Sleek MakeUP is sold across 15 countries and in more than 2,200 stores worldwide, making it a household name when it comes to high-street makeup. It’s considered a pioneer in beauty trends, including contouring and matte lipsticks and is one of our favourite cheap makeup brands. As a result, it’s the latest to feature in our brand spotlight series.
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Over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be shining a light on brands that represent and align with what we stand for at mamabella – brands that offer great products at low prices; brands which champion inclusivity and diversity; clean, sustainable and ethical beauty brands, and brands that are challenging the beauty industry hierarchy.
We’ve previously taken a look at The Ordinary and Carbon Theory, both affordable but science-led skincare brands offering fantastic products. Elsewhere, we’ve taken a look at makeup brands Revolution and NYX, and we’ve also outlined what we consider to be the best cheap makeup brands on the market.
Although Sleek MakeUP is now a globally recognised brand, its beginnings were far more humble – only starting to sell globally in 2009. It was founded in 1955 in east London, before quickly gaining popularity due to its products’ high pigmentation. After proving itself on the UK high street with its on-trend and high-quality products, Sleek MakeUP was acquired by the Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) in 2015.
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One of the reasons behind Sleek’s strong reputation is its focus on inclusivity and diversity. These values are at the heart of the brand. In 2019, Sleek MakeUp launched the #WorkItYourOwnWay campaign, which revolved all around showcasing the unique meaning of self-expression and celebrating the different ways in which each individual chooses to live their life.
£9.99 | Buy now from Sleek MakeUP
Who’s it for?: Anyone looking for blinding, but glamorous, cream and powder highlight shades.
Why we love it: Great for the woman on the go, these four beautiful highlighter shades will make your cheeks pop. With gorgeous sheens and shimmers, they add a subtle glow and radiance to the high points of your face. Add to your inner corner and across the cupid’s bow for a fresh look.
How to use it: Blend using fingertips to the inner corners of the eyes, across the brow bone and along the tops of cheekbones. Use an eyeshadow brush for precision and to build up intensity. Use a bigger, fluffy brush to apply to shoulders, the centre of the arms and across collar bones. You can learn more about what kinds of tools work best for this in our beginner’s guide to makeup brushes.
£4.99 | Buy now from Feelunique
Who’s it for?: Anyone looking for a long-lasting blusher in a range of shades to suit all skin tones.
Why we love it: Highly-pigmented and long-lasting – this blush won’t let you down with its gorgeous but subtle colour. For an easy on-the-go look, sweep across your lids too for a natural eye.
How to use it: After applying your base makeup, take a big fluffy blush brush and sweep the product along the apples of your cheeks. Blend and then return to the pan for more product to build up the intensity.
£4.99 | Buy now from Lookfantastic
Who’s it for?: Anyone looking for a solid but comfortable-wearing matte liquid lipstick that doesn’t need too much maintenance.
Why we love it: Easy to apply, Sleek’s matte liquid lipstick only needs one coat, making it super lightweight on your lips. Not only great in quality, but highly pigmented, long-lasting and super affordable. It comes in tonnes of shades to suit every occasion.
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How to use it: After applying a similar coloured lip liner, use the applicator provided to layer colour and intensity as you go. Part your lips, and gently blot using your fingertip or a tissue to remove any excess product.
£10.99 | Buy now from ASOS
Who’s it for?: Anyone looking for somewhere to begin in the contouring world.
Why we love it: One of the most iconic products in both the Sleek back catalogue *and* the wider contour world, this contour kit is perfect for beginners as it includes highlighting shades as well as contouring shades. You can play around with the intensity by building up the product or keep it light and simple by applying small amounts blending thoroughly.
How to use it: Use an angled contour brush and remember to blend, blend, blend! Create the illusion of refined features, high cheek-bones, a soft jawline or a slimmer nose.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? How to contour your face
£8.99 | Buy now from Sleek MakeUP
Who’s it for?: Anyone looking to get creative with super-pigmented eyeshadow.
Why we love it: Available in seven different versions, featuring all manner of colour palettes from subtle berry shades to natural, warm browns or bold and bright shimmers, the I-Divine eyeshadow palette range has everything you could ever need. Create entire looks using the 12 creamy, highly pigmented pearlescent shades.
How to use it: Using a big fluffly blending brush, sweep lighter, neutral shades in your crease and build up intense shimmery shades on the lid using a flat brush or your fingertip.
Raised between Germany and Italy, Nina is currently living in London studying towards a Masters in Human Rights at University College London and working as a freelance writer. She recently graduated from Bournemouth University in Multimedia Journalism where she wrote her dissertation on the representation of female political leaders in the tabloid media. Politics aside, she has a passion for everything fashion and beauty related