Brighten-I Eye Cream
The Inkey List’s Brighten-I Eye Cream is a wallet-friendly eye cream– we just wish it had a little bit more going for it.
First things first, the opaque tube packaging is great: the easy-to-squeeze plastic protects its ingredients from light and air, and its angled metal applicator has a cooling effect when it’s smoothed over skin. Gently massaging skin under the eyes with this type of applicator can alleviate some signs of puffiness, mainly the kind that’s caused by fluid retention from too much salt, alcohol consumption, or seasonal allergies.
This has a lightweight lotion texture that’s hydrating yet not heavy, absorbing quickly into skin with no stickiness. It contains mineral pigments which contribute an instant but subtle brightening effect, which supports the “instant illumination” The Inkey List mentions in its claims.
Skin is conditioned by reliable moisturizing ingredients, among them glycerin, silicone, and mafura seed butter. There’s also a smattering of antioxidants, including Centella asiatica, gingseng, and Portulaca oleracea extract, but that’s about it. For an eye cream that claims to be a combination of skin care and cosmetics, this would be better for skin if there were more beneficial ingredients.
With that in mind, this isn’t a bad eye cream per se – just not one that ranks up there with the ones you’ll find on our list of best eye creams.
- Lotion texture is lightweight yet hydrating.
- Includes proven moisturizing ingredients.
- Contains some antioxidant ingredients.
- Packaged to protect its light and air sensitive ingredients.
- Fragrance free.
- Formula would be more impressive with additional beneficial ingredients.
An under-eye cream that combines skincare and cosmetics to give an instant illuminating and priming effect while providing long-term brightening benefits.
The Inkey List is the creation of Colette Newberry and Mark Curry, respectively the former branding and product developers of the widespread UK-based drugstore chain Boots, which has its own namesake skin care line. As with a number of up-and-coming “indie” brands, the media coverage centers on their inexpensive products with minimalist formulas that tend to focus on a single star ingredient, such as hyaluronic acid, squalane, or retinol.
If you’re wondering about the inspiration for the name, it’s the pronunciation of the acronym “INCI,” which stands for the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, an agreed-upon, regulated list of how cosmetics ingredients should be identified on product labels. Each product has its chief ingredient listed on the packaging with dictionary-style writing underneath showing how the name is phoneticized, a clever and slightly erudite touch.
Though the formulas are somewhat basic, The Inkey List gets its packaging spot-on – all products are in opaque containers, with no jars or clear containers to be found. Fragrance isn’t on this brand’s radar, either--at least not in terms of adding it to their products (which will make your skin very happy).
We’d like to see more complex formulas, but then again such formulas cost more to make, and The Inkey List is mostly a bargain brand. We wrote “mostly” because in some cases, on an ounce-per-ounce basis, The Inkey List costs just as much as some other brands offering the same type of products (like leave-on exfoliants) in larger sizes.
Even with the predominantly one-note ingredient theme, the brand typically includes beneficial ingredients in efficacious amounts and skips irritants, with the exception of a couple a products that contain witch hazel water and drying denatured alcohol.
That aside, the brand offers a good selection of effective products, something we’re always glad to see. The Inkey List is sold exclusively in the U.S. at Sephora; you can learn more about the brand here: https://www.sephora.com/brand/the-inkey-list.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.