So I've put off writing this review for over a month and I think that's mostly because by the time this finally goes up I will have taken and retaken the photos for three times. This is the Sleek Smoke & Mirrors, Ultimate Smokey Eye Kit. It's £12.50 and is one of the products in the Boots 3 for 2 gift promotion they run every Christmas (which is maybe the best thing for last minute Christmas shopping).
So the pic above is what this outer packaging looks like. I can see what they're going for but I'm not sure I love the mix of the pink and black "bow", black and white triangles, purple, and then black with photos of products that also have black packaging on them (which I don't think makes a whole lot of sense).
I think the view without the sleeve is worse than with I think. There are stripes. Why are there stripes? What person thought that stripes would be a good addition to the patterned horror that is this box? Come on Sleek. I've never really had an issue with Sleek's packaging before but this just looks cheap.
The inside isn't any better and when you look at the size of the box verses what you get its also huge. It could have been a square the length of the palette, saving on space and packaging. Also I binned the clear inlay after the first set of photos I took, because I didn't think I would need to take them a further two times before I could get this post up.
So in the box you get the Sleek Full Fat Mascara and Dip It Liquid Eyeliner, both in black. The packaging on these is a bit basic and boring, but far far better than the box. Its at least in-line with palettes (which I do have an issue with but its nothing to do with the colour).
The mascara is OK. I probably wouldn't buy it again, there are other cheaper mascaras I prefer (Collection's Supersize Fat Lash and MUA's Define, Nourish and Care to name a couple). The formula is very, very wet, and dries fairly slowly. So if you sneeze, or accidentally hit it with a powder brush, that's it all down your face. The brush is one of those weird ones with a ball on the end and silicone "bristles", which I really don't like. Call me crazy but what's wrong with the old school full bristle ones? They always worked well in the past. I don't know if its the brush, or a combo of the brush and formula, but this just seems to give me spider eyes. Would not recommend it.
The eyeliner is another product that I think is just OK. I don't normally use dip liners, as I find I get better control with a pen style one but I was interested in trying it. The liner is more dark grey than black, but does apply nicely (even with the short handle). Its OK but as I said about the mascara, I wouldn't buy it again.
So the palette you get is the i-Divine Bad Girl Palette. It contains mostly darker shades and they seem to be split into groups of two. It looks used in the above photo as I've had to do these swatches a couple of times now and if I ever have to arm swatch again it will be too soon. The palette is one of standard ones from Sleeks collection and it has the classic black packaging. My only issue with this is I own a bunch of these and unless I open then or turn them over, its impossible to tell which is which. The "On the Horizon" palette has the palette name stamped in the bottom right corner, which is really helpful. They should really all have this. Also I hate the sponge applicators. Remind me to bin this once I'm done typing.
I was a bit worried when I was looking at the box, as the shadows in the bottom right looked very pink. In actual fact they're both purple, Twilight is a gorgeous dark purple, and rebel is a more mauve based colour.
So these are the swatches, As you can see, Sleek excel at making shimmer shadows. The middle two on the top row (Blade and Gun Metal) and the grey/green on the bottom left (Intoxicated) are to die for. The formula is similar to the Hidden Gems Palette, but as its permanent I feel like the shades are a bit more refined and less chunky. The mattes are a bit powdery but the pigment is intense.
I'm not sure I could do a whole eye-look with this palette, but I love the quality of Sleeks eyeshadows, and they might be my favourite Sleek product. I would definitely recommend them. The have 22 different palettes available in the i-Divine range so there's something to suit everyone. The other products I really love are the Matte Me Liquid Lipsticks, which are beautiful and also super affordable.
Final thoughts, this pack is fantastic value for money if you want to try Sleek and aren't sure if you'll like their formulas. Full Fat Mascara retails for £6.99, Dip it Eyeliner is £4.99 and the i-Divine Palettes are £8.99. You get £20.97 of product and an ugly, but sturdy, storage box for £12.50 so you save £8.47. Two out of three products are OK and the third I really like and it would make a good Christmas gift for someone who was interested in good quality and cruelty free makeup.
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