Two weeks, two brushes: Zoeva
Believe it or not, I bought my first two Zoeva brushes this year. I know. It’s like I’ve been living under a rock. But as I’m still on my quest for a highlighter brush that suits my needs (have a look at the former installments in this little series and you’ll see what I mean), I picked up the Zoeva 105 Luxe Highlight, and the 312 Detail Liner as an afterthought. I had just bought the Essence Cushion liner I wrote about here, and it seemed like a good point to try a new eyeliner brush. Go on reading for my Zoeva highlighter and eyeliner brush review.
Zoeva? Who’s that?
Zoeva is actually a German brand that became big after some years of reselling pre-manufactured brushes and eyeshadows. It initially surfed on a wave of publicity that came from bloggers and youtubers. The quality of its items has grown exponentially after those reselling days (read a very old post from Magi in German here and an interview with Zoe Boikou, the founder).
Wrongly I assumed that all their brushes are made of synthetic hair (like real techniques, for example). This is my own fault, though – it says so on the back of the box they came with. Imagine my surprise when I researched this post and found out that one of the brushes I bought is actually a mix made from synthetic and real hair, unspecified though what this “real” hair might be. This is something that I don’t like a lot – I guess it’s goat, but I’d like to see a specification plus a label that states if their items are cruelty free or vegan.
As always, a short statement about my brush philosophy. I think that there’re a lot of brush manufacturers that create well-made brushes. The task is not to find a well-made brush, but to find the best product for that brush. That may not be the purpose for that specific brush, but rather individual.
213 Detail Liner
Made from synthetic fibres, this brush is tiny – the brush head is maybe half the size of my MAC 265. Teeny tiny. I wanted to try it with gel and cushion liners. Now I’m crap with gel liners, and I have hooded lids. A proper cat eye, therefore, is something that eludes me due to my lid anatomy. That doesn’t hinder me from trying, though. The only brush I can draw a flick with is an angled liner. I own an ancient Alverde brush that is my HG (and a backup for that when this one’s bites the dust). So, it’s anybody’s guess why I thought picking this one up would be a good idea. (Hashtag makeupjunkie.)
I can’t draw an even flick with this, and I also find it rather annoying how often I’ve to dip into the pot for an even coverage. The brush head is just too small to pick up enough product for one line. It performs differently with a more emollient texture, like a MAC fluidline. Interestingly, this is advertised for the use of a powder eyeshadow as a liner, which I haven’t tried. Nevertheless, not a favourite for lining my eyes. I sometimes use my MAC 265 to set my gel eyeliner with a powder, and I can say that it works better than this tiny one.
But then, because of the tinyness, its a really great brush if you want to draw in single hairs of your brows. It shines with a pomade like Anastasia’s Brow Pomade. You’re able to draw very precise and thin strokes with it, which results in a great, lifelike brow with a lot of (seemingly) individual hairs. Winner. (But it takes time to draw a lot of single hairs. Just a warning.) It’s 8,50€ at their site (which ships worldwide).
105 Luxe Highlight
This one is advertised in very general terms for highlighting your face and décolletage, and also as a brush for a very precise contour. It doesn’t say if it’s best for cream or powder formulas. And, of course, there’s no info on what kind of hair the brush is made of. That would’ve been one reason not to buy it if I’d had known before.
Now that I have it, I’m not mad at it (I know, a stellar reference). Its head is small and teardrop-shaped, and the brush hairs are moderately soft. It’s far from the eulogies on their site with all their “super luxe”s etc. But it’s quite nice. It’s also very firm, which may or may not something you’ll like depending on the type of highlighter you use. If you use it with a very soft, very pigmented highlighter, you’ll end up with stripes of highlighter on your face, because the bristles don’t splay naturally and don’t give you a blended effect easily. You’ve to work at blending.
If you’re using it with a hard-pressed powder, it’s quite nice. I find it slightly dragging on the skin though, if I use it with the same pressure as I usually do. I’ve to admit, though, that I’m not the most light-handed person ever when it comes to blending.
With cream or liquid formulas the brush doesn’t cope that well. It’s good for liquid highlighters or blushes, but only if it’s a formula that doesn’t dry quickly and gives you some room to maneouver. The more emollient, the better. The rather firm bristles will move your foundation around as well if you’re a bit too eager while blending.
Due to it’s small brush head, it fits perfectly in the hollows under my cheekbones, thus being the perfect brush for a nice contour. It’s 14,50€ on their website.
Zoeva highlighter and eyeliner brush review: conclusion
All in all, these are quite nice for the price point. Nevertheless, I rather doubt that I’ll get more of their brushes. real techniques as a brand is more appealing to me (similar pricepoint, cruelty free).