Tony Moly Brightening Eye Serum review

Have you ever wondered what pandas dream about all day as they lazily lounge about on the grassy forest floor munching on bamboo?

They fantasize about being white bears.

Pandas are as cute as buttons. But they don’t see it that way. They have the worst dark circles in the animal world and long for the white, flawless complexion of the white bears.

At least, that’s why Korean brands keep using pandas in their marketing for eye care products. I think pandas are happy being pandas and don’t mind those “dark circles”. It’s what makes them unique. 😉

But back to Korean eye products. One of the cutest is Tony Moly Brightening Eye Base. Here’s how it works (and IF it works…)

What’s In Tony Moly Brightening Eye Serum?


The base of this eye serum is made up of silicones. It’s not as bad as you think. Silicones do a lot of good things in skincare:

  • Enhance texture: They allow the cream to glide on smoothly, without tugging or pulling.
  • Fill in fine lines and wrinkles: It’s a trick to make them look temporarily smaller.
  • Softens skin: It makes it feel silky soft to the touch.

They don’t even cause pimples: silicones have a particular molecular structure made up of larger molecules with wider spaces between each molecule. They create a barrier that keeps moisture in but still allows skin to perspire.

Related: Are Silicones Bad For Skin?

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Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is a mixture of coconut oil and glycerin. It’s just as moisturizing as coconut oil, but not as thick and NON comedogenic.

In other words, it gives you all the benefits of coconut oil without its side effects.

Related: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Coconut Oil In Skincare


Mica plays tricks with the light. Literally.

It’s a shimmery powder that reflects light from the face, so that it looks smoother and brighter. It’s like being blinded by the sun. Instead of seeing wrinkles or large pores, you only see a bright glow.

Related: Is Mica The Easiest Way To Achieve A Dewy Glow?


Stiff, yet it blends easily.


Slightly floral and subtle.

How To Use It

You can use it alone or under concealer (because, you know, the Koreans love coming up with extra steps for their skincare routine…).

tony moly panda's dream brightening eye base

Performance & Personal Opinion

Let’s start with what Tony Moly Brightening Eye Serum is NOT.

It’s not a serum or eye cream. The stiff, but easy to blend, texture provides no hydration at all. But it’s not drying either, so we’re sort of good there.

It’s definitely not a concealer. It offers no coverage whatsoever. That’s good too. This eye base is white, so we’d look pretty odd if it had any. But, if you’re looking for something to cover your dark circles, this ain’t it.

It’s also not an effective treatment for dark circles. Although it contains haloxyl, a peptide the manufacturer claims can reduce the appearance of dark circles caused by blood pooling underneath the skin, there isn’t enough of it here to make a big difference.

(By the way, you won’t find haloxyl in the ingredient list. This peptide is made up of glycerin, hydroxysuccinimide, palmitoyl oligopeptide, steareth-20, chrysin and pamitoyl tetrapeptide-7, and they’re all listed separately).

So, what the heck does this cute panda do then?

It brightens the eye area. Basically, it’s a highlighter. The cutest highlighter ever made.

The formula is infused with a generous amount of mica, a sheer and translucent shimmering mineral that reflects light from the face, creating the illusion of smoother, softer, and more radiant skin.

If you have some serious panda-like dark circles and were going to use this alone, it wouldn’t end up well. All that luminosity would just attract attention to those pesky dark circles and make you look washed out and tired.

But underneath a concealer that can completely hide your dark circles? That’s when this panda shines, giving your skin that fresh and awake look we all crave. Having said that, I think this is something that works best for young eyes.

The white colour does blend out well on my skin, but I’m pretty fair myself. I can’t promise it’ll work so well on darker skin tones too. But if you wear it with a concealer, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Related: What Really Works To Treat Dark Circles?

tony moly panda's dream brightening eye base 02

Who Is This For?

It’s most suitable as a highlighter for pale skin.

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Anyone who needs extra hydration
  • Anyone who wants to hide dark circles
  • Dark skin may find it a little ashy


It looks like a panda. Super cute! And travel-friendly.

Does Tony Moly Brightening Eye Serum Live Up To Its Claims?

Awaken tired eyes, moisturize, and illuminate your skin on the go with this lightly tinted base that can be worn alone or underneath your concealer. It doesn’t moisturise, but everything else is true.
This portable panda eye base helps alleviate those dark circles with Pearl Extracts, Chrysin, and brightening peptides. It’s portable, but it doesn’t help with dark circles.
Formulated with Bamboo Extract to soothe the skin, this base can also be used as a primer to instantly brighten up the look of dark circles at home or on the go. There’s barely any bamboo in here. But it can be used as a primer to brighten up the look of dark circles.

Price & Availability

$12.00 at Ulta

Do You Need This?

99% of people DON’T need it. It’s not that amazing. But if you’re a young pale princess who doesn’t mind adding an extra step to her beauty routine and is in love with all things panda (and how can you not be?), then I think you will like this.

Dupes & Alternatives


Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Myristate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Mical, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Dimethicone / Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Wax, Sorbitan Olivate, Ceresin, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Lanolin Titanium Dioxide, Capryltl Glycol, Ethyhexylglycerin, Fragrance, Methicone, Tropolone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Pearl Extract, Water, Sambusa Vulgaris Shoot Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Sap Extract, Glycerin, Steareth-20, NHydroxysuccinmide, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Potassium Sorbate, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7.