As someone whose life perpetually runs 15 minutes behind schedule (yes, I am the girl who texts “I’m on the way!!!” when I’m still dripping wet in a towel), I need a.m. skin-care products that will get me out the door as fast as humanly possible. That means looking for formulas that are mess-free (because I can’t risk spilling on my clothes and having to figure out an outfit), easy to apply, and ideally serve double duty. The latest addition to my morning routine—Olehenriksen Banana Bright+ Vitamin CC Eye Stick ($34)—checks all of these boxes and then some.
I’m in my 30s, so basic skin-care knowledge (and a whole bunch of internet memes) tell me that I need to be using a daily eye cream. But for all of the reasons listed above, I… don’t usually do that. Who has time to mess around with another skin-care product when you’re already late for a work breakfast? Not me. That’s why I was so excited to discover this skin-care makeup hybrid, which is part vitamin C serum, part concealer, and everything I need to look ready to go even when I feel anything but.
First things first, the formula
Olehenriksen’s Banana Bright line (which includes a facial primer, a traditional eye cream, a sunscreen, and a serum) has long been beloved for its next-level brightening properties. Each of the products are jam-packed with ascorbic acid, the most potent form of vitamin C, which works to perk up skin both immediately and over time. To take that instant luminosity to the next level, the formulas also include light-reflecting mineral pigments inspired by banana powder.
For those looking to perk up their under eyes (#itme, especially first thing in the morning), vitamin C is an A+ pick. “While many eye creams traditionally focus on hyaluronic acid to moisturize and plump, or retinoids to help with protein and fine lines and wrinkles, vitamin C is great because it is going to help to brighten the under-eye skin,” board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, previously told Well+Good. “It’s an area where we often deal with hyperpigmentation, and so what that basically means is that there’s the brown discoloration that sometimes contributes to dark circles.”
Plus, because vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, it defends against free radical damage—one of the main culprits behind visible signs of skin aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. So not only will it help reduce the appearance of these things if you’ve already got ’em, but it will also help prevent more from showing up in the future.
My hot take on this hybrid under-eye brightener
While there are plenty of great vitamin C eye creams on the market, this one’s quickly become my favorite thanks to the fact that it’s basically a serum and concealer in one. It’s got a solid stick delivery system (so application literally involves a single swipe), and blends seamlessly into the skin. I know it’s technically meant exclusively for the under-eye area, but given how easy it is to use and the hefty coverage it delivers, I’ve found myself dotting it on dark spots all over my face. Vitamin C can help here, too, thanks to its discoloration-fading abilities.
The stick comes in three flexible shades, and I use the lightest (“Banana”) on my olive-toned skin. Your best bet is to opt for something slightly lighter than your complexion to really amp up that instant brightness.
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