I totally picked up this mascara while I was on a serious Physicians Formula kick and had recently fallen in love with PF Shimmer Strips bronzer in Waikiki Strip and Powder Palette Multi-Colored Face Powder in Highlighter.
Okay, I’ll admit, the fact that the Shimmer Strips Custom Eye-Enhancing Mascara Duo (PF product names are always such a mouthful!) currently comes with a full rebate was a big factor in my decision. I usually try to get through the 2-3 mascaras, concealers, moisturizers, etc. I already have before buying anything new, but how could I resist that it was ~practically free~? (If you use this logic to justify buying this, please don’t forget to send in the rebate! In their minds, consumers often register that the savings have already been made at the time of purchase and fail to send the rebate.)
To be honest, I’m not too crazy about coloured mascara and prefer to get pops of colour on my eyes from liner. Still, I was curious if the shimmery purple side of this duo would do anything to “enhance” the colour of my eyes.
Because there are two mascaras in one tube, there are three looks possible: black, purple, or layering the black and purple together for the most dramatic look. For this review, I took pictures wearing one and two coats of black, then one and two coats of purple. I also tested out the purple side as an eyeliner (I got the idea from a post at theNotice).
Is anybody else weirded out by the blocky shape of this tube of mascara? It is actually pretty bulky—about the same way around as my tube of LashBlast at its widest. I found the product design none too ergonomic—its size makes it kind of unwieldy and the rectangular shape makes it less comfortable to hold than the standard cylindrical-shaped tube. I suppose the plus side is that you can easily stand it up on your bathroom counter or vanity.
The brush for the black mascara is huge and can be tricky to use if you’re used to small-brushed mascaras. Since it is football-shaped, it is noticeably larger and wider than the brush of a CG LashBlast mascara. The brush is probably silicone due to the rubberiness of it and is pretty flexible.
Naked lashes, curled
One coat of black, top and bottom lashes, curled again after application. There are some small, forgivable clumps and you can see a bit of mascara smudged on to my lids because of the extra-large brush (easily avoidable if you use the business card trick). There is some definite volumizing action.
Two coats of black, curled again after application. From the straight-on picture, the results don’t look half-bad. But in the picture taken from above, you can see clumping and spidery-ness (some girls love this look, but it’s not for me.) I noticed a bit of flaking after a few hours but it was pretty smudge-free.
The results are kind of underwhelming, amirite?
The purple mascara has a smaller brush that is closer in size to LashBlast’s. Do you notice something kind of weird about the purple side? Check out how short the wand is. Although I have yet to poke out my eye, it does become uncomfortably clear how close a corner is to your eyeball during application.
One coat of purple, top lashes, curled. My lashes look natural but thicker.
Two coats of purple, top lashes, curled. I don’t see much of a difference between two coats and one, except now there is a bit more mascara that has smudged on my lashline. I think the purple side has a slightly thinner formula than the black, so it is less volumizing. I don’t think it’s obvious that I’m wearing purple mascara unless you look at me in profile, and it doesn’t add anything special to my eyes that a black mascara wouldn’t.
Curious about its potential powers as an eyeliner, I dipped a flat angled brush into the purple mascara and applied it pretty easily. The colour is brighter than my eggplant Maybelline gel liner, but it isn’t quite as good at staying put: it creased a bit throughout the day (i.e. the line became thicker) but nothing disastrous. I would use it as an eyeliner again. Considering the results after testing it as a mascara, this might be the only way I could hope to use up the purple side.
- two mascaras in one (black and purple/blue/green)
- using coloured side or one coat of black will give natural-looking lashes with some volume
- coloured mascara will work fairly well as an eyeliner if you don’t already have one
- doesn’t smudge
- black mascara gets clumpy and spidery after the second coat
- coloured mascara doesn’t seem to be buildable
- rectangular packaging is bulky and can be uncomfortable to hold and use (watch those corners!)
- no special “eye-enhancing” effects noticeable from using coloured mascara
It’s a pretty average mascara. If you would like to try it, the full rebate offer is going on until November 2010, so up until that date you can basically have it for free. Despite being part of the Shimmer Strips line, the shimmer is very subtle; even when used as an eyeliner, I didn’t notice much shimmer. I would use one coat of black for a very natural look, but because I dislike coloured mascara and it didn’t do anything special, I wouldn’t use the purple side as a mascara again.
see Physicians Formula’s Where To Buy (Canada): $10.95 CAD (suggested retail price)
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