Saturday, 4 October 2014

Sleek i-Divine eyeshadow palette in Arabian Nights review & swatches

Let me be honest with you. I'm not a great fan of Sleek eyeshadows. Everyone's raving about the pigmentation, but pigmentation is not all that decides about the quality of eyeshadows and even that is quite inconsistent in most of the palettes I own. Lots of shades are buttery, but somehow difficult to blend. They produce tons of smeary fallout and worse of all they transfer onto the immovable part of my upper lid like no other eyeshadow in my possession. They crease and fade substantially within a couple of hours.   

So, why did I get another Sleek palette even though I didn't have high hopes for it? Well, I found the shade selection irresistible. I have a ton of nude palettes and I believe they're lovely, but sooo boring. Arabic make-up doesn't suit me in any way but I've always been drawn to it so I grabbed this palette and in spite of all its disadvantages and I've been playing with it ever since. 

The shades are (top/bottom, left to right order): 
Scheherazade's Tale: is a smooth salmon toned shimmery beige in the pan, but goes on much warmer, more coppery when swatched. Very buttery and smooth. 
Genie: is a chocolatey brown with brown, copper and bluish silver micro glitter.Crumbly and drier texture, but when applied with a good quality flat brush this eyeshadow becomes smooth and blends nicely.
Gold Souk: is a sparkly gold shade which is unfoprtunately very crumbly and looks like golden sheen or glitter with no opacity or base colour.
Black Magic's name is strangely appropriate. Although it looks dark blue in the pan, swatches reveal its magic ability to transform into one of the most unique shades in general. This eyeshadow has a not-so-black or perhaps charcoal base and blue sheen and satin finish. A single swatch is kind of sheer, but it's beautifully buildable and the texture is very soft and smooth. Unfortunately this complex nature of Black Magic doesn't transfer onto the lid with all its might. It's a nice classic smoky eye shade with a twist. The only problem is that there's one more almost identical shade in this very same palette.
I find it hard to describe Aladdin's Lamp. It's a kind of warm taupe or golden pewter with shimmer. A lovely shade, one of my favourites for everyday occassions.
Stallion is the only matte eyeshadow in the palette. This is a plum brown shade, soft and neither dry nor powdery. This one has good colour payoff and blends well, though you need to pack it if you want to keep the shade and prevent it from looking muddy.
Sultan's Garden is another complex and truly unique shade. It looks like muted grayish green shade with minty hue, but when swatched it looks like a kind of duochrome with matte gray base and tons of green light-reflective microshimmers sitting on top. It's a beautifull autumn shade, I love it all over the lid or on my bottom lashline.
Sorcerer is almost an exact dupe of Black Magic. It has the same transforming nature that makes it look totally different from what we see in the pan. In the pan it looks like a grayish shade of blue but just like Black Magic it's a blackened base eyeshadow with blue sheen. After a careful analysis of both shades I figured out that the difference between them is that the sheen in Black Magic is on the cooler, nave blue side, while the sheen on Sorcerer is warmer and more purple, but trust me, on the eye the difference is imperceptible. They are identical also as far as their texture and finish are concerned!
Hocus Pocus is a gorgeous shimmery emerald shade with good colour pay off that blends without loosing its nature.
Valley of Diamonds the worst quality eyeshadow in the palette. Its' a reddish plum purple with gold shimmer. It's texture is hard and dry and I notice serious pigmentation issues, the product refuses to cling to the brush and you get no colour payoff, not to mention the glitters that disappear somewhere on their way from the pan to the eyelid. 
Simbad's Seas is a lovely dark, yet bright blue eyeshadow with purple undertones. Excellent pigmentation, looks true to pan on the lid. 
1001 Nights looks like any ordinary black, but it's not! It's the most unique black in my possession! This shade is very intense and very true black, but this isn't what makes it so special. This is a satin black with texture so buttery that it feels like a cream to powder or powder to cream eyeshadow formula. It makes a perfect eyeliner to enhance any kind of look!

I've recently come up with a scale of 10 factors that make a perfect palette, so let's see how well this one performs against them:
1. Self sufficiency: In spite of the fact that the palette contains 12 eyeshadows it lacks a matte light beige shade to highlight and a light brown to use in the crease.  I keep reaching for my Lorac Pro 2 palette to complement what is lacking in Sleek Arabian Nights palette.
2. Variety of shades is undeniable. You get here both neutrals and colours.
3. Variety of finishes: shimmers and small glitters dominate this palette. There's one matte and one satin eyeshadow.
4. Variety of looks is infinite. From neutrals and nudes to bold party looks. 
5. Pigmentation is inconsistent, but mostly highly satisfactory.
6. Uniqueness: The palette contains a variety of shades I can't find dupes for in my collection and I don't seem to have seen elsewhere.
7. Performance: These eyeshadows blend well if you apply some matte eyeshadow underneath to give them some slip, otherwise they tend to cling to my skin and go on patchy. They fade within 4-5 hours and crease if worn without a primer. Dark buttery shades tend to transfer onto my upper lid.
8. Packaging is nice and sleek. The compact seems sturdy, but after a couple of weeks its hinges broke and the lid came off. This is not the first Sleek palette in my possession that broke in that way. But it if this doesn't happen to you, you'll enjoy it's full size, good quality mirror and perhaps even find use for the sponge tip applicators.
9. Availability: online only
10. Value for money: 12 eyeshadows for $11.99 or £7.99 or PLN37.50 is definitely good value for money. Each eyeshadow is 1.1g, MAC eyeshadows are 1.5g, for reference. Made in China.

Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.


  1. I really like sleek products but i have never used their eyeshadows before. I like that they have shades for darker skin tones too :)

    1. Sleek is a hit or miss brand for me. I've got their contour kit, which is lovely, some eyeshadow palettes are great, some are meh, their matte lipstick went straight to the bin.