Discover beauty through professional reviews

NOW READING I Tried Upneeq, And It’s An Eye-Opener
June 23, 2021

I Tried Upneeq, And It’s An Eye-Opener

Prepare for an uplifting experience.


Not too long ago, I attended a webinar about a cutting-edge eye drop that claimed to make droopy eyelids look more open.  Upneeq® treats acquired ptosis, which makes you look sleepy even when you’re not and can hinder vision depending on the severity. After reading all the information and closely examining the before and after pictures, I took the plunge and have been using the product for nearly 30 days. Spoiler: I just ordered a 3-month supply because it WORKS! Here’s what you need to know:


Get younger-looking eye with Upneeq. The only FDA-approved prescription eyedrop for acquired ptosis (low-lying lids) that lifts your upper eyelids to open your eyes


The Consultation


Upneeq® can be prescribed by any doctor, but I opted to do an online consultation with Dr. Wendy Lee who is a Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Dermatology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Lee participated in the initial Upneeq® webinar, so I went directly to the source for my consultation.


During our 15-minute Zoom telemedicine call, she determined that I have mild acquired ptosis and that my left eye was more affected than the right. I also have excess skin due to aging, which can only be treated with a surgical eyelift, but Dr. Lee felt I was a good candidate for Upneeq®, so I ordered a 30-day supply and crossed my eyes fingers.


The Prescription


Upneeq® is designed to improve a patient’s vision by stimulating the alpha-adrenergic receptors in the eye’s Müller muscles, causing them to contract and lift the eyelid.



Unlike most prescription medications, Upneeq® is filled directly by RVL Pharmaceuticals and does not require or accept insurance. A 30-day supply costs $105, but if you opt for a 90-day supply, the price drops to $85 per month. RVL ships the medication directly to your door via UPS within 5–7 business days. 


How to Use Upneeq®


A simple eye drop makes a noticeable difference.


I’ve been using Upneeq® once a day in the morning. I remove my contact lenses and place a single drop of Upneeq® in each eye then wait 15–20 minutes before reinserting my lenses. The instructions recommend creating a small pouch with the lower eyelid to insert the drop, but I’m virtually blind without corrective lenses and found it easier to just apply the drops like I would any other eye drop. Since there are only two and a half drops in each vial, it’s imperative that you get it right the first time. The disposable vials make it super easy to use in a sanitary way, too.


Physical Sensations


Because oxymetazoline hydrochloride causes the Müller muscles in the eye to contract to lift the eyelid more fully, you’ll notice a very slight tightening sensation when you first apply the drops. It’s not uncomfortable, just worth noting. While still very watery like regular eye drops, Upneeq® seems slightly thicker to me and fully coats the eye for several minutes. If you wear contacts, you’ll appreciate how moisturizing the drops are, especially if you sleep in your lenses (which I do). 


Time to Results


Check out Beautytap Contributor Tracy Teel’s before and after images.


According to the marketing information, some patients see results in as few as 15 minutes. For me, it took a little longer, but by the 30-minute mark, I looked more awake even though the difference was minimally noticeable to my husband. Throughout the day, I checked my eyes in the mirror, and the effects seemed to last a solid eight hours. Although Upneeq® is not intended to make the eyes look brighter, the drops seemed to quell the omnipresent redness I suffer from during allergy season. That’s a huge plus! For that benefit alone I’d remove my contacts daily to use these drops.


The Takeaway


For me, Upneeq® is worth the investment. Whenever I skipped a day, I noticed the difference. My eyelids felt heavier, and it was more of a struggle to look up without tilting my neck. The $105 trial proved effective and gave me a surprising boost in self-confidence. I wore less makeup as a whole and felt more comfortable when simply wearing tinted sunscreen and mascara. In closing, I just purchased the 3-month supply for $255, which is $20 cheaper per month. A traditional blepharoplasty is the only thing that will eliminate the excess skin I now recognize as a natural part of aging, but Upneeq® is a terrific short-term solution for my tired-looking eyes. If you decide to try it out, please let me know how it works for you.

Tracy Ann Teel is a full-time freelance writer and the owner of Finesse Writing and Editing LLC. She’s a tutorial writer for San Francisco Globe’s beauty platform,, covering everything from skin and hair care to makeup and nail art. She writes for skincare companies, dermatologists, and cosmetic surgeons, and proudly taught at her MFA alma mater, the University of California Irvine, as a member of their adjunct faculty in English. She’s been a textbook reviewer for Prentice Hall, been recognized three consecutive years in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and has written professionally for 30+ years. Her poetry chapbook Such Dust was published by Finishing Line Press, and her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Rattle, Pearl, Kaleidoscope, and Lake Arrowhead Life.




Must try this! So easy and pain-free. Sounds like the perfect pick-me-up.

PS - For the most meaningful before and after photos, it's best to keep the lighting, location and no makeup wearing exactly the same. Maybe you want to share some new photos?


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

Absolutely. I'll shoot some apples-to-apples pictures later this week.


To be honest, I can't tell the difference. Which photo is 'before' and which is 'after'? The photos do not offer an 'apples to apples' comparison. In one, your are wearing cosmetics, in one you are not. The lighting is not the same in both photos, the amount of your face that shows and how close it is to the camera varies, and the clarity of the photos is different. How can we draw valid conclusions?


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I totally get your point. Unfortunately, I took my "before" photo (top one) in a room that is now filled with moving boxes, so I couldn't replicate the lighting. My results aren't dramatic, but the left eye (seen on the right in the lower photo) looks more open. For better before and after photos from the Upneeq(R) team, check out my original article here: Most people only have a 3-4mm eye opening to begin with, and Upneeq(R) increases the opening by a maximum of 1mm. Thank you for emphasizing the importance of "apples to apples" in comparison... Read more


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

Wow! I have hooded lids and have contemplated surgery but I’m just not ready. This is something I definitely have to try because it could delay the surgery. I cannot wait!


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

I highly recommend giving it a try. My 3-month supply just arrived, and I really see (quite literally) a difference on the days when I use it. If you try it, I'd love to hear about your experience!


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

This sounds incredible. As someone who suffers from droopy lids, I am always looking for a way to make my eyes appear larger.


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

It's certainly worth a try, Dorian. I've avoided products for the eye area because I'm hyper-lazy about removing my contacts, but Upneeq has certainly been worth the added effort. Now to get my hands on some Latisse to perk up my baby lashes.


Thank you for sharing. I will try it! bubble shooter