To start the review, I feel as though I should mention a brief history of this product. So, as you may know, The Eye Balm was the predecessor to The Eye Balm Intense. Out of the entirety of La Mer's product range, The Eye Balm was always one of their underachievers. The packaging was a bit awkward, and it didn't really stand out amidst the other heavy-hitting options. In fact, The Eye Balm became notorious for being a hit or miss product for people (there didn't seem to be a middle-ground, and it was pretty clear why this was). In fact, it scored in the mid-three range on MakeupAlley.com out of 175 reviews, which is a very average rating (and a veritable loss in the world of high end cosmetics). For these reasons, I am not surprised that La Mer decided to discontinue The Eye Balm and come out with a bit more innovative and substantial replacement...that being the brand new Eye Balm Intense.
From what I can tell from comparing these two eye balms (The Eye Balm and The Eye Balm Intense), I have a feeling that the newer version will fare a bit better. There are many similarities between the original Eye Balm and this second generation eye balm. The color is the same (a dash of Green #5), and the consistency is fairly similar (slippery, light, and creamy). However, the product has been reformulated with what I would consider significantly higher quality ingredients. For one, there are no parabens in The Eye Balm Intense, whereas the eye balm had one form of the most common four paraben types (though in a rather small quantity). Secondly, The Eye Balm Intense now features an assortment of La Mer's newest trademarked formulations like the De-Puff Ferment which derives from Deep Sea Red Algae.
Having experienced both the original Eye Balm (discontinued) and The Eye Balm Intense (introduced in 2010), I do believe that the latter is a bit more potent, and in my opinion, it seems like a bit of a hybrid between the old Eye Balm and The Eye Concentrate.
The Eye Balm Intense is moderately thick in terms of texture and is absorbed very rapidly. The eye cream is also extremely emollient, and a tiny bit covers a very large area. It doesn't really have an artificial or added scent to speak of (a major plus). Any scent that you may detect would thus be a derivative of the actual ingredients. The greenish cream also leaves a non-greasy or a non-filmy coating of the product around your eyes, so if you do apply makeup, I don't believe a concealer will encounter issues with the use of The Eye Balm Intense (i.e. streaking, migrating, clumping, etc.). Users of the original Eye Balm experienced major issues with not being able to use concealers or any other facial makeup product near the eye area. I believe this issue has been addressed with the reformulation, as this was a major drawback of the original formulation. Still, you will want to wait, as with most eye creams, about five minutes before applying anything on top of The Eye Balm Intense. As with La Mer’s The Eye Concentrate, The Eye Balm Intense comes with La Mer's proprietary silver-tipped applicator, which cools skin on contact to help stimulate mircocirculation.
Who is The Eye Balm Intense best for? I would say it is most adequately suited for those with dry, extra dry, combination/dry, and normal skin types, as long as you apply The Eye Balm Intense and then follow it up with a facial moisturizer that works around the eye area. In my case, I would follow the eye cream with a small dose of the Crème de la Mer, although the use of the CDLM is not absolutely necessary (many others would work just as effectively, so don’t listen to the sales assistants). However, an eye cream should not require two steps, and there are many better options out there for us dry/normal skin types. If you have combination/oily, oily, sensitive, or super sensitive skin, this is a great eye cream for you. For people who often experience eye puffiness from the use of an eye cream (assuming that you are applying the cream correctly), this is a product that will not offend. For people with heavy allergies, this eye cream is also superb. In fact, it is perhaps the most ideal eye cream on the market for those with various sensitivities. With that being said, The Eye Balm Intense is more of a starter eye cream, and I certainly would not recommend it for someone who is looking for an intensive anti-aging regime. The Eye Balm Intense would be ideal for those in their 20s, 30s, and early-40s. Anyone with more ‘mature’ skin would fare better with La Mer’s The Eye Concentrate or another anti-aging eye cream. As far as application goes (refer to my companion video review as well for proper application techniques):
1. Starting at the temple, sweep the applicator underneath the eye towards the nose.
2. Circle the area above the brow.
3. Finish by gliding the applicator back to the temple.
I have a feeling that La Mer will eventually take a hint from the major trends in the skin care industry and convert this product's packaging into a chic tube or pump dispenser (I see that they have switched their sample products over from jars to air-tight tubes—good for them). Until then, I don't find the jar medium to be offensive, especially as it pertains to hygiene or the maintenance of the product’s active ingredients. The Eye Balm Intense is an opaque glass jar that does stay fairly air tight and blocks the product from damaging UV rays.
Size - .05 oz.
*Price - $145.00