L.E. is a freelance writer living in North Carolina. She has a wide, eclectic range of interests, experience and knowledge to share.
Do you have wrinkles, sagging skin, and under-eye bags that are looking more and more like duffel bags? Yeah, me too.
Years ago, I began the quest for "fountain of youth" products. You know, the products that will miraculously make your face age-proof? Years later, as a woman of "a certain age," I am still constantly on the lookout for products that will, at the very least, slow down Father Time's march across my face.
Truthfully, even when I have a product I like, I buy others because they might work better or faster. Consequently, I have a vanity drawer full of products that only provide immediate results for buyer's remorse. And the "fountain of youth" products? They don't exist. So, after trying countless products ranging from questionable DIY facials to "OMG, I'm going to have to sell a kidney" treatments, here's what I know.
My Two Favorite Under-Eye Products
Hands down, the best two products for the battle of the under-eye bulge are:
- Clinique Pep-Start
- Peter Thomas Roth Instant Firm Eye
Now, there are a couple of differences in how they work, but both products are non-irritating, free of fragrances, reasonably priced at Sephora—the Clinique costs $26.50 and PTR costs $38—and don't test on animals.
You need very little of these products per application. So even using them every day, they should last a good three months. (Awesome, right?) Speaking of product application, Pep-Start is a cream and has a tiny ball applicator on the tube. Firm Eye is a gel, and you just use your finger. For both, you will need to start with a clean face.
Applying Clinique Pep-Start
See the little knob on the tube? That pops up. You squeeze a tiny bit out and pop it down again to apply—I suggest holding a finger near the cream when performing this step, because it will occasionally go flying.
Use the little knob to gently massage the product onto your under-eye area near the bone. The area will feel a little slippery, but give it a few minutes to dry. It won't dry completely but don't fret. You can apply makeup and other facial products. Your result is a less puffy, brighter eye area, and who doesn't want that?
Applying Peter Thomas Roth Instant Firm Eye
This is just your basic application. Use it before eye treatments or try mixing it with your favorite eye cream or primer—I like using it before other products.
Shake well and squeeze a TINY bit of gel (less than pea-sized) onto a fingertip, and apply under your eye by gently tapping until the product is absorbed. If you have pesky fine lines or crow's feet, pat some of the product on those areas as well. One drop should be sufficient for both areas.
Remain expressionless for a few minutes to let it dry. Sometimes, there will be a white residue, and you can remedy that by patting the area with a damp cotton swab or fingertips. Voila! Enjoy your instant eye lift!
Comparing Pep-Start and Firm Eye
For a fairly quick fix, Clinique Pep-Start is semi-instant but works better with continued use. You will see instant brightening, and the bags lessen substantially with your first application—but they will not totally go away. With continued use, you wake up with less darkness and puffiness.
Though Pep-start isn't marketed for targeting crow's feet, the hydration it provides does plump the area—so that fills in and blurs some lines. I use it every night before bed, and I love the long-term effects of it.
If you are looking for more instant gratification, you want PTR—but it doesn't have any long-term accumulative effects. Will it deflate your eyes and make your lines all but disappear? Absolutely. And it will last all day. It's an amazing product. Used in conjunction with Pep-Start, you have a miracle eye fix. Take that, Father Time.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.