You know how a popular makeup brand releases a new collection and the whole beauty blogging world goes gaga over it? You know how a new neutral coloured palette is released and every one and their sister goes “Oh! This is the new UD Naked palette!”
Welcome to the Sleek Makeup Nude Collection featuring the Au Naturel i-Divine eyeshadow palette, Suede Blush and Bare Minimum Pout Polish. This is the latest Sleek Makeup collection and the rave du jour around the interweb. The eyeshadow palette is already favourably compared to the UD Naked one – in fact, nearly every neutral toned palette is :P
I’m going to stick my neck out here, ladies and tell you that whilst I’ve enjoyed using Sleek Makeup’s other palettes (Curacao, Oh so Special) and products (Pout Paints), this is quite possibly my least favourite collection. Oh yes, shoot me :P
Now, hold the hate mail, let me tell you why.
Sleek Makeup Au Naturel i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette
My beef is really with the Au Naturel i-Divine eyeshadow palette. By all accounts, this is a very well put together palette in terms of colour selection. I do like the way a whole slew of neutral shades have been put together, from light to dark
This one’s quite different from the Oh So Special palette because the colours are markedly warmer and the colours are also very very neutral and natural, focusing on browns and beiges. Here is the Oh So Special palette for comparison
However, here is where the comparison ends. I liked the Oh so Special palette. The pinks threw me for a loop, but they actually worked well ultimately, and I can use this palette quite easily. That is not so true for the Au Naturel i-Divine palette.
Sleek Au Naturel i-Divine palette Top Left-Right: Nougat (matte white), Nubuck (matte light grey), Cappucino (matte latte), Honeycomb (matte beige yellow), Toast (matte light orange), Taupe (shimmer golden tan – no taupe here!)
Bottom Left-Right: Conker (shimmer reddish brown), Moss (shimmer khaki), Bark (matte brown), Mineral Earth (shimmer dark brown), Regal (matte dark taupe), Noir (matte black)
The “problem” I see here lies in the fact that Sleek Makeup’s strength is in shimmer eyeshadow. Their shimmer colours are lovely and pigmented and apply and blend very easily. The same is true of the Au Naturel i-Divine eyeshadow palette. The shimmer colours swatch very easily, and are nicely pigmented.
Sleek Makeup however, does not do matte colours very well. My last few experiences with their matte shades have left me wanting. So, when you realise that the Au Naturel i-Divine eyeshadow palette contains 8/12 matte shades which are all very sheer, you can understand why I feel underwhelmed and disappointed.
I can’t even bring you swatches. The first 5 colours at the top don’t even show up on my hand when I use my fingers, and when I use the sponge, shows up a little. The texture too tends to be a little chalky. I’m pretty fair as skintone goes, and the first row of colours barely show up on my skin. Whilst the Oh So Special palette had 7/12 matte shades, the matte shades showed up better maybe because of the colours used. The matte shades in the light browns and beiges don’t perform as well. So yes, I’m not a fan of the Au Naturel i-Divine eyeshadow palette. Said it and will stand by it.
In a nutshell
The palette contains mostly matte eyeshadow shades which I don’t feel Sleek Makeup are strong in. The texture is sheer and a little chalky and do not show up very well on my skin. It might work over a lid primer. The shimmer shades are the usual pigmented blendable quality I’ve come to associate with Sleek Makeup i-Divine palette.
Pros: Shimmer shadows apply well, Maybe good if you like matte shades or if you can get it to work
Cons: Matte colours are too sheer and chalky, Colours do not show up well on my skin
Sleek Makeup Suede Blush and Bare Minimum Pout Polish
The Suede Blush is a matte browned peach blush that looks dark in the pan and to be honest, underwhelming. I was a little surprised however, that using a fluffy bronzer brush, I got the colour to apply light on my skin without looking too dirty, and it does make a good contour shade. If you have a darker skintone, I think it makes a nice neutral blush. So this one isn’t a washout.
The Bare Minimum Pout Polish is, as the name implies, a bare minimum of colour on your lips. My lips anyway. I do have pigmented lips so this one shows up as nothing but a shine, like a lipbalm or clear gloss. The scent of vanilla is strong which will appeal to those who like the scent and will not appeal to those who don’t.
Here’s the swatches of the Suede Blush and Bare Minimum Pout Polish. I think it says it all. I cannot use the blush for anything other than a contour powder or it’d be too brown and dark, and the Pout Polish is just altogether too sheer on my lips. But I got it to work by using a bit of alchemy as you will see below.
In a nutshell
The Suede blush is a good contour shade for fair skins and may work well as a natural blush if you have a darker skintone. It applies sheerly and can be built up for colour. The Pout Polish has a strong vanilla scent which does not linger on the lips, and Bare Minimum is a very very sheer transparent shade on my pigmented lips.
Pros: Suede blush makes a good contour colour, Pout Polish is a nice lipbalm
Cons: Suede blush may not suit everyone, Bare Minimum Pout Polish is very light and sheer although it makes a good lipbalm
And after going on about this collection, here is a look I whipped up using the Sleek Makeup Nude Collection to show you how it looks like.
Also featuring: Dior Forever liquid foundation 010, Guerlain Blush G Noir, Shu Uemura Hard Pencil Seal Brown on brows
The eyes feature Nubuck, Moss and Nougat on the lid and topped off with a touch of Taupe for shimmer; and on the lower lid, Mineral Earth and Nougat to line. Suede Blush on the sides of the face to contour (you can’t see this) and topped off with Guerlain Blush G Noir for colour or I look terribly washed out and ill.
On the left is the look with Bare Minimum Pout Polish only which I feel makes me look washed out. On the right, I mixed in a teeny weeny drop of Pin Up Pout Paint into the Bare Minimum Pout Polish for a sheer rosy gloss/balm. Now you see why I prefer wearing strong colours on my lips? I don’t look as dead anymore :P
So I’m sorry if you have this collection and you love it and you hate me for not loving it as much as you do. I guess the colours do nothing for me in this one, and the texture too. I maintain that Sleek Makeup does shimmer shadows well. But they do have to work on their matte shades as the Au Naturel i-Divine palette proves.
Would you disagree with me? Do you have this collection and love it? Or are you going “You don’t know anything! This is the bestest collection in the whole entire world!” ?
Sleek Makeup is available at Superdrug stores in the UK, and online at sleekmakeup.com which ships internationally. The items in the Nude Collection are permanent. Au Naturel i-Divine eyeshadow palette retails at £6.49, Suede Blush and Bare Minimum Pout Polish at £4.29 each.