Thursday, August 21, 2014
Lately Noodles has been getting into makeup and watching YouTube beauty vloggers, which is how I came to be sitting watching Tanya Burr, even though I am definitely way outside her demographic. In a tutorial she used and raved about the Zoeva Luxe Face Paint brush, and since I have nothing like that, and was also looking to splurge on something smallish before my massive pay cut kicked in and I became a povo, I decided to buy one and check it out. I'd heard about Zoeva because Siobhan of Letzmakeup uses them all the time and loves them, but I'd never paid much attention because I have more than enough brushes.
The downside is that shipping is kind of high, which was not enough to turn me off buying, but instead made me think I should buy several brushes (any excuse, really) to justify the cost. When the package arrived I realised why the shipping was expensive. To be honest, I think this is a bit of overkill.
The six brushes were packed in this ginormous box, each one in its own little plastic pencil case sleeve, and then surrounded by those plastic floaties things full of air. Although it's nice that they are well protected and arrive without damage, I do think it would be possible to safely ship brushes with a lot less palaver and therefore less cost. However, minor quibble - on to the brushes themselves!
109 Face Paint (12.80 Euro/$18.30AUD)
This is the one that got me to the site in the first place after seeing it on Tanya Burr's video. She used it for highlighter, but I use it mostly for contouring. It's a flat square brush that is sturdy but very soft. One thing I discovered is that it picks up a lot of product - hello brown stripe down the face - so you need a light hand if you're working with highly pigmented products. The price has gone up - I paid 10.50 Euro - but for less than $20 this brush is amazing.
322 Brow Line (6.80 Euro/$9.71AUD)
This one is my favourite - the bristles are very short and quite stiff so you can get really precise and sharp with your brows. It has replaced my previous holy grail brush, the Illamasqua Eye Brow brush, which is good because I have still not forgiven them for their bullshit non-apology over their racism debacle and I hate using the few things left of theirs that I own. The Brow Line brush works beautifully with both cream products and powder. I LOVES IT.
226 Smudger (7.80 Euro/$11.15AUD)
When I decided to buy more brushes to make the postage sting a little less, I tried to go for the ones I didn't already have a version of. For some reason I did not previously have a smudge brush. I think I had a cheap Coastal Scents one years ago that fell apart, but since then nowt. This is the one I use the least, but that's not because it's not good, more because I just don't smudge a hell of a lot. I rarely use eyeshadow or liner under my eyes but when I do, this one does a lovely job of - well - smudging. It has short, sturdy but very soft bristles.
318 Soft Paint Liner (6.80 Euro/$9.71AUD)
I've used this brush for a few different things - it works well with gel liner, and it's also good for smudging shadow, softening powder on brows and I've even used it for applying highlighter to my cupid's bow and inner corners of my eyes. The bristles are a little longer than the Brow Line and not quite as stiff.
221 Soft Crease (7.80 Euro/$11.15AUD) and 227 Soft Definer (7.80 Euro/$11.15AUD)
One can always use more blending/crease brushes, right? I couldn't decide which of these I wanted so I just got both. The Soft Crease is more narrow than the Soft Definer, with slightly longer bristles. The bristles are softer on the Soft Crease than the Soft Definer also, so the Soft Crease is better for diffusing colour, while the Soft Definer is good for small area blending.
So. As I said, shipping is a bit high - I paid 15.00 Euro ($21.50AUD), so if you're buying from Zoeva it's worth stocking up on a few things at once rather than just one or two items, because shipping is a flat rate. The site currently lists shipping for Australia as $16US, so you might end up paying a bit less than I did.
The brush quality is fantastic. I have used and washed each of these quite a few times and I've not experienced any shedding at all. They are still soft and pliable, and the handles and ferrules feel firm and sturdy. What I really love is that the handles are also a little shorter than many other brands, so you can get up close to the mirror!
I found the prices really reasonable, especially considering the quality. They are a little cheaper in most cases than Sigma, for example, and they absolutely shit all over them. It's no secret that I am not a fan of Sigma - I've had several of their brushes fall apart on me, and I have several more that I never use because they shed like mofos. The Zoeva brushes are streets ahead of Sigma, in my opinion.
Zoeva is based in Germany but ships worldwide. They have makeup as well as brushes, but I've not tried any of that. There are also some Zoeva products available on the Luxola site (which I've never used so I don't know if it's any good), but they don't have the full range and they seem to be sold out of most of it.
All in all, I give Zoeva two massive thumbs up, and if it were not for the fact that I am now officially povo and also have pretty much every makeup brush I could possibly need, I'd be back buying one of everything.