Clinique's Even Better Eyes

Of all the things that have concerned me about my skin over the years--chiefly blemishes, but also fine lines and uneven pigmentation as of late--dark under-eye circles were never at the top of my list. But recently a guy friend looked at my makeup-free, post-gym face and asked the most startling question: "Why do you have bruises under your eyes, did you get hit in the face?" I thought he was kidding; he wasn't. Suddenly, making my dark circles disappear was of paramount importance, so imagine my elation when I arrived at work to find Clinique's new Even Better Eyes ($39.50) sitting on my desk. Apparently I'm not the only one concerned about this specific beauty issue. According to Clinique's research, dark circles are the number-one eye concern for women across the globe. No one, it seems, likes shadows, lines, and bags in the eye area, but there have been few solutions for the problem--which is usually attributed to issues ranging from genetics to smoking to stress--save for injectables (which fill or lift the tear trough area to lessen the appearance of under-eye shadows) or concealer. Fortunately for us circle-cursed ladies, Clinique dove deeper into the problem and discovered another reason: hyperpigmentation.

The Problem The beauty brand's scientists used spectrophotometer technology, typically used to measure the light refraction of stars, to look through under-eye skin and see how the area refracted light. They discovered melanin deposits--dark pigment--deep within the skin, and it's that melanin that's been so difficult to treat until now.

The Solution The active ingredient in Even Better Eyes is mulberry root, which is full of oxyresveratrol, an antioxidant that slows down the accumulation of melanin. Meanwhile, the formula's caffeine and green tea extract calm the aforementioned environmental effects, while whey protein actually strengthens the skin's collagen, making any dark circles less visible. The tube's cooling metal tip relieves inflammation and the formula brightens skin immediately, a bit like a highlighter.

The Result It's the only eye cream clinically proven to reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles by 30% (after 12 weeks, about two tubes). If you're worried that something so potent might irritate your skin, don't be. Clinique tested their new product on 600 women, all of whom applied Even Better Eyes 12 times; if even one showed signs of irritation, they started over until all 7,200 applications were reaction-free. As for my experience, I've only been using the product for a couple of weeks, so it's a bit early to tell. I do love its highlighting qualities thus far and have great hopes that after a few more weeks no one will wonder if I've been getting my fisticuffs on.--Hillary Kerr