MAC Unsung Heroes: Fast Response Eye Cream

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

What good is a fast-acting beauty product if it takes forever to find?


Not much, which is why I like to strategically place tubes of MAC Fast Response Eye Cream ($30) where I can reach them in a hurry. To that end, I keep one in my travel makeup bag, and another atop my dresser.

Oh, and then there’s the wayward one I found, with all of two drops remaining, in the passenger side door compartment of my car the other day. Poor thing probably thought I’d forgotten it was there (I didn’t.

Needless to say, I kindasorta love this cream. πŸ™‚

It’s been a member of MAC’s permanent makeup line for years; I think I started using it circa 2001.

What is it exactly? Well, it’s a caffeinated, quick-absorbing eye cream to reduce puffiness around the eyes and diminish the appearance of dark circles, while smoothing and firming up the skin.

It also contains subtle light diffusers that really seem to brighten my under-eye area and soften the look of my fine lines, too, which, with this dumb-@ss insomnia I’ve been having, works out great.

I did some digging into the effectiveness of topical caffeine in skincare products, and it appears the jury’s still out. There’s some evidence to support that it might diminish under-eye circles over time (and a few studies have shown that it might be helpful in other ways), but it’s probably not a miracle in a tube/jar.

Either way, Fast Response is widely loved as a lightly hydrating eye cream, especially for normal and oily skin types, but my favorite way to wear it is paired with MAC concealers, a trick I learned from a friendly MAC artist. Combined, they cover dark circles yet don’t look heavy or obvious.

Just mix a couple drops of MAC Fast Response Eye Cream in with some concealer, and buff the blend under your eyes using a fluffy brush like the 224 or 217. The result? — flawless, natural-looking coverage, almost like you’re not wearing any makeup at all.

I’ve tried it with a bunch of different concealers, and it seems to work best with runny liquids. If you’re just looking for light-to-medium coverage, try either MAC Select Select Cover-Up ($16.50) or Select Moisturecover ($16.50). If, however, your circles could pass for pitch, try full-coverage MAC Pro Longwear ($16.50) instead.

I usually alternate between Select Moisturecover and Pro Longwear, depending on what I’m doing that day and how my skin’s behaving, but all three mix well with Fast Response.

Viva la Viva Glam!

MAC announced this morning that rapper Nicki Minaj and singer Ricky Martin will be the newest faces of MAC Viva Glam. πŸ™‚


As a matter of fact, Nicki and Ricky are shooting the new campaign today in Miami. Cary, a MAC friend of mine, is actually with them now, the lucky duck, and, apparently, Ricky is, as many of us always suspected, very sweet and very HOT (you can follow Cary’s updates on twitter).

Since the start of the program in 1994, MAC Viva Glam has been a huge success. Proceeds from the sale of Viva Glam lipsticks have gone to support men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. Millions have been raised, much of it one tube at a time.

Look for the new Viva Glam to hit shelves in February of next year. Two words: CAN’T. WAIT.

So…how’s your Monday coming along? Anything awesome or new to report?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The MAC Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorite products from MAC’s permanent collection


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So far, 36 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Heidi says:

    I think I had a sample of these YEARS ago and remember liking it. Funny, I never think of skincare items when I’m at the MAC counter. Too hypnotized by all the pretty colors to look at!

    • Karen says:

      Speaking of pretty colors, thank you so much for suggesting Oh Baby. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! πŸ˜€

      • Heidi says:

        I’m so glad you love it! I’ll bet it looks gorgeous with your complexion. It seems to warm up the face without it being an actual color, you know?

        • Karen says:

          I know what you mean. I’ve been wearing it for a no-makeup makeup look.

          Oh! I really love how when you look at it really closely you can see tiny flecks of multi-colored glitter. It’s such a great color… thank you for introducing us, LOL!

  2. marisol says:

    I love me some Ricky!

    I’ve used this eye cream before but don’t know why I haven’t repurchased. Eye cream is one of those things that I forget about.
    marisol recently posted … I Did Life

    • Karen says:

      Me too. His music’s catchy and he seems like a really nice guy.

      And oooh gurl… you need to get on that eye cream! I wasn’t into it until I hit my mid-20s. I wish I started earlier, though.

  3. Samantha says:

    Oooh! I might have to pick this up. I’ve been debating to try that Garnier one with the rollerball, but I think it’d be nice to control how much it deposits and mix it into my concealer! Does mixing it with your concealer sheer it out a lot, Karen?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Samantha,

      It really depends on how much you want to put in. I use very little — just a drop. It’s enough to help it spread, but not so much that it causes the concealer to go totally sheer.

  4. PS says:

    Doesn’t insomnia just totally suck!?! I need something that helps get rid of the dark circles and has staying power!

    • Karen says:

      YES IT DOES. I hate it. πŸ™

      Mine seems to be getting worse as I get older.

      What do you usually do when yours starts kicking in?

      • PS says:

        Is that true? It’s been really bad lately & when I get tired then everything else starts to fall apart, does that happen to you?

        When I can’t sleep I get up and try to read or put on some music so that I don’t think about “not sleeping”. πŸ™‚

  5. Nina says:

    while I slept better than other Sundays in the past — i also had some weird dreams! πŸ˜€

    ive never used fast response. however, im going to run out of my philosophy eyecream soon, and this might be a great replacement!

    i am totally stoked for Ricky Martin being one of the faces of Viva Glam — he is such a cutie!

    • Karen says:

      Really? What did you dream about? I had a strange dream on Saturday but now I can’t remember it.

      • Nina says:

        the dream involved a guy i dated veryvery briefly before i met the hubs. it seemed like we were together w/ a group of my fam/friends on vacation. just weird!

  6. Kaelin Chan says:

    I’ve never tried fast response, or really any other eye cream. I bought the Origins eye doctor 2 years ago and i’m STILL trying to get through it.
    Kaelin Chan recently posted … I do recall now, the smell of the rain…

  7. Stephanie says:

    I learned that concealer+eye cream trick from a Clinique girl, and it’s awesome! I also love how it gets a lot more out of the concealer you use.
    I’m really interested in checking out this MAC eye cream now.

  8. I’m having a hard time deciding between this, and the new Vibrancy eye primer. My eyes are puffy, with dark circles. When I conceal the circles, I can still see the shadows from the puffers.

    Which would help more with both problems? I don’t want to have to use both, and I will still use concealer.

    On a side note, one of my kitties, Saku, a brown tabby maine coon mix, often looks like he has bags under his eyes when he first wakes up from a deep sleep. Good thing kitties don’t have to worry about these things πŸ˜‰

    • Karen says:

      Hmm… to be honest I don’t know how much the Vibrancy primer will help. I’ve used it and it doesn’t really seem to make a significant difference.

      Have you considered using a color corrector beneath your concealer? Bobbi Brown makes one that’s fab. Here’s a link: Bobbi Brown Corrector.

      Saku sounds like a charmer, btw! I’ve heard Maine Coons are great cats.

      • Thank you so much for your reply, Karen!

        I do use color correctors from time to time, but because my eyes are puffy, the shadows underneath the puffs are still there πŸ™ It does work on my circles though.

        I will definitely be ordering this cream now, and hoping for some depuffing action!

        Have a great day!

  9. Jenn Staz says:

    I definitely want to check this out. I really like how this eye cream is in a tube, mostly. It’s so much more sanitary!
    Jenn Staz recently posted … Swatch: NYC MoMa nail polish

  10. Chris25 says:

    I want to try out the Organic Coffee Eye Cream. I’m just waiting for a gift card or a sale.
    Speaking of MAC lipsticks, I really want to get Touch and Cosmo.

  11. Mary says:

    I’m also looking forward to the new Viva Glam colours! πŸ™‚
    Mary recently posted … Nail Art Tutorial: Octopus Nails

  12. bella says:

    I love Oh Baby! It is one of my favorite lippies!

  13. Anna says:

    My undereye battles continue, so I will have to pick this up when I go to Oregon this August (no tax <3). I'm a huge fan of your Unsung Heroes series, but it's bad for my wallet!!! haha πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Anna,

      πŸ™‚ Glad you’re enjoying the series! Oh, and I hope you like this eye cream too.

      Are you going to Oregon just to shop? Or is it a work or vacay trip?

  14. Yogirl says:

    This cream is great, and I think it works! As you only need a very small amount of it, it is worth the money (even in Γ’β€šΒ¬).

  15. Kim says:

    I’ve been using strivectin day and night and have been happy with it. Of course, my problem is more droopy lids than under-eye circles. The stivectin doesn’t touch the droop, btw. I’m considering scotch tape. πŸ˜‰

  16. I have a darker skin tone, have used other brands and have not tried this. I have just started using whitening products to lighten the dark circle on my eye. It is working but of course, I would like to hide it until i get my desired tone. Will I encounter any problem on matching the eye cream with my dark circles?

  17. Kelly says:

    When I can’t sleep I put on an old movie I have seen a zillon times( sleepless in seatle, steel magnolias, pretty in pink) since I know every line in the movie I get bored and fall asleep. Hope you get some sleep soon:)

  18. bluematilda says:

    i looooove this eye cream, even better when i can find it at a cco where it’s half the price..i had a mac artist tell me that you can also use it to remove eye shadow/liner smudges and she was absolutely right! i love a multi-tasking product!
    ps. you should look into yoga nidra, it’s essentially a relaxation/deep meditation technique, lots of cds/classes out there to guide you through…it helps reduce stress, promotes deep relaxation, boosts immune response and definitely helps with sleep disorder!

  19. Meghan says:

    Hey i just joined ur email list, and i love your blog, i saw you on the mac website where you made your own lipglass. here is my question, i am very very pale (almost opaque πŸ™‚ ) so i want a lip glass that has a lip color but will go with most eye make up, and an eye make up for work (im a hairstylist) that is edgy but simply where people will go wow i love your makeup…any ideas?


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