Monday 5 December 2016

The beauty panel: Jeepers Creepers

There's no such thing as a miracle eye cream, says Sarah Caden, but little improvements are within reach

Published 18/04/2016 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Clinique pep-start Eye Cream; Ren Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift; Nuxe Luxuriance Eye and Lip Contour; Kinvara Eye Wow! Eye Serum; Chanel Hydra Beauty Intense Smoothing Eye Gel. Photo: Kip Carroll
Pictured, from left, Clinique pep-start Eye Cream; Ren Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift; Nuxe Luxuriance Eye and Lip Contour; Kinvara Eye Wow! Eye Serum; Chanel Hydra Beauty Intense Smoothing Eye Gel. Photo: Kip Carroll

There is a certain hopelessness in our quest for the dream eye cream. The reality is that the eye area is near impossible to put right once it starts to go. The skin there is so thin, so ill-equipped to stay plump and firm, that it's hard to fix.

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Obviously, the notion of 'fixing' is bogus anyway. We know that we shouldn't view ageing as some sort of losing battle, and we shouldn't believe that any skincare can work miracles. Both lines of thought will only end in disappointment and, to some extent, a degree of self-loathing. We shouldn't hate the signs of life on our faces, but that's not to say that we have to love looking exhausted after a full night's sleep, or looking crinkled and creased.

So, there's no harm in seeking out an eye product that will plump out those lines with moisture and make the skin look less crepey and desiccated. Also, a good eye cream, used at night, will help your eyes to look a little less crumpled come morning. When it comes to choosing an eye cream, it's important to assess your expectations. They can make a difference temporarily and cosmetically, and perhaps that's plenty. Outside of that, maybe we should make an effort to embrace where our eyes are at.

Best Overall

Clinique pep-start Eye Cream, €28, Clinique counters nationwide

There is something cheery and, well, peppy about this bright-orange tube, and, happily, the product within doesn't disappoint. It has a pleasant rollerball applicator that you slide over just-awake puffiness and eye bags, and the product is packed with peptides, which promise to boost collagen production. Peptides also work as moisture-binders, thus plumping out fine lines. "This cream comes out quite thick, but it doesn't sit heavily on my skin," said a panellist. "And I love the applicator."

Best Instant effect

Ren Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift, €40, Arnotts; Marks and Spencer, selected pharmacies nationwide

The everywhere-but-the-eyes version of this product, which launched last year, proved such a hit that Ren rapidly came up with an eye option. The original KYAB facial product won awards for its instant tightening and brightening effect on the face, and this does the same around your eyes. A hyaluronic cocktail fills up the skin cells with water, which basically softens fine lines. This is a delightful but temporary effect, though other ingredients promise long-term improvements in skin texture. "It's that drink of water for your skin that you long for," one panellist said.

Best Older Option

Nuxe Luxuriance Eye and Lip Contour, €39.25, selected pharmacies nationwide

This is part of a new range from Nuxe aimed at 'radiant women', and it targets roughness, ruddiness, dullness and dark spots. All of which come with age, and all of which are particularly noticeable on the thin skin around the eyes. Younger skin will find this too rich for their needs, but ingredients such as caffeine and hyaluronic acid will help with older skin's puffiness and dryness.

"It's rich and made my make-up slip a bit, so I only used it at night, but I believe I looked more rested," said a panellist.

Best Natural Nourish

Kinvara Eye Wow! Eye Serum, €29.95, Avoca; selected pharmacies, or see kinvaraskincare.com

This eye serum comes from an Irish-produced line that focuses on natural ingredients for effective but inoffensive skincare. With a cooling metal-rollerball applicator, the serum glides nicely over puffiness and dark bags and contains a long list of ingredients that includes omega-rich plant oils, skin-calming caffeine, horse chestnut to reduce puffiness and good old hyaluronic acid. "This did a good job," a panellist said. "The metal roller was soothing, and around my eyes looked less dry, I thought."

Best Cool Hit

Chanel Hydra Beauty Intense Smoothing Eye Gel, €59, Chanel counters nationwide

The science behind this serum, and the all-face version which launched last year, is about suspending rich ingredients in a water-like fluid. So, you get a lot of moisture from camellia extract, and antioxidants from blue ginger, but the product feels incredibly light. "So pleasant to use, morning and night," said a panellist. "I definitely saw the dryness defeated a bit."

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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