(Trial Run)

I Tried Zara's First-Ever Foundation & The Results Left Me Stunned

The range includes 51 shades and 3 undertones.

Vanese Maddix
I Tried Zara's First-Ever Foundation & The Results Left Me Stunned

In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, we’re trying the new Zara Limitless Soft-Matte Foundation.

As a beauty writer who has been perfecting her makeup routine for the past two years, I was certain that foundation would never become part of it. The main reason for this is that, like many people with darker skin tones, I struggled as a teenager and in my early 20s to find foundations that matched and complemented my skin tone (as opposed to leaving it ashy or 10 shades too dark). So I’ve always had the mindset that foundation just wasn’t meant to be for me. However, since inclusivity is finally at the forefront for many beauty brands, that struggle is no more.

I’m still combing my way through hyped and well-loved foundations (there are a lot of new options within the last 12 months), but when Zara announced the launch of its first-ever foundation, it instantly went to the top of my must-try list. The Limitless Soft-Matte Foundation has definitely piqued the interest of many beauty lovers, according to TikTok and Twitter. And since the brand claims that the foundation offers a natural-to-full-coverage skin look with no imperfections, and has an impressive 51 shades and 3 undertones within the range, it’s easy to see why it has attracted so much buzz.

Keep reading to find out my honest thoughts on the buzzy beauty launch and whether I think it’s the next big thing in makeup.

My Foundation Requirements

On top of covering a few areas of uneven skin tone on my face, when it comes to foundation I am all about the glow (especially a sunkissed one on brighter days). As my skin type is a mix of normal to dry, I tend to stick with hydrating foundations rather than matte for fear that my face will crumble from dehydration. However, up until now, I hadn’t found a matte yet hydrating formula that I really liked. That’s why I was eager to test the Zara foundation as it’s a soft-matte consistency. As long as it offers some hydration, doesn’t cling onto dry areas, and offers a buildable light to medium coverage, then it’s a winner in my eyes.

My skin prior to applying the foundation.

A Closer Look At The Zara Limitless Soft-Matte Foundation

Adding to the already established Zara beauty lineup, the foundation is a part of the Skin Love collection of products, which consists of base makeup and tools: the Limitless Soft Matte Foundation, Luminous Creamy Concealer, a Kabuki Foundation Brush, and a Flat Foundation Brush. To me, the line seems to promote the look of ‘your skin but better’ since the brand touts the foundation and concealer’s smoothing and skin-blurring qualities. The formula is also cruelty-free and is made via Zara’s Green to Wear 2.0 standard which aims to minimize the environmental impact of textile manufacturing.

The foundation is available in 51 different shades which I think is really impressive for a new release. Personally, I agree that variety is great but it can often feel overwhelming when picking your product; however, Zara has that covered with its shade finder, which asks you to choose your skin tone from a lineup of light to dark and then a pick of three skin undertones, either warm, neutral, or cool. Finally, the last page will recommend three shades based on your previous answers and they’ll consist of your lighter shader, recommended shade, and darker shade, which is so handy (especially since your skin tones change throughout the year depending on sun exposure).

A notable ingredient within the formula is glycerin, which helps the skin to retain moisture and relieve dryness. A lot of the hydrating beauty products that I frequently use contain this ingredient, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it featured within the foundation formula. I’ve tried a few soft matte foundations in the past that have claimed to be hydrating, but they’ve typically left my skin looking and feeling drier than it was before application. That said, I walked into this trial hopeful that this new formula would deliver.

Testing The Zara Limitless Soft-Matte Foundation

My skin after applying the foundation.

For application, Zara recommends adding a few drops of the foundation to a brush to achieve a natural, blended look. I prefer to use a Beautyblender usually, so I chose that route and added a few drops to the sponge. Then I dotted it around my face, blending it outwards until I achieve my desired coverage, which on this occasion was medium coverage. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at just how quickly my skin tone evened out with this formula, which subtly covered the light patches on my cheeks all while feeling hydrated and not at all dried out.

The one notable critique on my end would be on my shade match. I didn’t utilize the Zara shade finder when picking the two shades to try out, and evidently my eye for shade matching isn’t as good as I thought it was. For context, the shades I picked were five times darker than recommended on the Zara shade finder, which is quite a big jump. However, to my surprise, the shade I ultimately chose out of the two didn’t look too different from my natural skin tone upon application (albeit a bit more orange than I would’ve preferred). In fact, I think it may even be a good fit for the hotter months when my skin tone becomes darker.

With there being so many other shades to choose from, I have no doubt that I’ll find my desired shade the second go round. I’m really enjoying testing out the foundation, and so far it’s exceeded my expectations.

Vanese Maddix

Is The Zara Limitless Soft-Matte Foundation A Must-Try?

In my opinion, yes! It’s impressive for a new launch and, at $19.90, it’s a lot cheaper than many other well-loved foundations currently dominating the market. The coverage is instant and a little really does go a long way, so you don’t have to worry about finishing it up anytime soon.

If you’re on the lookout for a new foundation, whether for weekly use or just for special occasions, I would say this is one to add to your list. And if, like me, you’re into more hydrating formulas, definitely give this a chance as you may also be really impressed by the results. I’ve still got my fingers crossed that Zara will also add a creamy finish to the foundation like the Luminous Creamy Concealer, but for now, I’m happy to use up this surprisingly hydrating number.

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