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“I could actually feel the lipstick moisturising my skin”

Senior content creator Rachael puts Zao's plastic-free lipsticks to the test


“I could actually feel the lipstick moisturising my skin”

I love a good lipstick: one swipe makes you feel like you could take on anything. Plus, a good lippy can elevate any look, and take you from the office to a romantic dinner.

I’ve always enjoyed the make-up range by Zao, as it’s effective, available in a range of colours and tones, and comes in plastic-free, refillable packaging. So I decided to put their Cocoon Balm Lipstick to the test.

One of the downsides to lipstick is that it can really dry out my lips, and it’s then a domino effect, as lipstick never looks good on dry, chapped skin. It’s one of the things that drew me to Zao’s Cocoon range, which bills itself as somewhere between a lipstick and a lip balm, promising to deliver intense colour while caring for your lips. Enriched with organic pomegranate extract for antioxidant and anti-ageing properties as well as organic shea butter to nourish skin, it definitely sounds like these lipsticks will be right up my street.

My first impression is certainly the vibrant colours in the range, which are available in four reddish, pinky hues. The lipstick comes in Zao’s signature bamboo packaging, which is extremely light. I also order a few refills in other shades (hey, a girl can never have too many lipsticks, right?).

When I apply the lipstick, it glides on easily, leaving a smooth, even coverage with just one coat – and the colour really does pop! Better yet, several hours, snacks and teas later, it hasn’t budged. I can even feel the lipstick moisturising my lips at the same time, so when I do go to remove it in the evening, my lips aren’t chapped like they’d usually be.

The best part is that refilling the lipsticks is incredibly easy. There’s a short video on Zao’s website which explains how to do it, and you simply pop the inner tube out of the bamboo case, and pop the next one in. The great thing is that this means I can swap over my lipsticks whenever I want to apply a different colour, meaning I don’t need to wait until one stick is used up before I can use another one. The case also comes with a cute travel pouch which makes it even easier to carry in my handbag when I go out.

I love that Zao’s lipsticks are made with 100% natural and 32% organic ingredients, are certified vegan and cruelty-free, and are plastic-free and sustainable – they really do tick every box for me. Perfect throughout the year, but particularly during the colder winter months, these Cocoon lipsticks will now be my go-to to keep my skin nourished while providing a gorgeous, bold pop of colour.

Zao Cocoon Balm Lipsticks are available for £18.75 in a bamboo case, £13.50 for refills. Visit to find out more.

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