Zara fans, get ready for a piece of news that's about to make your year. The mega-stylish retailer, known for supplying the fashion community with affordable trend pieces that pack our wardrobes year-round, is entering the beauty game. In fact, today marks the launch of Zara Beauty, the retailer's first official beauty collection. That's right—in addition to loading up your cart with the most enviable sartorial styles for summer, from pleated miniskirts to halter tops, now you can also stock up on vibrant lip colours, eye shadows, makeup brushes, and even nail polish. The best part? It all falls right in line with the elevated quality and inclusive ethos we've come to love and expect from Zara.
From the get-go, the thing that stands out most about this new beauty offering is the shade range. It's vast. In true Zara fashion, there's something for everyone, whether you're looking to create an easy no-makeup look or a full glam-rock face complete with contrasting eyes and lips. According to Zara beauty director Eva Lopez-Lopez, that's intentional. "Our goal was to create something truly inclusive in which many can participate; innovative products with a playful, personal, and individualistic character, all made with the high-performance ingredients and true colour innovation," she said in a statement.
Photo:Raymond Meier/Courtesy of Zara Beauty
The collection—which already features an impressive assembly of makeup products for the eyes, lips, and face in addition to nail lacquer—is made with both people and the planet in mind, featuring high-performance ingredients, clean formulas, and refillable packaging. Not only that but it's all been developed with the creative direction of legendary British makeup artist Diane Kendal, whose work you've likely spotted on the runways for major designers like Tom Ford and Proenza Schouler. So yeah, this stuff is built to make an impact.
To get us all in the mood for the playful vibes to come, Zara created the most beautiful campaign, calling in some of the biggest names in fashion photography to bring the looks to life in a way that communicates the fun and free nature of the collection. The flawless campaign consists of a series of looks created by Kendal that show diverse interpretations of beauty and individual character, captured by Steven Meisel, David Sims, Marilyn Minter, Oliver Hadlee Pearch, Zoë Ghertner, Craig McDean, Nadine Ijewere, Mario Sorrenti and Fabien Baron. In terms of inspiration, it doesn't get much better than this!
Photo:Oliver Hadlee Pearch/Courtesy of Zara Beauty
Zara Beauty is available now on all platforms in the UK and Europe, the US, Canada, Mexico, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand and will become available in the Middle East starting in June 2021.
Now that you've read all about this new launch, it's time to see the products in action. Keep scrolling for honest reviews from our beauty team, including our favourite products and everything we think you need to know. Get our looks and shop more of the newness from Zara ahead.
Photo:Mario Sorrenti/Courtesy of Zara Beauty
Erin Jahns, Senior Beauty Editor
I'm obsessed with this. I love the smaller size of this lipstick versus a normal lipstick bullet, and I found it was much easier to do a quick—very precise—application. The colour I tried is the perfect enhancement to the natural colour of my lips, and the formula itself is exceptionally hydrating while still packing a nice punch of pigment. (Some moisturising formulas look too sheer or are hard to build enough colour for my liking.)
Hands down, this was my favourite product out of the entire lot. You can definitely wear it on its own to give your lips a dose of moisture and a hint of luminosity, but when you layer it on top of a lipstick (which I did), it acts as a highlighter, giving your lips more dimension and the prettiest hint of light-reflecting shimmer. I can already tell this is going to be one of my most beloved products this summer for a quick and easy minimalist makeup look.
Normally, I don't gravitate towards all-in-one face palettes like this one just because I am super particular with my blush, highlighter and bronzer and have different favourites from different lines. That said, this one really gets it right in the complementary-shade department. The blush was super pretty and almost reminded me of Nars's Orgasm (one of my all-time favourites like everyone else in this world), and while I've kind of been off powder highlighters recently, I found that this one really did deliver the perfect amount of glow without looking too glittery or iridescent. Also, the powder itself was really easy to blend and layer with zero cakey build-up. I'm impressed!
Okay, I was initially alarmed right when I applied this because this bronzer is super pigmented. I added a little bit right underneath my cheekbones and thought I had made a colossal mistake, but once I started blending and working it under my jawline and up around my temples, I couldn't believe how natural it looked and how seamlessly it blended into my foundation. Once I was through applying, it was barely detectable but left behind the perfect dose of bronzey contour I was looking for to feel more sculpted and sun-kissed. So yeah, just be warned that a little will go a long way!
A neutral eye look with just a little bit of glow and glimmer is pretty much my signature, and even though I've been non-stop reliant on liquid shadows recently, I'm super impressed with Zara's new formula. The shadows are surprisingly pigmented, so you only have to go in with your brush a few times to achieve a nice build of colour. They are beautifully shimmery and flattering while not looking too disco-y, and they also are super silky, soft, and so easy to blend. Since I was going to be home all day and wanted something low-key, I just used a light, shimmery pink hue as my base and then took a coppery colour to add more definition around my crease and outer corners and then used a taupe-y matte tone almost like a liner to create a subtle wing effect to elongate my eyes.
I love that this line comes with a collection of brushes. They're so soft—almost like a pillow for your face—and they picked up and blended all of the products better than most of my crazy-expensive brushes. The fact that these are so affordable makes me want to buy every single one. I used the big, fluffy one to blend my bronzer and blush and used the flat-sided middle-sized one to apply my highlighter along my cheekbones, browbones and down the bridge of my nose. I used a few of the eye brushes to help me blend and add dimension where I needed. Obsessed!
Photo:Oliver Hadlee Pearch/Courtesy of Zara Beauty
Courtney Higgs, Beauty Editor
Confession: I still get intimidated by eye shadows. Unless they're super light or can be applied with my fingers, I just feel a little out of my depths. But when I opened the palette and saw the shimmery hues, especially this electric-green one, I was awestruck. It's so gorgeous. Vivid colors often don't have the greatest pay-off on darker skin like mine, so I decided to put this pretty shade to the test by applying it on my bare eyelids without a primer. At first swipe, I was taken by the jolt of colour deposited. These shadows are also so soft and easy to blend. Overall, I'd recommend!
I was worried the cheek accentuators in this palette would be too light and muted for my skin, but they actually look gorgeous on. I applied each one at a time, but next time, I'd venture to swirl the fluffiest brush over all three shades at once for a one-and-done cheek moment. Something tells me that would be magnificent.
I watch way too many makeup tutorials online, and my favourite part is always when the artist finishes the face with a dramatic pull of the highlighter brush to reveal high-beam cheekbones. This is the perfect brush for that. It's dense enough that it can pack some serious pigment onto the skin, but the bristles are flexible enough to move with the contours of the face.
Photo:Zoë Ghertner/Courtesy of Zara Beauty
Kat Collings, Editor in Chief
The name of this lipstick, Evil Red, made me raise my eyebrow, so I had to try it. It's super pigmented, and my application shows the true versatility. Lately, I've been applying my lip colours with a very light hand, so it's more of an enhancement of my natural shade. Who knew that just a hint of "evil red" would look pretty and pink? I also think the tube shape is perfect: functional with subtle design-y elements. It's also especially important to me that my lip products are clean since I inevitably end up "eating" some of it, so I was so happy to learn that the line is non-toxic.
I'm a "blush every dang day" kind of woman, so that's what I reached for in this palette. I concur with Erin Jahns's statement that it reminds her of Nars's beloved Orgasm hue. In fact, though, it has less shimmer, so perhaps it's the Orgasm's slightly more sophisticated cousin.
It's a big day for me when I put on eye shadow, so I was pleased to find so many wearable colours in my palette. I mixed a matte tan color with another neutral that has a little sparkle for an effect that was still friendly for daytime Zoom land. Even though I've been wearing cream eye shadows lately, now I officially have some powder ones back in my rotation.
Mica Ricketts, Beauty Editor
Despite rarely wearing eye shadow, I love an eye shadow palette, so my heart skipped a beat when I opened up this six-shade delight. By this stage, I've tried all of them and have to give a special shout-out to Mod—the muted peachy-tan shade in the bottom right corner—but it's Psychadelia, this vibrant yellow-gold, that I'm truly obsessed with right now. Yes, this Zara palette might have converted me to wearing colourful eye shadow on a daily basis. The shadows themselves are super pigmented, but don't let that scare you—they're creamy, easy to blend and look good whether you use your fingers or brushes to apply.
When it comes to lipsticks, I'm generally a matte girl, but there was something about this sleek, skinny lipstick that instantly appealed. First up, it's really lovely to apply, The narrow bullet means that you can really trace the edges of your lips for a precise finish, and the formula itself feels as nourishing and comfortable as some of the most high-end lipsticks I've tried. This dusky pink shade is a brilliant everyday shade for me and adds just the right amount of sheen to lips without it slipping and sliding everywhere. I'll be seeking this out in other shades pronto.
At first glance, this shimmery balm looked like a relic from my '90s play makeup bag. However, I was wrong to judge. It's great for a pretty, everyday balm, but it layers well over lipsticks if you want to add a little shine, too. I'm wearing it layered over the Stiletto lipstick in the photo above. This product is also versatile enough to wear all over your face. I've patted it beneath brow bones and onto the inner corners of my eyes, slicked it over my lids for a glossy eye look and even applied it to cheekbones for a soft highlight. It's truly brilliant.
Generally speaking, I don't really wear bronzer, but I wanted to put this one to the test. Firstly, it is seriously pigmented, so a little really does go a long way. I was way too heavy-handed with my first attempt, but I've found that a quick dip of a fluffy brush and a generous buffing motion over cheeks diffuses the colour beautifully and really creates a healthy-skin look. I've skipped blusher entirely in the picture above, and I'm into it.
I'm so glad that this little eye shadow brush now has a permanent home in my makeup bag. Despite its unassuming size, it's a brilliant fluffy-yet-dense brush that picks up just the right amount of product and packs it onto your eyelids for an intensely pigmented look. Plus, when clean, it works just as well at blending out harsh edges for a softer eye shadow look.
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Photo:Nadine Ijewere/Courtesy of Zara Beauty