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Physicians Formula Review: Just What The Doctor Ordered!

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Physicians Formula has been long known as the ‘sensitive skin’ brand. But the truth is that the brand is great for anyone who is conscious of the ingredients that their skin absorbs. For daily makeup wearers in particular, the sheer amount of toxins and harmful ingredients your body absorbs throughout the day via unsafe products can be pretty concerning.

Physicians Formula makeup is sold alongside “drugstore” or budget-friendly brands. And while it is pricier than generic brands, you do in fact get what you pay for! Physicians Formula products are some of the best at ensuring your skin stays clean, safe, and makeup-friendly! That’s why consumers who are most conscious about the health of their skin choose Physicians Formula for their cosmetics – time and time again.

Physicians Formula History And Background

Dr. Frank Crandall founded Physicians Formula in 1937. He formulated non-irritative cosmetics for his wife who had very sensitive skin. Crandall decided to help his wife by providing her with the same cosmetics effects that her friends were getting from the department stores. But he did so with products that did not compromise the health of her skin.

The company has stayed true to that goal. It avoids talc and other known irritant ingredients in all of its products. And it boasts the safest cosmetics catalogue in the world. All of the company’s products are dermatologist-approved, hypoallergenic, and noncomedogenic (which means they won’t clog your pores and cause you to break out). The company, officially known as Physicians Formula Holdings, Inc., went public in 2006. Markwins International Corporation acquired it in 2012.

Take Me Straight To Buy Top Physicians Formula Products

Physicians Formula Mascara Review

Woman having mascara applied.

If you enjoy very thick lashes you’ll need to apply a few coats.

The Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Mascara is very possibly one of the best mascaras at the drugstore! It separates, lengthens and volumizes for a natural but bold, clump-free set of lashes. If you enjoy very thick lashes you’ll need to apply a few coats. It layers well without clumping up–just let the mascara dry between coats for best results.

The mascara doesn’t flake and lasts for a long time. Yet it’s not waterproof, so people with oily eyelids or watery eyes will probably experience smudging. Eyes are sensitive and irritation-prone. So if you’re only going to get one organic product, mascara is the way to go. The company has released different variations of mascara since this one was such a hit, but the classic version will always be a favorite!

Physicians Formula BB Cream Review

There are three BB creams currently on the market from this brand. They’re all pretty great if you ignore the limited range of shades available (…two). These apply nicely with your fingers like a thick moisturizer, and have a surprisingly full coverage for a BB cream. For dry skin I’d recommend the Organic Wear BB Cream, which is super hydrating and dewy.

For oily skin steer clear of Organic Wear, but the #InstaReady has a smooth, more matte finish. The problem with the #InstaReady is that it oxidizes a bit. With the limited shade availability, that is very problematic. The Super BB Cream and the #InstaReady features SPF 30 and the Organic Wear features SPF 20.

Check it out on Amazon: Physicians Formula Organic Wear BB Cream

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Review

The Shimmer Strips line includes some of the most beautiful and trendy colors you’ll find anywhere! Based on the ones I’ve tried myself and the shimmer strip swatches I’ve seen, they are very pigmented and flattering on a variety of skin tones. The most popular, and I think most useful, palette in the line is the All-in-1 Nude Palette for Face & Eyes.

The colors can be used individually as eye shadows. Or, you can swirl a brush around in different corners of the block for a bright highlight, a blush-like highlight, or a bronzer. The different colors add amazing dimension to your highlight. This gives life to the face in a way that a single, flat color can’t. This small palette is so versatile and the shadow formula itself is soft and doesn’t crease. Get your own here.

Physicians Formula Eyeliner Review

The Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Kohl Kajal eyeliner has a really buttery texture, and glides onto the skin. It’s pigmented dark black, and great for smudging as part of a smokey eye or diffused liner look. The packaging is cool and unique, with a tassel at the end as part of the Moroccan argan theme of the line.

However, it’s not the most practical for protecting the product and you have to be careful not to graze the liner when taking the cap on and off. The shape of the product itself is difficult to sharpen, which is less than ideal. Basically, it’s a great formula, but the structuring could use some tweaks!

Learn more: Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Kohl Kajal Eyeliner

Physicians Formula Foundation Review

Physicians Formula Foundation.

Cushion foundations have been all the rage in the beauty world lately, and while that seems to be more related to online hype than functionality, they are great for touch ups because the product and applicator are in one small compact. Other than that, the “cushion” sponge soaks up any dirt or bacteria, and the applicator gets dirty fast and is difficult to clean.

As far as cushion foundations go, this one has mineral, nice-to-your-skin ingredients and feels lightweight. The finish is supposed to be natural and velvety, but it can look a bit cakey on textured skin and shiny for oily skin after a few hours of wear.

Another nice one for normal or dry skin is the Touch of Glow Foundation. It has pretty sheer coverage but it’s buildable and looks really nice and natural on the skin. The finish is dewy and luminous, which is beautiful if you’re into that sort of style, but needs to be set with powder and is not recommended for oily skin.

The Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical (a word I just learned meaning a cosmetic product with medicinal benefits) Youth Boosting Spotless Foundation is a serum-infused liquid foundation with light-to-medium coverage. Physicians Formula writes that it can make the wearer look up to 10 years younger instantly – a boast that may in fact hold true in some success stories!

At the very least, it definitely evens out tone nicely and looks very natural on the skin. It settles into fine lines slightly, but that is to be expected with anything other than a very high-end foundation, and it is fairly long-lasting.

Physicians Formula Highlighter Review

Physicians Formula does not make a straight up highlighter as of now, but there is the Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls and the Bronze Booster 2-in-1 Glow Boosting Bronzer+Highlighter. The glowy look of the pearl compact comes from an overspray which is somewhat misleading, but still gives a nice effect. You can get really beautiful highlight applications from it, but as it runs out you’ll be getting more of a subtle glow.

Two products in the Shimmer Strips line, the All-in-1 Nude Palette and the Customer Bronzer, Blush & Eyeshadow compact make beautiful, glowing highlights if you focus your brush on the lighter upper sections of the palettes.

Shop now: Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls Highlighter

Physicians Formula Eye Booster Review

This 2-in-1 eyeliner delivers a nutrient-rich serum to the roots for healthier lashes and to accelerate lash growth. The serum contains some great ingredients that should nourish your lashes and make for some seriously impressive results. As an eyeliner this is really nice for a thin lash line application, but it isn’t quite smooth or thick enough for more dramatic, thick applications (like a cat eye look).

It has a satin rather than matte finish, which isn’t for everybody. Otherwise, this liner is amazing. It’s super fine, easy to control, sturdy tip, and seriously long-lasting – two thumbs up! Get it here.

Physicians Formula CC Cream Review

Woman with healthy skin.

It has a barely-there satin finish, and it blends into the skin easily and seamlessly.

This CC cream is amazing for daily use. It has a barely-there satin finish, and it blends into the skin easily and seamlessly. It has medium coverage and completely evens out the skin tone with color correction. It’s suitable for all skin types, but if you have oily skin it should be set with a powder. The Organic version has SPF 20 and the Super CC Cream has SPF 30.

Order now on Amazon: Physicians Formula CC Cream

Is Physicians Formula Cruelty Free? Does Physicians Formula Conduct Animal Testing?

Physician’s Formula is proud to be a completely cruelty free company. They do not conduct animal testing, do not commission outside researchers that conduct animal testing, and they do not sell their products in China where products must be tested on animals by law.

Is Physicians Formula Vegan?

Physicians Formula products are not vegan as they include beeswax and other animal byproducts.


Overall, I am pretty impressed with the look, feel and staying power of the Physicians Formula makeup. The packaging can sometimes leave something to be desired, but it’s the makeup inside that actually matters, and the makeup is great. Ethically, the company is pretty amazing, and on a shortlist of PETA approved cosmetic brands, but it is a bit of a shame that the brand is slightly limited in terms of shade variety.

Hopefully, wider-appealing releases are coming! Whether you have easily irritated skin or not, there can be all sorts of unseen damage to your skin and body occurring due to harsh ingredients, which is why I think Physicians Formula is worth trying for everybody!

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