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Here Are My Top 3 Zoeva Makeup Products (That You Need to Try)

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I sometimes get a bit shy when I tell people I am a beauty editor. I imagine them thinking “so she just plays with makeup for a living”, or “she can’t have a brain if all she writes about is lipstick and face creams.” 99% of the time, these are my own insecurities coming out to play. (But for anyone wondering, writing about skincare is sometimes like teaching a science lesson. A brain is required!)

When it comes to makeup though, I think there is a huge misconception that it’s all just for vanity. Of course, a lot of it is, but there’s a lot to be said for how it makes a person feel on the inside too. And that’s why when Zoeva came onto my radar, I was intrigued. 

The brand was created by two sisters, inspired by their mother’s strength whilst dealing with domestic violence. It might seem like a tenuous link on the surface but a quote on their website really struck me:

“I can still clearly remember a moment when I was seven years old. Despite the tears in her eyes, my mother had a determined look on her face. She took her makeup from the dressing table and with each brush stroke her posture became more upright.”

So you see, makeup doesn’t just make you pretty. It gives you the tools to be strong, confident, and a better version of yourself. It encourages you to face the day, whatever you’re going through, and Zoeva’s story provides us with the proof.

I love the overall message Zoeva puts out – that makeup is more than just a beauty product and that it should be seen as an expression of strength and self-love. In fact, the words ‘wear the love’ are inscribed on a lot of their branding. So, I wanted to see for myself what some of the brand’s cult products are really like. 

Because a brand can send out the most heartfelt message in the world. But if the products don’t reflect it, the message is wasted.


The 104 Foundation Buffer Brush

Those who know me, know I love my liquid bases. Whether it’s a BB cream in the summer or high coverage foundation in the winter, my skin is evened out with a liquid formula most days. I don’t enjoy applying liquid base with my hands, I find it too messy, so a brush is always my method of choice. 

The one I usually use is a small, rounded buffing brush with short bristles that are very close together. So, when I picked up this, one of Zoeva’s bestselling products, the 104 Foundation Buffer Brush (£21.50 from Look Fantastic UK /$22.75 from Beauty Bay US), it seemed pretty big in comparison. The bristles fan outwards and are much longer than the ones I’m used to.


Image – Zoeva


My first time using it was with the It Cosmetics Your Skin but Better Foundation + Skincare.  I’ll be honest, on contact with my skin, it was a bit of a ‘wow’ moment, mainly because of the softness of the bristles. To say it was a joy to use is an understatement. No scratchiness, no hardness, just beautiful smoothness. 

The other thing I noticed was how widely it could spread my foundation. I did one round-shaped sweep and my whole cheek was covered which, when you’re in a hurry, is essential. My base was applied in seconds, and I didn’t have to go over any areas. It was almost disappointing that my time with it was over so quickly. 

Not one single strand of brush hair was left on my skin either. It is a proper bugbear of mine when you’re left with black hairs all over your face after applying foundation. The lack of rogue hairs on my face here screams high-quality makeup brush, as well as its shiny, smooth, chunky handle. 

  • What other users are saying

A quick glance at social media tells me that others seem to agree that this brush is high quality with one Instagram user, @sofiehullebroek, saying, “Best foundation brush I ever had”.

  • Overall value for money

There really is nothing like a good quality makeup brush. Whilst there are a few brands who charge much less than the £21.50 this one costs and have really decent foundation brushes, I don’t think they’re as decent as this. 

And then there are the brands that charge double this. The foundation brushes are great. But they are just as great as this Zoeva one. So why pay more?


The Ooh-la-Lash Length & Lift Tubing Mascara

Ok so we all have a favourite mascara, don’t we? The one we always migrate back to whenever we’ve tested the waters elsewhere and have been left bitterly disappointed. But you shouldn’t be disappointed with Ooh-la-Lash Length & Lift Tubing Mascara (£22 from Zoeva UK /$24 from Zoeva US). I certainly wasn’t (in the end.)

It is a tubing mascara which means that instead of simply coating each individual lash, polymers wrap around them like tubes. The brush itself is quite small and straight, something I don’t usually go for (I love a curved, chunky wand). 

Whilst applying the first coat, I was pleased with the separation of my lashes and how well they were being lifted. But not so much with the colour pay off. My lashes are extremely fair – almost non-existent without mascara – so I need a generous amount of pigment to help prove that I do actually have some. 


Image – Zoeva


Slightly disappointed, I persevered and found that the second coat did help to thicken my lashes up a bit. Makeup lovers will know it’s not unusual for mascara to need a few layers to get your desired finish but I’m afraid I am impatient and like it to be done in just a few strokes. What can I say? It’s just who I am and I’m working on it.

Diva demands aside, I was liking where the third layer was going and my naturally straight lashes were getting a nice curl to them, as well as a stronger pigment. Then I moved onto a fourth layer (sorry, not sorry) and I had the exact finish I was looking for. Patience, Philippa, patience.

What I really liked about it though is that the layers didn’t dry up immediately. So building my *ahem* four layers was easy and the brush could glide through my lashes without clumping. 

The end result was excellent and, most importantly, made me feel great (there’s that all-important self-love Zoeva feel so strongly about). I had long, thick, curled lashes which had been expertly fanned out and separated. What more could you ask from a mascara? It’s also easy to take off and only requires warm water rather than an eye makeup remover (although I can confirm that makeup remover works to get rid of it too). 

I still have my ultimate favourite mascara (sorry Zoeva, that one only takes one or two layers) but this one is well and truly in my top 5.

  • What other users are saying

Others also like this mascara.  User Simonetta C said on the Zoeva website, “Magnificent mascara lengthens and darkens my eyelashes well”, while Instagram user @la_pecana said, “Cannot get enough of this mascara”.

  • Overall value for money

£22 is how much I generally like to spend on a mascara – it’s going near my eyes after all – so I think this is the perfect price. Obviously we would all love to spend under £5 on everything (mascara, night cream, mortgage) but in most cases you really do get what you pay for. Having said that, any more than £30 on a mascara and I’d expect it to contain magical lash-lifting fairy dust from the land of perfect eyelashes.


The Eye Swipe Longwear 2-in-1 Shadow Liner

Give this girl an eyeshadow stick and we’ll be best friends for life. In my opinion, there is nothing more convenient than having a pigmented stick that creates most of your eye makeup look in one quick sweep. Or ‘swipe’ as Zoeva refers to it. 

As long as you find yourself the right shade, an eyeshadow stick can provide the answer to all your time-saving prayers. They really are a genius design and you don’t even need to use an eyeshadow brush with them.


Image – Zoeva


The Eye Swipe Longwear 2-in-1 Shadow Liner (£17 from Zoeva UK /$18 from Beauty Bay US) is no exception. It comes in 8 earthy tones, some darker and more pigmented than others. I tried ‘Peach Champagne’ which is a fabulous shade for daytime (although definitely not strong enough for night-time, in my opinion). 

Whilst the formula doesn’t ‘gliiiiiide’ on (some can really slide onto the eyelid like a beautiful ice dancer), it doesn’t exactly jolt on either. Press a little harder and it goes on more smoothly. Then stand back and admire its gorgeous shimmer.

What I noticed straight away was its staying power. Once I’d applied it and blended it into place using my finger, the stuff wasn’t budging, and I hadn’t even applied my trusty Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion either. Turns out I didn’t need to.

Its name suggests you can use it as a liner too which I can absolutely see would work with most of the other shades, but I would say ‘Peach Champagne’ isn’t sole liner material. This is the sort of shade that needs to be showcased on a full lid, rather than just as a line because of its sheer subtlety. But used as a liner underneath your bottom lash line at the same time as an eyeshadow? Chef’s kiss.

Overall this eyeshadow stick boosted my confidence in less than 60 seconds, gave me a really pretty eye makeup look (teamed with the Ooh-la-Lash Mascara of course) and lasted the whole day. Impressive.

  • What other users are saying

Other users have praised the easy of application, too.  Maria M on the Zoeva website said, “Perfect eyeliner. Easy to use and wonderful stay on. I’ll buy more colours”.

  • Overall value for money

I think because of the lack of ‘gliiiiide’ I would pay a little closer to £12-14, rather than £17. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful product (you only have to read the reviews online to know how others feel about it) but, call me crazy, I want even more smoothness. 


The takeaway

I love Zoeva’s message that makeup is a form of self-love. And quite frankly, I think we all need a lot more of it. My advice it to try not to see makeup as a vanity thing. Instead, see it as something that’s going to help you take on the day and make you look fabulous in the process. 

These three products certainly add that value to my makeup routine. The Ooh-la-Lash mascara in particular is a big confidence booster for me as I am usually self-conscious about my natural lashes. It gives both my lashes and my ego a much-needed boost.

The eyeshadow stick makes me feel pretty (and it’s a feeling that lasts all day because – oh the longevity) and the foundation brush proves to be a daily time saver for me. I’ve noticed it helps my foundation look smoother and glowier too.

Is Zoeva’s heartfelt message reflected in the products? Based on just these three, my answer is yes. Imagine how the rest of the range will make me feel.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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