Physician’s Formula Nude Shimmer Strips: Review and Swatches

Nude eyeshadow is a must-have for me, since I usually keep my eye looks light and easy to wear. I’ve been looking for a good nude eyeshadow palette with a wider selection of shades that won’t break the bank, (unlike Urban Decay’s Naked, which retails for $54) so when I saw that Physician’s Formula was 50% off at the drugstore I went ahead and bought this palette. It’s received a fairly substantial amount of attention in the beauty blogger community as a potential dupe for Urban Decay’s Naked Palette, so I thought I’d share my impressions of the palette with you.

review and swatches

Packaging: 7/10

I think the black lace overlay and the ribbon bow are adorable, and the small, compact size of the palette makes it great for travel. The palette’s lid is magnetized, so it’s super easy to open, but might not stay closed as well if it gets jostled around in a purse or a larger bag. The palette also comes with a small, sponge-tipped brush that may come in handy in emergencies, but I found it too hard and coarse to use on an everyday basis. However, the main reason I didn’t rate the packaging higher is due to the fact that the nine eyeshadow shades are not separated into different pans. The slender bars of pressed pigment make the palette small and easy to carry, but they mean that a small, compact brush needs to be used if you don’t wish to blend the colors.

The palette is slim and small, less than the length and width of my hand.

The palette is slim and small, less than the length and width of my hand.

Pricing and Value: 8/10

Physician’s Formula lands on the slightly more expensive end of the drugstore makeup spectrum, but is still very inexpensive in comparison to high-end makeup. And since I got it 50% off, the palette was a pretty good deal. Since you get nine shades that are pre-sorted into trios for different makeup looks, I think you get plenty for your money. (In case you were wondering, the palette retails for $11.95.)

palette side view

An angled view to give you an idea of how the palette is laid out.

Quality: 7/10

We’ve now reached the crux of the review: quality. The brand claims that the eyeshadows can be applied either wet or dry for different amounts of pigmentation, but I found that applying dry resulted in only the sheerest amount of color. In order to pick up enough pigment for an opaque look, I would suggest using a dense, short-haired synthetic eye brush or your fingers.

The shadows themselves are quite soft and buttery, but I was annoyed at how difficult it was to get a pigmented look. Still, the color selection is nicely varied between warm and cool tones, and all the shades except for the black have a nice, lightly shimmery satin finish. I’ve included two sets of swatches (back of the hand as well as fingertip) for each trio of shadows to give you an idea of the color range and payoff. It’s fairly obvious that in order to get opaque color, your fingertips work best. All swatches are shown lightest to darkest on the back of my hand, and then with the lightest shade beginning on the index finger for the fingertip swatches.


Swatches for the lightest trio

Swatches for the lightest trio

You can see that the three lightest shades are fairly similar, with the lightest being nearly white. The center shade is a soft, pale gold, while the third is a rose-tinged dark gold.

Swatches for the second trio.

Swatches for the second trio.

The second trio is made up of several cooler toned shades. The highlight shade in this trio is a pale, pearlescent cream. You can see that it mostly blends into my skin tone, making it good for a subtle highlight on the brow bone or the inner corner of the eye. The middle shade is a silvery taupe that comes across as a shimmery brown with some gray tones in it. The contour shade in this trio is a dark brown with pewter tones.

Swatches for the darkest trio

Swatches for the darkest trio

The darkest trio held both some hits and misses for me. I loved the two lighter shades, consisting of a pale bronze and a medium golden brown. The black shade swatched very poorly on the back of my hand (what you see above is the result of several layers of pigment on top of each other) but works very well when lightly dampened and used as a liner.

Final verdict: 7/10

I think the shade range is similar enough to Urban Decay’s Naked palette to pass as a dupe, but the pigmentation isn’t quite up to par. Still, for a drugstore eyeshadow palette, it doesn’t do too badly. I definitely intend to use all the shadows wet by applying with a dampened brush, but if  “barely there” eye looks are your thing, applying dry might work well for you.

All in all, I’m not sure if this is a product I would recommend to friends or repurchase, but I think it’s a great all-in-one palette for makeup newbies and a good palette to travel with for sure. I think I’ll get quite a lot of use out of it, but when looking for pigmented drugstore shadows, my brand picks are going to remain NYX and NYC.

I hope you found this review helpful, and if you’d like to see more please like this post and share it with friends and family! Scroll down to find links to my social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as well as buttons to follow me here on WordPress, Bloglovin, and more!

Know about a product that you think I should try? Comment and tell me down below!






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5 thoughts on “Physician’s Formula Nude Shimmer Strips: Review and Swatches

  1. Kat says:

    I tried this one and it just didn’t work for me. The colors were too sheer, but way too shimmer-heavy, for daily wear. I’m obsessed with Urban Decay’s Naked Basics palette. Much smaller than the other Naked offerings, it’s also half the price. It’s still expensive at $27, but the shades are perfect neutral basics I reach for every day. I ended up throwing out my neutral Revlons and Maybellines, since they just went to waste!


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