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  • Writer's pictureNaya

Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Firming Eye Serum, Review

drunk elephant shaba complex eye serum review

For eyes are the mirror of the soul


When it comes to skincare - finding an eye cream, one that actually delivers results, can be a bit of a struggle. Naturally, you'll see your favorite brands promising you this and that; however, you will only know that X formula is good after using it for at least a month, if not two. I am not sure what the deal with eye creams is; they are (for the most part) quite overpriced and it takes much longer to see any visible changes, compared to say a serum or even night cream. That being said, I have been testing Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Firming Eye Serum for more than two months now and am ready to spill the tea. Curious? Then please keep on scrolling.

drunk elephant shaba complex firming eye serum review

About the Product

Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Firming Eye Serum (60 USD for 0.5 oz/15 ml; Made in USA) claims to tackle fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, all while improving elasticity and firmness of your under eye area. This is a cruelty-free product.

My Situation: hereditary dark circles, sensitive skin, dryness (I am in my 20s). I have started using eye creams right when I turned 21, mainly to hydrate, as well as slow down and potentially prevent premature ageing. While I don’t have major lines or wrinkles, I am quite picky (borderline cut-throat) with my eye creams. Ain't nobody got time for mediocre.

Packaging: similarly to their face serums, this bottle too has that signature twist-up cap, one you can lock after every use. The pump is quite sensitive - depending on the pressure, it will allow you to pump out as much product as you want. This is particularly useful in case with eye creams: a. you only need a little bit, b. you don’t waste product, c. it is hygienic. The bottle is not a see-through, which preserves the formula and eliminates unnecessary worries in regards to direct sunlight ruining your 60-dollar cream over time.

drunk elephant shaba complex firming eye serum review

Formula, Texture: as you might already know, Drunk Elephant products are typically free of essential oils, silicones, fragrance and what the brand refer to as the “suspicious six” (alcohols, chemical screens, dyes, SLS etc.). What I appreciate the most is that, unlike most high-end brands, they did not just mix light-reflective/pearlescent particles, beige tint and a handful Dimethicone to fool you into thinking that your under eye looks better after single application – they actually thought about the long-term effect.

Shaba Complex Firming Eye Serum has almost a watery texture and despite the fact that it is packed with antioxidants and nourishing oils like Sea Buckthorn, Marula, Soybean to name a few, it doesn’t feel greasy in the slightest. Black Tea Ferment is high up on the ingredients list, which is yet another bonus. Product does take a moment to get absorbed though; once it sinks in - there is no residue left.

Application: Drunk Elephant suggest that you can use the eye serum both AM/PM, which is exactly what I have been doing for more than two months. While it is technically labeled as “serum” and you would assume that it is perfectly normal to layer an actual eye cream on top of it, my firm personal belief is that – if I want to see how Shaba Complex Firming Eye Serum performs on its own, I have to use it solo.

One little [less than a pea-sized] dollop is more than enough for both eyes in my opinion. And since the texture is so liquidy, it is quite easy to spread it around the orbital bone and even eyelids (they need love and care too, y’know!).

drunk elephant shaba complex firming eye serum review

Wear: thankfully, this eye serum behaves well under makeup. You know those so called “eye creams” full of silicone, ones that ball up and slide around the minute you layer a water-based concealer on top of them? They are my worst nightmare; which is why I was quite delighted to see that I did not have to compromise on skincare vs. makeup here.

Initial Results: at first, I did not like the results I was seeing. Since my pandas need color-correction, I do have to use concealer/corrector to fully cancel out discoloration. While I am applying under-eye makeup sparingly, during first two weeks of using Shaba Complex Firming Eye Serum - I did notice that my skin looked a touch drier than normal in places, which I wasn’t quite happy about. Makeup would collect around certain areas, almost accentuating texture (which never happened with my previous eye cream; more about it here). My first impression was – “neither nourishing, nor hydrating enough”.

Long-term Results: over time I started noticing that my under eye area was getting back to its healthy state. There are still days when my under eye looks a touch dry, which makes me believe that if you have severe dryness and/or texture, this product alone won’t cut the mustard. Overall, condition of the skin is normal (neither bad, nor amazing). I am not seeing any miraculous changes; my dark circles are still there (I mean, they are hereditary – so that is ok), tiny smile lines are still there, random sun spots are [you guessed it right] still there. On a few occasions I have layered other creams on top of it and new combinations were lovely, but! I would prefer my eye cream/serum to be magical all by itself, otherwise why even bother?

Some say their eyelashes got thicker after using this product for a while. Now, I can’t vouch for that, since I have noticed no such thing. On a good side – this formula did not irritate my sensitive skin or eyes.

drunk elephant shaba complex firming eye serum review


While I think it is a nice little product, personally I have tried better. From my experience, I have used eye products that were more hydrating, nourishing and overall enjoyable. Those, that would allow you to see an actual skin [texture] improvement. Despite this product’s many wonderful ingredients, there are days when my under eye still appears as if it is dehydrated and flaky (which is something new). I expected Shaba Complex Firming Eye Serum to be more than what it turned out to be; especially after so many glowing reviews online. Alas, it is not a life-changing product in my book (unlike the brand’s Marula Oil, Lala Retro or Framboos which I all love and swear by) and I will not be repurchasing it.

If you have normal or even oily under eye with no visible signs of ageing and simply want a light under eye care, you might enjoy it more. Just do not expect it to transform your skin into baby’s bum by any means. Overall, nothing to write home about and for that reason I give it my C+. Meanwhile, the eye cream/serum hunt continues!

What do you guys think about this product? Let's chat some more in the comments!

More online:

Purchased product; full disclaimer here

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