The Eyes Have It

Chasing the dream of the ultimate cream.

Wendy Duren Health & Wellness

Dark circles, fine lines, puffiness: One eye cream does not fit all.

111 East


Eye creams have long been the bane of my beauty-writer existence. Not for failing to deliver on their grandiose claims (though many do), or even for costing more than anything else in my skin-care routine, but simply because when I’m asked about them 
I don’t have a slam-dunk answer. Best red lipstick? It’s Chanel Pirate! Best makeup remover? Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil! Best SPF for the face? BeautyRX Solar Defense Sheer Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50! If pressed, I can answer with conviction and multipoint explanations.

An eye cream recommendation, however, is complicated by factors like genetics, general health, and lifestyle. If your dark circles are inherited, your best bet is a concealer. If those dark circles are due to too much salt or alcohol, or smoking, or not enough sleep, the results you seek, I’m sorry to tell you, will only be temporarily met with an eye product.

You can see why I prefer questions about red lipstick.

The skin around the eyes is thin-ner and more delicate than the rest of the face, hence the endless admonishments to use your ring finger, the weakest finger, when applying anything around them. It’s also the first area to show signs of aging. The easiest way to combat these signs is with moisture. Belif’s new Moisturizing Eye Bomb ($48, Sephora) claims to intensely moisturize for 26 hours. Twenty-four hours strikes me as plenty, but I’m impressed with Belif’s products and their focus on the critical hydration step of skin care. This moisturizes in a beautiful, nongreasy, lightweight fashion.

Cosmedix Opti Crystal Liquid Crystal Eye Serum ($95, cosmedix.com) promises to hydrate, reduce the look of fine lines, lend a tightened appearance to sagging skin, and banish dark circles. This is an emollient product with an iridescent sheen. Emollients swell the area (microscopically, not allergic-reaction puffy), which diminishes the appearance of fine lines. I suspect the dark-circle banishment is mostly due to the iridescent sheen bouncing light away to camouflage the problem, but, hey, it works (at least while the serum is on your skin). Use the tiniest amount under the eyes in the a.m. or p.m. I find for daytime application it’s best to let this fully absorb, then pat off any excess before applying makeup.

The price tag for the new La Mer Genais-sance De La Mer The Eye and Expression Cream ($390, Saks Fifth Avenue) is breath-taking. But you can count on La Mer products to deliver. They are produced with marine algae — in this case, red algae and Brittney’s Amber Algae — and marine-plant stem cells. This cream is something of a miracle worker. It instantly diminishes fine lines, erases fatigue, and generally makes the eye area appear revitalized. The product’s lid contains a cooling massage tool that, when used around the orbital bones, promotes lymphatic drainage, helpful for reducing puffiness. The tool is an added treat, but the cream works all its magic without it.

Complex and thorny as the subject can be, the fact is we all need a dedicated eye cream. There’s a good chance the first one you try won’t be the best eye cream for you. And as likely as not, neither will the second. But the perfect eye cream for you is out there. Now, open your eyes and start looking.