The Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip eyeshadow palette in Nude ($11.99 at Drugstore.com and many drugstores) is a collection of nine shimmery eyeshadows in brown neutral colors.
The packaging is cute, mimicking the faux lace cover that a few higher end brands have done in recent years. The palette has no mirror, but there’s an interesting angled sponge tip applicator included. The shadows are grouped into trios that are intended to be used together. Accordingly, you get a lesser amount of some shades than others, according to how much Physicians Formula thinks you’ll need. This is fine, as long as you apply the shadows the way they expect, but it’s annoying if you have different ideas and find your favorite colors are going to run out sooner than others.
All the finishes are shimmery. This is a drier formula than Wet N Wild or Urban Decay, so it takes some work to get some of the colors up to full pigmentation. I find it frustrating compared to other similarly priced palettes, but if you love the colors enough, that may be worth it to you.
I also don’t find these very blendable – I’ve actually had to use my finger to blend out some edges, and I just don’t like that.
If you want something that mimics some of the shades from Urban Decay’s Naked 2, this palette does that – to a limited extent. For example, the first three colors on the right are similar to Blackout, Snakebite and Suspect, and you can do a similarly lovely look with them. But due to the high level of shimmer, I find a lot of these colors start looking like dupes for each other once you put them on the lid. Read my descriptions, and I think you’ll see what I mean:
Color 1 is a black with mild shimmer. Color 2 is a shimmery warm bronze. Color 3 is a shimmery light taupe. Color 4 is a shimmery deep taupe. Color 5 is a shimmery light taupe. Color 6 is a very pale shimmery pink. Color 7 is a neutral light brown. Color 8 is a light shimmery beige. Color 9 is a shimmery ivory with yellow undertones.
I can’t see any noticeable difference between colors 3 and 5 on the lid, so I feel like they’re just dupes thrown in to fill out the palette. Colors 6 and 8 are also extremely similar on the lid, and 9 is only a shade off.
I want to love this palette, but it’s got the same problem Naked 2 had, only worse: because the colors are so shimmery, and somehow none of them go onto the lid quite as dark as they look in the pan or in an arm swatch, you mostly just get these vague, pale looks without much definition or contract. But at least Naked 2 has Blackout, a highly pigmented matte black that can be used to deepen other colors. The black in this palette isn’t much for deepening, and it tends to go gray rather than brown if you sheer it out or blend it.
A couple of colors are pretty much dupes of each other, and the shadows are not as blendable as Wet N Wild or Revlon’s new Colorstay shadows. It’s got some nice colors, and you can pull off one or two looks that are similar to Urban Decay’s Naked 2. But a much better drugstore dupe for Naked 2 is the Hedy’s Ma.nish.ma palette in Tahoe, which is rich and blendable – unfortunately, a lot of you have had trouble finding it. Another much less shimmery option would be Nyx Caviar and Bubbles or whatever they’re calling it these days. Nude is not a bad palette, but it’s also not a very good one in my opinion, and I just feel like there are much better choices in the same price range.