TonyMoly's Eye Plumper

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The theory behind many topical lip plumpers is that they temporarily fatten lips by introducing irritating ingredients. I'm generally against irritation, but I figure this is a little more sane than splurging for lip injections on the regular.

However, knowing what I know about lip enhancers, I was a little alarmed when I found a tube of TonyMoly Petit Fuller Eye Plumper (but obviously not too alarmed, because I bought a tube anyway). I imagine it's in response to the current South Korean trend to use injectables to puff up the skin directly beneath the eyes (known as, aegyo-sal, loosely translated, charming or cute skin) to look more wide-eyed, innocent, and younger. Pouty lips have long provoked our interest, but are pouty eyes about to become a “thing' in beauty?

Rest assured, this eye plumper doesn’t irritate or sting your skin to create the “plumping' effect. It’s actually more like a highlighter-eye cream hybrid that simultaneously brightens and replenishes the undereye area. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, adenosine, and niacinamide, it is essentially an anti-aging all-star that hydrates the skin while improving visible fine lines and overall complexion. It has a slight cooling effect upon application, but leaves a sheer, iridescent trail of fine glitter. Simply dab some beneath your eyes with the applicator and pat over those dark circles with your fingertips for better absorption.

The actual purpose of the product detracts from its initial wow-factor. It’s the name that throws me off. But what could’ve been potentially hazardous to eyes wasn’t really much more than an illuminating concealer with inventive titling. So initial reluctance aside, this is a solid product if you’re looking to liven up your face without a ton of too-heavy concealer—especially after all those hardcore holiday festivities (it’s OK if you’re still recovering).

—Stella Kim

Photographed by Tom Newton. Read more from Stella here.