Picks

The Best Eye Mask for Dark Circles

A cool compress that’ll de-puff your eyes.

Woman wearing a Plemo Spa Eye Mask while sleeping.

Humble as chicken soup and as bland as the saltwater gargle, the cool compress might seem like a quaint home remedy. But don’t be fooled by its modest reputation: The cool compress is an underrated luxury. At the end of a hot New York summer day, when it’s still 90 degrees by 7 p.m., there is no better cure for a sweaty brow. Usually, a cloth dampened with water does the trick, but occasionally you need something more—something cooler. I’ve found just the thing: the cool-gel eye mask.

I came across the cool-gel eye mask, the proper name is Plemo Sleep Mask, two years ago in the beauty section of Marshalls. Essentially a flexible ice pack with eyeholes and a Velcro strap to keep it in place on your head, the mask looked like a parody of an at-home spa treatment—the next step after sliced cucumbers for your eyes—and it was inexpensive enough to buy on a whim. Plus, it was Fourth of July weekend, and I was feeling indulgent. The Plemo Sleep Mask would be the perfect complement to the terry-cloth bathrobe I’d been wearing for three days.

The mask lived up to its DIY-spa promise—it diminishes puffy eyes immediately. I keep the eye mask in the freezer, and take it out just before I want to use it. (My secret is to wear it over a sheet mask at the same time, usually after a long night. I like the Innisfree Berry hydro-gel mask, the Sephora rose mask, or the Tonymoly lemon mask.) But it’s also proven far more useful than I ever imagined. The flexible form lends itself to anything from icing an oncoming zit to soothing a migraine. Recently, I used it to ice a swollen ankle—eyeholes aside, it was exactly the right shape for icing a limb, and the Velcro strap allowed it to be wrapped around and secured in place. If escaping to a cooler locale this summer isn’t an option, at least you can have the small luxury of the Plemo Sleep Mask.

BUY: Plemo Spa Eye Mask
$21, Amazon

Other Strategist-Recommended Eye Products

Bucky Eye Mask.

Maureen O’Connor calls this mask a bra for the eyes: “It was like being inside a sealed cave. The molded-foam material is so lightweight that you barely feel like you’re wearing anything on your face. You are free to blink in total darkness. This liberation of masked eyelids is, I assume, why the mask has become a best seller for the Seattle-based brand. I’ve worn it on economy-class transatlantic flights. I’ve worn it on trips upstate with friends who insist on waking up with the sun. I’ve become an evangelist, sending masks to every sleepless person I know—and, over time, to the vain as well.”

BUY: Bucky Eye Mask
$10, Amazon

Chris Pratt wearing the Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches.

Chris Pratt’s groomer uses these Klorane patches under the actor’s eyes because they’re “soothing and cooling and relieve all inflammation from flying or a long day’s work.”

BUY: Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches With Soothing Cornflower
$24, Amazon

Rohto Cool Eye Drops.

If you’ve experienced redness, try these Japanese eye drops, which writer Or Gotham learned about from Tom Ford: “A minute or two after dispensing the Rohto drops, my scleras are healthy and white, giving the complexion an overall brightening effect.”

BUY: Rohto Cool Eye Drops
$7, Amazon