Light Bronzer turned out to be too light for my skin and doesn’t really work for me as a bronzer, but I do like the fine texture of the powder. In the right shade, I’d like it a lot, thanks to how natural it looks and how easily it applies. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

physicians formula swatches
Top: Mineral Wear Tinted Moisturizer. Second row: Shimmery Strips in Smoky Brown Eyes. Third row: 2-in-1 Bronzer & Blush in Light Bronzer/Pink Rose. Bottom: Organic Wear Mascara in Black Organics.

Mineral Tinted Moisturizer

Mineral Tinted Moisturizer ($13)

I’m a hardcore Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer devotee, but since PF’s Mineral Tinted Moisturizer claims to be great for breakout-prone skin, I had to give it a try. I took a guess that the darkest shade, Natural to Tan, would be the closest match for my skin tone, but no such luck. It’s a couple shades too light for me. Still, I may wear it from time to time because of how super sheer it applies.

It didn’t really cover up my dark spots, but I did notice that my skin seemed more evenly toned. If you’re looking for a sheer tinted moisturizer more on the pink than the yellow end of the spectrum, it’s worth a try. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B

I have to hand it to Physicians Formula today. If you’re looking for budget-friendly makeup that performs well at a reasonable price, these four products have got your back.


I’m still a student!


I found out in class today that the teacher’s strike I’d mentioned the other day has been averted, so it looks like I’m still a student.

Today in my journalism class we learned about the art of obituary writing. For homework I’m supposed to write a mock obituary for the celebrity of my choosing. Hmm… I’m debating between Alec Baldwin (for no particular reason) and Mario “Master Mix” Lopez, but I’m open to any ideas.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 48 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Tekoa says:

    Something about the phrase “the art of obituary writting” makes me giggle. Alec Baldwin should have his obituary written I think. Or some famous military figure that risked their life time and time again, only to die in an ironic situation such as infection from a splinter.

  2. Indian Girl says:

    Love the gray look on ya ! Karen have you tried their loose powder bronzer ? Its surprisingly good !! And you’re wearing MBB shirt ! How cute !!!

    Indian Girl´s last blog post..Jouer Cosmetics : Review & Freida Pinto Makeup at Golden Globe Award 2009 – How To ?

  3. victoria says:

    love your shirt. the eyeshadows reminds me of the shu uemura. i love going to the drugstore. i snob a lot of drugstore cosmetics but i love love love maybelline lipsticks and drugstore mascaras because i think they are better than high end ones. i’m going to try drugstore foundations next.

  4. ParisB says:

    I love your Tee! πŸ˜‰ The makeup looks good too hehe… Too bad for us Physicians Formula pulled out a while ago. These look so pretty! Especially the eyeshadows and blush/bronzer.

    ParisB´s last blog post..Review: LÒ€ℒoreal Elseve Damage Care Deep Repairing Mask

  5. Marisol says:

    Gorgeous colors! I really like the vibrancy of that palette.

    Marisol´s last blog post..My wannabe Apartment Therapy bookcase

  6. Christina says:

    Love the shirt, Karen, and love the review. If you’re taking our votes on the obituaries into consideration, I say Alec Baldwin. Maybe I’ve been watching too much 30 Rock, but I feel like his death has the most potential to be interesting.

    I’d love to know how it turns out!

  7. Kate says:

    Oh, I love PF because, yay, I’m not allergic to it! I’m not into real shimmery eyeshadows but I may go pick that up. I tried the regular shimmer ones and wasn’t very amused with the shimmer as that was shimmer overload for me. I’m just not a big shimmer girl. Shimmer makes me feel a bit like a disco ball. I do like Covergirl Coverslicks though because it’s a tiny bit shimmery.

    The problem with the mascara for me is that it doesn’t specify if it’s waterproof or not. Non-waterproof doesn’t bode well for the cold weather that brings watery eyes. Ironically, Almay 3-in-1 Black mascara is waterproof without being waterproof, if that makes sense. I cry like a baby and it doesn’t move.

  8. Audrey says:

    That shimmer palette is super pretty! For $11, what a steal! And the mascara wand looks similar to the Cover Girl LashBlast one which is one of my favorites.

    Audrey´s last blog post..Last night, on Real Housewives…

  9. Catherine says:

    Ooooh, I need to pick up some of their shimmer strips, the grey/silver looks so nice on you! And the blush/bronzer duo is sooo pretty.

    And aggghhh, I tried that mascara and really wanted to love it but it balled up horribly on me when I was applying, and then I couldn’t get the little clumps out, even using my metal lash comb. I finally had to pinch them out using my fingers. I’m jealous that it works for you. ;__;

  10. nikita says:

    I really want to love PF but it pisses me off that they don’t make darker shades for foundation. I am pretty close to your skintone but just a tad darker. I’ve heard good things about the tinted moisturizer and really wanted to use it but like you, I had to return the same color you bought because it was too light for me.

    I just don’t understand why PF doesn’t make darker shades.

  11. Karen B says:

    It really does look elegant and pretty.

    Mmm, maybe you can pick this obscure celeb for the obituary? I think you could have a lot of fun with that.

  12. tanya says:

    ooh I like your earrings in that photo–very pretty! thanks for the review, I’ll have to swing by Walgreens and check these out πŸ™‚

    tanya´s last blog post..almost fridayÒ€¦

  13. NeenaJ says:

    The art of obituary writing? Wow. Never looked at it that way. It’s the perfect opportunity to have some real fun. How about your latest hot mess: Joaquin Phoenix.

    Or the original hot mess: Amy Winehouse. I just read that she got in a fight in the islands with a woman for sleeping with her girlfriend. I can see it now: Winehouse dies of asphyxiation as woman hoses hotel room down with Lysol. LOL!

  14. YadiQ says:

    i agree with neena J i think that joaquin phoenix would be so funny for an obituary!!!

    i was eyeing these physicians formula shadows but i couldnt decide which to buy the one for brown eyes just seemed blah to me

    i did however score the eco tools brush set! woo hoo! but i can only find the carmindy stuff thats boring lol the foundations and the super neutral shadows
    none of her lipsticks glosses or eyeliners boo!

    i will have to keep hunting !

  15. Sanayhs says:

    I like Physician’s Formula stuff. Most of what I’ve tried from them has been pretty good. πŸ™‚

  16. Elle says:

    I love the look on you! I also love the t-shirt. πŸ™‚

  17. Glosslizard says:

    Ooh! I want a MABB tee! Are they for sale?

    How ’bout an obit for Joaquin Pheonix’s good sense? πŸ˜‰

  18. Dao says:

    Physician’s Formula Organic Wear is really good. The ingredients are a lot better than most organic/mineral makeup out there. I am glad you like it.

    I forgot to tell you about a cat in my new neighborhood that looks exactly like Tabs. I saw him/her several times and do not know if that cat is a stray or not. I so wanted to take the cat home as he/she was really mellow and it was cold for some days. Then today I don’t see the cat anymore. I hope somebody found their cat and took him/her home.

    Dao´s last blog post..A Sale Announcement and an Update

  19. Selena says:

    Think I’m gonna try Physicians Formula, it’s a little more wallet friendly, thanks for the review.

  20. Jennifer says:

    ooh.. nice shirt.. i noticed that first hehee

  21. lipglossme says:

    LOL at writing an obituary for Mario Lopez or Alec Baldwin. That’s a hard one to choose. If doing Mario Lopez you can always talk about his dimples and how he still looks like he’s a student from Saved by the Bell. Dude doesn’t age a bit. As for Alec, hmm, that’s hard.

    You look so pretty in the PF products. Is the tinted moisturizer greasy feeling? Any smell?

    What is the second product on the first photo? Is that a concealer?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lipglossme,

      Thanks, hon!

      I’ve been wondering how the heck Mario has managed to remain so youthful looking. I am convinced he uses strategic Botox! Maybe in my mock obit I’ll put in a line about how he always called Jessie Spano, “Mama.” πŸ˜‰

      Regarding the PF products, the tinted moisturizer doesn’t feel greasy or heavy at all to me. It has a very faint brown sugar scent that fades quickly. Also, the second product in the picture is the mascara. πŸ™‚

  22. Cindy says:

    Hi Karen,

    I call this eyeshadow pallet my emergency morning saver, i’m always SUPER LATE in the mornings so I just grab this and put it on while i’m in the car(I know bad habit!!) and I always get such vibrant colors, I just wish that the colors weren’t so close together, it can get a little messy while driving LOL
    by the way i absolutly LOVE you earings! they are so cute!
    and I adore your shirt, if you’d sold them I would so totally buy one!

    my warmest reguards,

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cindy,

      I often end up mixing the colors together, LOL! Fortunately they placed complementary ones close together. πŸ™‚ Do you have any of the other Shimmer Strips? I’m thinking I might need more in my life.

      The shirt was a one shot deal I made for myself a few years ago, but I’ll look into perhaps doing a limited run of them! I think that might be fun if I could design some cute tees.

  23. Tanya says:

    Wow, I totally have that Smokey Brown palette in my hand this past week at Longs….why I put it back…I have no idea *cries a little. then runs back to Longs*

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Selena,

    You’re welcome! I like that it’s budget friendly, too. Oh, and I noticed that it often goes on sale at Longs and Walgreens! πŸ™‚

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    Maybe the kitty is off visiting friends. I bet you could lure it in with some treats or Friskies! I think you’d be a wonderful kitty mom. If he/she is smart she’d get to know you.

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    I am thinking about doing a limited run of ’em if people want them! πŸ™‚

    Ha ha regarding Joaquin’s death of good sense!

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Elle,

    Thanks, hon! πŸ™‚ LOL, that t-shirt is my sleep shirt sometimes.

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Sanayhs,

    So far I like the line, too. What are your favorite products?

  29. Karen says:

    Hi YadiQ,

    YAY! Did you get the travel ones? You can keep them in your drawer with your Lip Tints. πŸ™‚

  30. Karen says:

    Hi NeenaJ,

    Ha! His is tempting. Maybe I can have his death involve something related to hip hop.

    Oh, and I really hope Amy gets it together. I really like her music and hope she gets back to making more.

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Tanya,

    Thanks! I got those awhile back in Hawaii. They are plumerias. πŸ™‚

  32. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    Thank you! πŸ™‚

    LOL, I still haven’t decided yet. I will probably end up flipping a coin… or going with somebody completely random, like Justin Timberlake.

  33. Karen says:

    Hi Nikita,

    I wish they’d make a few darker shades! If this one was just a few notches deeper I’d probably really like it, because it felt nice on my skin (not too heavy) and the texture wasn’t greasy.

    I guess we just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope they add more colors to the line.

  34. Karen says:

    Hi Catherine,

    Bummer about the mascara. Maybe you got a bad tube? I know that’s happened to me before.

  35. Karen says:

    Hi Audrey,

    It’s a great bargain! They come in different colors, so I think I want to try more of ’em.

    I think I might be the only person on earth who wasn’t wowed by Lash Blast. I have trubs with the brush for some weird reason.

  36. Karen says:

    Hi Kate,

    I haven’t tried Almay’s mascaras. I do love their eye makeup remover pads, though… those are staples.

    I don’t mind shimmer just as long as it’s not too frosty. I think PF gets it right!

  37. Karen says:

    Hi Christina,

    LOL, he’s AWESOME in 30 Rock. I just love the writing on that show. I wish I could sit in on one of their brainstorming meetings… I bet they’re hilarious.

    I recently saw him in a movie with SMG (aka Buffy the Vampire Slayer) called Suburban Girl. Have you heard of it? He was pretty good!

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    Yeah, the pigmentation really surprised me!

  39. Karen says:

    Hi ParisB.,

    Bummer that you can no longer get PF in your ‘hood!

    Did you manage to stock up before they left?

    And thanks regarding the shirt!

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Victoria,

    Thanks! πŸ™‚ I made it awhile back.

    I really love going to the drugstore, too. There’s something comforting about shopping there… totally reminds me of being a kid.

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Indian Girl,

    I haven’t tried the loose powder bronzer. I will have to now! Is it messy?

  42. Karen says:

    Hi Tekoa,

    Those were his exact words! Apparently the have a set formula.

  43. Helena says:

    Yay! I’ve got the Organic Wear 2-in-1 Bronzer & Blush and i just love it! Cheap, pretty and organic, what more can you ask for? πŸ˜‰

    Btw, i’m a french living in London, and i just love your blog! I think you’re great! Keep on the good work! πŸ˜€

    Helena´s last blog post..Dieu lui a donné la foi

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