As with many high-end products, there are rarely total ‘hits’ or total ‘misses,’ which creates a rather substantial grey area. Chanel’s Essential Regenerating Eye Cream from the uber-pricey Sublimage line is certainly no exception. I firmly believe that this eye cream is not the best high-end option out there, but it is certainly not the worst. It may even be a perfectly suited option for a (very) specific type of customer, which I will outline in a moment. Nonetheless, the Sublimage Eye Essential Regenerating Eye Cream by Chanel falls short of achieving ‘holy grail’ status for a number of reasons; namely, it doesn’t live up to all of its claims, it is extremely pricey considering what it is, it seems to be founded on what may very well be a total gimmick, and it lacks a lot of the basic skin care ingredients that the eye area needs.
On Chanel’s website, the company describes the Sublimage Eye Essential Regenerating Eye Cream as, “The ultimate in anti-aging luxury, specifically formulated for the delicate eye area. It starts with one unique plant -- the Vanilla Planifolia -- unearthed in the farthest reaches of Madagascar. A unique process created by CHANEL Research harnesses the power of this potent botanical fruit for targeted de-aging action. With the exclusive ingredient, Planifolia PFA (PFA: Polyfractioned Active. An ultra-pure, ultra-powerful ingredient created through an exclusive purification technique developed by CHANEL), wrinkles, loss of firmness, dehydration, lack of radiance and inconsistency in pigmentation are pinpointed at once. Adding to the cream's core strength: a unique eye complex to diminish the appearance of puffiness and dark circles and help skin quickly achieve a luminous look…revitalized, regenerated, radiant.”
Sublimage Eye does accomplish one very rare and coveted task as far as eye creams are concerned, and it does it quite well. While many eye creams tout the ability to reduce puffiness and under eye circles (also known as dark circles), few eye creams are actually able to touch dark circles and only a small percentage tackle the common problem of under eye puffiness. I would say that this eye cream does very little in terms of reducing puffiness. However, when it comes to under eye darkness, the Essential Regenerating Eye Cream does seem to make a nice difference. I know…I was shocked as well! Trust me, I have read all the literature (which is basically filled with skeptical arguments concerning an eye cream’s ability to ever reduce under eye darkness), but the Chanel’s Sublimage Eye still seems to perform well in this area. After the first application, one will notice that his or her under eye darkness has visibly lightened by a few shades (if not more)—I know, I could not believe it either. Of course, if you do not apply the eye cream regularly (i.e. on a daily basis), the dark circles will return as normal the next morning (hence, the eye cream doesn’t treat as much as it temporarily soothes the problem). With nightly use, however, I noticed a significant difference in my own under eye darkness. Put differently, my under eye area was visibly brightened by the following morning after using the eye cream. As for the eye cream being able to tackle fine lines or actual wrinkles, the jury is definitely out. To me, the Sublimage Eye does not seem capable of even touching deeper wrinkles, and it only plumps fine lines as well as any other hydrating eye cream would. Hence, the number one selling point of the eye cream seems to relate to its treatment of under eye darkness, which immediately cuts 10% of prospective customers out of the running (I derive the 10% figure from the statistic that argues that 90% of people deal with under eye darkness in some form). Remember that the effect is still only temporary. The added brightness is, of course, warmly welcomed, and may even prevent one from needing to conceal this area.
I now feel the need to deliver a quick word of warning to my readers. If you are expecting the truthful scoop from a Chanel sales associate, don’t! Basically, making a sale in Sublimage line is any SA’s dream because they are compensated with actual cash rewards for every product they sell. I do not know the exact figures, but insiders have reported around $50 per jar (and I assume this is for the companion face cream, so I don’t know the actual numbers for the eye cream). With needed commissions and monetary cuts at stake, expect Chanel to push the Sublimage line on you no matter what actual skin care concerns you bring to the counter.
The whole marketing gimmick behind the Sublimage Eye centers on its ingredient “Vanilla Planifolia.” On the surface, this ingredient may seem very rare, coveted, and useful to some degree. However, I am more than skeptical when it comes to believing that such a plant product would be beneficial to the skin in any notable way. In fact, there seems to be a lack of independent results to suggest that the cream’s powerhouse ingredient actually does anything for the skin. Thus, Chanel has relied on its promotional speeches and well produced product videos to instill the notion that polyfractionated Vanilla Planifolia is a posh and hyper effective skin care additive. In my mind, the ingredient is exalted in ways similar to other luxury lines’ “botanical” extracts, in which the draw of these ingredients is powerful enough for a customer to shake off all lingering skepticism and give the product a try. While I may be disproportionately focusing on the Vanilla Planifolia ingredient (did I mention it is located fairly far down the list of ingredients in the Essential Regenerating Eye Cream?), I do so only because the eye cream lacks many other ingredients that almost all skin care consumers have come to expected (e.g. basic vitamins, acids, retinols, and even hyaluronic acid). With that being said, the eye cream is also slightly less hydrating than one would expect, which excludes those with dry and very dry skin. Having normal skin myself, I find the hydration afforded by the eye cream to be sufficient...so anyone with normal, combo/oily, and oily skin should be in the clear. Given the consistency (a very thick and heavy cream), one would expect the cream to be a tad more hydrating. Of course, the Chanel eye cream is a total luxury experience. Still, for the price, one may be wiser to invest in some Botox and a top notch sunscreen.