Finding a dupe for any high-end product can be a godsend these days, especially as the pounds and pennies can add up in horror in front of your eyes *sorry bank balance*. I believe that thanks to the rise of beauty bloggers who have a strong mind of what they want from a product, loads of brands have stepped up their game and produced purse-friendly palettes, lipsticks, blushes and more to rival their luxury counterparts.

Now I’m all for the occasional splurge on something that just works beautifully – NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer, MAC Lipsticks, the like – but there’s always those one or two drugstore brands who impress you for under £10 and lure you in for more. Personally, Sleek is my main make-up budget dupe yet all their products have a near high-end quality it never ceases to amaze me, so I’m going to share my top 4 Sleek dupes for your favourite luxury brands – no need to thank me, just head to Boots asap!

I love a good plum lipstick, and usually for quality formula you have to pay a little more to stop feathering or bleeding from occurring outside a liner, and even the dreaded wear-off when you have lost half the colour through eating and drink and the rest remains like a big ring – shivers. But, it’s too good a colour to hide away so for a luxury investment, the Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani Lipstick in Plum 600* has fabulous pay off that when blotted down leaves a long lasting matte berry plum – but we’re not here to discuss the luxury, as for a similar formula and spot-on colour you can get Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Smoulder* for a fraction of the price!

Smoulder is slightly more brown toned and deeper in purple, so if you’re wanting something a bit more vampy then this would be the best choice. Plum is definitely more berry and could be pulled off in the day with some highlighter and lots of mascara to keep it quite fresh – think AW15 in real life! In terms of formula however, Giorgio Armani does last longer on the lips and is more pigmented when you take off the excess whilst Sleek ends up being quite sheer, but it’s a budget buy you we can’t always expect miracles. All in all, there’s not too much difference so give Sleek a go before you invest in the shade.

Now for nudes, and Chanel Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle and Sleek Tru Colour Lipstick in Liqueur* are so similar (although you wouldn’t be able to tell from the bullet) that you could just go an tell everyone you’re wearing Chanel for the fun of it. But let’s break it down and see what’s different between the two; firstly, formula – Liqueur is slightly thinner but creamy, making it a great ‘slick on for some colour enhancement’ choice when you’re rushing out the door, and it’s especially good for occasions when you’re eating out or rocking a summer vibe – lovely and natural but easy to reapply without fail. Chanel on the other hand is slightly more substantial but glides just as easily, with the added bonus of a deeper colour to make your lips look like ‘yours but better’. Again, easy to reapply without fuss and lasts longer on the lips.

As I said before, Chanel is a bit deeper in colour with a more pink-brown hue whilst Sleek is more of a nude-brown so it does come off lighter or more neutral on your lips when worn, however it does have a slight shimmer to it so it’s good with a glow or a bit of bronzer on the cheeks. All in all, both are great for a quick nude lip, but Chanel does have slightly better consistency and longevity whilst Sleek applies on the go better – it’s a win/win situation all round!

Plum (L) Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Smoulder (R) Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani in Plum 600 | Nude (L) Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Liqueur (R) Chanel Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle

Everyone loves a good eye palette, and my Urban Decay NAKED 1 sure gets a lot of loving. It has the perfect mix of shades that I love to wear, great pigmentation and buttery formula, and can transport well when popping off for a weekend. That being said though, Sleek does an incredible job of replicating the same great pigmentation, shades and formula as NAKED, and yet again you get it all for a bargain price. 

Let’s talk the Sleek i-Divine Palette in Au Naturel* which has some similar shades to NAKED 1 but a few others that are also great wear. Sleek contains mainly grey, neutral, mossy greens and warm purples and browns which are great for a neutral base with slight depth – the grey is perfect for re-creating Burberry’s AW15 smokey grey eye, you heard it here first! NAKED however has some amazing golds, browns, neutral peaches and beige toned shadows and shimmers that just blend in beautifully, so depending on your colouring preference, NAKED is better for warmer neutrals and deeper blended shades whilst Sleek Au Naturel has a cooler toned collection of neutrals with dark purple-brown shimmers to jazz up the finish.

I also have to point out the packaging – now I love some great aesthetics but I do accept the fact that over time, the outsides will become a bit mucky. The NAKED 1 palette gets a lot of grief for it’s velvet cover and personally, I quite like it! It feels nice and looks great in my make-up drawers, but I can see where others come from in terms of it can get a bit worn easily so look after your products folks! Sleek goes for a matte, sleek (what a pun) black packaging, but as soon as you get your foundation fingers on it, it’s a pain to wipe off and leads to some smudged prints on the edges. I’m not too fussed, but I do wish it would clean easier so it looked better.

There are also some absolute cult blush and contour products on the market these days, and I feel both MAC and Benefit have some great options available – my personal favourites include MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder in Medium/Dark which has minimal (if any) shimmer that creates a lovely warm contour or bronze to the cheeks, whilst Benefit Coralista has an perfectly balanced pink-coral shade with flecks of warm gold shimmer, excellent for perking up the complexion and warming the skin in the start of Spring. Carrying both of these can be bulky which is why I find Sleek Face Form in Light* an absolute God-send, and also an amazing dupe for both products.

Housing a contour, highlight and blush, the shades are practically identical; the bronzer/contour is a a very flat matte brown which when used with a light hand, builds up into a gorgeous defined cheekbone with a hint of summer glow. Like wise to Benefit, the blusher is packed with gold shimmer and sparkle but contrasted to the slightly more pink-coral-brown shade, it works perfectly and a light  sweep on the tops of the cheeks adds a gorgeous evening flush to a nude make-up look.

So whether you’re on a spending ban, or need a new shade for your collection and don’t want want to compromise on price, then you definitely need to head over to your local Sleek counter. The nude lipsticks, face and eyeshadow palettes are particular highlights, and there’s also some snazzy Anastasia Brow Wiz dupes there too so keep your eyes peeled for them 😉

Whilst some high-end products are better – NAKED 1 will always be my true love – you can’t dismiss the fact that the high-street and drugstore are quickly catching up in terms of formula and quality whilst still keeping prices affordable. Foundations are better colours, nail polish lasts longer and looks better, and there are some seriously good lipsticks that I need to have in my collection ASAP…but I digress, because when it comes to a good ol’dupe for my love on conturing and nude eyes, Sleek will always be there for me to look chic and sleek for any occasion – I couldn’t help myself.

Are you a fan of Sleek makeup? Do you love drugstore or high-end beauty brands more? What products will and won’t you compromise on?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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Brighton based Photographer, photographing your fave bloggers by day and testing the best vegan/cruelty-free skincare by night.


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