Thursday, 25 July 2013

Zoeva Eye Brush Set

Recently, I visited Love Makeup with the intention of ordering some new Sigma brushes.  While browsing, I came across a brand I had never heard of before, Zoeva.  After a quick google search and reading nothing but rave reviews, I decided to buy one of their eye brush sets.

Zoeva is a german brand who produce a wide range of brushes and make up. For £30, I got 7 brushes and a 15ml brush cleanser, perfect for spot cleaning.  The set comes in a waterproof, zip lock bag bag and all brushes in the set are made from natural hair.

228/Crease Brush

The 228 is a fluffy tapered blending brush (similar to the M.A.C 224) that I love to use to blend out crease shadows.  Made of goat hair, the bristles are very soft, helping to gently diffuse any harsh lines - I also love it for applying highlighter on narrower areas like the bridge of my nose and cupids bow.

227/Soft Definer

The 227 is another blending brush, flatter in comparison to the domed 228.  A lot of reviews I've read have compared this to M.A.C's 217 however I find it to be a little softer and shaped slightly differently (although they do very similar jobs).  The 228 fits perfectly into the crease of my eye helping to blend together my crease and lid colour.  

You can see the difference in shape and density of the two blending brushes in the photograph above.

234/Smoky Shader

If you love smoky eye make up, you need this smoky shader brush.  It is absolutely amazing for blending out eyeshadow along the upper and lower lash lines.  It's stiff enough to blend colour seamlessly but soft enough not to scratch or drag the skin around the eye.  


I love how multipurpose pencil brushes are - they can be used for depositing shadow in the crease, mapping out the shape of my eye shadow, smudging and depositing precise colour.  The 230 is perfectly shaped and sized for highlighting under the brow bone and the inner corner.  

231/Petit Crease

The Petit Crease was the one brush I was most excited to try.  It's quite thin and tapered  making it perfect for crease work.  The shape and size of the brush helps to create a defined crease look and can also be used to smoke out shadow along the lash line.  However, it's the only brush from the set that I've found sheds slightly when washing.  

317/Wing Liner

Of all the brushes in the set, the wing liner brush is the one I've used the least.  It's a little too big for me to use as a liner brush and a little too soft to use for my eye brows.  However, I do think it would be good to use with eye shadow as liner.

315/Fine Liner

One of my favourite brushes of the set, the fine liner brush has made applying gel liner an absolute breeze.  I can't believe how much easier applying liner is with an angled brush! The brush is very fine, allowing for very precise application.  I don't think I will ever be without it!

The majority of Zoeva brushes on Love Makeup retail for around £5 which is outstanding for the quality.   You can also place an order on the Zoeva website who offer worldwide delivery!  I would love to know if any of you have tried Zoeva brushes - if so what other brushes do you recommend?

Lots of Love

Friday, 12 July 2013

Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro 504 Ecstasy

When I first read about the formula of Giorgio Armani's Lip Maestro I wasn't 100%.  I had always found the idea of liquid lipsticks a little daunting as I imagined they were messy to apply and I'm not a huge fan of matte finishes.  However, when I visited an Armani counter and swatched 504 Ecstasy, it had to be mine.

Ecstasy is a deep fuchsia and is extremely concentrated; a tiny amount goes a long way.  The formula is gel based, making it comfortable to wear and applies like a dream.  The Lip Maestro's come with a doe foot applicator, however I much prefer to use a lip brush for a more precise application.

Giorgio Armani say that the Lip Maestro's dry down to a matte finish however, 504 retains some of it's initial sheen for some time before settling into a more satin finish.  The lip lacquer leaves a beautiful stain on the lips when it dries down, that is extremely long lasting.  After reading other reviews, I seem to be one of the only people who found that the formula bled slightly, meaning I always have to use a lip liner when using this product (slightly annoying as I'm a lazy kinda make up girl).

The velvet gel formula and intensely concentrated colour of 504 make it an absolute treat to wear.  I'm dying to try 400 next, a beautiful classic red.  Have you tried any of the Lip Maestro shades? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Lots of Love
Nic xx

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation

During the week, I leave the house at ten to seven in the morning and often don't get home until late in the evening.  I have quite oily skin and have always struggled to find a foundation that provides good coverage and lasts all day.  M.A.C 'Studio Fix Fluid' oxidised horribly on my skin, Estee Lauder 'Double Wear' was too heavy and Vichy 'Dermablend' went patchy by the end of the day.  And then, I was given a sample of Shiseido's 'Sun Protection Liquid Foundation'.  After using the sample for a couple of days, I had to buy the full size version.

I was quite surprised by the foundations formulation.  It's extremely fluid, quite similar to Chanel's 'Vita Lumiere Aqua', and it must be shaken before application (it's important to note that the Shiseido and Chanel foundation, although similar in formulation, have very different finishes).  I expected the coverage to be quite light, however I would describe it as a medium coverage that can easily be built up to full.  

When applied, the foundation leaves a soft matte finish to the skin and I've found, when used with a primer (both the Laura Mercier and Kevyn Aucoin primers work wonderfully), this matte finish lasts all day.  Never has a foundation lasted so well on my skin.  As you can see above, the foundation comes with a sponge. However, even when dampened, I find that the sponge absorbs too much of the product.  Instead, I like to use the Real Techniques buffing brush for a more flawless finish or to achieve a more natural look, the foundation applies well with my fingers.

The foundation contains SPF 30 and protects against both UVA and UVB rays.  It is transfer resistant and water resistant, making it a perfect foundation for summer.  The foundation blends easily into the skin and feels extremely comfortable to wear.  

Unfortunately, the foundation has quite a limited shade range (for reference I wear SP50).  I don't think this formula would be the best for people with a drier skin - I imagine it could cling to, and emphasise dry patches - it may be best to try a sample first.  I got my sample from the Glasgow Shiseido counter in Fraser's by taking in a sample pot (If you live in or near Glasgow the staff at the counter are absolutely lovely and were so informative about their products!)

In the photo above I am wearing the foundation over the Laura Mercier foundation primer with a dusting of translucent powder on top.  As you can see, it provides good coverage and my skin tone appears brightened and smooth.

What are your long wearing foundation recommendations? 

Lots of Love
Nic xx