As someone who's cursed with a troublesome under-eye area (I'm talking puffiness, bags, and blue-ish dark circles), I have all but given up hope in new eye creams. I keep only a select few that work well for me. The rest I've given away.
While I have five to six eye creams on my vanity at any given time, there are only three that I keep in heavy rotation. The first is Tula's Multi-Spectrum Eye Renewal Serum ($58), which has a cream consistency, even though it's called a serum. It's antioxidant rich, alleviating puffiness and dark circles with the help of a cooling metal applicator. The second is Dr. Loretta's Tightening Eye Gel ($60), which really does tighten the eye area, diminishing the look of under eye bags, puffiness, and sagging skin.
The third is one of my all-time favorites; it's Ole Henriksen's Banana Bright Eye Creme ($38). Ever since I first tried it over a year ago, I've been reaching for it almost daily. And it seems most everyone else reaches for it, too, because Ole Henriksen's Banana Bright is Sephora's top-selling eye cream with 22 sold every hour. That equates to one sold every three minutes. Scroll on to read why this eye cream is so beloved by myself and many others.
The product was inspired by banana powder, which is an old-school makeup artist trick especially popular in drag communities for color-correcting, brightening, and setting makeup. Because it has a warm yellow tone, the powder disguises darkness and sallowness with a subtle radiance (Kim Kardashian West is reportedly a fan of it). Ole Henriksen wanted this eye cream to work similarly, by disguising dark circles, illuminating the under eye area, and toning and hydrating the skin. As such, the cream contains special pigments that blur darkness and reflect light.
While it doesn't conceal my dark circles (eye cream isn't concealer, after all), it does illuminate my skin as quickly as I apply it. Since it has a slippery texture, I'm able to rub it around my eye socket using gentle pressure from my ring finger to alleviate puffiness without any tugging or friction; I call it a DIY eye massage. It also hydrates my under eye area, which makes the subsequent concealer I use glide on smoothly and blend evenly. Because of this, I've honestly started treating it almost like a primer for my under eye area, since it makes my makeup look that much more bright and even.
As for its actual good-for-skin ingredients, you can count on vitamin C (from orange and lemon fruit extract) to brighten the skin and provide antioxidant protection over time, collagen to support elasticity, and jojoba seed oil and shea butter to hydrate and plump the skin. The same ingredients can be found in the brand's newest Banana Bright product: the Banana Bright Primer ($36).
Just like the eye cream, the primer is a vitamin C-infused illuminating product that helps makeup apply smoothly and last all throughout the day. You can apply it all over your face before makeup application or you can only apply it in places where you want to look extra glowy, like on the cheekbones, brow bone, forehead, and cupid's bow (that's what I do, since my oily T-zone already provides enough glowiness in the center of my face). In fact, I've started using it in place of highlighter on days when I'm not wearing makeup. It provides just enough natural-looking dew to the high points of my face, without any tell-tale bits of shimmer or sparkle.
Keep scrolling to see a few more eye creams that deserve some love.
This aforementioned eye serum feels lightweight and hydrating. I love the cooling metal applicator, which dampens the extreme puffiness that may result from a a bad night's rest or (ahem) drinking one too many glasses of wine at dinner the night before.
This hydrating eye gel uses peptides to tighten the eye contour and algae extract to support the skin's natural collagen production. I like the fact that it's formulated with antioxidants that protect against UV and free radical damage (I still follow up with sunscreen, though, as one should).
For a more natural option, try this tiny pot of eye cream from all-natural skincare brand Fleur & Bee. It uses caffeine, squalane, aloe vera, and various vitamins to smooth, brighten, and hydrate the under eye area. I like the fact that it's made without gluten, parabens, sulfates, and artificial fragrances. It just feels so nice and gentle and lightweight on the sensitive under eye area.
Sunday Riley's eye cream promises to "auto correct" the under eye area with a few stand-out ingredients. Caffeine and Brazilian ginseng root extract are paired together to energize tired eyes and reduce circles and puffiness. Horse chestnut and acamella oleracea extracts smooth wrinkles and lines and lift the eye contours, and lutein gives the area some much needed radiance. Finally, shea butter and cocoa moisturize the skin while watermelon rind hydrates.
Next, read up on the $8 brow product that made one editor cancel her microblading appointment.