Category Archives: UK and European brands

Walgreens Look Boutique; Gosh Cosmetics; and new 2013 Wet n Wild Preview

walgreens look boutique
Walgreens  – corner of Sunset & Vine, Los Angeles

This morning, I went out looking for new 2013 drugstore products, and stumbled upon a new Walgreens store (an employee told me it opened December 1st).  For those local to Los Angeles, it’s on the corner of Sunset & Vine, where the Border’s store used to be.  From doing a bit of online research, I believe it is called a “look boutique” – it’s a store that, in addition to drugstore products and drugstore makeup brands, carries some midrange / high end brands – I noticed Cargo, theBalm, Pop Beauty, as well as skincare brands Nuxe, Avene, La Roche Posay and many, many more.   A couple photos:

I was also excited to see a Gosh Cosmetics display – Gosh is a Denmark based brand that is popular in the UK, but is only recently available in the US. I took some photos of the Gosh display, but I only had my cellphone with me and they didn’t turn out very well.

I bought a Gosh nail polish (612 Galaxy), but I’ll have to go back for other products after doing more research on the brand!

The other very exciting thing I found was a Wet n Wild display that was fully stocked with all the new Fergie products and 2013 products. Here are some photos of the display (some of these of the wall, which had all the new products, and some of the photos are from temporary displays, which I noticed first).

EDIT: I’m not sure how I missed it (since I stalk her blog), but G. over at Nouveau Cheap actually has already posted that this location is carrying these products! Apparently, it’s the only place in the country that already has them, and other Walgreens locations will get them in January 2013.

Wet n Wild / Fergie Bronzers – called “To Reflect Shimmer Palettes”
Wet n Wild  / Fergie Eyeshadow quads
“Maldives Sky” and “Dutchess Lounge” (yes, that’s how they spelled it)
Wet n Wild / Fergie eyeshadow quads
“Desert Festival” and “Metropolitan Nights”
Wet n Wild / Fergie Perfect Pout Lip Color Lipsticks (the far right is black)
Wet n Wild / Fergie gel eyeliners, mascara, eyeshadow primer
New Wet n Wild mascaras
New for 2013 Wet n Wild Mega Last Liquid Lip Colors
New for 2013 Wet n Wild Cover All Pressed Powder & Cream Foundation

I purchased five Wet n Wild items: an eyeshadow quad, a Perfect Pout lipstick, a Mega Last liquid lipstick (I’m curious to see if it’s really a liquid lipstick or more of a gloss!), a pressed powder, and the eyeshadow primer.  I’ll have swatches up later today, and the reviews will go up over the next few days as I have a chance to test things out!

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This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

Sleek Pout Paint Review & Swatches

Sleek Pout Paints: Cloud 9, Mauve Over, Lava, Pin Up, Pinkini, Minx, Peek-a-Bloo

Sleek Pout Paints: Cloud 9, Mauve Over, Lava, Pin Up, Pinkini, Minx, Peek-a-Bloo

Continuing on with today’s theme of very-pigmented-liquid-lipsticks-in-squeeze-tubes, I bring you Sleek Pout Paints! Sleek’s Pout Paints are almost identical to OCC’s lip tars.

Since OCC’s repackaging, they have almost identical packaging.  They are both intensely pigmented liquid lipsticks that must be applied in very small with a lip brush; both are great for mixing.  Both are matte and very long lasting.

There are a few differences.  The OCC Lip Tars are a bit thinner; Sleek Pout Paints are just slightly thicker and, in my opinion, this makes them a little easier to work with. OCC Lip Tars are peppermint-scented, while Sleek’s Pout Paints are unscented.  Pout Paints come in eleven shades; Lip Tars come in an amazing 40 shades.  Pout Paints are $6.49; Lip Tars are $16.

Personally, I prefer the Pout Paint’s texture; between that and the price point, if there is a Pout Paint shade available, I will go with that; but, since OCC has a huge shade range, I also own several Lip Tars.

Here are the swatches of the seven Pout Paints I own. Again, my camera freaked out over the brightness and couldn’t focus without the flash:

Sleek Pout Paints: Cloud 9, Mauve Over, Lava, Pin Up, Pinkini, Minx, Peek-a-Bloo - swatches

Cloud 9, Mauve Over, Lava, Pin Up, Pinkini, Minx, Peek-a-Bloo – natural light

Sleek Pout Paints: Cloud 9, Mauve Over, Lava, Pin Up, Pinkini, Minx, Peek-a-Bloo - swatches

Cloud 9, Mauve Over, Lava, Pin Up, Pinkini, Minx, Peek-a-Bloo – flash

No lip swatches for now, but please let me know if you’d like to see some!

I have to confess: I’ve actually been neglecting both my Lip Tars and Pout Paints of late; it seems like an extra step, but in playing with them for the posts today, I remembered just how easy they really are.  The extra 30 seconds they take to apply is easily made up for by the fact that reapplication is not needed.  I will be using them more in the next few days / weeks / months!

Sleek Blush By 3 Review & Swatches – Pumpkin, Sugar, Flame, Pink Sprint, Lace

Last February, I read that Sleek Makeup (a UK drugstore brand) had released five different blush palettes, each with three blushes.  Sleek has a fantastic blush formula, so I was immediately intrigued.  However, the blushes were not available at the time on Sleek’s website, and though they were on Ebay, they would have cost double the retail price so I decided to wait. Eventually, they showed up on Sleek’s website, but because shipping was so expensive and because I couldn’t decide which ones to get, I didn’t buy any.

Then, a few weeks ago, Sleek relaunched its website with a 20% off discount sitewide (now over, sorry!) and reduced shipping costs to the US (permanent).  I thought it was time to finally buy a couple of the Blush by 3 palettes.  Since they were on sale, I decided to just go for it and buy all five.  Picture heavy post ahead!

A few general comments: All five of the Blush by 3 palettes are smooth and blend nicely.  Four of them are quite pigmented; Sugar is less pigmented.  There are a mix of shimmery and matte shades, but most of the shimmery shades are fairly subtle and will add dimension rather than obvious shimmer particles.  I plan to use the matte shades as my main blush shades, then layer the shimmery shades over the top lightly to add dimension without too much shimmer.

Each shade has a name, listed on the back of the palette – it looks like this:

Here is a size comparison of the Sleek Blush by 3 with a single Sleek blush and a NARS blush – I cleaned the packaging, but they were hopelessly dirty!  NARS blushes contain 4.8g; Sleek single blushes contain 8g; the Blush by 3 palette contains 20g (6.7g per blush – more than NARS!).

I really like Sleek’s packaging – it’s very compact and efficient, and I’m always a fan of black packaging.   It would be ideal if the lids were clear for these so I could tell them apart more easily, but this works too, and there is a nicely sized mirror in the lid.

On to the swatches! Because there are 15 blushes total, I don’t have full-face swatches (sorry!).  I have flash and natural light swatches for each color.

Pumpkin 363 - lantern, squash, pumpkin pie

Pumpkin 363 – lantern, squash, pumpkin pie

Pumpkin 363 - lantern, squash, pumpkin pie swatches

Pumpkin 363 – flash / natural light

All three shades in the Pumpkin palette are nicely pigmented and smooth.  Lantern, on the left, is a red with subtle shimmer; Squash is a cool pink with a slight sheen, and Pumpkin Pie is a bright cool orange.

364 Sugar - Turbinado, Muscovado, Demerara

364 Sugar – Turbinado, Muscovado, Demerara

364 Sugar - Turbinado, Muscovado, Demerara

Sugar – flash / natural light

Each of the three shades in the Sugar palette is less pigmented than the other palettes. I even swatched it twice to make sure I hadn’t done something wrong the first time (how do you swatch incorrectly, though?).  However, they have plenty of pigment to work – they’re just not AS pigmented as the others.
Turbinado, on the left, is a matte berry red.  Muscovado, in the middle, looks almost brown in the pan, but swatches plum with gold shimmer.  Turbinado is is a muted peach/brown.

Flame 365 - Furnace, Bon Fire, Molten

Flame 365 – Furnace, Bon Fire, Molten

Flame 365 - Furnace, Bon Fire, Molten swatches

The Flame palette has three lovely red shades.   All three are very pigmented. Furnace looks very slightly patchy in the swatch, but gives no trouble when applied. Furnace is a soft red with some shimmer.  Bon Fire an orange-based matte red.   Molten is very similar to Furance, but slightly more muted.

Pink Sprint 366 - Pink Parfait, Pink Ice, Pinktini

Pink Sprint 366 – Pink Parfait, Pink Ice, Pinktini

Pink Sprint 366 - Pink Parfait, Pink Ice, Pinktini swatches

Pink Sprint – flash, natural light

Sleek Pink Sprint – flash / natural light
Pink Sprint is the only palette with three mattes.   Pink Parfeit is a soft berry rose; Pink Ice an almost neon pink; and and Pinktini a stunning, very pigmented dark raspberry.

Lace 367 - Crochet, Guipure, Chantilly

Lace 367 – Crochet, Guipure, Chantilly

Lace 367 - Crochet, Guipure, Chantilly swatches

Lace – flash, natural light

All three shades in the Lace palette are very smooth and pigmented. Crochet is a matte peach with orange tones, Guipure is a pink with gold shimmer – the strongest shimmer out of all five of the palettes – and Chantilly is a pink-coral.

Overall, I am totally in love with these palettes! I am going to have a lot of fun playing with them. Does anyone need 15 blush shades? Not really – and especially not me – but I am so happy to have them, and they add a lot of variation to my blush stash.

If you are in the US, Sleek Blush by 3 palettes sell for $12.49 each on Sleek’s website. Shipping starts around $5 for one palette, and goes up when you buy more.

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This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

Sleek Ultra Matte Palette – V2 Darks – Review, Swatches, Photos

Sleek Ultra Matte V2 Darks

Sleek Makeup recently released two new all-matte eyeshadow palettes; V1 Brights, and V2 Darks.   As soon as I saw photos and swatches of V2 Darks, I knew I wanted it! Although the Sleek website does not ship them to the US due to FDA regulations, several Ebay sellers have them available.

The packaging for the Sleek Mattes palettes is identical to all of Sleek’s other palettes (I also own the Original Palette, which I like, but do not use very often.)  I like the packaging because the palettes are quite, well, sleek – they are thin, lightweight, and have little wasted space. I also like the plain black packaging.  The only issue is that since the top is plain black, it’s impossible to tell Sleek palettes apart from the front or side if you have several – though I’ve seen people use labelmakers to solve that problem neatly.

One change from the previous Sleek Palettes is that instead of a patterned eyeshadow surface (like in this photo), the eyeshadows in the Matte palettes are smooth. I like this change – it seems easier to pick up the color.   I used the enclosed sponge-tip applicator to do the following swatches.  I used to always use my fingers to swatch for this blog, but have recently switched to sponge tip applicators for most products; I don’t want to get the oils from my fingers in to powder products.   As always, these swatches are over bare skin.

Sleek Ultra Matte V2 Darks – top row swatches
Sleek Ultra Matte V2 Darks – bottom row swatches

As you can see, all twelve shades have good pigmentation and applied smoothly.  The one shade that is almost invisible in the first picture is the same quality as the other eyeshadows; it’s only difficult to see because it is so close to my skin color.

I also did a quick eye look to see how these performed on my eyes, using my normal brushes and over primer – and I was very pleased. They applied smoothly and blended fairly easily.  They don’t seem quite as smooth as Inglot eyeshadow, but they are still very easy to work will. For the below photo, I used the grey (bottom left) on the lid; blended out and highlighted with the white (top right), and placed a little bit of the more vibrant purple (top middle) on my lower lashline.  I did have some fallout – you can see it in the photo – but that doesn’t bother me, as it would be easy to clean up; I would have, but I didn’t notice it until I was cropping the photo.

Overall, I’m very very happy with this palette! Several – in fact, most –  of the shades are unique to my collection, which is a huge plus for me at this point, and the quality is fantastic for the price (I paid $11 plus shipping; if you’re in the UK, it goes for £6.99).

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This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.