A representative for the company, which was founded by a group of MIT scientists, told me last week that skin care was part of its plan all along. Living Proof's first foray into the category is definitely not your run-of-the-mill eye cream. The company promises that Neotensil, a new under-eye bag treatment, will improve your bags immediately.
Under-eye bags, a common issue in both younger and older women, are notoriously difficult to treat. They occur when your skin loses elasticity, either because of genetics or aging. The loss of elasticity causes fat deposits under your eyes to bulge out. There are no effective topical treatments; the only "cure" for the issue is a blepharoplasty or eye lift.
Neotensil, which contains a technology called Strateris, is not a treatment, per se. It's a temporary fix meant to significantly decrease the appearance of under-eye bags. You apply one layer of product, then a second "activating" layer on top of that, which forms a thin, invisible film over the area. After waiting for five minutes without moving your face (if you crinkle your eyes, the product will bunch up), it dries and the film visibly flattens out your under-eye area. Living Proof refers to the it as "shapewear for your eyes."
Obviously I jumped at the chance to try it. Dr. Matthew Avram, a dermatologist who did extensive testing on Neotensil, pronounced my eye bag situation to be "mild." However, I have a lot of fine lines around my eyes and I would never pass up the chance to tighten up that area. Check out my before (top) and after (bottom) pictures below. I only applied the product under my left eye, but you can see (even with the crappy phone pic quality) that it looks smoother than the right. I popped into the Fashionista office later that day and put Tyler on the spot and asked her if she could tell the difference between my two eyes. She said right away, "The left looks smoother."
Now, there are a few caveats:
• It's temporary. It reportedly lasts about 16 hours, but once you remove it with the included removal product (the film rolls right off), your eye bags return. The reps warned me not to rub my eyes, so I was hyper-conscious of that the whole day. I didn't experience any premature peeling at all, though.
• You can't just walk into Sephora and pick it up. You need to purchase the product from a physician's office, and you need to be taught how to apply it on your own before they'll dispense it to you.
• You can't wear makeup or any other products under your eye. You need to apply it on clean skin. Living Proof sells a powder that comes in five shades with SPF 15 that is compatible with the Neotensil to apply over it, but if you rely on heavy duty concealer you're out of luck.
• It's not cheap. It costs $500 for a seven-week supply. Blepharoplasty costs about $3,000, depending where you live. You do the math. But perhaps never having your eye cut into is priceless. Also, you can make the product last longer if you don't use it everyday.
• The company hinted that it would be applying the technology to other parts of the face and body. I could definitely see a use for it in flattening out areas of cellulite. Stand by.
Here's a more dramatic example of the product in use:
Conclusion: Neotensil is an innovative product, but obviously we're still a long way away from a non-surgical fix for under-eye bags.