Backstage at any pre-pandemic New York Fashion Week show, you were almost always bound to find an Allure editor in the middle of it all, snapping photos of every flick of eyeliner, every bounce of a beauty sponge, and every swipe of lipstick. In the midst of all that madness, there was usually one person we were most keen to visit: makeup artist Diane Kendal, who’s been working in the beauty industry since the 1980s. When you’ve had your hand in as many runway shows, magazine covers, and advertisements as she has, you tend to rack up an endless well of insight, especially when it comes to product formulation.
“When you’re getting girls ready for a runway show, you’re sometimes applying the makeup four hours before they go on the runway, so it’s really important to have high-quality products,” Kendal tells Allure via Zoom. “Because of my experience working with products for so long, there are some things that I really crave in a new product, and that is beautiful, slick quality, pigment, and easy application that is durable.”
Kendal is now bringing that peak level of expertise to a massive makeup brand launch from none other than fashion retailer Zara. The line, aptly named Zara Beauty, launches on May 12 online and in select stores with 21 items spanning the face, eye, lip, nail, and tool categories. These products, mostly housed in refillable packaging and in wide shade selections, have been in the works for more than a year and a half.
Allure staffers were some of the first to try most of the products in the line. Below, we break down the key products you need to know about — and then stock up on.
If you prefer your lipsticks to be as matte and long-lasting as physically possible, Zara Beauty’s Ultimatte formula will sure prove its stance as The One for you. It’s available in 14 shades in reds, pinks, purples, and nudes that range from fair to deep. As seen above on editorial assistant Gabi Thorne in the shade Original, Ultimatte reaches full impact with one swipe and has the same suede-like texture as the inside of a designer purse.