Monday, March 28, 2011

Physician's Formula Gel Liner Stack Review

A lot of buzz was going around these in the beauty world a while back... and with that being said, a confession has to be made. I'm not a huge fan of gel liners. I don't buy them because I tend to reach for my pencil liners first. I found these on clearance at Rite Aid for under $3 and decided to give them a go.

Normal retail price on these is $10.95 for 3 colors, totalling a weight of 0.21oz (6g). For reference, a single color of Mac Fluidline is 0.10oz (3g, price is $15.00, so $5 per gram) and the e.l.f. cream liners are 0.16oz (4.7g, price is $3, so $1.56 per gram). Essentially, the Physician's Formula costs $52.14 per ounce, and you're paying $1.82 per gram of product.

The design of the packaging is a bit weird. While it looks nice, it appears that you can unscrew each color and travel with it or whatnot. However, there is no 'lid' as such on each jar and they instead screw into the bottom of the jar on top of them. Observe:

While the packaging is rather compact and this isn't really a problem for me, I can see where it would be a pain for a makeup artist or someone who wants to travel with these. They're small enough to fit in a makeup bag but will take up a lot of room, admittedly. The up side is that you can have a three colors with you without having to pack three separate containers. It's really personal preference as to whether you find this packaging irritating or not. I don't, in fact, these will probably travel with me to England!

EDIT: Apparently these come apart, much like legos... thanks to readers Ariana and Becky for this tip! I haven't tried it yet but if/when I do, I will post a quick video showing how to do it. Thanks again!

Onto the performance. These are really nice eyeliners! I can't say I reach for them a whole lot but when I do, I am impressed with the color payoff and performance. Swatches:

(All of these are one swipe down my skin)

As you can see, all three colors appear true to their color in the jar, though the purple is a bit more red-toned than it looks in the container. They apply just as nicely to your eye, with the green one being a little harder to get an even line. We're talking a tiny difference in performance, however.

These are meant to enhance green eyes; I don't have green eyes so I can't attest to that... but I can say: "Oooh, pretty colors!"

The colors last all day with no fading or smudging. I applied the black to my upper and lower lashline/waterline around 7:30AM. The lower waterline faded after about five hours, which is still awesome for such a damp area. However, my upper and lower lashlines stayed true to color until I removed the liner at 10PM that night. I wouldn't say these are waterproof, unfortunately. I don't have watery eyes so I'm unsure of how they would perform on someone who does. The only smudging I had throughout the day was a miniscule amount near my tear duct... but I had rubbed my eye without thinking.

In terms of testing while swatching, when I washed my hands, the purple was the first to fade off, followed by the green, and then the black. The black actually took some scrubbing with a towel to fully come off.

Overall, great liners if you're looking for multiple colors and a good, long lasting formula. I have qualms about the price but that's because $11 feels like a lot to be spending on "one product". I'm not sure if I would pay the full price for them (remember that I got them on sale) but again, I'm not a gel liner person. If you are, go for it! (In fact, I think PF is 40% off at Rite Aid right now...)


  1. Good to know!! I may try to find these on sale... I don't love the "stacking-jars" storage method, but since some of these trios have colors I can't easily get on their lonesome (I love the green-eye trios too) I may be able to overlook that.

  2. Wow this is a great review, I agree on the price though, maybe if they are on sale in my area I will buy one :)

  3. No, the packaging is like LEGOS. You can split them apart. :) It may take effort for some, but they do. I have two stacks and one of them for some reason is easier to unstack.

  4. I have two different sets of these and like Ariana said mine all come apart also just like legos. I store them individually.

  5. ^That people have said they are like LEGO makes me want some even more! I really love the green colour!

  6. The swatches look so pretty! Great review!!! :)

  7. @Ariana & Becky: Wait... wut? Okay, I feel dumb now. I will have to edit the post with that info, haha! Thanks for the tip!

  8. I luv that green..I was eyeing these but I was afriad of the performance..I may pick them up just for that green color..thanks for the swatches