Friday, February 20, 2015

Sleek Makeup

Sleek Makeup Valentine's Day Special

I have been interested in trying some new makeup brands.  I've experimented with some mid range brands like Tarte, Too Faced, BareMinerals and Urban Decay and have found a range of products from things I really think are worth the cost (bareMinerals shadow, UD shadows, Tarte eyeliner and lipsurgence, Too Faced Bronzer) that performed well for me and and others that are wildly overpriced and just didn't live up to my expectations (the rest of Too Faced I've tried, UD mascara, Tarte lipstick and bareMinerals lip gloss) .  I wanted to sample a range of products from a few brands with more reasonable prices to see if I can find a version of the items I liked the most in a lower priced brand.

Through the magic of Instagram I kept seeing postings about a makeup brand called Sleek.  It's a British brand that seems to have a wide following and there are lots of raves about the quality of their eye shadows and how they are similar to the Urban Decay Naked palettes.  Although I don't own any of the 3 Naked palettes by UD, I do have one of their palettes - Book of Shadows IV.  The shadows are  soft and last for hours with primer and I was hoping to find similar quality with Sleek shadows.

For Valentine's day Sleek ran a special deal where you could get a collection of favorites for $30.  I figured it was a great way to try a few representative products from the brand and hoped the shipping from Great Britain wouldn't make it prohibitively expensive.  I found a coupon online (welcome10) for 10% off and there was only a $2 shipping charge.  I was a little confused about an item listed as "county taxes" that was around $10 but when I paid through PayPal my total was $29 after the discount and shipping were applied.  For $29 I received a blush, a 12 shade shadow palette, a highlighting palette with three cream shades and a powder shade, a matte lipstick and a cosmetic bag with a Sleek logo.  I would easily pay more than $7.25 for each of the makeup items even in the drugstore for brands like Maybeline or L'Oreal so I thought it was a great value.

The package arrived in a black plastic bag with a Royal Post sticker and customs declaration on the front.  Inside was an extremely well packed cardboard box.  Each item had its own cardboard box or shrink wrap and was wrapped in a bubble bag as well.  It made an overseas trip in nearly perfect condition, with just a tiny chip in one pan of eyeshadow.  It also got here really quickly - I ordered it on the 13th and it was here on the 20th.  I've ordered from plenty of American companies with slower shipping.

The I-Divine "Oh So Special" palette had really pretty colors that would work well with many skin tones.  The shimmery shades like Organza, Glitz and Celebrate are lovely and reminded me immediately of the Urban Decay shadows.  I know I will get a lot of use from these shades.  The matte shades Ribbon, The Mail and Wrapped Up were a little powdery, but so are the UD matte shadows.  I'm sure these will be fine with a primer.  The packaging reminds me of BH Cosmetics and the applicator was a black sponge tip, but I will use my brushes instead.  The swatch in the photo closest to my wrist is the lipstick, the next shades are all eye shadows, the next to last blush and the bottom the antiqued gold powder highlight palette shade.

The blush in Pomegranate was really beautiful.  The style of packaging reminded me of the Nars single blushes (which I do not own although I have sampled them in Sephora) with their rectangle shape.  I like that all the compacts feature a mirror and also that this was all product and no brush because I much prefer to use my own brushes and like a wider surface to sweep over.  This is very pigmented and imparts a pretty glow with very little effort.  It has a subtle shimmer which I really like.

The highlighting palette was also exciting.  I haven't had a chance to try the cream highlighters but I'm sure they will work well as browbone highlights and I am betting they will be nice for eye shadows too.  This compact was my favorite and its mirrored surface reminded me of the Hourglass makeup compacts.   I probably won't use this as often but I'm glad to have a versatile palette - I've never owned a highlight collection before.

The makeup bag is nice quality - similar to what you would receive as a free gift with a BareMinerals collection.  I didn't count it toward the value, but it will be a good way to keep all of these products together.

The lipstick is a pretty shade although a little bright for me.  I like the matte formula, it's comfortable on and didn't drag or bleed but I only wore it for an hour or so.  This is the kind of lipstick you could apply very lightly to and cover with a coat of clear gloss to give a subtle stain effect.  I will definitely be wearing it that way.

I'm very excited to see how these products make it through a work day.  So far I feel the shadows are soft and sexy, the blush a great shade for me and the lipstick versatile.  I would order from this brand in the future, and I would really like to try their liquid lipsticks and a few other products.  I wish they were available to buy in the US so I could swatch them and see the shades in person, but they have a great value and seem to be of high quality.

It is worthy to note that the shipping label reads "Contry of Origin - Taiwan/China/Indonesia" but bh cosmetics, Coastal Scents, Nyx and other mid tier and lower teir brands are also sourced from Asian countries and I've never experienced any problems.

All said, Sleek Makeup is a thrilling find!  Hopefully I'll be posting some looks soon.  Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

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