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The application of eye cream may appear to be a no-brainer, but a recent parley with my non-beauty obsessed pals quickly divested me of this assumption. I mean, queries ranged from the quizzical (“Does brand X really work?”) to the absolutely absurd (“Eye drops work perfectly fine for me”).

This can only mean one thing: Time to brush up (so to speak) on facial fundamentals! Advanced-level students may scoff at going back to beauty basics, but there’s something for everyone here – including at least one very surprising tip.

Not convinced? Eyebrows raised in scepticism? Challenge accepted!

STEP 1. I’m going with a regular jar or tube-type product; let’s reserve rollerball thingamajigs for another day, shall we. Now, most creams come with their own little instructional leaflets, but in general all you need is a tiny scoop the size of a pea. Using your ring finger, dot the cream under your eye, starting about half an inch below your lash line and progressing from the inner to outer corner.

Surprising Tip #1: More isn’t more in this instance. If you pile on the product, the excess will only inch itself into your eyes and irritate them into watery redness. To save yourself from tears, wait three minutes, then blot off any residual cream that hasn’t been absorbed. 

STEP 2. “Pressing” question: How much pressure should you exert? Answer: Close to none. I like to imagine tinkling the ivories when I’m going about my routine; think lithe little taps with the tip of your finger.

Surprising Tip #2: Your eye cream should really be regarded as your eye and cheek cream. Dr Karen Soh, medical director of Prive Clinic, says that one of the most obvious signs of aging occurs when you lose volume in what’s referred to in medical parlance as the “tear trough”, which is the triangular wedge under the eye extending towards the outer cheeks: “When we age, there’s a loss in fullness in the upper cheeks, resulting in undereye sunkenness. If you suffer from bulging orbital fat pads or eye bags, this deformity may be made even more obvious.”

Intriguing implication? When applying eye cream, be sure to treat your tear trough by gliding gently all the way to the cheekbones; you can palpate the area to locate the bony mass beneath.

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Oh, and for what it’s worth, you’re never too young to embark on an anti-aging eye regime. Product recommmendation? I’m seriously coveting Clarins’ lovely new Extra-Firming Eye Complete Rejuvenating Cream, which boasts a carefully concocted botanical blend of peeper-perfecting extracts promising to bolster the youthful volume of your eyes.  

STEP 3. Beauty bonus: If you’re particularly puffy from pulling too many all-nighters, consider this neat little eye-xercise. Using clean fingers and starting from the inner corners, press gently for about five seconds, inching outwards at five-second intervals.

This prodding of your pressure points prompts fluid drainage, plus it’ll feel pretty darn good after a long day of eyeballing your electronic devices.

All told, the entire shebang should take no more than five minutes, tops. Easy peasy. I trust this has been an eye-opener of a read!

Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Complete Rejuvenating Cream, $86, is available at all Clarins counters. For more information, visit and follow Clarins Singapore on Facebook.

Dr Karen Soh can be contacted at For more information, follow Prive Clinic on Facebook.