If there’s one beauty brand that significantly changed me last year, it’s Augustinus Bader. Mostly because I never thought I’d get hooked on a $215 eye cream, but here we are. Like many of my beauty industry colleagues, I’ve long subscribed to the “eye creams are a gentle scam” model of thinking. That doesn’t mean I leave the delicate skin around my eyes completely untouched, but I usually call it a day after treating the area with my regular hydrating moisturizer. It doesn’t do much in terms of making me look or feel more awake, that’s what coffee is for.
So what changed my mind? Augustinus Bader, bottlers of skin care magic. Since the brand launched in 2018, it’s quickly become the most raved-about secret in beauty. Its cult favorite moisturizer—simply dubbed The Cream—has legions of celebrity fans including Ashley Graham, Kate Bosworth, and Victoria Beckham and a Glamour Beauty Award for Best Moisturizer. The hype extends to beauty editors too; never have I seen a single brand name dropped so much in my Instagram DMs. When I heard that an eye cream was joining the lineup, I had to see if it lived up to my experience with the The Cream (and if it could surpass my lackluster expectations for an eye product).
For those unfamiliar with the brand, all Bader formulas are based on founder Professor Augustinus Bader’s TFC8 (Trigger Factor Complex 8), which he originally discovered while researching treatments for burn survivors. The proprietary cocktail of more than 40 different ingredients, including vitamins and amino acids, is also the key active in The Eye Cream. I will never know exactly what goes in to the secret sauce, but the general idea is that it encourages regeneration and healing by activating your stem cells and supporting your skin’s natural renewal process.
Along with TFC8, The Eye Cream also includes an impressive lineup of additional nourishing actives. Niacinamide (vitamin B3), vitamin B5, and vitamin C treat skin with antioxidants, boost collagen, and help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Botanical extracts like seaweed, arjun tree, and pennywort add even more hydration, plumping, and brightening effects. Firming peptides help your under-eye puffiness and dark circles look a little more caffeinated. It’s basically every ingredient you’d want to put in an eye cream, and then some.
I first tried The Eye Cream on a regular weekday, which means I was in dire need of both coffee and sleep. After finishing the rest of my morning skin care routine, I popped the metal eye cream bottle out of its very chic refillable container and carefully dispensed half a pump on my ring finger. (At $215 a bottle, I wasn’t about to go slathering my face in the stuff.) Immediately, I noticed that the formula was both lightweight and intensely moisturizing. It sank in right away, allowing me to easily layer makeup over the top, but kept the skin around my eyes feeling dewy and firm, as if I’d treated it to layers of serum and cream.