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Tired eyes are one of our biggest beauty bugbears. Sometimes however much coffee you drink (and how much much concealer you use) there will be nothing that will disguise those eye bags and give the illusion of a solid ten hours shut eye. This is where eye creams come into play: a specific moisturiser to target the delicate eye area and a promise of tighter, brighter eyes and the claim to rid us of puffiness and those dreaded dark shadows. Did the creams we tested live up to the hype? Click through to find out…
2 / 16
Feedback "This is a gel-like serum which, being fragrance free, was ideal for my sensitive skin. It promises that its hyaluronic acid and glycerin formula will rehydrate and de-puff the eye area, which after too many late nights is exactly what I needed. I smoothed and patted it on gently in the mornings before make-up to find that it has quite a cooling, refreshing effect - I certainly felt more awake but I'm not sure I looked it.
"It didn't help to de-puff eyelids as such but the area under my eye looked smoother and less dull, and this continued after a few days' use; even better, my makeup glided on perfectly over the top. My only real bugbear is the packaging - it's too easy to use too much and end up with a sticky residue so it would be far better in a pump for more control over dispensing the right amount."
3 / 16
Feedback “I can’t say that I’m an eye cream devotee - remembering to apply moisturiser après wash is about as far as I get and as I haven’t hit the anti-ageing stage quite yet I’m stringing the minimalist skincare routine out for as long as possible. I think that this gel based gem will, however, become a firm fixture within my otherwise somewhat basic regime. I’ll be applying it sparsely as the price tag makes me wince (not good for future wrinkle prospects I expect), but luckily you don’t need much product to achieve a brightened, de-puffed eye area.
"The eco-friendly gel is rich in antioxidants and sea nutrients that serve to combat the evils of ageing, but I found that it was equally beneficial when it came to waking up tiny hungover eyes and soothing sore, sleep deprived peepers. Store it in the fridge for added zing and wear under make-up for an eye lift that lasts all day. If we have a summer this year, I’ll also be reaching for this reviving gel at regular intervals - its calming and cooling powers would be the perfect antidote to hot, itchy eyes.”
Score 9/10 (perfection comes at a price)
4 / 16
Feedback “This eye serum is designed to refresh and hydrate puffy eyes and diminish dark circles on contact. I can't say I noticed any brightening effects as such (although I don't really have dark circles just yet) but this is certainly a very refreshing serum that also feels quite nourishing. Quick and easy to use, I do love the fact that it has a rollerball applicator which is used to massage the serum onto the skin - it adds to the therapeutic effect which is why I've kept up with the morning and evening application, as recommended.
"This is an all-round great product to pep up and de-puff the eyes, especially if you haven't had your eight hours of beauty sleep. I would very much recommend it to those who are not quite ready for full-on anti-ageing lotions and potions.”
5 / 16
Feedback “The part of my face that I’m particularly conscious of is the area underneath my eyes. A mixture of genetics and trouble sleeping have caused me to have dark circles that have been pretty hard to shift despite trying out a plethora of targeted under-eye creams. This product was fantastic at de-puffing and smoothing out lines. I particularly liked the almost water-like texture too which was lightweight, very nourishing and didn’t feel too gloopy or thick which I have found to be the case with other eye creams that I’ve used in the past. I’ll definitely be using this little pint-sized wonder-serum from now on.”
6 / 16
Feedback "Firstly from a purely aesthetic perspective, I love the packaging of this eye cream - it looks so pretty on my beauty shelf. But onto the product itself; the texture of the cream is quite thick so I was a little dubious about whether it would sink into the skin very well and thought it may feel too heavy. However, it was incredibly smooth and moisturised the eye area brilliantly, leaving it refreshed but not congested at all. In fact, it created a perfect base for my under-eye concealer to go on top.
"It claims to be a 'brightening eye cream to fade dark circles', but though it definitely adds radiance in the morning to hide any dullness or lack of sleep, I wouldn't say my dark circles were reduced. I'd recommend it for those with younger skin who just need to brighten up their eyes for the day ahead, but for those looking to remove darkness and lines I'd suggest they find something that works a bit harder. I'm sticking with it though - it really wakes me up for the day and who knows, maybe once I hit the end of the pot my circles will be gone."
7 / 16
Feedback “This eye cream had a lovely smell and came in a handy pump bottle too which meant measuring the right amount was easy (one pump was plenty for both eyes). Although a little sticky at first, it did eventually sink into my skin quite nicely and plumped up and hydrated my under-eye area, making a small but noticeable difference. This product would be best for those with sensitive eyes or those looking for an eye cream to rectify and protect against the first signs of ageing. If you have heavier-set fine lines and wrinkles, I would recommend using something a little more specialist.”
8 / 16
Feedback "For an eye cream, this is eye-wateringly expensive. The science is that it uses tomato and raspberry stem cells to halt the ageing process and strengthen the skin. So does it do what it says on the tin? To be honest it is pretty darn good. I've been using it for three weeks and I swear I've seen a change in the texture (less crepey) under and around my eyes. Plus the eye roller is delightfully cold and soothing on my forever tired eyelids. I think it has made a difference; I don't suffer from dark circles so can't comment there. Would I pay £179 for it? Ask me in six weeks. So far so good."
9 / 16
Feedback: “ Origins GinZing eye cream claims to brighten and depuff the eye area using the powers of panax ginsing, caffeine and magnolia extract. Designed to be used in the morning as a pick me up for the eyes (much like a morning coffee) I applied this under my eyes on a Sunday morning after a night of definitely not clocking my eight hours. The pink based cream had an iridescent quality to it, some may even describe it as shimmery, and made a great base for under eye concealer. It did not cover dark circles or reduce puffiness but working perfectly as a radiant under eye primer before applying concealer. I enjoyed the cooling sensation and pampering ritual of adding an extra step to my skincare regime application and will definitely keep this little pot on standby for any upcoming late nights.”
10 / 16
Feedback: “Having suffered with bouts of eczema on my eyelids on and off over the years I am always intrigued to try hydrating eye creams. I had heard great things from the blogosphere regarding Kiehl’s avocado eye cream and as a big fan of avocado (eating them that is) I had high hopes for this eye cream. Unfortunately though I was pretty disappointed. The cream was a lovely thick texture which felt cooling and hydrating on the skin but when applied in the morning took ages to sink in (not good when short on time or makeup application) and when I applied before bed the next morning the skin around my eyes felt just as dry - in fact I think it may have made them more dry and flaky than usual. I do have particularly sensitive eyes though so I think for someone with less sensitivity issues might be ok - sadly for for me though the avocados will be staying firmly in the kitchen.”
11 / 16
Feedback: “My under eye area is the part of my face I always try to cover up. I would say my diet is pretty good, I drink plenty of water and I certainly get enough zzz so I am at the end of my tether with why I still get really dark circles. Therefore I am always on the lookout for something that will brighten the area and this Eye Duo from one of my favourite brands Aurelia is just the ticket.
The Revitalise & Brighten Eye Dew is a super refreshing morning treat for the eyes, the rollerball product noticeably brightens and softens the appearance under the eye, and the Illuminate & Smooth Puff Reduction Eye Cream used at night feels completely indulgent, luxurious and hydrating. The fact that both products are free from scary ingredients such as parabens, sulphates and synthetic fragrances makes it even better.”
12 / 16
Feedback: “Designed to be used both morning and evening, a dabble of this ultra rich eye cream is a luxurious way to give your peepers some much needed hydration - but I’m afraid that’s about all. A week of late nights meant my puffy, dark rimmed eyes were the perfect candidates to test such a cream, but I was left disappointed when continual usage had little to no impact on their state. (Having said that, I fear ten tonnes of sleep itself may have had difficulty lifting and lightening these bad boys, so it may have been a tough one to judge). Lovely as it was - I was more smitten with the way it looked sat on my bathroom shelf than anything else.
13 / 16
Feedback: "On first look, everything about this eye cream ticked all the right boxes; a pump bottle so the product is preserved and safe from contamination; a pretty, swirly formula; an ingredients list with skin-boosting niacinamide and glycerin near the top and no fragrance. Perfect for sensitive skin. The texture, too, is impressive - a light mousse-like cream which blends in gently, leaving behind a slightly iridescent, pearly glow. Does this banish dark circles? I'm not convinced anything can, save for a dense concealer - but it does brighten up the eye area with its mineral pigments and contains the right recipe for better, hydrated skin in the long term. I was a little shocked at the high price point and you could probably use your day cream, containing the same smart ingredients instead; but if you like a separate eye product then this is a good bet."
14 / 16
Feedback: "Thanks to my genes and apparent aversion to a good night’s sleep as of late, dark circles seem to be an inevitability of my future. With my under eyes looking their most raw, red and puffy, this particular Gloss Report really couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m a big fan of HealGel so I had high hopes for the brand’s eye cream.
Unfortunately though, I believe the solution to my predicament doesn’t come in the form of a pot. While I felt that this particular eye cream fared a lot better than others I’ve tried in the past in terms of a non-greasy texture and fast absorption, I believe the only way I’m going to see a more noticeable change is by sorting out the source of my sleeplessness first. For those looking for a product that provides a great base for makeup and for a way to combat the first signs of ageing, this eye cream could be for you. However, should you suffer from more obvious signs of under eye wear and tear, it’s best to look for other solutions in my opinion (e.g. diet adjustments and ways to treat insomnia) in order to make more effective and long-lasting improvements."
15 / 16
Feedback: “Using an eye cream as part of my regime is one of those parts of becoming a functioning adult I keep putting off, like getting a credit rating and seperating my washing in to light and dark loads. However much I try to scare myself that sleeping in my eye makeup one time too often will have prematurely aged my eyes, I can’t seem to find the time - or will - for it. The Stimulskin Plus was great because the slimline packaging fit neatly into my makeup bag, and the pump applicator made it easy to apply quickly. When it comes to a product going near my eyes, using a pump rather than a jar also felt more hygienic, although one pump does give you more product than you really need. The cream is light and absorbs immediately, so you can plough straight on with your makeup routine. It didn’t interfere with my usual liquid eyeliner, or wearing contacts lenses.
I haven’t noticed any difference yet, but I applied it the morning after a night of partying until the first tube home and my housemate commented (unprompted) that I looked “fresh”, so perhaps it is working quiet miracles. That being said, I struggle to remember to apply it both morning and evening, and because it doesn’t scream instant results it’s a case of reminding myself to be patient and apply it now as insurance for the future. Rather like a pension for your eyes. That reminds me, I need to start one of those, too…”
16 / 16
Feedback: "The name of this product hits the nail on the head in terms of my eye concerns - fatigue and a slight crinkliness around the edges prevent me from looking as bright eyed and bushy tailed as I'd like to. My eye cream habits are on the simple side; I tend to favour light gels and can be very forgetful in terms of regular application, but investing in such a targeted treatment such as this would make me a lot more disciplined (I'd hope). It's about the amount of cash I'd spend on a face serum, but if it mimics the effects of a saintly sleep pattern then that's value for money in my books"
"The fact that it's designed as an overnight treatment appeals, as it feels like you're maxing out on beauty sleep, even if the actual sleep part is somewhat lacking. The cream's texture is fairly thick, meaning that a Borrower sized drop will suffice to cover both eyes. It feels cooling on application but far more nourishing than my usual slippery eye cream, although it does take a bit longer to absorb. The proof of its power shows the morning after, when I noticed reduced puffiness and bouncier skin under the eye (I'm convinced that the hydrating hyaluronic acid was responsible). I can't say that I saw any fading on the dark circles front, although redness is more of an issue for me than shadows. All in all it certainly plumped up the thin skin around the eye area, but you may want to supplement its effects with an undereye concealer come 7am to really max out its benefits."