She's Instagram's favourite makeup brush guru - Zoeva founder, Zoe Boikou, gives us the insider tips on growing a business and living her best, empowered life. 

If you’re an avid participant in the Instagram beauty community, you’re likely to be familiar with ZOEVA – hell, you’ve probably wisely invested in the entire line of pro-approved makeup brushes – and if not, prepare to be enlightened. With followers in the millions and beauty devotees, professional and otherwise, taking to the web to sing its praise, we spoke to the brand’s founder Zoe Boikou about her passions and progress.

With more than 42 single brushes under your belt, as well as a growing makeup offering, ZOEVA has finally made it to our shores…. how did the brand come about?

ZOEVA came to life in my own living room. I’ve always had a passion for makeup, but couldn’t find affordable, high-quality makeup brushes on the market and the price performance ratio just didn’t meet my expectations. So I changed that. I knew exactly what I liked, ordered some brushes online and began selling them through an account on eBay. The demand grew and I founded ZOEVA in 2008 and transformed my eBay business into an international brand.

Describe the process involved in developing a new product and how involved are you from beginning to end?

I am 100% ZOEVA, from the bottom of my heart. I’m involved in every single product –from creation, to supervision to the final approval. I do a lot of research and am constantly in the process of creating. I see something, fall in love, do my research and start developing something out of it. I get inspired by absolutely everything and anything – it can be lyrics, nature or fashion shows.

Is there a particular ZOEVA woman you have in mind when developing products and if so, how would you describe her?

Our customers are individual women, who do not rely on trends, but rather on their own style. The ZOEVA woman is a beauty enthusiast who places value on an uncompromising, contemporary design in combination with high quality and a reasonable price. She is a strong, well-educated and hard-working global citizen, who enjoys rewarding herself.

Empowerment seems to be an important message surrounding your brand, tell us more about this side of things?

I think that our customers are women who use our makeup as a tool to feel more confident and a strong, assured woman is a source of enrichment for all of us. I want to help women all around the globe to discover their individual beauty. I want to make sure that our enthusiasts feel our conviction and devotion for makeup.

What sets ZOEVA apart as a beauty brand?

Everything we do comes from the heart. To me, it is very important that I am completely convinced of every single product, otherwise we wouldn’t launch it. I don’t want ZOEVA products to be perceived as ‘any makeup brush’ or ‘just another eyeshadow palette’ – to me they’re much more than that! Our products tell a story and our customers love to get behind it.

How does a typical weekday look for you?

Frankly speaking – a mix of everything! In the morning, I check the orders that have come overnight and look over our social channels. We owe a great deal of today’s success to the likes of Instagram and therefore it is still essential for me to stay in direct contact with our loyal followers. I like to always be informed with what’s going on in the different departments, so I often go to my employees and talk through their days and current projects. Then, I work across pretty much everything; reseller orders, upcoming launches, finances. I want to have an involvement in every aspect – not because I’m scared to lose control, but because I’m so passionate about my brand.

Can you describe your daily beauty routine? And do you have any insider secrets?

Take good care of your skin – it’s no secret but that’s my most important rule. Flawless makeup application only works on a perfect, well prepared base. Therefore; peel, cleanse, moisturize and apply eye cream – and don’t forget to pamper your skin with masks on a regular basis.

Name one indulgent pampering ritual you will never skip, regardless of how busy or tired you are?

I believe in relaxing beauty rituals for a good start into the day. Mine begins with the Infused Face Oil by Diptyque. It boosts my skins radiance, revitalizes and awakens the senses.

Is there a beauty trend you're currently toying with the idea of trying or do you prefer to stick to the classics?

Although I love experimenting with make-up, my favorite every-day look is a true classic: a black wing liner paired with a natural looking nude lip. It’s just so timeless.

Lastly, what three ZOEVA brushes are kept in constant rotation in your makeup bag?

My three must-have ZOEVA brushes which I cannot live without are the ‘104 Buffer’ for a seamless foundation application, the ‘227 Luxe Soft Definer’ for the eye makeup and the ‘126 Luxe Cheek Finish’ for softly flushed cheeks.

Zoe’s Beauty Top Shelf

 English Oak & Redcurrant scented candle, €52, Jo Malone

AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution, €7.20, The Ordinary

Rose gold luxury brush set, €79, ZOEVA @ Arnotts

Spectrum blush palette in Coral, €18.99, ZOEVA @ Arnotts

Infused face oil, €55, Diptique

Goddess-Skin clay mask, €55, Charlotte Tilbury