Splurge vs. Steal: Experts Weigh in on the Best Eye Creams for Sleepless New Moms

Before kids, sleepless nights were generally a self-afflicted luxury. A little too much bubbly (and a whole lot of dancing on banquettes) led to somewhat sunken eyes. Boo-hoo, right?! I would drink some Gatorade, carefully apply concealer, and fly out the door for work the next day, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Easy peasy. 

…Then came life with a newborn.

The term “tired” took on a whole new reality.

All-nighters spent cluster feeding a colicky baby wasn’t exactly the bees knees, nor were the dark circles of zombie-like proportions that came with them. The thickest concealers weighed my leggings-and-pony-tail look down to a whole new low, and when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I (somewhat) understood why women pay a fortune for eye creams…my new-mom bags under my eyes were epic!

But do we really need to pony up big bucks to make dark circles disappear? Spending $200 for a tiny bottle at Neiman’s just seems crazy to me. (You do know how many diapers can be bought with that money, right?!)

To answer the age-old eye cream question, I tapped some of my most in-the-know friends: the beauty experts that make models, celebrities, and socialites look flawless every day.

First up: some great drugstore eye creams that pack a de-puffing punch, and one or two dark-circle defying tinctures to splurge on if you’re feeling indulgent!

New and expecting mamas—pin, flag, and bookmark. You’re gonna love their advice!


From Heidi Evora-Santiago, Creative Director of damali nyc, a boutique beauty service agency that specializes in special event beauty and services women in their Manhattan, Miami, and Los Angeles homes:

SPLURGE: “My splurge is Sisley’s Botanical Eye and Lip Contour Balm ($140). While also possessing de-puffing properties, the balm’s rich and decadent texture is awesome at moisturizing both lips and under eye, which reduces the appearance of fine lines.”

STEAL: “Hands down my favorite ‘steal’ under eye moisturizer is Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream ($30). Perfect for those experiencing ‘sleepus interruptus.’ The caffeinated infused cream helps with de-puffing and stimulating blood flow around the eye area, which helps with eliminating bags and dark circles. It’s also very hydrating, yet absorbs into the skin, making it a perfect surface for applying concealer.”



From Paul Labrecque, one of Vanity Fair‘s “Top 3 Stylists” in the USA, New York’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week stylist, and owner of four illustrious salons, both in Manhattan and Philadelphia’s tony Rittenhouse Square.

SPLURGE: “The Sjal Orbe Eye Contour Cream ($175) is great to combat puffiness under eye and dark circles caused by lack of sleep. The lightweight formula feels like it’s not even here and has lots of natural ingredients like pure vitamin C & E, and chamomile to soothe.

STEAL: “My favorite budget eye cream for new moms is the Biologique Recherche Contour Des Yeux ($72). Not only is it our bestselling all-around eye cream for puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines, but it also helps nourish and strengthen eyelashes.” (This is awesome for moms who don’t have time for mascara.) “The cream includes highly active plant extracts and natural ingredients such as avocado, cornflower, and marine elastin that help intensify results.”



From Linsey Snyder Wachalter, owner of Face Time Beauty Concierge, a full-service collective of prominent hair and makeup artists for special events. As a busy NYC mom and entrepreneur, Linsey is constantly finding inspiration for her clients and researching new make up brands and products. We love the idea behind a business dedicated to making women look and feel their best!

SPLURGE: “The Restorsea Revitalizing Eye Cream ($85) is definitely worth it! This eye cream not only intensely hydrates but also helps to brighten dark circles. It is paraben free, feels very lightweight, and helps to reduce puffiness.”

STEAL: “I love Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream, and it’s only $18! This is an all natural product and easy to use under makeup as it is not petroleum based. All you need is a very small amount, so this product has longevity.”

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