Review & Swatches: Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Complexion Collection

It has been ages since I’ve used a product from Physicians Formula, and that’s about to change! I’ve discovered some pretty fantastic PF complexion buys at my local CVS/Pharmacy that have made me want to revisit the brand’s offerings. Have you spied the Youthful Wear collection at your drugstore yet? It’s a 3-step process to create the illusion of more youthful skin, via concealer, foundation, and a finishing powder. There are a lot of those types of products on the market—but where Physicians Formula has a point of difference is in the ‘cosmeceutical’ ingredients.

According to PF, Youthful Wear can make the skin appear to be up to 10 years younger, based on a panel of women who used the Youthful Wear system. There are optical properties to the products that make the skin look and feel smoother, hydrators to make skin look more moist and supple, and an extract that supports collagen production.

  • encapsulated ceramide3 and hyaluronic acid — active powders act like microsponges delivering moisture to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and increase smoothness and elasticity.
  • microspheres of magnesium silicate and silica — creates a soft-focus effect and optically blurs fine lines using optical diffusers that also absorb excess oils.
  • laminaria algae extract — a plant-based nutritional supplement rich in proteins, polysaccharides, carotenes, and vitamins. Helps protect skin and supports collagen production.

More photos, swatches, and review…

Step 1: Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth-Boosting Concealer

This concealer is comprised of actually two types of concealer; a brightening cream, and a full-coverage stick. There’s also a blending tool on the top that looks like a little lipgloss roller, and the purpose of it is to blur out some of the lines of demarcation as you blend in the concealer. This comes in two color options; one is Light + Light (shown), and the second is Yellow + Light. I recommend the Light + Light for fair and light skin tones, but the Yellow + Light is going to be for those who have serious dark circles under their eyes, as the yellow will help counteract some of the blue-violet tones in the skin under the eye.

I absolutely love both of these formulas, I found that they really worked well for me (as an NW20), and that both products were nice and creamy. The stick concealer was like a dream to me though, it offered the best coverage I’ve had from a drugstore concealer, and blended out nicely. I still prefer to blend out with a concealer brush or use my ring finger in a tapping motion (over using the roller blending tool), however.

Step 2: Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth-Boosting Foundation

This foundation offered me buildable medium coverage, and made my skin look really smooth. It has a more dense consistency than most of my products that are in tubes—it’s almost like it’s a mousse, as it comes out a little thicker than average. I do recommend applying this with a foundation brush so that it’s blended down nice and smooth—but I just don’t recommend the foundation brush that comes with it. After using mine a few times, the handle got pretty loose and wobbly. The foundation brush will work in a pinch, but I’d use a full-size foundation brush or even a cosmetic sponge (like a BeautyBlender) to apply. The foundation is available in fair, light, and medium shades.

Step 3: Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth-Boosting Illuminating Face Powder

The finishing powder is translucent, but it comes in two finishes. It’s available in a matte finish (not shown) for those who like a smooth, matte look—and it also comes in an illuminating finish which is my favorite (shown). I prefer a little bit of incandescence to my skin these days because it helps bounce light out of my pores, making my skin look smoother, so the shimmering effect doesn’t bother me at all. I think the shimmer is pretty tasteful here, and that it’s not too chunky or glittery.

I think this version of the powder makes my skin look similar to when I’m wearing my Guerlain Météorites which I love since it blurs out lines a little bit, and people are always telling me that my skin is glowing. This gives off a similar effect for MUCH less cash! (But without the color-corrective properties.) It might not be for everyone though, so I’m glad there’s a matte option too. The brush it comes with is pretty different, I was expecting one with longer, softer bristles. But the shorter, more packed bristles here make sure that the powder is laying smoothly on the skin.


(illuminating translucent powder, fair foundation, and light + light concealer)

For me personally, I don’t think the use of these products makes my skin look even close to 10 years younger, however—I will say that my skin looks a little more youthful. And when I say that, I mean that the texture and tone is evened out nicely, which contributes to the appearance of younger looking skin. So in a way, the claims are right, and in another way—they’re not. I also have to remember that their stats are based on perceived youthfulness by the women who initially tested this product, and who am I to say that they didn’t think their skin looked 10 years younger? I do really like these products, and I’ll definitely be using the concealer and illuminating powder more often.

Bottom Line: The concealer is the most impressive product of the bunch, as it’s one of the best concealers I’ve ever used from a drugstore. I wish there were more shades in this collection so that all (or at least most) skin tones could be accommodated because these products are pretty nice for the price!

Price & Availability: Concealer $12.95, Foundation $14.95, Powder $13.95—mass retailers

Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth-Boosting Concealer:

Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth-Boosting Foundation:

Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth-Boosting Powder:

An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine our opinion of the product in this post. Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding our policies for using editorial samples.
  • Ellie

    I am so glad to see your review! I have just looked at these at Walmart. I didn’t buy it because I wanted to see the reviews first. I think I will give that concealer a try. :)

  • Skeetybee

    GREAT review on this new line from Physician’s Formula…thank you SO much for taking the time to review all the products instead of just one or two!