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My Favorite Products for Busting Those Under-Eye Bags

Updated on May 9, 2017
Erin Stryker profile image

Erin is a freelance writer living in North Carolina She has a wide, eclectic range of interests, experience, and knowledge.

Eye bags don't discriminate. They invade the under eye area of young and old alike.
Eye bags don't discriminate. They invade the under eye area of young and old alike.

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 Faves

Hands down, the best two products for the battle of the under-eye bulge are Clinique pep-start and Peter Thomas Roth Instant Firm Eye. Now, there are a couple of differences in how they work, but both products are fragrance-free, no animal testing, non-irritating, and reasonably priced at Sephora, with Clinique costing $26.50 and PTR costing $38.00. You need very little of these products per application so even using them everyday, 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.

Don't press down. Your under eye area is delicate and pressing down could cause opposite results of what you are trying to achieve.
Don't press down. Your under eye area is delicate and pressing down could cause opposite results of what you are trying to achieve.

Applying 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 make up and other facial products. Your result is a less puffy, brighter eye area and who doesn't want that?

Applying Firm Eye

This is just your basic application. Use it before eye treatments or try mixing it with your favorite eye cream or primer - personal preference, 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 crows 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!

The Comparison

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. Pep-start isn't marketed for targeting crows feet, however, 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 pep-start. 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.


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