Disclaimer: This post features item(s) received at no cost for reviewing purposes, but the opinions are mine and, as always, honest. Read the full disclosure here.
ZAO Canada – Essence of Nature is a natural makeup company located in Quebec. They are very ingredient-oriented, vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free, and certified organic by Ecocert, the French organic registration body. This is a high-end natural brand, and you will find their products to be comparable to non-natural high-end makeup, while being good for your skin. They even went a step further to make an Ingredient FAQ page, where you can learn more about what they do and do not use in their product. ZAO products are housed in sustainable bamboo packaging, and a lot of them are refillable.
As you may already know, I’m trying to use more natural products in order to let my skin breathe and detoxify, but I’m still finding it hard to transition to natural makeup. Truth be told, almost every natural makeup brand had something I liked, but I want to find one I can always turn to for any makeup product I might need. This is the reason I was so happy to collaborate with ZAO Canada. They have a big selection of makeup in various formulations, and I was lucky to receive a selection of their eye makeup for testing. Today I want to introduce you to Pearly Plum Eyeliner, Silver Pearly Eye Shadow and Mineral Touch in Red Gold.
The area around the eye is so sensitive, and it’s really important what we apply to it. All ZAO eye makeup, including their liquid eyeliners, is made with only high-quality natural ingredients, making these liners suitable for sensitive eyes. As every other ZAO product, this one comes in beautiful, painted bamboo packaging and it’s own little cotton pouch. The presentation is just amazing, and I believe all these products would make wonderful gifts. You can choose from 6 eyeliner colors, and this product is not refillable.
The purple/plum color is just gorgeous. It would work with many eye colors, and it’s great to add a pop of color to everyday looks. It has almost a foiled metallic finish, which is so on trend for the fall. If this is not a color for you, there are other, classic and not so classic colors available.
The eyeliner is unscented, and has that scent some natural facial oils have. It’s not unpleasant, but not something enjoyable either. It’s not a strong scent though – I didn’t notice it until I put my nose in it, and once on my eyes there was no scent at all.
I instantly fell in love with this eyeliner. The liquid has perfect consistency for even application, but a lot comes out on the brush. Make sure you wipe off some on the inside of the bottle before applying it, or it will just get messy. Also, the long, flexible brush is not for an eyeliner novice. If you can’t apply a pencil eyeliner evenly, this one is not for you. However, if you had lots of practice with liquid eyeliners, like me, than you won’t have any issues. I’ve been applying liquid eyeliner for dance performances for years, so I learned how to do it right. This type of brush is not for short strokes, but for a quick line. Make sure you keep the brush as parallel to your eye as it can get. This way you will get an even line quickly, with no smudges.
Although quite liquid, the eyeliner dries down fast, and there is no smudging all day. I even tried rubbing it once it set, and it only comes off if you rub very strong. It also doesn’t crack, and it wears of only on the inner corner of my eye a little bit, but it’s not very noticeable.
ZAO Canada has three types of eyeshadows – pearly, matte and cream. Since silver eyeshadow is so on trend this fall, we agreed that I should test this particular color. Just like the eyeliner, pearly eyeshadow comes in a bamboo packaging and it’s own little cotton pouch. The difference is that this is a refillable packaging, and once you’ve used up your eyeshadow you can just purchase the refill. If you are wondering how to replace it, you simply push a needle or something equally thin through the hole at the bottom to lift the eyeshadow (or an empty pan) out. The packaging is magnetic, and the refills are metallic and clearly labelled at the bottom, in case you forget which shadow you were using. You can see some photos of how this is done here. Or you can just use ZAO bamboo box (or your own empty magnetic palette) to house your refills in.
Just like the eyeliner, the eyeshadows are unscented. The silver color is light, but very pigmented, and catches light so beautifully. It can be used with a fluffy brush for a light wash of color, with a dense one to really pack the pigment for more of a metallic effect, or wet for and even more intense look. I tried it in various ways, and love how it performs. The pigment is finely milled, and pressed very hard into the pan, so there is no kick-back when I dip my brush in, and it applies smoothly over my lids, with or without a primer. There is also no fallout when I’m applying it, which is a huge pet peeve of mine, so I can not be happier. It also blends effortlessly with every other shadow I tried it with.
I always have to use a primer, though, because of the shape of my eye, that makes every eyeshadow crease eventually, so that is how I tested this one, too. Over a primer the eyeshadow stays put all day, and even through a nap once. I am so happy to say that it performs comparable to high-end eyeshadows that I purchased at Sephora, even better than some.
Mineral touch is a loose mineral eyeshadow formulated with no talc. It can be applied with fingers or a brush, and I used my brushes. To use a mineral eyeshadow with a brush, the best way is to lightly tap the brush into the powder, and then swirl on the cap to get it deeper into the brush, and then apply onto your lids. This way minimizes fall-out, and I didn’t experience much fall-out at all. Mineral touch is available in two shades, Red Gold and Golden Bronze. Red Gold is a gorgeous pink gold, perfect for fall, and very shimmery, especially in direct sunlight – you can see it in action here.
The powder is very fine, and applies evenly. It has great pigmentation, blends nicely and stays vibrant all day. I only need a tiny little bit to cover the whole lid. Over a primer there was no creasing. It’s a beautiful pigment to wear alone or combined with other shadows. It’s subtle enough for daywear, and shimmery-pigmented enough for evenings – it can truly take you from day to night.
Here are all three products swatched, with only one swipe each. Although I’m in love with the liner, all three are just beautiful!
I also wanted to show you a few eye looks I did using these product. First I played around with lining my eyes:
Since silver eyeshadow is so trendy, I did a smokey eye look with a purple eyeliner twist for a dinner date, and all-over wash of silver with subdues eyeliner for daywear:
And last, but not least, the Mineral Touch eyeshadow in all it’s glory:
I invite you to visit my Instagram account for more eye looks in the following weeks. If you want me to try and recreate any trendy look with these natural products, please let me know!
I have only great things to say about this eye makeup. Everything performed on par with other high-end makeup I have, and in some cases even better. There is a nice selection of colors to choose from, and the ingredients are carefully picked to be good for the skin. I love the beautiful packaging, and the fact that it’s sustainable, recyclable and reusable. I can pull-off a number of fall trendy looks with the products, with no difference in quality compared to the makeup I’m already using.
You can purchase all these products from ZAO Canada website, and the prices are as follows (in CAD):
How important are the ingredients in your makeup to you? Do you use natural makeup? Do you have a favorite brand?