Hello FAB Kona Eye Stick
First Aid Beauty’s Hello FAB Kona Eye Stick provides most of what it takes to make a great eye-area product, but one design flaw keeps it from ranking among the best of the best.
As alluded to in its name, this is a twist-up stick that comes in a plastic tube that’s meant to be applied anywhere on your orbital bone (the bony ridge around the eyes). While this works well on the skin covering the upper bone area around the eyebrows, we don’t recommend the same for the undereye area.
The stick is quite solid (it has the texture of a non-waxy lip balm), so it drags across skin during application, which tugs skin. Tugging skin, especially around the delicate undereye area, can lead to and hasten wrinkles and sagging. Instead of the brand’s recommended application, we suggest touching it to a finger to “warm” the stick up, then gently dabbing this under eyes.
This sets to a lightweight, non-waxy finish that works well under makeup or other skin care products.
The reason we like this so much is that it’s fragrance free and contains several skin-beneficial ingredients, among them antioxidants like coffee, cucumber, green tea, and aloe, alongside a skin-replenishing peptide and sodium hyaluronate. There’s even soothing licorice root extract in the mix. True to claims, it has a cool, refreshing feel, but thankfully that’s not due to the inclusion of menthol or other irritating “cooling” ingredients.
This also leaves a slight pearlescent appearance that temporarily brightens the undereye area, though it might not be for everyone (particularly if you have a darker skin tone, as it can create a slight white cast).
As far as the claims that this can reduce puffiness and dark circles, as with most eye-area products, it’s limited in its ability to do so, though applying beneficial ingredients to the area certainly doesn’t hurt. Though not a perfect product, this still has a lot going for it, and so is worth consideration.
- Lightweight texture works well under makeup or other skin care products.
- Contains antioxidant, skin-replenishing, and skin-soothing ingredients.
- Pearlescent finish has a brightening effect.
- Fragrance free.
- Firm texture drags at eyes when applied directly from the stick.
Superfood Kona Coffee helps diminish the appearance of undereye puffiness and dark circles while Aloe Water and Cucumber deliver a cooling, aqua-burst sensation for refreshed eyes. Sodium Hyaluronate helps hydrate, smooth and plump while Micro-Pearls instantly brighten and enhance the skin’s natural radiance. Use before concealer as a prep step or apply throughout the day to recharge and reinvigorate eyes.
First Aid Beauty At-A-Glance
Strengths: Several fragrance-free products; relatively reasonable pricing; sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; wonderful fragrance-free body wash.
Weaknesses: AHA pads contain a low amount of glycolic and lactic acids; some products contain fragrant plant extracts; every product contains feverfew extract, which has benefits, but also can be an irritant; jar packaging; for a line meant for sensitive skin, their use of common irritants is disappointing.
With a name like First Aid Beauty (FAB for short), it's obvious this line is meant to rescue your skin from distress, and, indeed, these products are targeted toward those who have sensitive, easily irritated skin, but who still want an elegant, department-store flair. Ironically, FAB falls short on both ends of the spectrum.
Despite the company's claims of providing "therapeutic action" for "tough skin conditions," some of the products contain irritating ingredients that are extremely problematic for any skin type, especially for those with sensitive or compromised skin. It was disappointing to see known irritants like sulfur, balsam resin, and witch hazel in products claiming to calm your skin and reduce redness. "What were they thinking?" was a question that came up more than once while reviewing this line!
On the bright side, First Aid Beauty does have a very good fragrance-free body wash. There are also a few products that omit the fragrance, which is a definite must for sensitive skin, although, in fact, all skin types do best with fragrance-free products. Unfortunately, the fragrance-free formulas in this line come up short on important ingredients, like antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
It is best to avoid their Ultra Repair Cream, the SPF 30 sunscreen, Detox Eye Roller, Blemish Eraser, and the Anti-Redness Serum because they all contain enough irritating ingredients to make conditions like acne, redness, and sensitivity worse.
For more information about First Aid Beauty, visit your local Sephora or Ulta or call (800) 322-3619 or visit www.firstaidbeauty.com.
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.