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I’ve always struggled with under eye circles that can make me look tired even if I’m wide awake and wired on coffee. Even as a little kid I looked like I was burning the candle at both ends, and the first beauty product I ever bought was a CoverGirl concealer at CVS. And while I still rely on concealer ever since I, “reached the third floor”(aka turned 30–which was, err, a few years ago), my circles have darkened so that I need to use a combo of products to actually do the trick.
I first came across the Tula Cooling and Brightening Eye Balm ($28) when I was up late at night staring at my phone, scrolling through Instagram (which only adds to the whole dark circle situation). I noticed so many different IG influencers raving about Tula, and sometimes I’m skeptical when I notice a ton of influencers promoting the same product because of the kickbacks. But I took a risk and clicked “Add To Cart.”
It paid off, because there is definitely a reason (or a few reasons) why there’s so much buzz around this eye balm. For one, it feels amazing. It has this super soothing and cooling sensation like you’d get from putting cucumber slices on your eyes that gives you a whoosh of freshness instantly.
Each balm comes in a tube that sort of looks like a glue stick, making it easy to apply all the way around the eye, corner to corner. The stick itself is light blue, but it goes on sheer and gives off this luminous sheen that creates the illusion of brighter, more awake eyes. I first swiped it on the back of my hand to do a test and even then I could see the glow on my hand. It’s so effective, it’s no wonder its racked up an influencer and celebrity following—People reported that the little blue stick was spotted in Mandy Moore’s Instagram story earlier this month.
A quick scan through the ingredients tells you why this supreme stick stands out. That cooling, moisturizing sensation I mentioned before comes from the balm’s burst of hyaluronic acid, a hydration hero beloved in the skin and beauty community for its thirst-quenching superpowers. That, along with a smoothie’s stock of aloe water, apple, and watermelon, and it’s like a cold shower for sleepy under eyes.
The other hero ingredient is caffeine, which brightens and tightens even the crepeiest skin. You may know that like blueberry,—another star in the Tula Brightening & Cooling Eye Balm show—caffeine is loaded with antioxidants that add shine while protecting skin from free radicals, like sun damage and pollution. That’s what makes this balm so beloved; the potent combination of all these ingredients, plus microbiome-supporting probiotics, give you that instant, circle-crushing gratification.
Now, know that this isn’t a full coverage makeup product—it “brightens” your under eyes as opposed to concealing, so you’ll still want to use a concealer or a tinted moisturizer if you prefer that look. Or, opt for the best of both worlds—the combo of this brightening eye balm and a concealer packs a one-two punch.
But overall, I’m on board with Mandy Moore, the influencers, and the thousands of other happy customers who praise Tula Cooling and Brightening Eye Balm for its convenience, TSA-friendly packaging, and affordable price tag. I know beauty experts always sing the praises of eye cream and talk about how it’s important to use a separate moisturizer for your eyes, but I (alongside other reviewers) just don’t feel like I really notice a difference with most of them compared to this balm.
“I swear by this stuff. I’ve used so many eye creams, moisturizers, everything for my dark circles under my eyes. This stuff is my absolute go-to. Literally boosts my confidence when I don’t wear makeup!” writes one Tula reviewer. Another claims it’s, “saved” her mornings and has become a staple in her daily routine. “I wake up and immediately use this to wake myself up and take care of my puffy eyes,” she writes. “I’ve been using it about a year now and absolutely love what it’s done for my under eyes.”
Bottom line? If this product was a song it would be “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry. It literally wakes my eyes up and gives that extra little kick to my beauty routine that makes all the difference.
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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.