For cult high-street fashion, the best basics and cross-generational style appreciation the Who What Wear fashion team's love for Zara knows no bounds. Which is why, when we recently spotted its beauty offering online, we were all chomping at the bit to get in on the action.
It was about a year ago that I first noticed that the lipstick game of the Zara models was being dialled up a notch, with matte nudes and deep burgundies becoming increasingly commonplace on the girls across the website. It's no surprise then, that Zara isn't making a full foray into the world of beauty, but instead, have launched a beauty collection centred entirely around lipsticks. I guess that answers my question about where the models' lip colours were from then.
To start with, we called in the full collection of Zara Ultimatte Lipsticks. Described as a velvet-matte formula with plenty of pigment, I can confirm that these boast a serious amount of colour payoff. The lipsticks are enriched with vitamin E to help boost the hydration levels of your lips and protect the delicate skin at the same time. After all, matte lipsticks are notorious for being incredibly dry.
The first thing that I noticed about these lipsticks was the heavyweight packaging. Despite their £10 price tag, these lipsticks have the same weighted feel as some of the more luxurious lipsticks I own. It's a small detail but definitely makes the whole makeup experience feel a lot fancier than I'd expect from a high-street lipstick.
Keep scrolling to see all of the shades on myself and the rest of the Who What Wear team—and find out which shades we'd genuinely buy.
Joy Montgomery, Acting Assistant Editor
"This is probably the shade most within my (very limited) lipstick comfort zone. I usually opt for a 'your lip colour but better' lipstick, so this feels like a slightly more intense version of that. It feels a little too dark for day-to-day usage, but I can imagine whacking it on after work if I'm heading out for the evening."
"Me and red lipstick are not friends. I've had many painful years of wearing the wrong shade to events and looking slightly jaundice in all photos (thanks to my yellow undertone skin). However, I was pleasantly surprised by Zara's offering, which features just a slight hint of pink, making it a little softer. A great alternative to my standard black eyeliner look."
"Okay, so my comfort zone is now a tiny speck on the horizon with this vampish shade, but you know what? I kinda love it. I might go as far as to say that I prefer it to a classic red, as the richer hue feels more forgiving on tired skin (guilty as charged). Now I just need to find a way to make it stay on after a Pret sandwich…"
Mica Ricketts, Deputy Editor (Beauty)
Probably the most experimental shade of the bunch, I took one for the team here in trialling this lilac lipstick. First up, colour aside, I am seriously impressed with the pigment. This was one swipe of colour and it's matte, opaque and bright. However, I'm not entirely sure that I can pull lavender lips off. It might be one for festival season (if I'm feeling brave).
I am well and truly in my lipstick comfort zone here with this classic pillar-box red shade. UM16, you're coming home with me. (Side note: Zara, seriously, please give your lipsticks proper shade names.) It might be basic, but I think a bright red lipstick looks good on everyone and I feel my best when wearing one. This Zara formula definitely measures up to some of the higher price point lipsticks that I've tried in terms of finish and staying power.
I'm not going to lie—this lipstick looks scary in the tube. It's a deep, dark purple that basically looks black in the bullet. I was nervous. But surprisingly, I'm kind of into this look—especially teamed with the low-key makeup that I've got on the rest of my face. I have to say, it was a bit more difficult than the other colours to put on. I think a controlled application is key for a dark lip and would probably opt for a lip brush to put it on in future as the lipstick bullet isn't that precise. However, I'd definitely step out in this again.
Alyss Bowen, Social Editor
"This is the perfect everyday shade for when you can't be bothered to commit to a full lipstick look. It glides on easily and leaves a really nice nude/brown wash—sold!"
"I'm a sucker for an orange-red, and this one ticks all the boxes. I'd wear this on repeat for nights out and if I'm feeling bold in the office."
"This is my least favourite shade just because I find darker lipsticks hard to take off, as it leaves a tint on my lips for ages. That being said, I love this plum hue for when I'm not feeling red!"
Emma Spedding, Deputy Editor
"I don't normally wear bright pink lipstick and I wouldn't head to Zara for makeup, but I absolutely love this. It feels slightly creamy too, so although it feels firmly in place, it doesn't make my lips feel dry or cakey. I'm sold."
"My colleague said, 'You're not wearing any lipstick, now are you?' as she saw me taking this selfie in our office entrance. It's a perfect everyday lipstick, and at £10, I wouldn't worry about reapplying after every coffee run."
"This is bang in-between a red and a pink lipstick. The pink tones make it a little softer than a bold red. Zara, I'm impressed."