Darphin and the All-Day Eye Refresh | AD

darphin hydraskin all day eye refresh gel cream review

The last few weeks of pregnancy have not been kind to me, not in terms of peace and restfulness, anyway. Firstly, my nesting instinct kicked in, but instead of me polishing and sorting out drawers I’ve been on a crazy work frenzy, sending emails at midnight and editing video footage in the small hours of the morning. Secondly, I’ve been landed with quite a nasty case of insomnia, which started off because I needed to go to the loo approximately eighty-five times a night but has gradually developed into full-blown sleeplessness, where I’m awake from about 3 until 6am. It’s a horror, let me tell you!

Now I don’t know whether the two afflictions are feeding one another – it’s a chicken and egg situation. Maybe my work frenzy is causing the insomnia, or maybe I’m working through the night because sleep eludes me; either way, I’m suffering. So when Darphin offered me the opportunity to test their new All-Day Eye Refresh Gel-Cream before anyone else, I jumped (figuratively speaking, obviously) at the chance. They had me at the word “refresh”.

darphin hydraskin all day eye refresh gel cream review

Darphin’s All-Day Eye Refresh Gel-Cream is part of the excellent Hydraskin range – a very lightweight, hydration-boosting collection of products that are great for all skin types, but especially for those who worry about using rich and greasy creams. If you’re oily or blemish-prone yet find your skin feeling tight and dry, then Hydraskin is excellent at getting the moisture back in without leaving any residue or feeling heavy – I love the Intensive Moisturising Serum for a thirst-quenching treat before face cream or BB cream or whatever you are layering on.

I digress: it’s the new Eye Refresh we’re talking about, here. In true Hydraskin style, this is a gorgeous hit of moisture for the eye area that really cools the skin – thanks to the “Frozen Water Algae” in the formula, and not one of those metal roller-ball or flat-plate applicators, which annoy me no end. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the cooling sensation from the metal is nice, but I always end up sliding it over my orbital bone too hard and I find that the product takes longer to absorb. I get bored, the eye cream gets bored, it’s no good for anyone.

darphin hydraskin all day eye refresh gel cream review

Where was I? Cooling sensation. Much needed after a night on the laptop, looking at fantasy houses on Rightmove (surprisingly affordable, if anyone’s trying to decide between a one-bed flat in East London and a twenty-six bedroom castle in Scotland) and typing up beauty notes. And – I can imagine – I’ll be needing the cooling sensation even more from next week, when I’ll be up with New Baby!

There’s a good and noticeable hydration hit with the new All-Day Eye Refresh – apparently the Frozen Water Algae doesn’t just cool the skin, it helps to improve hydration, whilst Butterfly Lavender (best ingredient name ever) helps to slow down water evaporation. The benefits? A more refreshed-looking eye area, considerably de-puffed (though see below) and a decrease in dark circles over time.

On the de-puffing thing: you can help yourself massively in this department with a bit of gentle massage and manipulation. I’ve always been one for tap-tapping around the orbital bone, to get the fluids moving away and generally wake up the eye area, but I have some specific moves for you, straight from the Darphin experts. There are four simple moves you can learn to help maximise the effects of your Gel-Cream:

darphin hydraskin all day eye refresh gel cream review

Decongest: gliding your fingers back and forth at the inner corner of the eye – sort of a backwards “c” shape.

darphin hydraskin all day eye refresh gel cream review

Destress and lift (I love this one!): applying gentle pressure underneath the start of the eyebrow, and then sort of “lifting” across the arch and towards the temple.

darphin hydraskin all day eye refresh gel cream review

Relax: massaging in a figure of eight at the outer corner of the eye.

darphin hydraskin all day eye refresh gel cream review

Drain: smoothing gently underneath the eye, from inner to outer corner.

This is such a relaxing little routine and if you spend loads of time working at your laptop or staring at your iPhone screen it’s a great way of giving your eyes a break. It’s also a nice routine to follow as you apply your eye cream in the morning – makeup sits so much better on de-puffed faces and the eye area is especially hard to “fix” with concealer and so on if the skin looks tired and congested.

So, eye cream (or eye gel-cream) success! I think that the All-Day Eye Refresh Gel-Cream is a lovely addition to the Hydraskin range – comfortable, lightweight moisturisation that feels fresh and reviving. It doesn’t officially launch until next month, but Darphin wanted readers of A Model Recommends to hear about it first, so if you want to give it a try then it’s £30 on special preview at Darphin UK here.

darphin hydraskin all day eye refresh gel cream review

What’s more, the lovely team at Darphin have a great reader offer for you – an exclusive cosmetics bag from Parisian print ateliers Antoinette Poisson and 15ml tube of the bestselling Hydraskin Light All-Day Skin-Hydrating Cream Gel, FREE with any purchase.

darphin hydraskin all day eye refresh gel cream review

You can claim your lovely little cosmetics bag and Hydraskin sample by using the code DarphinAMR, expires 02/03/17. You can use the code with any purchase on Darphin.co.uk – cleansers, gorgeous oils, whatever floats your skincare boat (inspo below, should you need it!) – but I can highly recommend investing in some Hydraskin if your skin is parched and needs a bit of extra watering.

darphin hydraskin all day eye refresh gel cream review

Right, I’m off to finish my final bit of work and then perhaps take some time out to, y’know, have this baby that’s been cooking away – thanks to Darphin for a) saving my eye area – the massage moves are genius – and b) another great reader offer. If you missed my post in the Autumn about my secret Paris tour with the brand, you can click here to read it.


*this post has been sponsored by Darphin.

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. Lena
    February 2, 2017 / 11:11 pm

    Thanks for this review! My baby is coming next week and I’ve had the same problems with insomnia. My eyes are struggling! Hope all goes well for you and baby!!!

  2. February 3, 2017 / 6:46 am

    I had the same case of insomnia at the end of both my pregnancies, but it was much harder during the second as I could not just take naps throughout the day.

  3. Annie
    February 3, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Ha! Your experience of Darphin bears no comparison with mine! I ordered a mask after your lovely Paris post. They sent a facial oil instead but the mask was listed on the invoice so I emailed and sent photos to show there had been a mistake… Got a reply to say they’d sort it… Then nothing. About – oh, I don’t know – 20 emails later, I gave up. I tried different addresses too and a few times somebody emailed to ask me to resend all the correspondence – which like a mug I did – but no… they were just toying with me!! Eventually I abandoned the cause for the sake of my sanity and cracked open the oil. Glad of the opportunity to vent!

    • Allie
      February 3, 2017 / 5:54 pm

      Annie, I’m part of the Darphin team and we are so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling to get the answer you were looking for! Can you please share your email with me and we’ll be in touch to sort this asap?

      • Annie
        February 3, 2017 / 8:25 pm

        I have done this before…. I’ve been in touch with Olivia, Stevie, Emily….lost count! My email is [email protected]….but really, I’m over it. I’ve moved on….Just galls me to read Ruth referring to ‘the lovely team at Darphin’….

        • Allie
          February 5, 2017 / 7:46 am

          Thank you Annie, I’ve sent you an email.

  4. Lindsey
    February 3, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    What are your wonderful glasses?

  5. February 3, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    I’ve only recently started trying out Darphin products properly after being scared off from a funny reaction a few years ago from a Darphin cream that smelt an awful lot like a Dior perfume…..! I’m really loving the Intral range and really want to branch out with some other products as I am loving them! Off I pop to the website now, and will absolutely be using the code for that lovely little sample and cosmetics bag! Thanks Ruth :) hope you manage to squeeze some extra sleep in before baby comes!

    Chloe x

  6. February 3, 2017 / 4:16 pm

    This looks like such a pretty brand!

  7. Amanda
    February 7, 2017 / 11:07 am

    Thanks for this really useful post. I’ve ordered the eye cream as it sounds just what I need (and you never fail to recommend excellent products). Was excited to get not only the pouch as well, but also some little ‘freebies’ too.

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