Although it’s high time I addressed the issue of under-eye bags and dark circles, writing about under-eye gels for dudes presents a particularly exasperating problem when mixed with a magazine deadline: There’s little instant gratification, so how do I know if any of these actually work? It will take weeks to shrink the hangover luggage under my squinting greens, so take everything you read here with a grain of salt—followed by a shot of tequila, which should lead to bags under your eyes and thereby a reason to pick up one of these tubes.
Zia Essential Eye Gel Much like myself, this unisex eye gel is easy on the eyes, calling on the gotu kola to soothe inflammation, certified organic aloe-vera to moisturize and soothe skin around the eye area, and something called Butcher’s Broom Extract to combat the puffiness and tiredness of a few too many. There’s green tea and seaweed in here, too—two ingredients I almost always love. If there is a downside to this one, I suppose it’s the stickiness that hangs out on your face, but I like to think of that as merely a reminder that something is pounding those bags into submission. The scent, fresh cucumber according to my subpar olfactory skills, also lingers longer and stronger than some of the other eye gels here. Do with that what you may. www.zianatural.com
I’m normally a fan of the company and its products, but Rare-B Gentle Eye Gel was anything but on my precious lids. It stung a few minutes after I applied it, enough so that I had to wipe it off. Honeysuckle is here, aimed at soothing, calming, and reducing inflammation under my eyes, but that obviously wasn’t working. There is watermelon for hydration, acacia for improving complexion, and pullulan to lift and firm the skin, too, but I just couldn’t make it that far. Another gripe is that the product seemed to jellify and evaporate over time, leaving me with a little shrinking ball of putty-like goo by the time I got around to testing it out. Who knows—maybe I got a lemon? www.rarenatural.com
Buster’s Under-Eye Moisture Gel is everything a manly under eye gel should be: Effective, lightly scented (mild cucumber in this case) and owner of statements like, “Peptides in the unique suspension stimulate Collagen 1, Collagen 111 and Elastin Fibroblasts,” which might as well be Chinese to me and conjures up Botox images. But if this can accomplish what Botox does without the chemicals or the needles, I’m a fan. But I digress. Buster’s is a relative newcomer that should not be ignored and, at a full ounce, still leaves you with some spare cash for the poker tables at the Hard Rock. www.bustersskincare.com
A perpetual favorite, Yon-ka For Men Under Eye Gel is undoubtedly a high price to pay for puffiness, but it’s worth it. Peppermint flower, carrot, and Roman Chamomile essential oils cool, refresh, tone, and detoxify; sweet almond proteins hydrate and nourish; phyto-polyphenols from Solomon’s seal, arnica, and cypress nut combat the eye ills of a weekend bender; and phytostimulines technology from beech buds and mimosa bark extracts regenerate. It all adds up to a manly ocular martini that puts dark circles to rest—ending the zombie-chic look you’ve been inadvertently popularizing at your Monday morning meetings. www.yonka.com