My mom used to always say that she felt her most beautiful in her 30s. Now that I’m in my mid-thirties, I definitely agree that it’s a great decade to feel comfortable in one’s own skin. Quite literally—my skin doesn’t break out nearly as much, and I wear less makeup than I ever did before. I also appreciate the person that I’ve become! When I look at myself in the mirror, I see my inner qualities, strengths, the battles I’ve overcome. I feel proud of the face and body I’ve earned.
One thing that definitely hasn’t improved with age, though, is my under-eye area. This has truly been a lifetime beauty Achilles heel. I started noticing bagginess and dark circles as early as my freshman year in college. I remember panicking (“I’m only 18!!”) and running out to buy Clinique All About Eyes eye cream. I didn’t see any difference, and I eventually stopped buying or using eye cream until age 28. At this point, just ignoring my dark circles became no longer an option. But trying eye creams from cheap (Acure) to expensive didn’t have any noticeable effect on me. Frustrated with wasting money, I would use whatever facial moisturizer I am using at the moment, then dab some facial oil on top for more protection. Meanwhile, my eyes just kept on crying out for help.
I did research for months after my last eye cream ran out. Finally, as a post-holiday New Year’s treat to myself, I went to my local beauty boutique and purchased a jar of Chantecaille Stress Repair Concentrate+ Eye Cream ($210). I’d actually been lusting after the French cruelty-free brand’s 24K Gold Energizing Eye Cream ($266), but after trying both on at the store and noticing the difference between their colors (24k Gold is noticeably gold-toned, while Stress Repair has a more neutral shade), I took the plunge with Stress Repair.
The eye cream comes with a tiny metal applicator spoon. I found it cooling and wonderful for lymphatic drainage. Per beauty associate’s advice, I used 1/2 rice grain-sized amount of cream on each lid. It glided on luxuriously in a way that many eye creams (either too watery or too oily) do not. I immediately noticed a difference in the mirror: my eyes looked brighter, younger, more rejuvenated. After using it at night, I eagerly ran to my mirror to find that the hollowing of the under-eyes had miraculously filled out—it reminded me of the volume I naturally used to have there, honestly about 7.5 years ago. And as much as I love the “wisdom” and “experience” of my thirty-something face, I do not mind looking like I have eyes of a 27-year-old!!
Stress Repair Concentrate+ Eye Cream is the luxury beauty brand’s bestselling eye cream with anti-aging hawthorn, Arabian jasmine, and bell pepper stem cell extracts. It also contains peptide-rich caffeine (reduce puffiness and dark circles) and wild indigo extract (enhances under eye luminosity and reduce redness). And it also contains lipopeptide that “softens the appearance of frown lines, marionette lines and nasogenial folds.” And behold, I’ve been using some on my laugh lines as well and seeing noticeable results. (!!)
Now, $200~ for eye cream is expensive. But given how much I’ve spent on skincare products that don’t work and I’ve had to discard, this is a smart investment. Let’s put it this way—there are few things I love more than gifting my women friends my beauty discoveries that work (women helping women), and I already know this will be a holiday gift for them this year!
Do you have a ride-or-die eye cream? What worked for you?
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling