Zara Makeup Is As Good As Luxury Brands. Here’s What It Looks Like On

·4-min read

Zara's beauty range has been on the tip of everyone's tongue since the launch of its lipstick collection in 2018 and an exciting segue into perfume alongside Jo Malone a year later. Excitingly, the brand has just quadrupled its beauty offering with an entire makeup collection set to rival your favourite luxury and high street brands.

From lipstick in a handful of different shades and finishes (matte, demi-matte, satin and balm) to shimmer-matte eyeshadow palettes, bronzing bricks and cheek compacts, Zara's makeup collection is bigger and better than ever before. It makes sense, considering makeup artist and industry legend Diane Kendal is the brains behind the creative direction.

The collection, which starts at an affordable £5.99, promises high performance ingredients and places a focus on sustainability, as all compacts and lipstick tubes are refillable. That's what we like to hear. But is the makeup really worth the hype? Here are a beauty editor's honest thoughts on the range.

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I'm going to let you in on a secret: in terms of formula and colour, this is practically an exact dupe of the sold-out <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2020/08/9970198/pat-mcgrath-supreme-lipstick-collaboration" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Supreme x Pat McGrath" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Supreme x Pat McGrath</a> lipstick everyone went wild for recently, and it's my new favourite. The colour payoff is incredible, the feel is smooth not drying, the square bullet makes it easy to apply without <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/tiktok-fake-tan-lip-liner-hack" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:lip liner" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">lip liner</a> and the staying power is truly unrivalled. I only required one quick top-up after eating and the colour was as vibrant as when I'd first applied it. At £6.99 it's a steal and there are 14 shades to choose from to suit all skin tones.<br><br>I'm also wearing the <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/cheek-color-in-3-palette---refillable-p24130609.html?v1=110292158&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Cheek Color Palette" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Cheek Color Palette</a> in Impeccable Touch, applied with the <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/small-blush-brush-p24150502.html?v1=85917123&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Small Blush Brush" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Small Blush Brush</a>, which is so soft. Swirled together, the blush and bronzer made a lovely peach shade which applied so easily and didn't budge until I removed it, but the highlighter fell short and didn't pop like I wanted it to. I'll be sticking to my trusty <a href="https://www.charlottetilbury.com/uk/product/hollywood-superstar-glow-powder-highlighter" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Charlotte Tilbury Superstar Glow" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Charlotte Tilbury Superstar Glow</a>. Unfortunately, the cheek colour range is small. <a href="https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/vieve-sunset-blush.html?variant_id=31896" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Vieve's Sunset Blush, £23" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Vieve's Sunset Blush, £23</a>, is similar in texture and comes in a wider range of shades for all skin tones.<br><br><strong>Charlotte Tilbury</strong> Hollywood Superstar Glow Powder Highlighter, $, available at <a href="https://www.charlottetilbury.com/uk/product/hollywood-superstar-glow-powder-highlighter" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Charlotte Tilbury" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Charlotte Tilbury</a><br><br><strong>Zara</strong> Small Blush Brush, $, available at <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/small-blush-brush-p24150502.html?v1=85917123&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara</a><br><br><strong>Zara</strong> Cheek Colour Palette in Impeccable Touch, $, available at <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/cheek-color-in-3-palette---refillable-p24130609.html?v1=110292158&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara</a><br><br><strong>Zara</strong> Ultimate Matte Lipstick in Original, $, available at <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/ultimatte-matte-lipstick--refillable-p24110300.html?v1=109675300&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara</a><br><br><strong>VIEVE</strong> Sunset Blush, $, available at <a href="https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/vieve-sunset-blush.html?variant_id=31896" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Cult Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Cult Beauty</a>
I'm going to let you in on a secret: in terms of formula and colour, this is practically an exact dupe of the sold-out Supreme x Pat McGrath lipstick everyone went wild for recently, and it's my new favourite. The colour payoff is incredible, the feel is smooth not drying, the square bullet makes it easy to apply without lip liner and the staying power is truly unrivalled. I only required one quick top-up after eating and the colour was as vibrant as when I'd first applied it. At £6.99 it's a steal and there are 14 shades to choose from to suit all skin tones.

I'm also wearing the Cheek Color Palette in Impeccable Touch, applied with the Small Blush Brush, which is so soft. Swirled together, the blush and bronzer made a lovely peach shade which applied so easily and didn't budge until I removed it, but the highlighter fell short and didn't pop like I wanted it to. I'll be sticking to my trusty Charlotte Tilbury Superstar Glow. Unfortunately, the cheek colour range is small. Vieve's Sunset Blush, £23, is similar in texture and comes in a wider range of shades for all skin tones.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Superstar Glow Powder Highlighter, $, available at Charlotte Tilbury

Zara Small Blush Brush, $, available at Zara

Zara Cheek Colour Palette in Impeccable Touch, $, available at Zara

Zara Ultimate Matte Lipstick in Original, $, available at Zara

VIEVE Sunset Blush, $, available at Cult Beauty
There are five eyeshadow palettes to choose from but I tried <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/eye-shadow-palette---refillable-p24130601.html?v1=110049963&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Clash Out" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Clash Out</a>. I have to admit, I'm not too keen on the colours. The glittery purple and yellow gold shades feel outdated when you compare them to popular eyeshadow palettes by Charlotte Tilbury and Huda Beauty, which combine wearable golds and flattering nudes. I love the look of <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/eye-shadow-palette---refillable-p24130601.html?v1=89030974&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Earthy Warm" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Earthy Warm</a> instead. <br><br>Though I'm not a big fan of the colours in the palette I tried, everything is easy to blend and there's no dusty fallout whatsoever. I applied my eye makeup at 8am and come 8pm, it was still intact and didn't crease at all. The pigment is better than any designer eyeshadow I've tried. The palettes get sustainability points for being refillable, too.<br><br>I'm also wearing the <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/stiletto-demi-matte-lipstick---refill-p24120800.html?v1=78482762&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Stiletto Demi-Matte Lipstick in La Journée" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Stiletto Demi-Matte Lipstick in La Journée</a>, which is slim enough to throw inside the tiniest of bags. It's glossy and hydrating, then dries down to more of a matte colour which I really enjoyed. However, I did have to reapply this multiple times, as the staying power isn't as brilliant as the matte lipsticks.<br><br><strong>Zara</strong> Eyeshadow Palette in Clash Out, $, available at <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/eye-shadow-palette---refillable-p24130601.html?v1=110049963&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara</a><br><br><strong>Zara</strong> Eyeshadow Palette in Earthy Warm, $, available at <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/eye-shadow-palette---refillable-p24130601.html?v1=89030974&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara</a><br><br><strong>Zara</strong> Stiletto Demi-Matte Lipstick in La Journée, $, available at <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/stiletto-demi-matte-lipstick---refill-p24120800.html?v1=78482762&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara</a>
There are five eyeshadow palettes to choose from but I tried Clash Out. I have to admit, I'm not too keen on the colours. The glittery purple and yellow gold shades feel outdated when you compare them to popular eyeshadow palettes by Charlotte Tilbury and Huda Beauty, which combine wearable golds and flattering nudes. I love the look of Earthy Warm instead.

Though I'm not a big fan of the colours in the palette I tried, everything is easy to blend and there's no dusty fallout whatsoever. I applied my eye makeup at 8am and come 8pm, it was still intact and didn't crease at all. The pigment is better than any designer eyeshadow I've tried. The palettes get sustainability points for being refillable, too.

I'm also wearing the Stiletto Demi-Matte Lipstick in La Journée, which is slim enough to throw inside the tiniest of bags. It's glossy and hydrating, then dries down to more of a matte colour which I really enjoyed. However, I did have to reapply this multiple times, as the staying power isn't as brilliant as the matte lipsticks.

Zara Eyeshadow Palette in Clash Out, $, available at Zara

Zara Eyeshadow Palette in Earthy Warm, $, available at Zara

Zara Stiletto Demi-Matte Lipstick in La Journée, $, available at Zara
I thought this <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/cult-satin-lipstick--refillable-p24130300.html?v1=109673616&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Satin Lipstick in Bonne" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Satin Lipstick in Bonne</a> wouldn't be my thing but it dried down to the loveliest stain, giving my lips that 'just bitten' look. It's moisturising, too, so you can skip the lip balm. Next, I want to try Buttercup and Nude Fiction.<br><br>Again, I'm wearing the Clash Out Eye Shadow Palette, but this time I combined the matte pink shade (third in the bottom row) with the glittery taupe hue (second in the top row). They blended so well but on my skin tone I'd prefer something a lot warmer. Shades like this are probably better suited to paler skin but the collection does have plenty of palettes for a wider range of skin tones. I can't fault the staying power (very impressive) and I enjoyed using the super soft brushes. <br><br>I pulled the look together with a swash of <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/bronzing-powders---refillable-p24130105.html?v1=109714409&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Bronzing Powder" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Bronzing Powder</a>, which I think is on par with luxury versions in terms of the buttery pigment and how well it lasts. But the shade range really does need to be expanded. The <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/large-powder-brush-p24150501.html?v1=85917122&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Large Powder Brush" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Large Powder Brush</a> was a little too soft for my liking, though; I used the <a href="https://www.bareminerals.co.uk/makeup/makeup-brushes/face-brushes/blooming-blush-brush/UK85918.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:bareMinerals Blooming Brush" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">bareMinerals Blooming Brush</a>, which is a bit more dense and blends more seamlessly.<br><br><strong>Zara</strong> Cult Satin Lipstick in Pretty Bizarre, $, available at <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/cult-satin-lipstick--refillable-p24130300.html?v1=109673616&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara</a><br><br><strong>Zara</strong> Bronzing Powder, $, available at <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/bronzing-powders---refillable-p24130105.html?v1=109714409&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara</a><br><br><strong>Zara</strong> Large Powder Brush, $, available at <a href="https://www.zara.com/uk/en/large-powder-brush-p24150501.html?v1=85917122&v2=1774767" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zara" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zara</a><br><br><strong>bareMinerals</strong> Blooming Makeup Brush, $, available at <a href="https://www.bareminerals.co.uk/makeup/makeup-brushes/face-brushes/blooming-blush-brush/UK85918.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:bareMinerals" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">bareMinerals</a>
I thought this Satin Lipstick in Bonne wouldn't be my thing but it dried down to the loveliest stain, giving my lips that 'just bitten' look. It's moisturising, too, so you can skip the lip balm. Next, I want to try Buttercup and Nude Fiction.

Again, I'm wearing the Clash Out Eye Shadow Palette, but this time I combined the matte pink shade (third in the bottom row) with the glittery taupe hue (second in the top row). They blended so well but on my skin tone I'd prefer something a lot warmer. Shades like this are probably better suited to paler skin but the collection does have plenty of palettes for a wider range of skin tones. I can't fault the staying power (very impressive) and I enjoyed using the super soft brushes.

I pulled the look together with a swash of Bronzing Powder, which I think is on par with luxury versions in terms of the buttery pigment and how well it lasts. But the shade range really does need to be expanded. The Large Powder Brush was a little too soft for my liking, though; I used the bareMinerals Blooming Brush, which is a bit more dense and blends more seamlessly.

Zara Cult Satin Lipstick in Pretty Bizarre, $, available at Zara

Zara Bronzing Powder, $, available at Zara

Zara Large Powder Brush, $, available at Zara

bareMinerals Blooming Makeup Brush, $, available at bareMinerals

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