5 Beauty Editors on the Drugstore Eye Creams That Rival Their High-End Faves

Eye cream is a finicky thing. Sure, there are countless formulas out there that vow to fix every concern—whether that's dark circles, puffiness, fine lines, or wrinkles—but as anyone who's into skincare will surely tell you, it can be difficult to find one that delivers on its promises. So, yeah, I'll say it: Eye cream is basically the poster child for a skincare product that's great in theory but can be disappointing in practice. 

Then there's the matter of price. There are so many luxury eye creams out there, and while many of them are effective and come highly recommended by beauty editors, sometimes, it's nice to share some more budget-friendly recommendations. So that's what we decided to do. Ahead, five beauty editors share their favorite high-end eye creams, followed by their favorite drugstore ones. The latter will provide real results without breaking the bank (thank us later). 

Erin Jahns, Beauty Director


The High-End Favorite:

"I love brightening eye creams, and this one has been a go-to for me ever since it launched last year. With 10% encapsulated vitamin C, niacinamide, green caffeine, and peptides, it brightens, hydrates, and de-puffs in one fell swoop."

The Affordable Favorite:

"When it comes to drugstore eye creams, you can't get better than this vitamin C and peptide pick. I like that it brightens and plumps my skin, but I love that it does so without feeling heavy or greasy on my skin. The lightweight formula hydrates without pilling or looking funky under makeup."

Katie Berohn, Beauty Editor


The High-End Favorite:

"With skin-smoothing and dark circle-minimizing algae, peptides, and glycerin, this eye cream makes a visible difference in tired, dry, or dehydrated under-eyes."

The Affordable Favorites:

"This eye cream from Avene is just as good as some eye creams I've tried that cost quadruple the price. Chamomile works to soothe puffy under eyes, while hyaluronic acid smooths and plumps."

"E.l.f Cosmetic's way of making high-quality, low-cost makeup also translates into their skincare. This eye cream is a burst of hydration for the eye area, and using it feels like an instant wake up." 

Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor

The High-End Favorite:

"This eye treatment is an editor- and esthetician-favorite. It helps so much with dryness and fine lines around the eyes. I'm also just a sucker for a pretty product and this one absolutely is! It has a silky texture and a rainbow chrome-like color." 

The Affordable Favorites:

"This is great for the price! It has caffeine in it so it can easily help depuff and brighten up dark circles if you struggle with them." 

"This eye cream from CeraVe has everything you'd need—peptides, niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid to keep your eye area hydrated and youthful. It's also fragrance-free and great for sensitive eyes." 

Kaitlyn McLintock, Associate Beauty Editor

The High-End Favorite:

"This eye cream is lightweight and silky, and it's one of the only eye creams I've able to use consistently (most others I grow tired of or don't see results from so I just give up). Thanks to ingredients like niacinamide and coffee seed oil, it plumps and moisturizes my dry, fine line–prone eye area."

The Affordable Favorites:

"I love using retinol and I love using eye cream, so why not combine both? This retinol formula promises to reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles. I can honestly see a visible difference in the smoothness of my skin after using this for a couple of weeks."

"I use a lot of products from Naturium on a daily basis, this eye cream included. I love using eye creams that are chock full of peptides since they keep the skin firm and plump over time and encourage collagen production (it's my way of protesting eye wrinkles)."

Aniyah Morinia, Fashion and Beauty Editor, Branded Content

The High-End Favorite:

"When I'm feeling a little bit more consistent with my routine, I like to treat myself to a more extensive nighttime routine that includes eye cream. This Summer Fridays one uses vitamin C and peptides to brighten and firm. It specifically targets dark circles and fine lines which I always look for in an eye cream. It truly gives me that 'I woke up like this' feeling without having to apply too much product."

"Right now, one of my biggest skin concerns is fine lines, and this Vichy eye cream smooths, plumps, and hydrates them with hyaluronic acid and caffeine. My under eyes instantly feel bright and rejuvenated. Sometimes eye creams feel super heavy but this one is lightweight and leaves me looking a lot more well-rested than I feel."