Like Audrey Hepburn, we wholeheartedly believe in "primping at leisure and wearing lipstick" – and it would seem that the high street agrees with us. 

Where we’re seeing designers increasingly encompassing interiors in their offerings, so too do we see an uptake of high-street heavyweights bringing beauty under their wing. In the latter portion of 2018, Topshop Beauty was relaunched with a cruelty-free, more mature stance: 83 lip textures were joined by 15 nail polishes and six different eyeshadow shades, each in pack-a-punch pigments and built to last. 

Urban Outfitters has also thrown its hat into the arena, with a new paraben-free vegan skincare and cosmetic range (‘ohii’), designed to ignite its millennial customer base. It’s a natural move, considering the holistic aesthetic that a younger audience is striving to achieve – and, we have to admit, they’ve got a point. After all, why wouldn’t we buy our slap in the place that we trust for our style?

Hot on their heels, and newest to the market, Zara has since followed suit with a cosmetics line that’s inspired by the “backstage magic” of its campaign collaborations with Pat McGrath. Kicking off with 12 Ultimatte lipsticks, eight full matte liquid lacquers, and three Ultimatte shades, it’s the answer to all of our pucker-up prayers – tapping into the trend of no-sheen makeup that’s well and truly on the rise. And it’s got staying power…

Forget all thoughts of unsightly flaky residue lining your coffee cup, or rogue smears sullying your gnashers – this impactful and beautifully pigmented line is a lesson in the high street getting it so very right.

"It's the answer to all of our pucker-up prayers."

Of course, there may be greater factors at play in the rise of fashion-meets-beauty branding… During the recession of the early 2000s, Leonard Lauder of Estée Lauder coined the concept of the ‘Lipstick Index’ – a term he used to describe the seemingly causal relationship between a poor economy and increased lipstick sales. Lauder surmised that, in the absence of high disposable income, customers were turning to cosmetics as an alternative for heavier hitting buys like ready-to-wear or accessories. 

Is this a case of history repeating itself? Perhaps only time will tell… 

What we can say, is that we’re yet to find a mood that can’t be improved by a swipe of heavy-hitting, smile-making red. And you could do a lot worse than the high street. 

Pucker up! Click here to shop Zara's new beauty collection.

Also on Because Magazine:

+ Kay Montano gives us a tutorial in summer-to-fall makeup, starring the beautiful Anna Brewster.

We meet the woman who mastered her cosmetics line from her kitchen table.

+ Dior VS Donuts... Which comes out on top?