We’ve discussed this before and I’ll say it again. The beauty industry is suffering from an overload of eyeshadow palettes. By this point they all seem to morph into one indistinguishable haze of ho-hum color stories we’ve seen a million times before. So what prompted me to pick up the Zoeva Spice of Life Palette? Mainly nostalgic curiosity.
If you’ve seen Zoeva’s palettes you’ll know there’s nothing extraordinary or even interesting about the color selections or the packaging. And yeah affordable quality shadows aren’t hard to come by anymore (thank you Colourpop). But 2014 me knew the struggle to find anything below the $40 price range didn’t make you feel like you were applying chalk to your lids.
I still remember prominent British YouTubers swatching and applying Zoeva eyeshadows, and thinking man, those look good. Well by the time they arrived in Ulta stores my collection had no more room for neutral palettes but I never forgot how appealing the formula looked. So when Ulta discounted Zoeva palettes during the last round of 21 Days of Beauty I finally took the plunge.
The Zoeva Spice of Life Eyeshadow Palette is a ten-color palette that retails for $28 and contains 0.46 oz of powder. The shadows are packaged in a ultra slim cardboard palette that doesn’t include a mirror.
Zoeva Spice of Life Palette Review
For me, this was really more about trying the formula than being attracted to the color selection. Most of Zoeva’s palettes are focused in the neutral color families, so I went with Spice of Life because there were a few more interesting shades.
At a glance this palette makes me think of fall. It’s made up of mostly earthy shades with lots of red undertones.
Within the mattes there’s a pale cream (A Nuance), two medium warm browns (Of The Favor and Shared Joy) and a darker reddish brown (Surprises Of Life). The two medium browns are very similar and almost seem redundant. I really would have preferred to replace one of them with a very deep brown or any other very deep shade. Surprises Of Life is the deepest matte and it’s not dark enough to function as a liner or to provide intense contrast so I think this isn’t the most balanced in terms of light to dark shades.
As far as the shimmers go most of them are in the medium depth category. Unlike Any Other is the lightest shimmer and it’s a sparkly taupy silver. The hint of taupe makes it seem almost too dark to be a good highlight but it does work ok to brighten the inner corner.
Fortuitous Moments, Balance The Contrast, The Flavor, and Favorite Discovery all work well as lid shades. Fortuitous Moments is a really pretty peachy pink. Balance The Contrast looks like a cranberry in the pan but applies more like a warm copper. Favorite Discovery is a warm bronze and The Flavor looks like it has a hint of green but it’s actually a dirty gold bronze.
Variety Is Key is the darkest shade in the palette and it’s a shimmery neutral brown with maybe a tinge of a plummy undertone. While it can darken the outer corner, it’s not deep enough to create a really intense contrast.
Overall the palette has a good mix of matte and shimmer and an ok range of light to medium shades. The lack of any really deep shades means there’s a limit to how dramatic you can make your look so it’s not a complete palette in that respect. I think this will work best as a warm neutral palette for daytime and more subtle looks.
Like I mentioned, the formula was the real pull for me when it came to purchasing the Spice of Life Palette.
First off the mattes. The texture is soft and on the thinner side. There is some fallout but they’re not so powdery that they kick up dust everywhere. To compare them to Lorac or ABH’s formula they’re definitely more firmly pressed than those yet they’re not stiff.
The shadows are fairly pigmented and they apply smoothly on the eyes. They built up nicely and were easy to blend.
The shimmer shades have a softer texture than the mattes. With the exception of the shade Unlike Any Other, they’re all apply smoothly and have strong, even pigmentation with one layer.
They almost remind me of Lorac’s shimmer formula because while they’re not metallic, they are intensely reflective and very soft. The difference would be that the Zoeva shimmers are thinner and have no fallout which definitely makes them preferable to the Lorac shadows.
I’d say they’re also comparable to Buxom’s pressed eyeshadow formula. They have the same softness but yet they’re still somewhat firm.
The shade labeled Unlike Any Other is the one shadow that contains flecks of sparkle. The pigmentation is still good, though not quite as smooth as the rest of the shimmers. It also feels more loosely packed than the other shadows and had some fallout.
Overall I think this is a fairly easy formula to use and it’s probably one of the better soft formulas that I’ve tried. If you like soft shadows but you struggle with those really loose textures like Anastasia or Lorac you’d probably like these. They’re soft and smooth, but also thin, and that makes for less fallout and easier blending.
Cruelty-Free and Vegan Status
As per the brand, Zoeva is completely cruelty-free. Neither they, nor their suppliers or any third parties test ingredients or finished products on animals. Their products are not sold anywhere where animal testing is required by law.
The Spice of Life Palette contains carmine and as such is not considered vegan.
Where to Buy the Zoeva Spice of Life Palette – $28
I think this really comes down to preference. You are getting quality shadows and at a slightly lower price than most high end palettes. Somehow I remember it being cheaper a few years back, unless maybe it just costs less in the UK. I also think this line of eyeshadow would have been more in demand a several years ago when quality neutral palettes were harder to come by at affordable prices.
The packaging is a bit bland overall so it has a harder time standing out amongst it’s competitors. It’s more of utilitarian product than a collectors piece.
If you want a more subdued color story and you like softer shadows these are a pleasure to work with. If you’re looking to create deep dramatic looks Spice of Life won’t really get you there but Zoeva has quite a large selection of palettes to choose from. So if you think you’ll enjoy the formula you should be able to find another color selection to fit your preferences.
Soft, easy to blend textures
Smooth and even pigmentation
Good range of matte and shimmer
Lack of deep shades with which to create dramatic looks
The shade Unlike Any Other had some fallout
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