The Zoeva Premiere Palette was inspired by the spirit of the Jazz age and the performers of the 1920s. You have to admit that compared to all the other palettes out there, the idea is pretty novel.
I have a bunch of Zoeva brushes and they’re my absolute favourites. I couldn’t wait to see what the shadows had in store for me. I must confess the green shadow drew me in and the packaging won me over. Yes, I’m weak like that.
Price, packaging and quantity
Price: Zoeva is a European brand so the price may vary depending on where you buy it from. In the US: $26.50 (excl. VAT) from the official website (free shipping for orders over $100). In the UK: £18 from Cult Beauty. In Europe/UK: €21.75 from Beauty Bay.
Packaging: dark blue unicarton with a greenish print. That green is very reminiscent of one of the shades inside the palette. Wait, was that a marketing ploy?
Quantity: 10 shadows (4 mattes, 5 shimmers, 1 duochrome) for a total of 13.2g of product. Price per gram: €0.60. Compared to other brands on the ‘affordable’ market, that places the Zoeva Premiere palette somewhere in between Morphe and Juvia’s Place. I’ll be keeping this in mind when reviewing the performance of the shadows.
Zoeva shadows are made in Germany, are paraben-free, perfume-free. There is no mention on the packaging of the palette being cruelty-free, but the website Cruel Free Kitty says the brand is (yay Europe!).
Review and swatches
Texture: all the mattes and shimmers are soft to the touch. I’d say the burgundy shade The Greatest Era feels slightly on the drier side, which isn’t surprising for a reddish shade.
Application: It’s all nice and good. Everything is easy to blend onto the lid, all the shades mix well, and there are not fallouts. I didn’t notice any patchiness either.
Pigmentation: Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Most of the matte shades take a lot of building up to really show the way they do in the pan. Another problem I’ve found is that too much blending will kill you. And by that, I don’t mean I’ve been obsessed with Queen ever since I saw Bohemian Rhapsody (I’m way too busy stanning Eminem). What I mean is that the pigmentation will just fade if you blend the shadows a tiny wee bit too much. So it’s a fine line you’re going to be walking between building up and not over-blending. The Greatest Era, that very appealing burgundy shade, is very disappointing in that aspect. Another shade that let me down is the brown/blue duochrome called Say Goodbye. I’m pretty sure it’s a dupe for the MAC loose pigment Blue Brown, but it doesn’t hold a candle to it and is very lacklustre.
By the way, I’ve tested the shadows of the Zoeva Premiere Palette with and without a base (either MAC Paint Pot or Colourpop No Filter concealer) and didn’t see much of a difference in the pigmentation.
Lasting power: it’s decent and appropriate for that price range. Nothing to write home about. Again, using a base didn’t make a drastic difference.
Would I recommend the Zoeva Premiere Palette?
Overall, I don’t think it’s a horrible palette. I wouldn’t say it’s the most mind-blowing budget-friendly option I’ve ever tried, however.
Compared to the Morphe shadows from the 35M Boss Mood palette: the mattes are better, but the shimmers aren’t.
I’d say the quality is closer to that of Makeup Revolution palettes, but with better packaging and slightly more interesting colour stories (and with less borderline copyright infringement). I’m guessing the price point is higher because, unlike MUR, it’s not made in China.
I’ve noticed that Zoeva palettes are often on sale on Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay and I’d recommend waiting for one of those sales to give the brand a try without making too much of a financial commitment.
Zoeva brushes, on the other hand, are a great investment and I highly recommend them.