I know I say this about an awful lot of make-up, but I’ve had my eye on the Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette for a while now. I was under the impression that Zoeva was only available from their official website in the UK, which charges £7 delivery, so I was waiting until I was ordering some of their brushes in order to get this palette. However, when I actually went to make the order, I had a quick search and found Beauty Bay, which was going to let me have everything with free delivery. Definitely a success, although I felt a bit stupid for putting off getting a palette for nearly a year because of postage which I didn’t even have to pay. Nevertheless, I made my order, got free selected day delivery, and a free bottle of Beauty Bay nail polish.
I picked up a brush set at the same time but that’s for Christmas, but luckily I was able to start using the palette straight away. The packaging is gorgeous – super slimline, with a gold geometric pattern on a caramel-coloured background. Inside, there’s no mirror unfortunately, but you do find 10 large eyeshadow pans, which I think are plenty big enough. The colours are just fantastic – all warm toned, lots of golds, reds, and browns. Honestly, the perfect autumn/winter palette.
For £15, the quality of these shadows is extremely impressive. In fact, for any amount of money, they’re great shadows. I think this comes across most obviously in the lighter shades in the palette. A lot of the time, the light shades in palettes are a bit washed out, a bit chalky, and only really good to be used as a base. Not so with the Cocoa Blend. Both Bitter Start and Sweeter End are fantastic lighter colours, which hold up well for pigmentation even when used alone. Bitter Start is your reasonably average beige/cream colour, perfect for a base or a transition shade for light-skinned gals. However, this has a semi-matte finish which, combined with great pigmentation, means this is totally wearable on its own, as an all-over lid shade. Sweeter End is a light peachy pink with a lot more gold shimmer, which still packs a punch alone, or with a darker shade in the crease and outer corner.
The first shadow on the bottom row is Pure Ganache, which is simply the perfect gold. Quite a pure gold colour, but somehow not too yellow, with a warm, coppery undertone. Amazing as an all-over lid shade, or as a hint of shimmer to top off a completed eye look. Substitute for Love and Freshly Toasted are next along, and both are fantastic crease colours. They’re both warm toned brown-based shadows with an orange/red undertone, which looks amazing in the crease, the outer corner, and for blending out above the lid. Substitute for Love is a lighter brown with more orange, amazing as a transition shade, whilst Freshly Toasted is a darker version, with a redder undertone.
Another stunning colour is Warm Notes, which is an amazing shimmery deep pinky cranberry shade. It almost has a slight copper undertone, which stops it from being too ‘purple’, if that makes sense. This is great all over the lid, but works especially well in a deep purple smoky eye, despite the shimmer running through it. Next to that is Subtle Blend, which is just a gorgeous golden shimmery brown. I’ve got a Make Up Revolution shadow which actually looks similar to this on the lid, as does the By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon. They all look fantastic alone or with a more red-toned shade in the crease, and both methods make for a really simple yet effective eye look.
Finally, the three darkest shades and, I have to confess, the least used shades in my palette. Beans Are White – weirdest name ever – is actually a matte black-brown, which works really well for deepening up a smoky eye. Infusion is a tad more grey than Beans Are White, and has flecks of gold glitter running through it. It blends surprisingly well for such a dark colour, and the flecks of gold do show up on the lids, but won’t be too sparkly for most. Finally, we have Delicate Acidity, which aside from the odd name is a very interesting colour. It’s somewhere between taupe and brown, but also has a very purpley, plum-like hue. Another versatile shadow which looks great as part of a smoky eye, but also goes amazingly with the cranberry and gold shades in this palette.
Overall, this really is a fantastic palette, especially considering the price. It looks amazing, the eyeshadows are great quality and excellent colours, and they all work together really nicely. This is not a disjointed palette with amazing colours which don’t go together – you could honestly use all of the colours in this palette in one eye look. You’d have a lot of eyeshadow on, but they’re all really complimentary. As I said, the packaging is gorgeous, the price is on point, and the shades are just so perfect for this time of year. I don’t think I could rave about this palette any more!