Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sleek i-Divine Au Naturel Palette Review, Photos and Swatches

I recently ordered a few products from Sleek Makeup, a UK makeup company. I'd been hearing and reading a fair bit about their very well-priced eyeshadow palettes, highly pigmented blushes and BB cream online and the cost made it very accessible, despite the exchange rate and shipping. More on all of that later though...

This post takes a look at one of the two eyeshadow palettes I ordered, the Au Naturel Palette. It costs $9.99 US and contains 12 eyeshadows in a combination of matte and shimmer textures.

Here's what Sleek has to say about this palette:

Sleek MakeUP's legendary i-Divine palettes are 12 shades of super-pigmented, long lasting mineral based eyeshadow, designed to suit all. Each i-Divine contains pearlescent shades, which contain mica particles that highlight and illuminate giving an overall radiant effect. 

Au Naturel is an array of matte and shimmery eyeshadows providing a subtle yet contoured effect for day, that can be built up for a gorgeous evening smoky effect using the velvety browns and shimmering fawns.

12 x 1.1g/12x 0.03 oz

Some packaging photos follow. Each i-Divine palette comes in a black box.

The palette itself is made from matte black plastic with the logo in shiny black.

To give you a sense of the size of these, here it is in my hand.

Back of the palette
Each palette lid is a large mirror, which is a very nice feature. You could carry this palette in your purse for touch-ups during the day and/or creating an evening look for after work. Each palette also comes with a double-tipped sponge applicator. You can choose to work with these or not, but I prefer using brushes. The soft texture of some of the eyeshadows work a lot better with brushes than these applicators - more on the texture later though.

The palettes can be a bit tricky to open. They're quite thin so there's not a lot to hold on to and you have to hold the base a certain way and the lid a certain way to get it open.

Each palette also comes with a clear plastic overlay with the names of each shade of eyeshadow on it. It's a nice touch to have names for each shade, but Sleek doesn't appear to sell any of these as individual eyeshadows or have replacement pans available. It would also be better to have the names on the back of the palette rather than on this clear plastic sheet which I'll likely end up throwing out since it falls out every time I open the palette anyway.

Inside the Au Naturel Palette with the clear plastic overlay.

Inside the Au Naturel Palette without the clear plastic overlay.

And here we go with the swatches! I bet you're curious about this inexpensive, multi-shadow palette, right? 

Starting from the left side of the palette and doing four at a time...

Clockwise from top left: Nougat, Nubuck, Moss, Conker

L-R: Nougat, Conker, Nubuck, Moss

Nougat is the most matte of these four, with Nubuck next with a very soft shimmer, Moss being slightly more shimmery and Conker being quite frosty. 

Nougat is the lightest shade in the whole palette, and you might expect to be chalky since it's so white and matte. It's not. All of the shadows in this palette apply well, though some are creamier in texture than others. Nougat is pigmented but not so that it's opaque. Pigmentation-wise it's a little on the disappointing side, but I personally would not wear a highly pigmented white shade. This I could wear as a highlight very easily. 

Conker is a shimmery red-bronze. When applying this to my arm for the swatches, this was the one of the four that broke apart the most and had the most fall-out. It has great pigmentation and can be blended out for a more subtle effect.

Nubuck is warm taupe-grey shade. I liked the texture of this one the best of the four. It's one of those great colours that would suit both warm and cool skintones.

Moss is an antique brown-gold shade. It applies with a buttery texture and has a moderate amount of fall-out.

On to the middle four shadows:

Clockwise from top left: Cappuccino, Honeycomb, Mineral Earth, Bark

L-R: Cappuccino, Bark, Honeycomb, Mineral Earth
Cappuccino swatches similar to Nubuck, but with more golden-brown than grey. It has that look of cappuccino foam - milk mixed with coffee. The texture is a bit powdery and pigmentation is low on this one. You'll probably want to apply a few layers to see it properly on your skin.

Bark is a dark brown with a touch of red. It has excellent pigment but it does have a powdery texture, so anticipate some fall-out. This one is better not too blended out. It can go muddy.

Honeycomb is a warm, soft peachy-gold with good pigmentation. This is a lovely warm colour with a texture that's buttery and not too powdery.

Mineral Earth is a frosty bronze-red-brown with excellent pigmentation but some fall-out. It reminds me of MAC's Blue Brown Pigment without the green iridescence. 
And the final four shadows:
Clockwise from top left: Toast, Taupe, Noir, Regal

L-R: Toast, Regal, Taupe, Noir
Toast is a bright yellow-peach shade with a hint of gold to it. Very pretty, moderately pigmented and a little on the powdery side.

Regal is a plum-brown with excellent pigmentation but, as you can see in the photo above, it's a bit powdery. Beware of fall-out!

Taupe is a very wearable, very pretty shimmery peach-gold shade. It's a good highlight shade.Noir is a deep shade that's not quite black. It's got some grey and a little green to it. I really like this shade smudged along the lashline. It's like soot, if that makes sense. Powdery and deep but soft.

In summary, the Au Naturel i-Divine Palette is a mixed bag in terms of texture and pigmentation. To me all the shades are workable and wearable, despite some being lightly pigmented and some having issues with fall-out and powderiness. Some of the shades I can see myself wearing over and over and over again, and some I won't naturally be drawn to using. I especially like Noir, Mineral Earth and Nubuck, but also Bark, Conker and Moss. There are none of these shades that I dislike. I like that there are a mix of neutral shades ("flat" colours) and more stand-out shades (colour and shimmer) in this palette. There are so many different looks that can be created. 

In terms of cost, this is a very good palette. $10 (approximately) gets you 12 eyeshadows that range from average to good quality! 

Grade: B

A few things I've discovered about ordering Sleek products online: I looked into a few different ways to get my hands on Sleek products. You can order through the Sleek website directly, or find some products through Ebay. You can also order through Superdrug if you live in the UK. US residents, note that you cannot order eyeshadow from the Sleek website due to shipping regulations, but Canadian residents have no such issues. I ended up going through Sleek directly. Prices were in US$. Shipping was very reasonable. I paid $6.49 US in shipping for an order that came to just over $50 US. There was no duty once it arrived either. I was very happy with the cost! No added charges.

Another thing you should know was that it took about a week and a half for my order to arrive. From the UK. That's fantastic! I was shocked as I expected to have to wait for a month or more as I have ordering things from the UK in the past!

I was also happy that none of the products I'd ordered were damaged when they arrived.

Your turn! Have you used Sleek products? Have you tried their eyeshadows? Let us know in the comments below!

To see the other Sleek products reviewed:

Sleek Be Beautiful Blemish Balm
Sleek Blush By 3 in Lace

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