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    The Gel Eye Mask Is The Beauty Hack You've Been Missing

    Who needs beauty sleep?

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    Just because you’re sleep-deprived, hungover, or suffering from digital eye strain doesn’t mean you have to look like it. No, that doesn’t mean layering on tons of color corrector and concealer. It means strapping on a gel eye mask, and stat.

    United Plankton Pictures, Nickelodeon Animation Studio / Via giphy.com

    No offense to Instagram, but when you wanna exercise self-care, sometimes sheet masks aren’t the answer, especially if you’re looking to soothe and de-puff your eyes. Yes, gel eye masks might be the not-as-cool sibling to sheet masks, but they have their time and place. And for me, that so happens when I'm tired, and usually first thing in the A.M.

    Essentially a gel pack with eye holes and a strap to keep it stable on your noggin, these masks can treat puffy eyes, dark circles, and fine lines immediately. Basically, it’s a compress — a luxuriously affordable compress. They can be used cold (great for leaving the skin around your eyes tighter and brighter), and some can be used hot (great for soothing migraines and headaches, as well as your sinuses). The weight of the mask also adds light pressure to relax your face.

    To chill the gel eye mask, just stick it in the fridge. Personally, I throw mine on and go about my morning — brushing my teeth or just zenning out. The best thing about gel masks is that my makeup doesn’t settle into fine lines after. Alternatively, to warm the mask, just stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so then wear it to bed for a better night’s sleep or to alleviate any tension. Add one to your daily routine and expect bid those tired eyes goodbye.

    Available in three colors, the Optix 55 Gel Eye Mask allows you to unwind in comfort with beads that adapt to the shape of your face.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I've been dealing with migraines for over 10 years of my life. The kind that paralyzes you. I'm always on the hunt for products that help bring comfort in my time of need. I do seek professional medical assistance, but as anyone knows, not all migraines stop with medical treatment. So sometimes, you got to do what you got to do to get as comfortable as possible and ride the wave. One thing that helps me is a cool compress on my forehead and around my eyes, but traditional ice packs are too cold and too bulky, and I find I have to keep adjusting to get the relief where I need it . So I wanted to try this. I've had eye masks before but they would break because they were cheap. Not this. It has a great headband with velcro so its adjustable for most heads. Eye opening does not block or negatively impact vision at all. Perfect size. Fits my face just where I like it. For the quality of the product and design, I feel this is priced correctly. Comes in different colors. Pink is my jam so that made me happy. I'd recommend giving this a try." —jdmjunkie84

    Get it from Amazon for $9.55.

    The Kimkoo Gel Eye Mask is bead-free and for cooling use only, with nifty eye cutouts so you read (or at least see) while wearing it.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I wanted to buy this because in the morning if my face is a little puffy, I'll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. This ice mask is definitely worth purchasing and having on hand. The Velcro straps make it adjustable to fit even giant heads like my own, and it covers most of the upper half of my face without compromising vision. Not only is it useful for puffiness/swelling, but it can come in handy if you simply need something to cool you off on a hot day, for example, or if you experience hot flashes from natural body functions or niacin-based flushes from certain medications. Highly recommended. Also, item was delivered before the estimated arrival which shows you'll be buying from a reputable seller." —Michael A. DiBiase

    Get it from Amazon for $7.97.

    The Grace & Stella Hot + Cool Bead Eye Mask has a plush material backing so you can de-puff and pamper at the same time.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "After a long day or a night of fitful sleep this sleep mask completely does the trick. When I need to relax after a long day, I warm it up and slip it on knowing that not only will it calm my stress but it will rejuvenate my eyes. In the morning when I've not gotten nearly enough sleep and it's showing on my face, this mask, after some time in the freezer, sends me off to work looking as bright-eyed as my second cup of coffee has me feeling. It is a fantastic and luxurious feeling product, especially for the price." —Ashley Lynch

    Get it from Amazon for $13.

    While the IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask isn’t heat-friendly, it’s essentially a cooling pillow that'll bring relief to tired and puffy eyes. It has no eye cutouts, but it's comfortable enough to use as a sleep mask!

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Great eye mask. The sewn patches over the eyes keep it from pressing against eyelids/eyelashes, the tiny beads are super comfortable, and the whole thing fits really well to block out almost all light. It works really well in the fridge or freezer. I actually bought this for my husband, who has a hard time falling and staying asleep, and he commented on its effectiveness right away. I find it useful for headaches myself, and I liked it so much I bought another mask for myself. I put a few drops of lavender oil on mine, and it holds the scent really nicely. Great purchase, I would definitely recommend over other masks I have tried!" —RMD

    Get it from Amazon for $13.49.

    Another cooling-only mask, the MediViz Cold Eye Mask is meant to be frozen to treat dark circles, headaches, and even allergies.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I suffer from severe puffy eyes. I am not a big fan of cremes since my skin is very sensitive. I read online that the best relief for puffy eyes is a gel cold-compress eye mask. I then confirmed with my eye doctor and he prescribed that I try a cold eye mask. I put it in the freezer and used it the next morning. After using it for several days, I can confirm that I can see some relief for my puffy eyes. I am sure that over time I will see more and more relief. I recommend putting on some music and then setting your alarm for 20 minutes. It is a great way to relax. I will buy this for a gift for sure." —Sue

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97.

    Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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