Which Under-Eye Masks Give The Most Visible Results?

I slapped six different kinds under my eyes and photographed the results for you.

I see eye mask patches everywhere, but I’ve never really heard anyone talk about them. Sheet masks? Totally. Eye patches? [Crickets]

Still, the Asian beauty markets were first to pioneer this stuff, and the Asian beauty markets are never wrong. With this in mind, I slapped six different kinds under my eyes and photographed the results for you. I know how much you like those before-and-afters, baby.

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Masks

Treatment time: 15 minutes

Contains: 4 pairs (4 treatments)

Each pair comes in a single-serving pack with a separate chamber for the liquid (which, it has to be said, looks very cool). You pop the liquid chamber to saturate the patches, then apply under the eyes and chill out for a while.

Verdict: I really love the Bliss Oxygen face mask, but I wasn’t as impressed with these. There seem to be two main kinds of eye patches: The fabric-like paper kind like these, and the slimy gel kind. I really love the cool, instant relief of the gel, which conforms to your eye socket (some of them even had a little suction to them). Paper is a little harder to situate and tends to slip off more easily. (What, I’m supposed to lie on my back for a whole 15-30 minutes in the middle of the day?) Go for the full-face mask instead, or the real deal at Bliss Spa if you can swing it.

Patchology Energizing Eye Patches

Treatment time: 20 minutes

Contains: 3 pairs (up to 12 treatments), gel, wipes

This set contains three pairs of patches (reusable up to four times each), a small tube of activating gel, and wipes for removing the remaining gel after the treatment. To begin, peel the metallic space-age patches off their plastic backing and use the tube’s little rollerballs to spread the gel on each patch. The underside of these patches are serious business: there’s a tiny battery inside each patch that produces micro-currents to increase circulation and help your skin absorb ingredients like vitamin C, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. I struggled with situating the patches correctly; they aren’t very flexible and thus didn’t conform to the contours of my face well. Plus, my eye bags got pinched a little in the process, which was both uncomfortable and an unwelcome reminder that I have eye bags.

Verdict: I was very impressed with the end result; my eye-luggage was visibly deflated and my fine lines looked plumper. But as I type this a couple hours later, my skin is still pretty sore where it got pinched. And the actual act of wearing these patches was not comfortable by any stretch of the imagination (for my particular face shape, at least). Go for this if you have the facial topography and you really want to reach for the big guns.

New Spa Collagen Patch

Treatment time: 20-30 minutes

Contains: 5 pairs (up to 15 treatments)

These gold-colored, reusable patches actually contain gold ions. Gold is said to support collagen levels and increase circulation--though I’ve yet to stumble across some hard science on that, so take it with a grain of salt and don’t be afraid to do your own research. These were the slimiest of the bunch--at first I was worried they’d slide off. The upside to this? They remained deliciously chilly and soothing even after most of the treatment was absorbed, and I left them on for 45 minutes because I liked the feeling so much.

Verdict: To my surprise, these worked really well; not bad for a random Amazon find. The flimsiness of the gel made for super-comfortable wear, and my eyes felt soothed and hydrated for hours after taking them off. It was almost--what’s the word--relaxing?

Miss Spa Energize (Deflate Puffiness)

Treatment time: 20 minutes

Contains: 1 pair (1 treatment)

I snagged these in the checkout line at Walgreens. There are three “flavors”: Energize, Brighten, and Firm + Lift. Energize contains collagen (a common ingredient), as well as various botanical-sounding ingredients.

Verdict: I honestly didn’t see much of a difference. This has the easy/cheap element going for it, but I’d rather save up and put the money toward a better eye mask. Also, Miss Spa is curiously difficult to pin down. What beauty brand doesn’t have a website these days? It’s 2014. My cat has a website. (OK, no he doesn’t, but that’s basically what Instagram is for.)

Eyeko Hydrogel Eye Patch

Treatment time: 20 minutes

Contains: 4 pairs (4 treatments)

Eyeko (of the Alexa Chung collab, remember?) is an eye makeup brand, but they’re been branching out lately--and I love it. Infused with vitamin B-3, collagen, and tiger lily, these gel patches are the most compact of the group, and they were just...easy. Peel off the backing and pop ‘em on. No repositioning or extra elements, no sliminess.

Verdict: These were comfortable to wear and gave great results. My eye area felt soothed and looked smoother and less puffy. This would be an excellent choice for end-of-flight primping.

When I started this experiment, I kind of hoped I’d disprove the whole eye patch thing and save myself some money, but they’re awesome. When I used an eye mask patch in the morning, I found that I looked more awake even as the day wore on. They were also a great pick-me-up before going out at night. I recommend slapping ‘em on while doing your hair or picking out your clothes. Or hey, lie down and take a nap. It’s your life.

Do you use eye mask patches? Which brands have you tried and liked?