Monday, June 6, 2016

The Hype Machine: Physician's Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum

The Hype Machine is a series that takes a critical look at well-loved, cult classic, appears-in-every-other-Instagram-photo products and asks: are they worth the hype?

For the most part, the internet's Beauty Hype Machine focuses on mid-to-high-end products, stuff that many-a-guru will claim is "reeeally expensive, but worth it, I swear!" We think of hyped beauty products, and things like YSL Touche Eclat ($42) and Soleil Tan de Chanel ($50) are the sort of luxury cult classics that immediately jump to mind.

Yet not all raved about and regularly promoted products are of the department store variety. The Physician's Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum (say that name three times fast) has been every other YouTuber's favorite liquid eyeliner for years. And while it carries a higher price tag than a lot of other drugstore products, clocking in at around $10, it's still a sight cheaper than high end alternatives.

Let's get this out of the way: this product is supposed to contain ingredients that help your lashes grow thicker and fuller. I haven't noticed anything like that, and to be honest, I'm not that fussed. I bought this product to be a liquid eyeliner, not a lash serum. And it seems like most people who sing this eyeliner's praises feel the same way.

And as an eyeliner? This one is aces. The pen is relatively narrow, making it easy to hold, and the tip manages to maintain its shape without feeling stiff or rough. Actually, when I apply this eyeliner, it feels like I'm using soft paint brush. The tip is longer and thinner than most other liquid eyeliners I've used, and it makes it remarkably easy to get a fine, solid line at the inner corners of the eye. I also found that doing a flick was easier than ever before, which kind of stunned me--I didn't think it could get easier than it was with ye olde Wet n' Wild liquid eyeliner.

Obviously, I have to use a black pencil on my upper waterline (as seen above) to complete the look, because liquid eyeliner does not feel good in your eyeballs. But even without the pencil, the Physician's Formula Lash Boosting Eyeliner gives you solid color. I got the Ultra Black shade and am really loving it; it has the barest hint of a satin sheen to it in real life, but it reads matte on camera (which I think is more flattering in photos) and is totally weightless.

This is a long-lasting formula as well. I had next to no smearing, smudging, or flaking throughout the day, despite the fact that my eyes water like crazy. It was decently easy to remove the eyeliner with a Shiseido cotton soaked in baby oil, though of course, it helps to hold the saturated cotton on your eye for a while to break the product down.

The $10 price tag kind of sucks when you consider that drugstore offerings are supposed to be more affordable. There are absolutely serviceable eyeliners that are half the price, after all. But I've come to the conclusion that the Physician's Formula liquid liner beats all of them, from my long-standing $4 Holy Grail Wet n' Wild liner to the lauded Kat Von D Tattoo liner. I'd especially like to recommend this product to liquid eyeliner beginners, since it's affordable and easy to control.

BOTTOM LINE: This is a rare moment--the hype is real and much deserved. If you're in the market for a felt-tip eyeliner that's easy to use AND long-lasting, give the Physician's Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum a shot.

The Hype Machine is a series that represents my experiences and opinions. It is not meant to be a personal attack on a specific company, product, or consumer. I always recommend that you try products for yourself and see how they work for you. Everybody is unique, after all!


  1. Awesome! It looks very black and smooth. I often find that felt tips (like the also-hyped Stila) are hard to get flowing--I end up drawing on my hand with them a bit until I get an opaque line before starting on my eye. Have you noticed anything like that with this one?

    1. Nope, opaque and smooth from start to finish.

  2. Great review! I swore off liquid liners but may reconsider... is it waterproof? I sweat a lot and i wouldnt want it to run D:

    1. I don't know if any pencil is truly waterproof, and I don't think most makeup will hold up to a downpour or a 20 mile marathon run, but it seems decently resistant.