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.
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, La Mer global skincare advisor, 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.
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 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.

Olay Eyes Pro Retinol Eye Treatment for Wrinkles, $26.99, available at Olay.
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This lightweight serum is packed full of vitamins and oils to hydrate dry skin. We like tapping it on just before bed so it can work its magic while we sleep.

The Seaweed Bath Co. Eye Treatment, $42, available at The Seaweed Bath Co.
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This heavy-duty eye cream is formulated with retinol to reduce the appearance of fine lines — just make sure to only use it at night to avoid irritation from sun exposure.

RoC Eye Cream, $24.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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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.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Eye Cream, $43, available at Fresh.
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If cloying creams aren't right for you, try tapping on this gel formula. Formulated with hyalurons, this eye cream brightens your under eyes and reduces the look of dark circles.

Ren Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift, $45, available at Sephora.
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Our natural pick is Korres' Black Pine cream. Not only will it reduce the most stubborn of puffiness, but it will also eliminate dreaded dark circles.

Korres Black Pine Firming, Lifting & Antiwrinkle Eye Cream, $54, available at Korres.
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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.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye, $37, available at Kiehl’s.
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Tatcha's latest eye product is lightweight and includes an applicator that does all of the work for you.

Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Eye Serum, $95, available at Tatcha.
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This eye cream from Mario Badescu is all about getting moisture to the undereye area, using the beloved hyaluronic acid. Plus, it absorbs quickly so you can wear it day and night and not worry about your makeup sliding around.

Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream, $18, available at Ulta Beauty.
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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.

Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment, $38, available at Macy's.
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Technically, this is marketed to dudes, but we don't discriminate by gender: A good beauty product is a good beauty product. Made with caffeine and vitamin E, it energizes your undereye area and gets rid of puffiness lickety-split. A dab of this followed by a brightening concealer is our secret weapon for looking awake after a long night out.
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A top pick for those of us starting to battle the inevitable crow's feet and droopiness that come with a life well-lived, this anti-aging pick from Fresh firms and hydrates thanks to a formula packed with antioxidant-rich black tea and noni juice. It also smells amazing — if you're the kind of person who likes to wrap your hands around a mug of hot tea in the morning, applying this to your lids has the same aromatherapeutic effect.
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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 roller-ball? Simply roll it softly on your undereye area and it will 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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Another firming wonder, this cream moisturizes, plumps, de-puffs, and protects the delicate eye area. We like this one as a night cream, as it's a little too rich for daytime use unless your skin is super dry.
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Having sensitive eyes can be a major obstacle when choosing an eye cream, but this balm makes it easy. To help keep your eye cream in place — and not allow it to wander into your eyes, which can cause irritation — stick to a product with a precise applicator and don't get close to your lash line. Simply twist up the tube and reveal the solid, clear stick of de-puffing balm. It's gentle — and delivers a cooling sensation that you can control.

Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm, $38, available at Sephora.
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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.

Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex, $78, available at Dermalogica.
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That Dr. Andrew Weil sure knows his stuff. The holistic health guru's line with Origins focuses on using efficacious botanicals to provide noticeable results. This brightening eye cream is no exception: Its formula has extracts of rosa roxburghii, white peony, ume, and magnolia, which help lighten shadows and make eyes look less sunken.
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They don't call this Secret de Maquilleurs (loosely translated, that's "makeup artists' secret," for you non-francophones) for nothing. This handy little stick offers a cooling sensation that feels delicious on tired eyes. More importantly, it helps smooth out the contours of the eye and makes your makeup go on (and look) so much better. Add to that a radiance-boosting effect, and it's no wonder makeup artists hoard this beauty in their kits.
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Like the majority of SkinCeuticals products, this eye cream is all about the antioxidants. Phloretin, vitamin C, and ferulic acid in a potent serum-in-a-gel formula help it penetrate the skin and work to correct signs of photodamage, as well as puffiness and dark circles.
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We simply cannot say enough nice things about this firming eye gel from green beauty maven Tammy Fender. It uses elderflower, chamomile, rosehip, and green myrtle to soothe tired eyes, lift, and brighten. We like to mix in a few drops of concealer — it's like eight hours of sleep in a bottle.
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This whipped-up eye cream is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and kakadu plum — which all help to fight the signs of eye fatigue. The ultra-moisturizing cream instantly brightens, smooths, and firms the skin while helping to protect from future environmental damage.

Dermadoctor Kakadu C Eye Soufflé, $68, available at Sephora.
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A hybrid makeup and skin-care product, this drugstore diamond uses light-diffusing pigments and blurring technology to diminish dark circles and fine lines, while the metal applicator helps smooth out puffiness.
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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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This newbie from Aveda is like a jumpstart for tired eyes. Licorice root and coffee bean extracts help reduce puffiness and dark circles, boosting sleep-deprived skin and helping you look well-rested.
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This powerful anti-aging serum from Drunk Elephant uses black-tea ferment and copper peptides to battle signs of aging such as wrinkles, dark circles, and puffiness. The serum helps to support collagen and elastin production and bring back the radiance to your undereyes.

Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum, $85, available at Sephora.
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This line, aptly called Anti-Fatigue, cuts straight to the chase and we couldn't love it more for that. The gel-cream is an absolute lifesaver for hungover skin. Made with white lily extract, it hydrates and decongests, revealing smooth, healthy, bright, and bag-free eyes. Which is something we all need after a night of debauchery, no?
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Honest Beauty's new eye cream is great for those mornings after you've had a few too many got to bed late. It has ingredients like chamomile and calendula to calm and soothe the skin, and vitamin C to brighten, but the best part is the cooling metal applicator, which helps to ease puffiness — and feels pretty great, too.

Honest Beauty The Depuffed Eye, $32, available at Ulta.
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The rich, soothing texture of this gel feels luxurious on the fragile eye area and helps to combat any and all signs of aging.

L’Occitane Divine Eyes, $80, available at L’Occitane.
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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 annoying 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.

Philosophy Hope in a Tube Eye & Lip Cream, $38, available at Ulta.
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Vi Derm's Revitalizing Eye Cream has a medium-weight, creamy texture, but soaks in as fast as a gel, leaving skin plumped up and moisturized. It packs hyaluronic acid to replenish hydration and a blend of different peptides that help to de-puff, firm, and fight dark circles.

Vi Derm Revitalizing Eye Cream, $50, available at Dermstore.
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Wake up to instantly brighter eyes thanks to this overnight treatment. Crow's feet, dark circles, fine lines, and puffiness will soon be a thing of the past.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex II, $58, available at Bergdorf Goodman.
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This lightweight eye cream is loaded with antioxidants and hydrating oils which help to smooth out fine lines.

Farmacy Eye Dew Total Eye Cream, $38, available at Farmacy.
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This squalane-based eye gel is Sephora's number-one bestseller right now — and for good reason. It hydrates, is fragrance-free, and is also incredibly light.

Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel, $54, available at Sephora.
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Good things come in small packages, and despite its diminutive size, this soothing eye gel packs an instantly de-puffing punch. With a gentle yet effective formula, this one’s a godsend for anyone who has the double whammy of dark circles and sensitive skin.

Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy De-Puffing Eye Gel, $75, available at Sephora.
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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.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream, $48, available at Sephora.
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Gentle enough for even the most finicky skin, this lightweight smoothing cream leaves the eye area looking all-around refreshed when used morning and night. Bonus: It’s completely fragrance-free.

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Energizing and Smoothing Eye Cream, $39, available at Caudalie.
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The cool ceramic tip on this small tube serves as the perfect wake-up call on the dreariest of mornings.

Nyakio Quinoa De-Puffing & Firming Eye Cream, $39, available at Ulta.
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On your next Target run, consider grabbing one of these ruby red potted eye creams. It's the best wrinkle-prevention less than $12 can buy.

Garnier SkinActive Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Cream,$11.69, available at Target.
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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.

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème, $38, available at Sephora.
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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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