Eyeshadow is definitely not my strong point; it’s often the part of my makeup that lets down the rest. I’ll be so happy with my base makeup and then somehow ruin it all with one swipe across my eye. I’m not sure exactly why I’m so bad at eyeshadow, but I do know what’s improved my technique a lot recently: Zoeva brushes.
Zoeva released their incredibly popular rose gold sets about 3 years ago now, and I think you’ll struggle to find a blogger who doesn’t own them. They were sat on my wish list for at least a year but I could never justify buying them as I love my Real Techniques brushes. I kick myself for not buying them earlier, I actually ended up getting them for Christmas 2015 and for some reason always thought they were too much of a splurge to buy them myself, though now I realise I was totally wrong – they are amazing value for money. They’re also vegan and have such a huge range to choose from, so they’re suitable for everyone.
The contents are as follows:
142 Concealer Buffer
224 Luxe Defined Crease
227 Luxe Soft Definer
228 Luxe Crease
230 Luxe Pencil
231 Luxe Petit Crease
234 Luxe Smoky Shader
237 Detail Shader
315 Fine Liner
317 Wing Liner
322 Brow Line
The set of 12 eyeshadow brushes comes in various styles, but I went for the classic Rose Gold edition. They include a gorgeous deep brown faux leather clutch making them great to travel with, and each brush is the same deep brown with rose gold hardware. They also have their names and numbers on the handle so it’s pretty easy to tell what you should be using them for.
Before I go into each individual brush and what they are designed for, I thought it was worth letting you know that about half of the brushes come with this plastic cover. While I don’t really use them, they’re a nice touch and really useful if a brush is particularly dirty/delicate or if you’re going travelling with them and want to keep them protected.
The Crease Brushes
Crease brushes, I think, are probably the most important. I only learned in the last year or so that you are supposed to apply a ‘transition colour’ (often a mid-tone brown slightly darker than your skin tone) into the crease of your eye before applying any other colours, as it helps to blend everything together more seamlessly. So, that being said, here’s the range of crease brushes this collection has to offer.
Luxe Crease 228: I tend to use this for my initial transition brush (which is why you can see Makeup Geek’s Peach Smoothie on it now!) Zoeva says this is ‘an essential tool for a professional crease definition and a perfect eye contour’, and I definitely agree. One of my favourites and a staple in my collection now.
Luxe Defined Crease 226: I generally use this brush for blending out eyeshadows and making them less intense if I apply too much. It’s pretty similar to the 228, but I have to say it’s one of the brushes that disappoints a little as its bristles are very… bristly. The softness of the brushes was something I was really excited about, but this one lets the team down.
Luxe Petit Crease 231: This brush is great for applying a darker colour to the outer portion of the crease as it creates a denser application of eyeshadow, while still making it really easy to blend out the shadow afterwards.
Luxe Soft Definer 227: To be honest, this one is a bit of an annoying hybrid of a crease brush and a flat brush, but I still like it as a spare blender for all over the eye once all colours have been applied.
The Concealer Buffer
This little brush has its own category as it doesn’t really fit in with the others, but it definitely deserves to be in the spotlight.
Concealer Buffer 142: This is one of my top 3 brushes; it’s such a multi-tasker. I use it for blending concealer (which it does beautifully) but also applying primer/my initial flesh-toned shade all over my lid, and also brow bone highlight for a highly pigmented glow.
The Flat Brushes
Brow Line 322: If you love your brows very defined, this brush is for you. It’s fab for applying concealer around your brows to highlight and define them. It’s actually meant for filling in your brows, but I think it’s the perfect shape and density for concealing them afterwards too.
Luxe Smoky Shader 234: This is my favourite brush for applying an all over lid colour. It also works really well for packing on glitters/very pigmented shadows without creating too much fall-out, so this is a must have for me.
Smudger 226: Surprisingly, this is one of Zoeva’s most popular brushes. I say surprisingly because it doesn’t look all that exciting, but it does its job amazingly. I tend to use this when creating a very smoky eye to blend out kohl eyeliner on the upper lash line.
The Small Brushes
Zoeva have clearly thought very hard about their brushes for detailing. I’m really fond of all four of these brushes – they each bring something brilliant and unique to the set.
Luxe Pencil 230: Cut crease lover? You. Need. This. Brush. My cut crease game was pretty shoddy before this brush, but you literally can’t go wrong when using it. It’s the perfect size and shape for a very defined look, but doesn’t make your cut crease just look like a line across your eyelid. I can imagine it’d also work nicely for an inner corner highlight.
Fine Liner 315: While I feel these types of brushes are a bit gimmicky (I mean, they’ve literally just bent the top of it, haven’t they?), it does work. The angle it bends at makes it ten times easier to apply winged liner, though I use it more to apply a very thin line just above my upper lash line as I don’t wear winged liner that much.
Wing Liner 317: Once again, I don’t use this brush for its intended use. I actually use this to fill in my brows with the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade and it does a great job. It’s just the right size and width to give a nice, natural look and is also pretty dense so it packs on colour evenly.
Detail Shader 237: I used this brush recently to pack on a matte black shadow on top of my eye primer, and it was absolutely perfect for what I wanted. It’s great for packing on a block of colour and as it’s so small, it makes darker colours much easier to work with as it only applies a little at a time.
All in all, these brushes are 100% worth the money, especially if you don’t have a lot of brushes and just want a bit of everything to add to your collection. They’re £56.95 in the UK and you can get them at various different online shops so they’re really accessible. Zoeva is actually a German brand, but I’ve had a look at their stockists and they seem to be available pretty much everywhere. Here’s a list of where to get them worldwide: http://bit.ly/1QLfCyJ
I don’t think they’re the absolute best brushes out there but for the price, they’re great. They clean nicely, don’t have too much fall out and, most importantly, apply eyeshadow beautifully. My only real issue with them is that a few of them are quite bristly, but it’s not too much of a problem and doesn’t really affect the actual application of your eyeshadow – they would just be more enjoyable to use if they were a bit softer. Have you got any Zoeva brushes? Are there any more I need to try? I’ve recently purchased the Foundation Buffer Brush, so a post will be up soon on my thoughts about that.