These Eye Creams Are Like Coffee For Your Face

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Can we get a big "hell yeah!" for eye creams? Without them we would be lost, wandering around hopelessly, looking just as tired as we feel. Yes, this is hyperbolic, but thanks to these potions, our puffiness, fatigue, and dark circles really are reduced — and for that, we celebrate.
Due to a combination of late nights and poor sleep habits, we've had more than our fair share of opportunities to test out puff-reducing, bag-demolishing eye creams. We've tried the good, the bad — and then we've tried the miracle workers. That's what the eye creams ahead are: cool, creamy miracles.
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Now, we're not naive enough to think that a tube of cream alone can fix fatigue. No, it comes down to a combo of an out-of-this-world product and some serious application know-how. So, we went to the woman with all the complexion-perfecting answers to get the scoop on the best way to apply your eye cream in order to make your gaze its most rested.
According to celebrity aesthetician and perfect-skin-whisperer (we've told her she needs to put that on her business cards) Joanna Czech, you can tailor your application to the type of results you want: anti-aging or de-puffing.
For anti-aging, here's what she advises: "Start with your inner eye and apply the cream, but do a little press-and-release motion. Apply your cream in a few points around the eye, and then, using your middle or ring finger, place them in the inner corner of the eye below the brow on the upper lid. Slightly press and release, working outward. Do the same on the bottom, but work from the outer corner to the inner corner."
According to Czech, with this technique you are working against gravity — and against the lines. "When you press your skin, it microscopically stretches, and when you release it grabs the product and draws it into the surface of the skin." She advises that this method is better for the evening and with a richer cream, since the focus is anti-aging and hydration. As a follow-up, she recommends placing two lukewarm chamomile tea bags on your eyes and laying down for 20 minutes. This will provide soothing and anti-redness relief.
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For de-puffing, it's all about fluid drainage. Puffiness is caused by a buildup of fluid in your undereye area, so diminishing it comes down to (gently!) pushing it out of there. Says Czech, "I would do the upper lid the exact same way as the anti-aging method, and then on the undereye I would go from the inner corner to outer, sliding my finger down to give a form of lymphatic drainage. Very slight pressing motion as you slide." She advises that this is great to do in the morning, and that you can enhance the de-puffing effects by using a cold product, so pop that a.m. eye cream in the fridge for best results. Now that you know the secrets of eye cream application, read on for our top product picks.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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With a powerful cocktail of vitamins C and E, hyaluronic acid, and caffeine, dark circles and fine lines don't stand a chance against this eye cream, which was a clear winner in this year's Beauty Innovator Awards.
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This eye cream is not cheap, but it is magic. It's formulated with rare Albazia bark extract, which helps strengthens capillaries (those pesky blue blood vessels), and a mixture of moisture-locking and plumping hyaluronic acid and ceramides. It has a solid beauty-editor stamp of approval — and supermodels are obsessed, too.
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Tap this potent wrinkle-smoother around your eyes and over crow's feet daily. The retinol is formulated to be non-irritating, so you can use it in the morning, but you'll want to make sure you go over it with SPF.
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Winter dryness? Okay, we can handle it. Rough, irritated dry patches? Bane of our existence. This hydrating eye cream acts like a direct shot of moisture, so you can wake up with soft, smooth undereyes again.
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This hydrating, skin-strengthening eye cream works as you sleep to reduce fine lines, minimize puffiness, and brighten dark circles, so you look — and feel — like you’ve gotten twice as much beauty sleep.
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Tatcha's eye serum is incredibly lightweight, and includes a cooling applicator that does all of the work for you.
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This eye cream is all about bringing moisture to the undereye area using hyaluronic acid. Plus, it absorbs quickly, so you can wear it day and night and not worry about your makeup sliding around.
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Tarte’s Maracuja collection has developed a cult following for good reason — and one of our favorite products of the bunch is the brightening eye cream. The maracuja fruit and vitamin C-enriched formula is firming and brightening. Meaning: It’ll make you look awake with just a few dabs (we suggest dotting it on with your pinky for best results). And it’s so light in consistency, you can apply your concealer right away — if you even feel like you need it, that is.
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Remember what we said about how puffiness is caused by excess fluid? Well, if facial massage with your fingers isn't your thing, may we interest you in this genius rollerball? Simply roll it softly on your undereye area and it'll massage in a potent formula of antioxidants, soothing botanicals, and caffeine as it drains that fluid. Bright eyes, here you come.
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This tried-and-true eye cream has been reformulated to include microencapsulated retinol and niacinamide, which help to penetrate deeply to brighten, smooth, and plump.
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Phloretin, vitamin C, and ferulic acid in a potent serum-in-a-gel formula help this antioxidant-rich potion penetrate the skin and work to correct signs of photodamage, as well as puffiness and dark circles.
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Arcona's cult-classic eye cream has shea butter and hyaluronic acid to provide ultimate hydration, while anti-inflammatory blueberry extract and vitamin E help comfort tired eyes. Apply this before you hit the sheets — it's a little heavy for day — and you'll wake up refreshed and revitalized.
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Philosophy’s Hope in a Tube does double duty — the ultra-moisturizing eye and lip cream helps to minimize fine lines around these areas. So, those pesky little crow’s feet? You can get rid of them the same way you get rid of the lines in the corners of your mouth. The blend of vitamins E and C helps to reduce the appearance of these lines and revitalize the skin.
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This stuff is the best to use right before putting on concealer, as the cucumber- and hyaluronic acid-fueled formula is smooth enough to be a primer.
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No bananas were harmed in the making of this brightening eye cream: It was actually inspired by the yellow setting powder that makeup artists love for brightening and color-correcting the eye area. Fittingly, this vitamin C-rich formula does all that and more, targeting fine lines while instantly reducing the look of dark circles.
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edited by Christopher Michael Beer; photographed by Jack Pearce; photographed by James Herron; hair by Jenna Perry; photographed by Lauren Perlstein; styled by Melissa Ward Schorsch; makeup by Theo Kogan.
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