Think about the beauty products in your routine that you truly love. Chances are they are recommendations from someone you trust — a friend, family member, or coworker that can tell you all about the experience of using them first hand and be able to answer all your burning questions. Here at Sunday Riley HQ, we’re passionate about helping people find beauty products that’ll best serve their skincare goals and we’d never advocate for something we didn’t believe in ourselves. So, we got four staffers to spill all the tea on our 5 Stars Retinoid and Niacinamide Eye Serum. Below, read on for their honest take on this latest launch, what it’s like to incorporate this eye product into their regimens, plus their favorite tips when it comes to caring for the skin around your eyes.
Chloe, 25, Social Media Coordinator
Main eye area concerns: milia, fine lines, under-eye texture
I’ll be honest until recently I had never been one for eye products. I was an adamant believer that eye care products are just moisturizers in smaller packaging. Before trying out 5 Stars, I never recommended eye creams to my friends and followers because I didn’t see a real use for them in my routine. But, I think eye care has become more and more of a priority in people’s skincare routines due to the pandemic. For me, I saw the first signs of aging during the beginning of the pandemic with the discovery of my first gray hairs and more pronounced worry lines on my forehead. I’ve also noticed that higher levels of stress have led to more dark circles and fine lines around the eye area.
As I learned more about what ingredients this product included, it piqued my interest. I’m a huge fan of Centella Asiatica for its soothing properties and am kind of obsessed with the way ceramides make the rest of my skin feel. So, I was excited to try a retinol-powered eye serum and was hopeful it would yield real results because I’ve had such good fortune with the other two Sunday Riley retinol-based products, A+ and Luna. I was still a little skeptical at first, but optimistic.
I have been using it consistently three to five times a week since August. I was delighted when I first squeezed the tube and saw a more lightweight, truly serum-like consistency come out of the component. Like A+, it is a slightly yellow tone, which is common for retinol, and has no notable smell. The best part of the experience is the ceramic tip applicator. It makes applying a targeted eye treatment so easy and fits seamlessly into my evening routine. Most eye care applicators are made of metal or plastic, but the 5 Stars applicator is ceramic. It stays cooler for much longer than any other skincare tool I’ve used. It doesn’t even need to be kept in the fridge — it just magically stays cool.
I saw a significant difference in my under-eye texture and milia within just two weeks of consistent use. I was thrilled to see 5 Stars go viral on TikTok thanks to this video from @RamenaSaidWow because her experience and results using 5 Stars are so similar to my own.
Chloe’s tip: 5 Stars is designed to contour your eye perfectly, and it really does. I’ve seen plenty of videos of people using 5 Stars and using their fingers to apply the product — which is fine — but unnecessary! All you really need to do is squeeze out a pearl-sized amount of product and use the applicator tip to massage the serum. It’s mess-free and a truly luxurious experience I look forward to every night.
Ashley, 31, Creative Production Coordinator
Main eye area concerns: fine lines, dullness, hydration
I’ve had a hard time finding eye products where I feel I can actually see a difference in my eye area. It took me a while, in general, to come around to eye serums and creams, but I started using them around six years ago. Before I gave 5 Stars a try, I was hoping this serum would achieve more of a reduction in my fine lines that other products haven’t been able to do. I started using this product every night, occasionally skipping a day here or there when it feels right for my routine. I’ve only been using it a few weeks now and retinol takes continued use to notice a long-term result, but I’m already noticing improvement: I’m seeing progress around the outer corners of my eye, my eye area is overall brighter and much more hydrated, plus I’ve noticed my concealer sitting better on my skin throughout the day as well.
The need for better eye care became really obvious during the transition to working remotely: Normally in the office, you’re talking to coworkers face to face, so you get a break from looking at your screen. But with working from home and everything being digital, you’re having those conversations online and constantly looking at a screen throughout the day. I’ve noticed a dry dullness to my eyes and a lot more fine lines than I had a year and a half ago. I love how the 5 Stars serum is very thin and not sticky like some eye products can be, so it melts into the skin and spreads well. You don’t need a lot of the product to see a big difference. It has a really great ceramic tip applicator that I like to use to massage the product in. And, the packaging makes me happy, which gets me excited to use it each night.
Ashley’s tip: I use the applicator to really massage it into my skin after I dispersed the product, all around my eye area and under my eyebrow, then lightly press with my fingertips so it really seeps in.
Sofia, 31, Social Media Manager
Main eye area concerns: hydration, dark spots, fine lines, texture
My experience with eye products before 5 Stars was that they haven’t been hydrating enough or they’ve irritated my sensitive skin. I’ve tried many different types of eye creams in the past, but never stuck with one product long enough to see results. But it was time to step up my routine: My screen time has increased tremendously and also lack of sleep due to heightened stress. I was hoping to find a product that wasn’t just hydrating, but powerful in treating the aging process without irritation. I started using 5 Stars four nights a week and though I haven’t used it long enough to see 360 results, it only took about three weeks to start noticing my under eye area felt more hydrated.
The ceramic tip applicator is very cooling to the eye area which feels nice and a little goes a long way. It’s very emollient and feels very hydrating.
Sofia’s tip: Don’t forget to add SPF to your morning routine the day after use! Since retinol is one of this product’s key ingredients, you should always make sure SPF is applied the morning after since skin could be extra sensitive to the sun after. Plus, SPF should always be applied daily anyways.
Allie, 34, Brand Copywriter
Main eye area concerns: hydration, fine lines
Living in the hi-desert with a combination-oily complexion has completely changed my skincare routine — I have the article to prove it. Now it seems that my once-stubborn skin will soak up any hydration that comes its way, whether that’s from my morning Liquid IV, an overworked humidifier, and my ever-growing collection of moisturizers.
Because my eyelids always felt oily, I’ve always skirted eye products in general, although fine lines and wrinkles are becoming prominent. But after relocation and waking up perpetually puffy and swollen, I’ve changed my tune and my routine by incorporating 5 Stars. It pulls double duty to soothe and rehydrate, and it absorbs quickly so I’m not waking up with shiny, greasy skin. (Even my pillowcase approves.)
As a grand millennial that’s both enamored with skincare and sharp packaging, it also helps that 5 Stars offers some major counter appeal. The colorful graphics cause the tube to stick out in my routine assortment — a perfect reminder to apply it nightly before lights out. The application technique is also just as easy; I love that the product is applied using the cooling ceramic tip applicator. It’s mess-free, feels great on the skin, and keeps my fingers clean for a super-targeted application before I’m off to bed. Honestly, all eye products should feature this seamless application process.
Allie’s tip: I’m truly obsessed with the cooling ceramic tip applicator, so I’ve made sure to fully incorporate it into my evening routine. After I’ve finished applying 5 Stars, I continue massaging my elevens, crow’s feet, and even my sinuses if I’m feeling a bit congested.
We only recommend products we have independently researched, tested, and loved. If you purchase a product found through our links, Sunday Edit may earn an affiliate commission.