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Ask The Makeup Diva
Welcome to Ask The Makeup Diva™! Our resident expert, The Makeup Diva, answers makeup and skin care questions sent in by readers just like you.

Q: I am a college student on a limited budget. Are inexpensive eye creams just as good as those in the department stores? Can you recommend one that is not too pricey, yet does the job just as well as a department store eye cream?

A: Since most eye creams are simple moisturizers and just temporarily plump up the skin, it doesn't make sense to spend a small fortune on them. Here are a few that I like for basic dry skin relief:

L'Oreal Revitalift Eye
Nivea Q10 Wrinkle Control Eye
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Eye Cream
Avon Lighten Up Plus

If it's puffiness you are trying to get rid of, an eye gel with ingredients like cucumber, witch hazel, and chamomile will work better than a cream. Beauty Without Cruelty makes a great green tea eye gel, or you could try Pond's Soothing Cucumber Eye Treatments - cooling eye pads soaked in cucumber, aloe, chamomile and green tea extracts that look just like freshly sliced cucumber.

Of the undereye circle remedies I've tried, the Avon Lighten Up one mentioned above is the only one I've found to make any difference, and it's a small difference at that. Unfortunately the best solution for dark circles won't be found in an eye cream; dark circles are best covered with a yellow-based concealer. The yellow color counteracts the blue/purple in dark circles and covers better than a regular skintone concealer.

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