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My Big Fat Anti-Aging Fail: Olay Total Effects Line & Dark Circle Minimizer

By Wendy Larson

It’s funny how specific brands from your childhood stick out vividly in your mind.  One of my earliest memories is of  asking my Grandma why she had a bottle of Oil of Olay in her medicine cabinet, when it was clearly not doing anything to make her look younger….ahh from the mouths of babes.  For the record she thought it was hilarious.

At the ripe old age of 26 I have started developing noticeable lines forming under my eyes.  I also have dark circles, which are a combo of hereditary factors and sinus problems.  I was immediately intrigued by the ads for Olay Total Effects Line and Dark Circle Minimizer.  Olay touts the product as being a combo of a concealer and eye cream.  It is a brush applicator with a button that you press to expel the product similar to YSL Touche Eclat.

There is so much that is wrong with this stuff.

Firstly, it comes in one shade.  Olay says this shade will work for “most skin tones” and it looks like it’s light enough to be an ok match for my super light skin.  At first it’s fine, but it oxidizes this WEIRD brown color that’s far too dark.

Secondly, there are no brightening properties to the formula.  There are no light reflecting particles or coloring that would cause anything less than a shadow.

Thirdly, the price is ridiculous.  $20 for a product that already under-delivers on the first two points.  If I’m going to spend $20 on something AT THE DRUGSTORE it had better be awesome.  Other issues include the fact that the brush applicator can’t be cleaned without introducing water to the product inside.

I tried it for a couple of days and hoped I could try to make it work…. This was all fine and dandy until a very well meaning friend mentioned that I looked very tired and 10 years older….GAAACK! I was very much awake and alert, so back to Rite Aid it went! I have since found a great eye cream, but that’s a review for another day.

  • Cathy

    Thank you so much for this review, Wendy! I’ve had my eye on this for awhile now and was waiting for it to go on sale, but now I won’t bother. Thanks for saving me $28.00 CAD! Crazy price, I know…


  • Wendy

    You’re welcome! I know you can find a better use for that $28.

  • Carly Hall

    OMG thank you so much for posting this! I have extremely fair skin and freckles….and under eye circles! I was going to purchase this after seeing the ads too, glad you saved me the mulah…BTW, if you do find an under eye concealer that really does hide dark circles on fair skin, please post 😉

  • Wendy

    Carly, I’m constantly on the hunt for good undereye concealers for fair skin. Hard Candy Glamoflague is pretty decent, though only comes in 3 shades and the lightest is almost too dark but it does cover well, for $6 it’s worth a try. If it is too dark CoverGirl Simply Ageless makes a good undereye cover that tends to go pull lighter in color and helps brighten, but isn’t as opaque as the Hard Candy one.

  • Anne ‘Onimus

    This was a waste of my money. The brush is rough, too watery, too dark and makes you look older and tired. It made my eyes look like they where bruised. I have fair skin w/ brown freckles. Dark hair, light brown eyes.

  • Jonelle

    I am so glad I read this review. I was actually standing in the store yesterday deciding whether I should get it or not. Thanks for a little insight on your experience Wendy, I appreciate the honest.