Every Saturday this April I am posting a new entry in a series I’m calling ‘Worth the Hype?’, where I’ll be reviewing products that get raved about in the beauty blogging world, and evaluating whether or not they’re worth the hype surrounding them. This week’s post is all about Sleek’s i-Divine Palettes.
After an eventful week (including intense wisdom tooth pain, the loss of a sentimental piece of jewellery, a break in the English countryside and a poorly dog) I’m back with my review of Sleek’s much loved i-Divine Palettes.
Is the love justified? Find out more after the cut! (be warned, this is a pic heavy post…)
Sleek is a brilliant little cruelty-free British make-up brand, available in-store and online from Superdrug or you can purchase from their own website. Although they have many brilliant products, such as their Matte Me Lip Creams (I have Rioja Red, but Fandango Purple may well be purchased next!), their i-Divine palettes seem to be raved about the most.
Sleek’s i-Divines are priced at £7.99 each and are currently available in 13 different shades, including the current limited edition Del Mar II palette. Previous limited editions can usually be found on eBay or Amazon for a decent price, so don’t worry if you’ve missed out.
They are often raved about for their smooth application and great pigmentation, so I’ve included some swatches, both with and without primer (EDIT: the primer I used is NYX High Definition Eye Shadow Base in case you’re wondering, and it’s totally amazing) so you can judge for yourself. I currently own three of their palettes, two limited editions and one from the permanent collection. I have included links so you can buy the limited editions if you fall in love!
Rio Rio | Limited Edition | Available on eBay
The Rio Rio palette was a limited edition palette released in summer 2014 to coincide with the FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil. The shades are mostly fun and bright carnival colours, perfect for celebrating summer in style. There are however a few neutrals which would be good for a more toned down look, making the palette nicely versatile. I do think that Leblon, the black shade in the top right corner is a little out of place, I think a dark, sparkly rainforest green would have suited the palette better.
Top row, L-R: Tropics, Night Fever, Ipanema, Caipirinha, Urca, Leblon.
Bottom row, L-R: Cachaca, City of God, Copacabana, Sao Conrado, Bossa Nova, Leme
Both with and without primer, Tropics, Night Fever and City of God are craaaaazy pigmented. Whatever you did to these shades Sleek, please keep it up! Both Leblon and Cachaca need a bit of coaxing to reach full opacity but they are perfectly good black and white colours respectively.
Urca and Sao Conrado are lovely when applied over primer. Although you can’t quite see Urca, rest assured that it is plenty pigmented, it just happens to match my skin tone really well!
Ipanema is an unusual colour that desperately needs a primer to bring out the lovely gold glitter. I would say that Leme is a little disappointing, as it looks a lot darker in the pan than it does on skin, and it always looks a bit streaky.
If you’re not a lover of primer I would say that you could definitely get away with using this palette without it and not miss out on an awful lot of pigmentation. The primer really does make some of the weaker colours pop though, like Copacabana and Bossa Nova.
I have a couple of photos of looks created using the Rio Rio palette from last summer, but be warned, these are from way before I had a blog and therefore they aren’t brilliant quality!
I have taken this palette on holiday with me in the past as my only eyeshadow and I didn’t feel deprived at all. The colours go brilliantly with summer sunshine and there’s something for everyone in it. If you only buy one of the palettes after reading my review, I would strongly suggest you get this one! Can you really live your life without the beautiful City of God?
Arabian Nights | Limited Edition | Available on eBay
Arabian Nights was a limited edition palette from Autumn/Winter 2014. The palette includes a selection of sparkly golds, blues, greens and purples. This is a brilliant going out palette, and you can create some gorgeous dramatic looks with it. It is not without its problems, but it’s not a bad way to spend £8 at all.
Top row, L-R: Scheherazade’s Tale, Gold Souk, Aladdin’s Lamp, Sultan’s Garden, Hocus Pocus, Simbad’s Seas
Bottom row, L-R: Genie, Black Magic, Stallion, Sorcerer, Valley of Diamonds, 1001 Nights
As you can see, primer is absolutely ESSENTIAL with this palette. The black based shades of Black Magic, Sorcerer and 1001 Nights are flat grey streaks without it, and the gorgeous foil effect of the paler shades is completely lost.
Unfortunately Black Magic, Sorcerer and 1001 Nights look extremely similar when applied due to their deep black bases. I would have preferred a bit more variation in the palette, maybe including some rich reds or purples instead.
Stallion is a big miss for me. In the pan it’s a deep and rich brown with a hint of purple but even when applied with a primer, the shade is muddy and streaky. A rich purple would have been a perfect inclusion, but instead we got this unusual hybrid colour. Strange choice, badly executed.
Nevertheless, there are some stunners in this palette. The entire top row is lovely, pigmented and buttery soft to apply. My favourite shade is Scheherazade’s Tale, which makes the most stunning subtle highlight below the brow. The rich sparkly brown of Genie is another standout shade, and although Valley of Diamonds looks a little streaky in this shot, I can assure you that it looks gorgeous when applied and the gold glitter catches the light beautifully.
For the following look I only used two shades, Gold Souk and Valley of Diamonds, and the combination is effective in bringing the green out of hazel eyes. Again, these pictures are quite old so feel free to have a giggle at how amateurish they look!
Garden of Eden | Available on SleekMakeUP.com
Garden of Eden is the only Sleek palette I own from their permanent collection. It is a collection of different tones of brown and green, with plenty of options for daytime and nighttime looks.
Top row, L-R: Gates of Eden, Eve’s Kiss, Paradise on Earth, Python, Forbidden, Flora.
Bottom row, L-R: Entwined, Adam’s Apple, Fig, Evergreen, Fauna, Tree of Life.
If you’re not a fan of primer but are a massive lover of green, you can definitely get away with using Fig, Evergreen and Fauna without losing any magic. Those three greens are the starlets of the palette and stand out for their unique colours, gorgeous foiled appearance and smooth application. Tree of Life isn’t bad either, and it makes for a fabulous liner.
Gates of Eden and Eve’s Kiss are slightly more bronzed versions of Scheherazade’s Tale and Gold Souk from the Arabian Nights palette, and they apply just as well.
Entwined and Forbidden aren’t as nice as the rest of the palette. Forbidden is a little too pale even with primer, and Entwined is streaky even when applied heavily, plus the gold glitter looks disorganised and out of place.
However, by a country mile the biggest problem child of this palette is Adam’s Apple. Prepare yourself for a rant! The other four greens are lovely, what the hell were Sleek thinking with Adam’s Apple? The shade of green itself doesn’t really fit with the other greens in the first place, the acid yellow/green shade does not match the beautiful natural greens at all. Then, there’s the application. OH MY WORD THE APPLICATION. It’s like rubbing your make-up brush on concrete, seriously. There is barely any pigmentation at all, and when applied it makes you look like you have jaundice of the eyelid. It applies as the ugliest yellow ever. It is evil, horrible and not at all worthy of an otherwise decent palette. Back to drawing board you go, Adam’s Apple.
Here is a look to showcase the beauty of the greens, and the horror that is Adam’s Apple.
Despite the epic fail that is Adam’s Apple (rant over, I promise) and the under pigmentation of Forbidden and Entwined, I still think this is a good palette. It offers some lovely neutrals, and the four greens are stunning, well worth the price of the palette alone. I would still recommend this palette, just know that it’s not perfect before you buy it.
So, are they worth the hype?
Yes, I think they are.
Obviously, for under a tenner you’re never going to get colours that apply as amazingly as Urban Decay’s £14 per shade shadows, but they do a fantastic job considering their low price. I love that they frequently release limited editions to keep things fresh, and the pigmentation of the majority of shades is extremely good. I don’t own any of their matte palettes, although I may have a play with one next time I’m in Superdrug to investigate, as the duds of the palettes always seem to be the matte shades (Adam’s Apple, I’m glaring at you…). I really like the packaging, including the massive mirror, and I think they’re better value for money than the £4 MUA palettes I’m always drawn towards in Superdrug.
The only bad things are that there always seems to be one or two duds in each palette, which can be a total disappointment if that’s the shade you’re most looking forward to using, and the absolutely useless double-ended foam applicator the palettes come with. Please just get rid of it altogether and make the pans bigger instead!
However, neither of these cons are deal breakers for me. I don’t regret buying any of the palettes I featured today and I’ll definitely continue collecting them. I’ve considered buying the i-Divine in Vintage Romance for a while now because the deep pinks and purples look absolutely scrummy, and I may well treat myself to one for Easter – my mum bought herself an Easter egg, and since I hardly ever eat chocolate I figure I can treat myself to eyeshadow instead?
I hope you enjoyed the first installment of Worth the Hype?, and make sure you follow Poppy alla Norma on Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss next week’s post!