The Zoeva Caramel Melange

I know some of you are thinking, wait a sec Mimsy, you always start thursdays with the foundation and then go to eyeshadow, what gives? Well my very astute reader, there were foundation issues this week. I had a sample sized foundation I wanted to try out this week and I did try it out. I applied it and wore it. And as I wore it I got very itchy and red. At first I didn’t tie it to the foundation as other things were going on that day. I washed my face, skipped a day of makeup and found my skin was back to normal. Tried the foundation again and the same thing happened. I am not certain if I am allergic to something in the foundation or if my foundation sample was from a bad batch or if it was just old. It was one I was surprised to see in the drawer so I don’t remember when or where I picked it up. To give the foundation the benefit of the doubt I will be looking into its ingredients list (in depth) and if nothing jumps out as reaction causing for me, I will try to pick upo a fresh sample for a second try and see if it turns out differently.

So instead I used my Pretty Vulgar Lava Water Foundation this week.Which I had no problem reusing. The link will take you to the full review of it that I did previously. I really like the foundation, but in all honesty it is also the easiest to grab since the bottle insures that it sits out on my dressing table rather than going in a drawer. So it is also the first one I see. But it is a good foundation so no complaints.

And speaking of no complaints, I really have none with the Zoeva Caramel Melange Eyeshadow Palette either. Well there is a tiny little wistful critique but no real complaints.

The outer box looks to me like a box of chocolates. I don’t know if it is the gold foil look or the diamond pattered but every time I saw it this week I thought ‘high end chocolates, nope eyeshadow’. I think part of that is the box of chocolates one of my great aunts used to keep as ‘adult candy’ when I was a child. I (and all the other kids) wasn’t allowed to touch it so it became the mysterious candy.

That was where my memories took me.

Which given the names of the shadows is pretty much where Zoeva meant me to go. well maybe not to Aunt Marie’s house specifically, but to a chocolate box.

It was a little hard to photograph the outside though as that goal bounced all sorts of reflections. Luckily the inside was much easier to photograph. Except for the shadow names. Wouldn’t you know it? After several weeks of palettes with no shadow names I finally get one with names, but the lettering (gold on dark brown) makes it really hard to read. Sigh. I’ll list them with the swatches for you so you don’t have to strain your eyes.

Top row swatched L to R: Wax Paper, Universal Delight, Aftertaste, 182 Degrees C, Liquid Center

The mattes are soft and buttery. They do kick up a bit of powder when you dip into them, but if you tap your brush off before applying you won’t end up with a lot of fall out as you apply. As with most shadows there is a little more fall out with the darker shades than the lighter. But seriously, even that wasn’t much. If I remembered to tap my brush I rarely had to brush off any excess from my nose or under my eyes.

The mattes are fairly pigmented but they blend really well. I found if I touched down on the outer corner of my eye with a shadow filled brush and then used a clean brush I could blow out the color across the lid with no problem for a one and done look. How heavy or soft depended on how much I blended it out. The colors also layered very well together. I will say it is very much a brown toned palette, which is perfectly fine with me. It is neutral without being boring. I know some folks want like one more exciting pop of color but that salmony colored Aftertaste (middle of the first row) did pack quite a color punch. And despite the over all neutral and brown theme, I could create different looks in the same family without wearing the same shadow look all week.

Second row swatched L to R: Alchemy, Start Soft, Finish Sensual, Almost Burnt, Edible Gem

The shimmers worked well for me as well this week. As anyone who reads this regularly knows, I am a sucker for copper tones and this was right up my alley. 182 degrees C and Liquid Center were my golden bronze go to’s this week. And I won’t lie, I loved using them. I don’t know what it is about bronze shades but they just make me feel both classy and fabulous.I have no answer as to why. I don’t think there is a hierarchy in the world of shadow colors.

It’s not like bronze tootles around in a Bentley while the good solid brown reduces carbon emissions in a Ford Fusion, and matte white insists on riding his bicycle everywhere, even on roads that were never intended for bicycles and are far too dangerous for them.

But still.


I will say that I was very pleased with the way the shimmers applied. because of the texture they applied well with a brush. They are a little softer than the mattes but not by too much. There are no bits in them so there isn’t a lot of fall out with them either. I didn’t need to wet the brush to apply them and while they were more intense when I applied them with my finger, I didn’t really have to. which is nice.

I do have one minor critique. In the second row there is a dark brown (Finish Sensual) and a really dark shimmer (Edible Gem). There isn’t a lot of shimmer in Edible Gem, but it is noticeable.I would have prefered to have the darkest shade be a matte shade. Or if they really wanted it to be a shimmer, add more shimmer to it and then make Finish Sensual a richer brown. And yes what I am saying is that I want the mostly brown palette to have one more darker brown. The Edible Gem without the sparkle would be the perfect super rich shade in this palette. The shimmer in it is enough to notice but not enough to pop. It’s sort of a neither fish nor fowl scenario.

It’s almost like a matte that spent a little too much time hanging out with the glitters and became slightly contaminated from cross over rather than a true shimmer on it’s own. This kept me from using it all that much. The dark brown Finish Sensual can be built up, which is what I did so there really is no harm. It was just my one real issue with this palette. Otherwise I absolutely loved the Caramel Melange Palette from Zoeva. Which is a nice feeling. I feel like I have complained a lot about eyeshadow palettes in the past few months as I had a run of those I didn’t really care for cross my dressing table. It is nice to have one that I really enjoy so much. Incidentally, that link will take you to the Zoeva site. I’m not affiliated with them nor is this post sponsored but when copying the link so readers could find the palette if they were interested I noticed that even though the palette is normally $28, it is currently on sale for $20. Clicking the link will take you to the Zoeva site. I have no idea how long the sale will last but for those interested, there it is.

Algenist: Enjoy a free AA Barrier Serum Mini (8ml) with your full-size purchase. Limited time. Shop Now

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