Picture this: You wake up to a blaring alarm, with just enough time to get ready and arrive at work on time. You look as tired as you feel, and while you’re hoping your concealer will magically awaken your complexion, it somehow backfires and only emphasizes your deep, dark under eye circles.
I can’t be the only one who has experienced this. Sometimes, caking makeup onto tired skin makes it look even duller. What’s a girl to do for bright, refreshed under eyes that wont scare her coworkers at the morning meeting? Recently, I found my answer: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème ($38; sephora.com or olehenriksen.com).
When it comes to eye cream, I usually layer on a heavy moisturizing formula at night before hitting the hay, so Banana Bright Eye Crème took me by surprise. I’d always heard that eye cream applied in the morning would result in a pilling under eye area. But to my delight, this product guarantees just the opposite—it actually makes your concealer work better. Hold your applause as I explain exactly how.
First of all, the name “Banana Bright” has very little to do with scent—in fact, it smells fresh and citrusy—and more to do with the inspiration for the product: banana powder.
“Banana powder has been a top makeup artist secret for years,” says Nam Vo, a New York City-based makeup artist who specializes in creating looks that emphasize glowy, fresh skin. “Banana powder’s pale-yellow tint is designed to instantly brighten and color-correct.” This game-changing ingredient became popular with Ben Nye Banana Powder ($29; amazon.com), and more and more brands have followed suit, including e.l.f. HD Loose Powder in Corrective Yellow ($6; target.com) and Sephora Collection Bright Set Pressed Finishing Powder ($16; sephora.com), just to name a few.
Cue Ole Henriksen. A skincare product that masks dark circles before your makeup routine even begins—and that’s exactly what the Banana Bright Crème aims to do. The lightweight formula appears yellow in the pot, and brightens and firms under eyes as soon as it’s applied, thanks to the special banana powder-inspired brightening pigments and a vitamin C infusion. I don’t have crow’s feet just yet—knock on wood—but the formula is also supposed to help soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles, thanks to a dose of every beauty lover’s BFF, collagen.
When I apply this cream to my under eyes, they look instantly brighter. Keep in mind, it’s no magician—your under eye bags wont magically disappear. But this two-second step adds that wide-awake, bright-eyed look I imagine supermodels wake up with naturally. The inner half of my dark circles are particularly dark and almost purple, and this helps me get them to a normal, non-zombie-like shade. When I’m wearing no makeup, I always apply it as a pick-me-up for my face. But the magic really happens when I layer on concealer.
I used to swear by heavy, full-coverage concealers, but the result was often so opaque and matte that my dewy-skinned dreams were crushed. When I apply Banana Bright Crème first, though, I notice a huge difference. I can also choose more hydrating, highlighting concealers to amp up not just coverage, but glow. My current go-tos are the Marc Jacobs Beauty Remedy Concealer Pen ($39; sephora.com) and YSL Touche Eclat Radiance Perfecting Pen ($38; sephora.com).
Whether you’re a beauty lover who’s been setting your under eyes with banana powder for years or a no-makeup girl who prioritizes skincare as the key to a flawless complexion, adding this eye cream into your morning routine will guarantee a bright-eyed look that will give Bambi a run for his money. At the very least, you won’t scare your coworkers with dark bags at the morning meeting.