Christopher Walken once said that Winston Churchill once said that “the eyes are the windows of your face,” and I’ve been thinking about that quote a lot lately as I’ve gathered my notes for this review of Amorepacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence.
The product reviewed in this post was provided by a Fifty Shades of Snail sponsor. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk(*).
Amorepacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence Review
It’s rare that a skincare product makes me realize my skin could improve in some area I hadn’t even noticed before, but in the same way that Sulwhasoo Capsulized Ginseng Fortifying Serum showed me that my skin could use some more resilience and Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX showed me that my skin could use improved circulation, Amorepacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence let me see how much my eyes could benefit from depuffing. Who knew? Not me.
Purpose: Amorepacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence is a roll-on eye product that claims to lift, brighten, and de-puff the eye area.
Best suited for: All skin types.
Do not use if: Your skin or eyes are sensitive to alcohol, fragrance, niacinamide, silicones, ferments, fatty alcohols like cetearyl alcohol, or anything else in the ingredients list.
When and how to use: At some point in your skincare routine before eye cream, massage around eye area using the metal roller ball.
The first time you use the product, you’ll have to unlock the applicator by turning the silver button on the bottom of the tube one quarter turn counterclockwise, then dispense a tiny bit of product by gently pressing the button. Not all the way unless you want to waste a ton of this precious elixir. Just enough for a bit to appear around the edges of the roller ball. It will make sense when you use it. For subsequent uses, do not use the dispenser button unless the roller ball is rolling dry.
(Need help putting the steps of your skincare routine in order? Read this post.)
Amorepacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence ingredients: Camellia sinensis leaf water, butylene glycol, glycerin, glycereth-26, avena sativa (oat) kernel extract, alcohol, methyl trimethicone, diethoxyethyl succinate, glyceryl polymethacrylate, aqua, camellia sinensis leaf extract, niacinamide, aspergillus ferment, lactobacillus/water hyacinth ferment, caffeine, mannitol, hydrogenated lecithin, bis-PEG-18 methyl ether dimethyl silane, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, behenyl alcohol, polyglyceryl-10 pentastearate, cetearyl alcohol, sodium stearoyl lactylate, cetearyl glucoside, ethylhexylglycerin, caprylyl glycol, glyceryl caprylate, tromethamine, disodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, fragrance
Notable ingredients: I have to admit that I glazed right over Amorepacific for a very long time. I thought of the brand as a pricey but unexciting one and didn’t feel compelled to try their products until my relationship with Sulwhasoo US* provided me an opportunity to try some AP as well.
Since then, I’ve learned that what Sulwhasoo is to ginseng, Amorepacific is to green tea: seemingly at the top of the game. AP cultivates, harvests, and extracts its own green tea and other botanical ingredients. That could be a real positive, as green tea is not only anti-inflammatory but also contains powerful antioxidants that could have anti-aging photoprotective effects, and maintaining control over the growing and extraction processes should result in more consistency and, I hope, potency.
Interestingly, topical caffeine, another ingredient in this product, may also reduce photodamage in UVB-exposed skin. Green tea and caffeine united in one product means I’m going to have to work hard not to make too many bad WAKE UP! jokes.
As intriguing as the green tea and caffeine are, however, I don’t think they’re the main reason the Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence produces the effects it does on my eyes. Instead, I suspect that it’s a skillful blend of polymers and silicones doing the everyday heavy lifting–and that’s fine with me. I love products that use near-immediate effects to encourage long-term use. Now let’s talk about those effects.
It took me at least two months to finish up the teeny 3ml trial size. Then I grumbled and pouted to myself until it was time to select some more products to test out, at which point I askednagged my way to the 15ml full-size tube. I already knew I loved the Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence, but I needed to make sure. This is investment skincare, guys. It’s not cheap, and so my recommendation shouldn’t be, either.
One week into my second time around with the Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence, I knew. It really had done the thing I thought it did the first time around.
So what does it do?
Let’s step back for a second and talk “before.”
I have monolids that are apparently much more prone to puffiness than I ever realized. (Probably shouldn’t be surprised, since salt is my favorite food group and I do have some tendency to bloat–but my blood pressure is abnormally low, so I’ll YOLO all the salt into my mouth if I want. But yeah, so, eye puffiness.) In fact, as it turns out, my chronic eye puffiness was hiding actual eyelid creases. 37 years on this planet and I had no idea.
So. Back when I was using the trial size Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence, I noticed some eyelid creases emerging after a few days of regular, twice-daily use. Not so dramatic that it looks like I had double eyelid surgery or anything, but definitely more there. And, much more importantly than the creases themselves, I found that my eyes simply looked more open, more lively, and more awake. You could almost say they looked like I’d had my morning coffee and then some. Har har har.
The return to my eyes’ normal state after I ran out of the mini Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence took a few days but did happen. I looked more tired, my eyelids heavier. Then I got my hands on the full size, started using it twice every day again, and again, out come the little eyelid creases. My eyes once again seem more opened up, more awake, more fully present in my face. Even my eyelashes (both the natural ones and the extensions) curl upwards more than before, now that they aren’t weighed down by puffy lids.
In case you can’t tell, I’m in serious awe. The Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence is 80% responsible for the increase in selfies on my Instagram stories. I’m that happy about it. The lifting and tightening effects make an enormous difference to my face and how I feel about my face.
Now, on to some basics.
Amorepacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence is a clear, lightweight gel with a noticeable but fast-fading floral scent. It’s the same basic scent I’ve noticed in a lot of AP products, and as with the other AP products I’ve tried, it comes on quite strong at first, but I find I get used to it quickly. Scent is often used to cover the unappealing smells of certain cosmetic ingredients, and scent consistency can be a strong element of branding. I’m not sure which reason is dominant here, but in any case, either way, I can live with it happily.
Less pleasantly, the Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence can also give off a quick whiff of alcohol when first applied, but I’ve found that I only notice that when I’ve accidentally used too much.
Upon application, the product sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy or tacky residue to interfere with other products or with makeup. It’s moderately hydrating, though not the most plumping or line-filling eye serum I’ve tried. (If you’re looking less for lifting and tightening and more for moisture and line-filling, Naruko’s similar 60 Actives Total Rejuvenating Eye Complex EX* will be a better fit.) Its effects last all day for me, and twice daily use maintains the lifted, open, depuffed appearance nicely.
Some readers may wonder if the product is the actual cause of the depuffing, or if it has to do with the massaging metal roller ball applicator. I can confirm here that for me, it’s totally the product. I experienced the exact same effects when just patting on the gel out of the trial size version. Conversely, I’ve used plenty of eye products with metal roller ball applicators before, without similar effects. If you are intrigued by the idea of massage for extra lifting and depuffing, however, the package insert for this product gives instructions for a nice eye massage.
My point is that in my experience, it doesn’t take any special application techniques to enjoy the special results of this product.
Now. On to the major downside. The cost. Yeah, this is not an inexpensive product. Like I said, it’s investment skincare. It’s costly enough that I kept procrastinating on this review, because I feel pretty bad being like, GAIZ I LOVE THIS YOU SHOULD LOVE IT TOO about something at this price point. But there it is.
Edit 8/4/2017: I’ve been thinking that the roller ball applicator is a slight downside too, as it isn’t the most sanitary way to package or dispense an eye product. I personally haven’t experienced any issues from using it, but to be consistent with my rage over another eye product’s unsanitary dispensing mechanism, I’m knocking a little off the rating for this product.
There are a couple of reasons that I, personally, find the price of this product acceptable:
- It has a visible effect that I have not experienced with any other products in its category. In other words, it really is special.
- It actually will last quite a long time. I can make a 15ml bottle of LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule last three months by using only a few drops a day. I only need a fraction of a drop of the Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence at a time, so the 15ml tube will last me the better part of a year. With that in mind, suddenly the investment doesn’t seem as steep.
- It’s freaking amazing and has literally changed the appearance of my face in a tangible way. Most skincare products don’t do that. I’m aware that I basically just paraphrased point 1, but I can’t overstate how incredible I find the results of this product.
Conclusion: The Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence is most definitely not a product for everyone, and if puffiness isn’t your challenge, then feel free to move on without FOMO. But if reducing eye puffiness is one of your main skin goals, I think this product is absolutely worth a shot. YMMV, but I’ve heard from other fans of the product that my depuffing results are not a fluke–that’s what this stuff is known to do. I even recommended it to my own brother. I’m pretty sure that’s the highest endorsement I can give anything.
1 – This has severe flaws or failed at its one primary job.
2 – Caused me some problems or doesn’t work very well; would not buy again.
3 – Meh. Neither great nor bad.
4 – Pretty good. Worth rebuying.
5 – Holy crap this is amazing.
Where can I buy Amorepacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence?
I received the Amorepacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence from Amorepacific US, where you can find it in full size*. Amorepacific US offers free gifts with my 50SHADESAMOREPACIFIC code, so check the sidebar for the current offer. (Mobile users, scroll down; you’ll find it near the bottom of this page.)
Curious about other Amorepacific products I’m using? You can see them in action in skincare routine posts on my Instagram.