Product Review: Clinique Pep Start™ Eye Cream

Back in the mid-1980's, Clinique was my first foray into a makeup and skincare line that didn't come from a drugstore. I was in my mid-20's, with sensitive, oily, breakout-prone skin, and I was just learning about skincare. I've come a long way since then, and so has Clinique.

Clinique Pep Start™ Eye Cream

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For the most part, I've learned that Clinique skincare and I just are not a good mix. (all about my skin) On the opposite end of the skincare spectrum is my mother-in-law. She used nothing but Clinique for 30+ years, and she has the most beautiful skin you've ever seen. That is one of the most important things I've learned about beauty products - it's not necessarily that there is an issue with your skin or the product, it may simply be that you aren't a good match. It's really all about finding what works for you. Even though I don't usually use the Clinique skincare line, when I received a deluxe sample of their Pep Start™ Eye Cream in one of my Sephora Play! boxes, I wanted to give it a try.

I realize I'm a little late to the show/review, since this product debuted in late 2015/early 2016. But hey, I don't usually use eye creams, so I'm just now trying it! I was especially interested in the eye cream because it contains caffeine, and I have been having some issues with puffiness under my eyes. I think it's partially due to allergies, but I'm guessing it's mostly just one more thing to chalk up to menopause and aging. As I mentioned, I don't usually use a product specifically for the eye area - for a couple of reasons. One is that my undereye area is extremely sensitive, so most products cause more problems than they help. The other is that I truly believe that whatever is good for the rest of my face is good for my undereye area (for the most part - there are a few exceptions).

The Clinique website says the Pep-Start™ Eye Cream hydrates and perks up the eye area, taking just 3 seconds to make you look wide awake and refreshed. "Its cool touch and de-puffing tip help keep eyes looking fresh."

I have to tell you that I was pretty doubtful that this could work in 3 seconds, and I was concerned over the "cool touch". Usually when a product says that, it means it contains menthol or something similar to give your skin that "cool" sensation. I don't like that, especially under my eyes. Fortunately, I don't see menthol or anything similar in the ingredient list, and there are several peptides, which is great for anti-aging.

Ingredients: water, glycerin, butylene glycol, butyrospemum parkii (shea butter), squalane, cetyl esters, dimethicone, methyl gluceth-20, polyethylene, glycereth-26, polybutene, sucrose, magnolia officinalis bark extract, sigesbeckia orientalis (St. Paul's wort) extract, algae extract, molasses extract, sapindus mukurossi fruit extract, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, whey protein, palmitoyl hexapeptide-12, trifluoroacetyl tripeptide-2, caffeine, phytosphingosine, acetyl hexapeptide-8, palmitoyl tripeptide-1, yeast extract, glycine soja (soybean) protein, caesalpinia spinosa gum, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl actylate crosspolymer, glyceryl polymethacrylate, sucrose stearate, caprylyl glycol, PEG-8, sodoum hyaluronate, simethicone, polysorbate 20, carbomer, sodium hydroxide, dextran, hexylene glycol, sodium citrate, phenoxyethanol, mica, titanium dioxide.

ingredient list for Clinique Pep Start™ Eye Cream

The product is a white cream that is fairly thick, but absorbs pretty well. I did feel a slight cooling sensation upon application, but it didn't sting nor did I develop any irritation from it. As with Clinique's other skincare products - which is something I wish more skincare companies would consider - this one is fragrance-free. It has an applicator tip that is rounded like a ball. I understand that with the full-size version, you pull up on the ball applicator tip to open the tube (shown below).

Product Review: Clinique Pep Start™ Eye Cream - Do you use an eye cream? This product says it will depuff and brighten, making you look wide awake and refreshed. Let's see how well it works for me!
(photo courtesy of

I used the Pep Start™ Eye Cream twice daily for about a month, and other than providing a bit of moisture, there weren't many changes in my undereye area. I realize that a month isn't very long in terms of skincare, but in this case, I felt I should've seen results pretty much right away since it claims to work in 3 seconds. It didn't de-puff my eyes in 3 seconds. It may have helped the puffiness just a bit, but it took several minutes. It didn't brighten, and as a matter of fact, I felt like the dark circles actually looked a bit worse at the end of the month. Sorry, Clinique - this was just a miss for me.

The full-size product comes in a 0.5 oz. tube, and is priced at $26.50 on both the Clinque and Sephora websites. I found it for a couple of dollars cheaper on Amazon.

This is not something I would personally recommend, but I do realize that everyone has different needs for their skin and will likely get different results. So I would say if you want to give it a try, go to Sephora and ask for a sample. That should allow you to see whether or not it's a product that does what you expect it to do.

Have you tried the Pep-Start Eye Cream? Do you use a product specifically for the undereye area?


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