Friday 30 September 2016

Beauty panel: Eye Test - how to soften those lines

There's no miracle fix for the bags and wrinkles, says our beauty expert, but temporary measures are not to be sniffed at

Sarah Caden

Published 22/02/2016 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Estee Lauder New Dimension Firm + Fill Eye System; Guinot Eye Fresh Cream; Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Soothing Eye Mask; Avene PhysioLift Eyes; SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defence SPF 30. Photo: Kip Carroll
Pictured, from left, Estee Lauder New Dimension Firm + Fill Eye System; Guinot Eye Fresh Cream; Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Soothing Eye Mask; Avene PhysioLift Eyes; SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defence SPF 30. Photo: Kip Carroll

It's all very well the eyes being the window to your soul when you're 21 and all's right around your eyes. Then, the eyes are what you notice. Give it a decade or two - or three or four - and when it comes to the eyes, most of what you notice is what's around them. The lines, the creases, the bags under them and, often, the skin seeming to slump down on to them from above. Who saw that coming?

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Obviously, we are more aware of these flaws than any beholder. First, they are more bothered with their own issues. Second, we only really minutely analyse our own faces. When it comes to others, we see the whole, not fragments of flaws. So, of course, we shouldn't get too hung up on a few crow's feet and under-eye luggage sets. Still, it would be nice to nudge them down the road of life a little. Now, there's nothing that can be done to make any eye-area ageing go away. What you can do is soften the lines, make improvements on dark circles, and, crucially, hydrate the area.

As regards the last, that means drinking water, to stop you being a dried-out raisin in general, and using products that temporarily hydrate. No miracles, and it's only holding back the tide; but it's that or give up.

Best Overall

Estee Lauder New Dimension Firm + Fill Eye System, €80, Estee Lauder counters nationwide

Last year, Estee Lauder brought out a product called Liquid Tape serum, which you dab on to temporarily tighten the skin. The thinking behind this new eye-treatment duo is similar. One little pot is an eye cream. It's pleasant, and contains ingredients that will plump up the skin and stop it looking dry and crepey. The other pot is a creamy filler that you can use every day or occasionally, just to literally fill out your wrinkles. Temporarily, we add, emphatically. "I like the honest approach of this two-step system," said one panellist. "It fills up the craters, but not forever. Temporarily will do for me."

Best Drink Up

Guinot Eye Fresh Cream, €57.75, for stockists, tel: (0818) 719-303

There are two good reasons to like this product. One is the cream itself, which feels cool going onto the skin, and has a light, fresh feeling as a result. The other is the applicator, which is a metal pad through which you squeeze out the cream and then smooth it on, adding to the cooling effect. The cream itself includes avocado oil and mango butter, and yet the texture is very light. "A lovely morning product, for when eyes can be puffy and weary," said a panellist. "A nice wake-up."

Best Urgent Aid

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Soothing Eye Mask, €67, Arnotts; selected pharmacies nationwide

If it's an emergency eye rescue you're after, these are a wonderful find. Like small, eye-area versions of those cloth face masks that are all the go, they contain a decent dose of retinol, to super-smooth-out wrinkles. And they also have ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which fills out cells with water and makes the skin look softer and fuller. Again, and we can't say it enough, temporarily. "Brilliant before a night out, as they just revive skin that can look so weary and jaded," one panellist said.

Best Kindly Eye

Avene PhysioLift Eyes, €29, selected pharmacies nationwide

Avene is a terrific brand for any kind of sensitive skin, and the skin around the eyes can be sensitive for those who don't have any issues otherwise. The PhysioLift line is designed for skin that is already showing signs of ageing, such as lines and loss of radiance and firmness. This is a night cream that plumps up the skin and improves any desiccated texture. "This feels fresh on the skin and doesn't feel like overload," said one panellist. "I found it good by day, too, under make-up."

Best Colour Block

SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye UV Defence SPF 30, €31, for stockists, see skinceuticals.co.uk

This is an eye cream with a hint of tint that, ideally, you use over this brand's AOX Eye Gel, or any other light-textured eye product. Which is to say that this product won't lend much moisture to a potentially parched area, but it does other stuff, in that it masks eye bags and provides sun protection. "A great product if you run or exercise outdoors," said a panellist. "You look a little less ravaged with it on, and you are protecting against future damage, too."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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