Beauty Clean Slate This Eye Cream Instantly Perks Up My Sleep-Deprived Face It has long-term benefits, too. By Pia Velasco Pia Velasco Instagram Twitter Pia Velasco is a New York-based beauty reporter with over 10 years in the industry. She joined InStyle as Senior Beauty Editor in 2021. InStyle's editorial guidelines Updated on January 20, 2023 @ 06:34PM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Courtesy of Ilia As far as an essential skincare routine goes, I always prioritize what I deem as "the basics": cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Despite having battled with dark under-eye circles that earned me the nickname "racoon-y" as a child, I've never found that eye cream does anything for me. As a person in her early 30s, my main focus is on de-puffing, moisturizing, and if possible, illuminating. Throughout the years I've tried eye creams that have lovely formulas, but they're not exactly convenient when you consider that concealer has to be applied over it to mask the dark circles. So I had written off eye cream, deciding that it would make its way into my skincare routine once I had fine lines and wrinkles to address, but not a moment beforehand. That is until I tried ILIA's newest formula. The ILIA Bright Start Activated Eye Cream has converted me to a religious eye cream believer. And to be honest, it may be the best at treating dark circles under eyes. The 13 Best Brightening Eye Creams of 2023 The first and most immediate reason to love this cream is the cool ceramic applicator tip. Upon contact with my puffy bags, the slightly cold feel provides quick relief and helps wake me up. The sensation alone is a welcome addition to my morning routine, but apart from the feel-good aspect, it also does a great job at helping spread the formula evenly across the area. Of course, I wouldn't be waxing poetic over a product solely based on the applicator. The Bright Star formula is the real kicker. I always start my days with a cup of coffee, and now my skincare takes a similar approach as caffeine is a star ingredient to reduce puffiness. Along with it comes up-cycled avocado extract (yes, up-cycled skincare ingredients are very important in the sustainability conversation — but that's a subject for another time), peptides, sea fennel extract, and light-reflecting pearl. Courtesy To shop: $46; iliabeauty.com I love that this eye cream works both in the short- and long-term. Immediately after using, my under-eyes look brighter as the light-reflecting pearls help make my dark under-eyes less racoon-y while the caffeine de-puffs with the help of the cooling tip. In the long-run, the sea fennel extract acts as a natural retinol-alternative that firms, smooths, and brightens the skin. It's the best of both worlds. As if that weren't enough, it plays nicely with concealer. The formula absorbs quickly into the skin — it's never thick, greasy, or tacky. I typically apply this eye cream as the first step in my AM routine so that when I'm done with my skincare (typically two minutes later) I can go straight to applying makeup. From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space.