October 24, 2019

The Inkey List Brighten-i Eye Cream Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.
1 stars out of 5

I picked up the new The Inkey List Brighten-i Eye Cream ($9.99) against my better judgement recently. If you didn’t already know or you’re living under a rock the Inkey List is a new, affordable skincare brand from the UK that recently launched at Sephora. Think of it as the next the Ordinary! I’ve tried most of the line already and I have some staples that I’m really enjoying like the Q10 Serum! But like any skincare brand there are hits and misses in the mix.

Recently, the Inkey List started launching a slew of new items which I’ve quickly snatched up! Sea Kelp Serum, Poly Hydroxide Acid Toner, Tranexamic Acid Night Treatment, Ceramide Night Treatment, and Brighten-i Eye Cream are a few of the new items they have released!

I had a funny feeling I wasn’t going to like The Inkey List Brighten-i Eye Cream because it’s an “illuminating” eye cream and I do so hate anything that sparkles or glows under my eyes. I feel like eye creams that produce such an effect or finish just put a spotlight on my finer lines and puffiness. But it sounded so promising with the long-term brightening benefits that I decided I’d give it a try.

Here’s what I thought!

Ok, so, if you’re young and your just starting out in the world of skincare you might fine that the Inkey List Brighten-I Eye Cream is a perfect fit for you! If you’re old, jaded, have finer lines, suffer from dryness, and maybe some puffiness it’s not for you.

At $10 bucks this squeeze tube has an attached cooling applicator and holds 0.5 oz of product. It’s a nice little deal.

The main base is water, glycerin, and cyclopentasiloxane. Glycerin is a nice moisturizing base but the cyclopentasiloxane does nothing more than give the product a bit of slip. There are some really good hydrating ingredients here as well like coco-caprylate and jojoba. But all in all, there formula is fairly simple without a ton of major beneficial ingredients at the top of the list.

I found it interesting that it does contain candelilla which acts to thicken a product where as this is very thin and very runny. That’s something I disliked about the formula as I find thinner eye creams are not as hydrating as thicker ones. And I’m right! This provides very, very, very little moisture. I need a hell of a lot more moisture than this can ever provide.

It contains 2% Brightenyl which is a blend of water, glycerin and diglucosyl gallic acid that acts to even out skin tone or in this case brightens and fades darkness. I’ve used the product since September 20th or 22nd and I can’t say I’ve noticed any brightening in that time frame. Maybe given more time it will help but as of now I’ve noticed no visible changes.

There is a subtle brightening due to the fact this contains mica. Thankfully, that wasn’t a sparkle brightening but a very subtle lightening that really wasn’t terrible noticeable unless you applied this standing in front of your makeup mirror.

The perk of the product is actually in the packaging. The slanted applicator is cooling and it’s a nice extra. As for the formula, well, that was meh for me. This is just a really basic eye cream that did nothing for me. It might work on the weekends when I’m not wearing a lot of makeup. It doesn’t really work well with some of my heavier concealers as it doesn’t provide enough moisture. So wearing it under makeup is a no go for me! I rely heavily on my eye cream to set a good hydrating base for my concealer and this sadly, does nothing in the way of moisture. I also depend on my eye cream to hydrate and therefore reduce the appearance of finer lines as without moisture my finer lines always look way worst! This provides so very little moisture.

In the end, The Inkey List Brighten-i Eye Cream might be a younger girl or guy’s game. Aging eyes that are drier might not feel this has nearly enough moisture! I would like to see if it brightens after a longer use but I personally didn’t notice that after a month but maybe after several months it might help with darkness? I dunno but I doubt I’d repurchase it to find out.

Where to buy


The Inkey List Brighten-i Eye Cream is a newly launched eye cream that promises to brighten eyes. It’s 9.99, 0.5 oz, and comes in a tube with an attached steel cooling slanted applicator. This texture is quite runny but it does absorb easily. It contains 2% Brightenyl which is basically just a mix of water, glycerin and diglucosyl gallic acid and this apparently works to lighten and brighten darkness however, after a month of use I noticed very little change in my eyes. I was disappointed with the moisture it provided. My drier eyes need way more moisture and this provided very, very little. In the brand’s defense, they do market this as a brightening eye cream and not a hydrating one but do take note they say it’s a great base for your makeup. I personally didn’t love this when using thicker concealer as it wasn’t hydrating enough for me and made my concealer look caky and dry! All in all, this seemed a better pick for someone with younger eyes than my own!

Water, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Coco-Caprylate/-Caprate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3 Esters, Trichilia Emetica (Mafura) Seed Butter, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Mica, Sodium Levulinate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Hydroxyacetophenone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol,Polysilicone-11, Benzyl Alcohol, Aminobutyric Acid, Barium Sulfate, Sodium Anisate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sodium Gluconate, Silica, Centella Asiatica, Ethylhexylglycerin, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Diglucosyl Gallic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Trihydroxystearin, Tin Oxide, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glucomannan, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).


  • Great packaging with a cool applicator.
  • Inexpensive.


  • Not hydrating enough.
  • Didn’t notice any brightening benefits (but with long term use maybe it will work to brighten).


The Inkey List Brighten-i Eye Cream might be a good pick for someone with younger eyes.

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • kjh

    Thanks for the save. Now I know where you are, if you’re not working or posting. Studying up on cosmetic chemistry! Girl, your knowledge has has skyrocketed in the past 1-2 years. Nice job.

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL! ;-D Thanks ;-D I’m still learning but thank you <3! My pleasure on the save! This one def isn't for us older gals!

      • kjh

        I’m twice your age, but have leaned the most in the past five years, first about low pH for acids, then needing to switch from anti-aging/anti-acne to an anti-inflammatory skin care routine. Between Cosdna and Incidecoder, if I’m not informed, I can be. I wish Snow White and the Asian Pear were still blogging. At least her archives are still up and there are very infrequent new posts. Learned a lot there, too. One thing I def know is that s/c is no longer bullshit, like when I was your age.

  • Gayle Galor

    I’m so glad you hated this too. I was really irritated that they called it a cream, then tell you to follow it up with a moisturizer in the directions. Seriously?? I usually use eye serums along with creams, but if I buy something that’s called a cream, I actually expect it to hydrate and work on its own. This was so disappointing. It didn’t help that I bought the new Glamglow Brighteyes eye cream and Glow Recipe’s Avocado Retinol Sleeping Eye Mask around the same time, because both of those are amazing and made this look even worse.

    • Isabella Muse

      Agreed. Thanks but no thanks. This is very, very thin and runny no way is it a cream. ;( I’m sorry you were so disappointed! I totally feel your pain!