When Ole Henriksen’s newest eye cream first hit the market, the internet went a little bananas. The Banana Bright Eye Cream promised to do what many products have bragged about but few have actually accomplished: moisturize and brighten dark under-eye circles. Shoppers were clearly willing to believe in the cream’s potent mix of Vitamin C, shea butter, seeds oils, and mysterious “special pigments” — it sold out instantly at Sephora and on the brand’s website.
The product is now one of Sephora’s best-selling eye creams. With over 2,000 testimonies, it’s also one of the most frequently reviewed. But did it impress the Cut’s staffers, most of whom are highly skeptical about eye cream? Read on for their takes.
Callie Beusman, news editor
For most of my life, I never had anything resembling a skin-care routine. Recently, though, I have become concerned that I look tired all the time. Google says that the best way to eradicate dark circles and puffiness is to not drink 25 beers per week and go to bed at a normal hour. I felt that basing my nascent skin-care routine on such unrealistic standards would set me up for failure, so I started looking into eye creams instead.
I’m relatively new to this world, but I understand that the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream is beloved. I liked the texture — it felt a bit thick and very soothing, closer to a face mask — and it smelled like these vitamin C tablets I used to eat a lot as a child because my mom wouldn’t let me have candy. I put it on before doing my normal work makeup, and I feel like its texture helped the foundation adhere to my face. It also has a yellow-y tint, which helps cancel out the purple tones in dark circles. To be honest, I’m not sure how much of a difference it made after applying twice a day for two days, but I will keep using it because I find the process very pleasant and I would rather try anything than start going to bed at a reasonable hour.
Erica Smith, beauty writer
I don’t think I have dark circles, but this stuff temporarily brightens the under-eye area, if that’s what you’re looking for. I instantly noticed a subtle, yellow-y shimmer upon application that slowly faded over time. The formula was my favorite part — it’s nice and creamy, not too watery, and absorbs really well. It really gets in there with minimal tapping. I was not as into the scent. I was relieved that it smelled more like orange than banana, as the name suggests, but it smells slightly off to me. It’s powdery rather than refreshing, and I definitely did not want to eat it.
The directions say to “Apply to entire eye area,” so I did just that, lids and all. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this did create a nice, smooth base. On my first try, I skipped eyelid primer, and my shadow and liner still went on smoothly and stayed that way. This eye cream didn’t change my life or cause me to forsake every other eye cream, but I’ll keep it around because I like being able to skip eye primer without suffering the consequences.
Izzy Grinspan, senior editor
My big fear is that this would smell like a banana — not in a cute fruity way, but in an “Oh my God, I put a banana in my purse three days ago and I just found its limp body mashed across my wallet” way. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of banana going on here. The cream is yellow, but it does not smell like an old fruit. In fact, I thought the smell was barely noticeable — just a faint whiff of sweetness.
The texture is a tad thicker than your average eye cream, and it clings to your skin nicely. Like everyone says, you can actually layer makeup on top of it and it won’t migrate, which is pretty unusual and pretty amazing. And best of all, it really did seem to lighten my under-eye circles and maybe even firm up my entire under-eye area. I looked less tired, all day long. Believe the hype on this one.
Hayley Schueneman, beauty writer
I don’t care, not even one bit, about dark circles under my eyes. (Everyone has them!) But I am very mindful of being nice to the skin under my eyes because I don’t want fine lines or creases, which at 29, I can already see developing and it makes me sad in the same way having a two-day hangover from too much wine does.
This cream is really, really nice. I have struggled to find a good eye cream for a long time. Usually they’re too thin, too watery, or just sit on my skin without absorbing. The consistency is thick but creamy and soft, and smells really good without being overpowering. I’ve been tapping it around my eye socket bone for four days, and what I love the most about it is how quickly it sinks into the skin. The skin under my eyes certainly feels more moisturized and taut, and my fine lines are less noticeable. I don’t think that there have been any drastic changes in the darkness of my under-eye circles, but having under-eye skin that feels “healthier” is worth it for me.
Alexia Lafata, SEO editor
I have extremely dark circles under my eyes and on my eyelids. If I don’t wear concealer, it looks like someone straight-up punched me in both of my eyes. But I have always been hesitant to use it consistently because it’s never properly stuck to my face. Ole Henriksen’s cream changed my life. It not only perfectly moisturizes my dry, eczema-prone under-eyes, but my concealer sticks to it like glue. The consistency is sticky when you put it on, which doesn’t sound very moisturizing, but I assure you it is. I had a patch of eczema on my eyelid that refused to heal, even with steroids, and this product is the only thing that has kept it away consistently.
I haven’t been using the eye cream long enough to know if it reduces dark circles, but it’s possible that I’ve noticed a slight difference already. Even if it doesn’t deliver on that, the effect it has had on my life already is profound. I tell anyone who will listen about this product.
Ella Cerón, blogger
I live in fear that I am setting myself up for failure when I am older because I never use eye cream. (Are my under-eyes like my under-funded 401(k)? Who’s to say!) This one smelled like oranges and felt like a normal cream, if a bit thicker and more intense. The writing on the tiny jar yelled at me to dot it on sparingly, but I accidentally scooped out enough to coat my entire face … so I did. It felt like I had just combined two steps — my Vitamin C serum and my moisturizer — into one.
Did it brighten? I am not sure, mostly because I never know what to look for when products promise “brightening.” (Does it just slough off the dead cells on top?) But it definitely works as a heavy-duty winter moisturizer that hydrated every part of my accidentally covered face.
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