Review: Borba HD-Illuminating Eye Specialist

By Voxy  

borba eye thing Sometimes you get things at Marshall’s that are a total steal and you can’t imagine why they ended up there, and so you buy six.

And sometimes you get things at Marshall’s that look totally awesome, and then you get them home and find out exactly why they ended up at Marshall’s in the first place.

I have one Borba product in each category. OK, I didn’t buy six of the product I liked, only two, but I seriously thought about buying a third. But I’m not talking about that product today. I’m talking about the other one, the HD-Illuminating Eye Specialist.

If this hadn’t been at Marshall’s, for a low low price (I think I paid $9.99 and the list price is $55.00), I doubt I would have looked twice. But it seemed too good to pass up, especially considering that the reason I was in Marshall’s that day was to pick up five more jars another jar of the Borba product I’d found on my first trip and gone all ZOMG over. That one is made of fabulous, and was even a better bargain, and I’m going to tell you all about it … later. Suffice it to say that I was enthralled enough by Product #1 to hope that Product #2 would be equally amazing and I was going to be laughing all the way to the Bank of Borba.

You know where this is going, right?

The Borba HD-Illuminating Eye Specialist is a good idea that doesn’t quite pan out in actual life, at least on my skin. One side contains a “brightening serum,” which is supposed to fight fine lines and dark circles and luminize the area around the eye, and the other is an “enlightening cream,” which (theoretically) helps to cover up whatever dark circles didn’t get knocked out by the first side. It also moisturizes and reflects light.

The thing about this is that it’s a good idea, and the product has great ingredients in it, but for some reason it just doesn’t work. Here’s how the Borba website describes it:


The Brightening Serum treats stubborn signs of aging such as wrinkles, darkness and discoloration over time. This translucent treatment is powered by Silver Plasma technology, DMAE, Glycosaminoglycans, Peptides plus a proprietary blend of Silk, Collagen and Elastin Fibers for uplifting support.


The Enlightening Cream cushions skin with healthy moisture as it instantly camouflages imperfections to light up the entire eye area. This plush, sheer-tinted cream is infused with Glycerin, Kojic Acid, Açaí & Grape Seed Antioxidants, Multivitamins and Diamond Light Diffusers to instantly diminish even the most hard-to-treat signs of aging around the eyes. The shade of this formula is innovatively universal so it complements any skin tone, taking the guesswork out of shade selection.

The Silver Plasma is (at the moment) a Borba thing, though “plasma” is a word that’s starting to crop up more and more often in fancy skincare, but the rest of the components are all good, solid eye cream ingredients. DMAE? Check. Glycans? Check. Peptides? Check. Silk, collagen, elastin, glycerin, kojic acid, antioxidants, vitamins, and little light-diffusing particles? All check. The only reason that I can come up with that this shouldn’t work is if the product “contains” all of these things in the same way that a very dry martini might be said to “contain” vermouth when the bottle of vermouth has merely been waved in the general direction of the glass.

In the three weeks that I used it, I didn’t notice any improvement in either dark circles or fine lines. Now you might argue that that’s not long enough to really see results, and I agree. However, the product was not nearly as moisturizing as I needed it to be, and so I invariably had to put on other products over it anyway. The “enlightening cream” was also far too sheer to cover up my dark patches, so I had to put something else on top of that as well, and then there was caking, and wrinkling, and blotching, and all of that other unpleasantness. In short, this just does not seem to be a product that will ever work for me on its own. Perhaps if you are of a more robust skin tone than I, or your skin tends towards oily rather than dry, or you don’t have little lines, or you don’t have dark circles (in which case I will give you mine for free), this would be an adequate undereye moisturizer and concealer. If this product really works for you, please let me know in the comments, because I would love to hear from someone for whom this is a success.

The other thing about it that bothers me is the packaging. I know I just talked about packaging the other day, and while I’m glad to say that unlike Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes!, this product does not come wrapped in fake purple snakeskin, the Borba folks are egregiously guilty of over-packaging, which is not very environmentally-friendly for a brand that touts its commitment to natural ingredients. Here’s an end-shot of the box in which this product comes, with the product itself tucked up in the right-hand corner and enough space left over to house a family of four:

borba packaging


So this is a FAIL for me both in terms of the product and the packaging. However, as I said above, I also have one Borba product that I love and think is fantastic. And that’s true of many lines for me: there are things I like and dislike in just about all of them. So don’t write off Borba just yet — but you can probably give this product a pass. Enlightenment is more fun to get in fortune cookies than in an eye cream anyway.


Borba HD-Illuminating Eye Specialist: $55.00

Provenance: Purchased (Marshall’s, $9.99)

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Poor, no matter what you paid, but especially poor if you paid $55.00.

Purchase again? Not this one, thanks.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)

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