Top Shelf Essentials: Eye Cream


Based on the evidence presented by our Top Shelf archives alone, one might conclude that not a heck of a lot of people use eye cream. Karolina Kurkova? No eye cream. None from makeup artist Jenn Streicher, beauty expert Alessandra Steinherr, or maximalist facialist Georgia Louise either. Zora Casebere qualified her lack of eye cream, saying, “I don’t use them, and I think that a lot of undereye creams make my eyes more puffy. It’s weird.” And maybe the eye cream naysayers are right! Who’s to say? For a tiny little product jar, eye creams come with a lot of expectations—they should brighten, lighten, de-puff, lubricate, and be better than Botox to boot. All we know for sure is that the eye cream stans remain the vocal majority—and there’s nothing more convincing than a passionate testimony.

After you find your perfect match, apply per aesthetician Melanie Simon’s instructions: “lightly swipe, let it soak in, and then go back and wipe off the excess so it doesn’t puff or get bumpy.” As for the eye cream itself, here’s what we’ve heard works.

The Luminizing Ones

“I just wash with water, put on serum and retinol again, and then use my favorite eye cream from Tata Harper. It has diamond dust in it, and it feels almost like a highlighter. On the weekends if I’m not wearing any makeup, just wearing that is enough.” —Babba Canales Rivera

Eye Dew from Farmacy is nice because it has a shine to it, and because I don’t really wear makeup, it gives my undereyes a little something.” —Rati Sahi

“I switch between the Shiseido and Tatcha pots. Both have iridescence in them so when you put it on it illuminates the whole area.” —Hilary Rhoda

“I love this Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream, which has some reflective bits in it, so you feel awake. I’m all about an eye treatment.” —Candice Huffine

The Ones For Dark Circles

“I do the Banana Bright eye cream from Ole Henriksen. I sometimes get dark circles when I’m really tired, and this takes the dark circles away and gives me a fresh look.” —Imaan Hammam

“Then I started using eye cream from La Roche Posay. I always have bags, and blue under my eyes when I wake up, and that stuff actually does help. I always like having a little bit of dark under the eye, but when you get older and it’s worse, you’re like, ‘Maybe I would like to look a little fresher.’” —Christopher Niquet

“I’m obsessed with eye creams. Obsessed. For a while, I used the Natura Bisse Diamond Extreme Eye Cream, but recently I switched over to Goldfaden MD Bright Eyes Dark Circle Radiance Concentrate because it’s better for my dark circles, like the name says. I use it day and night.” —Amber Valletta

The De-Puffing Ones

“When I get out of the shower, I use the Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Cream. It has caffeine in it so it helps make you not look tired.” —Anna Jube

Glytone Antioxidant Anti-Aging Cream is an eye cream that I got from my dermatologist’s office. I feel like it sinks in well and it claims to de-puff a little, which is my major problem with my eyes. I never really minded my dark circles, but when they’re puffy it becomes problematic for work. On camera you can cover up any color, but it’s hard to cover volume, zits, puffiness and swelling.” —Judy Greer

“I use Hydraphase Anti-Fatigue eye cream from La Roche-Posay to remove puffiness.” —Anne-Victoire Lefevre

“I don't use an eye cream at night—I just put my regular moisturizer all over. But if I do feel puffy, I'll just use the Preparation H I keep in my refrigerator.” —Christina Ricci

The Ones That Play Nice With Makeup

“I use Prevage by Elizabeth Arden eye cream on my lips, because the skin on your eyes and the skin on your lips are similar. If you wear matte lipsticks—I don’t, but if you do—you don’t want to use them over a lip balm like Carmex or Chapstick because the texture will change. Eye cream conditions and softens, but it also sinks in.” —Sir John

“Sir John told me once to use eye cream on your lips before you use matte lipstick, because the skin under your eyes and your lips is the same. So I do that with the Belif eye cream—it’s like a water cream—and I think it really helps.” —Bec Wilson

“I'll use the La Prairie Anti-Aging Eye & Lip Perfection à Porter. This is for lip and eye! It’s worth the money because it’s the first thing I reach for when I’m traveling on an airplane. The eye cream has such an interesting texture—you can put it on over makeup.” —Sarah Lucero

“I always do eye cream—I use Chanel Sublimage La Crème Texture Suprême. I’ll mix concealer with that because I don’t like it to look too heavy.” —Simone Shubuck

“Then I use Clé de Peau’s Intensive Eye Contour. So many eye creams are water-based and roll when you put concealer over them, but this one doesn’t—it’s like lip balm for your eyes. It’s worth the splurge.” —Shayna Goldberg

The Calming, Hydrating Ones

“I have a Kiehl’s undereye cream that I love, the avocado one. And then I do Clinique's Moisture Surge at night, too. I kind of switch it up.” —June Diane Raphael

“At night I use an eye cream, and I have plenty of them. I usually use either the Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream or Clarins Eye Gel. The skin around my eyes is super thin, so especially when I do a lot of photoshoots and wear a lot of makeup, it gets very red. The cream helps to calm it down.” —Lola Bessis

“I’m obsessed with eye creams! I’ve tried every single one because I’m always tired. In the evening I love the Dior Hydra Life and it’s super hydrating—I just wake up refreshed. I also like this SCBI Stem Cell Gold Serum, which I use when I look tired because it brightens everything up. Shiva Rose's Eye Cream is great, too.” —Camille Rowe

“And I use the Eve Lom Eye Cream, it is amazing. It’s not greasy like a lot of eye creams, but it makes a visible difference on wrinkles and crow’s feet.” —Sana Rezwan

“I just started using this RéVive Eye Cream that I really love...I was never really an eye cream believer before this. I just sort of used whatever free eye cream someone sent me. But this one I bought, and I really do think that it works. It’s very expensive, that’s the only downfall. I don’t have dark circles—my problem is more the thinness of the skin and crepe-iness under the eyes. So this is supposed to be a little bit of a filler, and I think it’s helped my fine lines as well.” —Katherine Power

The Preventative Measures

“Before I go to bed I use a very tiny bit of the Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion Eye Cream on my eyes. I don’t want wrinkles. I know I have oily skin but just in case!” —Madeleine Angus

“I do have Lancôme Génifique Yeux Youth Activating Eye Cream. Even if it doesn’t actually have any youth-activation elements in it, I do believe that it’s better than nothing.” —Sloane Crosley

The Fancy Ones That Might Actually Be Worth It

“I use this La Mer eye cream, because I have some dark circles. I’ve tried a lot of eye creams, but they never work. [Laughs] I’m a woman! We need to try to be sure.” —Leia Sfez

The Best Eye is really one of the best eye creams I’ve ever tried. It’s not too creamy, it de-puffs, and it’s anti-wrinkle… it’s really amazing. MBR as a whole is super potent in peptides and active medical ingredients.” —Danuta Meiloch

“For around my eyes, I use 111Skin Eye Cream. I’ll keep it in the fridge and it stays cold. It doesn’t feel like anything, but it does kind of wake you up. —Daniel Martin

“I keep the little wand for my eye cream in the refrigerator—I like keeping things in the fridge. I put two soda cans on my eyes before I get my makeup done. It’s great for de-puffing. I use a Clé de Peau eye cream—I never saw any real difference between my moisturizer and my eye cream, and then Clé de Peau came out with one that’s so thick and luxurious and doesn’t have a fragrance or any of the things I usually don’t like about department store products, and I really love that one.” —Elizabeth Chambers Hammer

“And my mom gave me this La Prairie Crème Contour. I know I don’t really need an eye cream, but this one has SPF, and it’s La Prairie!” —Estelle Chen

The One-Two Punch

“Then, Clé de Peau is my favorite concealer. It can be a little heavy, so I make sure to layer it over Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Eye Cream. I always want there to be a lot of moisture, especially around the crows feet.” —Fara Homidi

“If I’m feeling particularly sleep-deprived, I will do the Sonya Dakar Superlift Eye Serum. Sometimes I alternate it with the Caudalie eye cream, and sometimes I use them together if I’m feeling super run-down.” —Natasha Rothwell

“The only really fancy thing I use is the Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Gel Yeux Intense Smoothing Eye Gel. I’m obsessed with it. Right before I use the rosewater spray, I’ll put on the eye gel and let them dry together. And then, because I’m a weirdo, I put the Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream on, after the eye gel. I think because I travel a lot I really need it.” —Jennae Quisenberry

“Then, in the mornings I use one of two eye creams—either Shiffa, which is from Dubai and incredibly expensive, or RoC, which is not and is still amazing. They’re the two ends of the spectrum…I do it in fashion, why wouldn’t I do it in cosmetics?” —Stacy London

Photo via ITG