Saturday, 27 March 2010

# 124 Eye No

Hanne from asked when the right time was to start using eye creams & what might work for someone like her, in her early 20s...

Perfect timing given that I'm in the midst of an eye-cream quest myself - I had the dreaded WOODS LAMP treatment again last week which showed that the most dehydrated part of my face was the skin around my eyes; a bit of a shocker given that I do a twice-weekly eye mask (Sisley) & have been using Estee Lauder's new Time Zone Anti-Line/Wrinkle Eye Cream for the past 10 weeks which has [in their own words]:

'TriHyaluronic Complex, which plumps away the look of fine, dry lines and gives skin the hydration it needs to stay looking smooth, supple and revitalised. It infuses the eye area with 5 times the concentration of TriHyaluronic Complex found in the face formula.'

And though I'm not afflicted with lines or wrinkles just yet (well, I am only 29) - I'm well aware that dehydrated skin is far more inclined to age speedily, so I'm now on a mission to find a cream that will plump, illuminate, hydrate & moisturise.

Chatting to PR Clare Forde last week, it occurred to me that perhaps I've been looking in the wrong place. If it's hydration that I'm after, a deeply penetrating & easily absorbed serum could be the way to go - chased with something containing SPF for day perhaps, and reparative antioxidants & smoothing actives at night.

I'm old & just about wise enough to know that an eye cream is never ever going to cancel out dark shadows, permanently erase wrinkles or conduct a mini eye-lift. So, what do I want? I want the skin beneath my eyes to feel plump, but not tightened; soft, but not silicone-y; bright, but naturally so - not because of light reflective particles.

I'd been sent ESPA's Firming Eye Contour Concentrate a while ago - and hadn't realised that the
serum was actually meant to be used as a self-contained treatment regime (it comes in two mini bottles with pipettes). A few weeks in I desisted - I wasn't hugely fond of the smell (a bit fishy at times which is a side-effect of the marine algae), and because, I suspect, I am not yet suffering from saggy skin in said area, the tightening effect was not really to my taste. However, I have to say that after a perfectly-pitched facial at The Europe in Ireland (following a fair bit of eye work, massage & the application of latter concentrate), things did look a lot brighter. So perhaps I need to stick to the proposed course - give it the full 8 weeks, and then judge things anew.

For the moment, however, I'm trying Emma Hardie's Amazing Face Firming Eye Serum - it's a light, slightly creamy coloured gel and contains aloe, arnica, orange water & marine active. A little goes a very long way and I'm pleased with how the skin seems to sup it up - nicely hydrating, but accommodates a cream on top too if needed. I'll give this one until the end of May & we'll see where we stand.

And back to Hanne's question about a good eye cream... well, it's back to the old issue of what works for one, may not work for another.

In my entirely subjective experience:

I've tried and liked formulas by Sarah Chapman & Shiseido.

I've also tried eye creams by La Prairie (often thought to be the very best), but I've not been hugely impressed thus far. Anyone else had more luck?

As for staples, Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF15 has been in my bag for years. I like the fact that it's just a simple to use formula - with built in protection & hydration. It's not particularly advanced, but then, throughout my early 20s I wasn't really looking for miracles. Now, however, I think I need something stronger. This will be the basis of much of my testing for the next two months... we'll see what the beauty bag throws up!

For night, Creme de la Mer Eye Balm is one of those formulas that really does seem to do the trick whenever I try it. And Mama Malcontent (who - if it's possible - has used even more eye creams over the years than I have), really believes it's the daddy. So, it gets a thumbs up - but budget-wise, not so great, sorry about that.

My earlier MISS MALCONTENT'S BEST OF BEAUTY posts (see labels, to the right), also cover what I deem to be the best products across 100 different categories. I intended it to be a good reference point for those new to my blog - so do dip in if you're after the perfect cream blush, a great mascara, or the ideal foot cream...

And in the meantime, I'd love to know what everyone else is using & loving...


Grace London said...

I think the Sarah Chapman is one of the best. I have used and loved a sample of the La Mer balm, but ouch! on the price.

I'm currently using a sample of Bakel Jaluronic formula as my eye and lip treatment, and so far, am very impressed. The Bakel line is an interesting one; formulas contain only active ingredients, and have very short ingredients lists. I did like the Emma Hardie serum too.

Comme Coco said...

Thank you for the advice Miss Malcontent :-). I was wondering about that Dermalogica one!
In the meantime I'll continue to use Avocado Eye Treatment by Kiehl's, which is really moisturizing and the Clinique Repair one.
I'll think about purchasing the Dermalogica one as the La Mer one budgetwise isn't in the cards right now ;-).

Anonymous said...

How about the La Mer eye concentrate (rather than the balm)... has anyone has any experiences with that? I once had a sample of the concentrate for face and it was pretty nice stuff. I would never spend that in reality for a full size bottle, but I would perhaps stretch to the eye version

Gail said...

Dear Miss Malcontent
Just wanted to write and say a big thankyou for your fab blog. I've always had dodgy skin but thought by the age of 37 I'd managed to get past the worst of my problems. However last July I started getting large painful spots on my chin which hung about for weeks only to be replaced by fresh ones. All my old remedies made no impact. But then I discovered you blog in December and liked what you had to say about ESPA. I've been using their products religiously since then and have now had relatively clear skin for nearly 3 months. Thankyou so much for passing on your knowledge. I now wouldn't buy any beauty product without consulting your blog first.
Best wishes

juliette said...

Eyes are my best feature and given I have a baby and am pushing 40 they get the most of my finances regards beauty products. I have used nearly all the above products - also ReVive, Trilogy, Caudalie, Dr Hauschka (sp??), etc etc. I have found REN Active 7 is great for reducing dark circles and puffiness (I keep it in the fridge). Emma Hardie good in morning - also in fridge. And I really can't get past Darphin Stimulskin, I understand Darphin also have a new anti-wrinkle cream out at half the price of the Stimulskin.

Rose said...

I use Dr H eye cream and have used kiehls- both are lovely and do work on lines but I find my eye lids are a bit over moisturised and my eyes get a bit gunky- i don't think it's the brands, it's my eyes- but eye cream is kind of a problem for me in that sense

Miss Malcontent said...

Thanks so much for all the amazing suggestions - REN has come up as consistently popular on my comments (for masks, lips & eyes) - and yes, I have friends who use the CDLM balm & the concentrate and have heard positive things about both. i'll be trialling myself shortly so can be more specific once I've 'seen' the results for myself so to speak.

Anonymous said...

ooh thanks... do let us know how you get on with the Creme de la Mer. At the moment I've been using Yonka Phyto Contour Eye Cream (my main bugbear is puffyness. It does work a little but probably not as effectively as cold compresses. I'm very dubious about eye creams in general and worry about spending lots on trial and error, so it's great to hear people's recommendations.

Anonymous said...


Faye @ Best Eye Cream said...

Do you plan to lessen your wrinkles, appearance of puffy eyes, or would you simple want to lighten and remove dark circles? After you have identified the issue you need to target, the next thing that you need to do is choose whether you want a night under eye cream or a day under eye cream, or just buy the two.