Sleek Ink Pot Swatches, and a Dupe for Bobbi Brown Violet Gel Liner!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sleek Ink Pots are their gel eyeliners, in a small pot form, not unlike the packaging of Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners, or the MAC Fluidlines. The big differences is that these are packaged in a plastic pot, and are a lot cheaper. The range of colours is small, since they only have 5 colours, but nevertheless, there are some beauties in the bunch.

The first thing I noticed about these was that they always seem to be sold out at my nearest Superdrug. Sometimes entire racks of colours are empty. I've no idea why though. They do seem pretty popular. With the exception of one or two bright colours, the colour range is also incredibly subtle, making them perfect colours for work.

Here are swatches, as always:

Sleek Ink Pot Swatches

L - R: Bobbi Brown Indigo Gel Eyeliner, Sleek Ink Pot in Denim 495, Sleek Ink Pot in Espresso 496, Sleek Ink Pot in Purple Rain 497, Sleek Ink Pot in Zest 501, Sleek Ink Pot in Dominatrix 498, Bobbi Brown Violet Gel Eyeliner

Denim 495 is a beautiful cobalt blue. At first I thought this might be close to Bobbi Brown Indigo Gel Eyeliner, so I swatched my pot of Indigo next to the Sleek colour, but no dice. I like Denim, though, it's a very beautiful glowy blue that's not too bright, and not too muted.

Espresso 496 is your basic matte dark brown. This one is a cool-toned brown, so no orange here. It's also so dark it's almost black, but when swatched next to Dominatrix 498, you can tell they're not close. This one might be good for girls who want an alternative to black eyeliner.

Purple Rain 497 is one of those colours that make people drool over Sleek. You know me, you know I love purples (for nail polish, eyeliners, eyeshadows and accessories), and you know Sleek's Purple Rain is just going to be up my alley! But seriously. This colour is gorgeous. It's a lovely jewel-toned violet that is still subtle enough for the office. I love it! It's glowy, and beautiful, and the colour is just to die for.

Zest 501 is a bright happy matte primary yellow. For some reason the texture of the tester in this one wasn't as good as the others. I'm not sure if it's just been abused more by people sampling it, or if it's the actual formulation of the eyeliner.

Dominatrix 498 is your basic matte black. Nothing much to be said - it's a flat out black.

And if you didn't already notice, I swatched Bobbi Brown's Violet Gel Eyeliner next to the Sleek Ink Pot Swatches because I thought they looked really similar - and lo and behold! We have a dupe! Well not a 100% dupe, but this is as close as dupes ever get! They're almost identical! When I swatched the Sleek Ink Pots, I was all over Purple Rain, and no wonder - I already have something like it! They're both jewel-toned purply violets with a certain muted-ness that makes them work-appropriate, and they both have that lovely glowy shimmer I love so much. In fact, I do think the Sleek is slightly more glowy than the Bobbi Brown, but I'm splitting hairs here - honestly if you wore Sleek Purple Rain on one eye and Bobbi Brown Violet on the other, I don't think I'd see a difference.

Now I'm sure you're wondering how these compare quality-wise to the Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners. Well first of all, let me state that Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners are my ABSOLUTE favourite, and it's hard to top that. So when I did my comparison swatches, I left them on my hand for awhile (so yes I was in fact going about my business in central London with eyeliner swatches on my hand - the things I do in the name of beauty! The great thing about London is that there are so many weird people I hardly stand out :P ). And after that, when I got home, I attempted to test the staying power of the eyeliners by smudging them around with my fingers, and then by washing them off with water. When it comes to smudging, the Bobbi Brown obviously won out, but I have to give kudos to Sleek for trying. Both Indigo and Violet barely smudged, while the Sleek Ink Pots smudged somewhat. Not a lot, but definitely more than Bobbi Brown. Given how cheap these are, and given that Sleek is a drugstore line, I'm actually really impressed. And then I subjected the entire batch of swatches to running tap water, with a bit of rubbing. Oops. The Sleek colours washed off almost entirely, while the Bobbi Browns stayed on for much longer. So while I'm really impressed with how the Sleek Ink Pots seem to be pretty smudge-resistant, I don't think they're actually waterproof, so if you're planning on going swimming with these on....please don't. But if you're not entering the water, I think these are actually pretty good for day-to-day usage, since they hold up well to smudging.

Another comparison I want to make between the Bobbi Brown Gel Liners and the Sleek Ink Pots is the level of pigmentation and texture. As you might expect, the Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners were a lot more pigmented than the Sleek Ink Pots. I only needed 1-2 swipes for the Violet Gel Eyeliner swatch, and 1 swipe for the Indigo swatch, but each of the Ink Pot swatches took about 3 swipes or so. Some Ink Pots are more pigmented than others though. I found Zest, the bright yellow, to have the least pigmentation, while other colours were generally decently good. Also, the texture of the Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners is much better than that of the Sleek Ink Pots. In general they were much smoother and softer, although I might add that since I was using testers for the Sleek Ink Pot swatches, they could have just dried up due to being tested multiple times a day. So I'm not really in a position to comment on that.

I pretty much like these Ink Pots, given the price. They're decently pigmented, are pretty smudge-resistant (on my hand at least), and value-for-money. And if I ever run out of my Bobbi Brown Violet Gel Eyeliner and happen to be on a budget, I'd give Sleek Purple Rain a shot!


  1. Oooh demin looks nice! They always seem to be sold out at my local 'Drug too..the ones that are left have often been opened too so I'm not going to buy THEM.

    The one thing I love about gel liners is the fact that they last and last, I use my BB one practically every day and there is still TONNES left.

  2. I heard these dry out super quick though. Probably because they're housed in a plastic pot rather than a glass one, lets air and solvents permeate easier.

    Kelly x

  3. @Jellyminx: I wouldn't be surprised if they do dry out fast, some of the testers were really dried out! I think it has to do with the plastic packaging too...The caps didn't strike me as being really airtight.

    @Rhamnousia: I know! I don't think I'll ever finish up a gel eyeliner!

  4. I'm also very pleased with my two gel liners (Stone Cold&Espresso) by Sleek MU. Though I have them for around 5 month they aren't died in yet, so I can't complain.:-) I'd also like to buy purple rain and denim in the future. Sooo pretty colours! Thanks for the swatches, by the way!

  5. How much are they in the UK?
    You ladies make me so envious with your Sleek and Barry M!


  6. @MakeupAddict: I can't remember exactly, but I think they were 3-4GBP? No more than 5GBP I think.

  7. i was wondering can these inkpots be used as eyeshadow base???

  8. @divya: I'm not sure, I think they might be too smudgey for eyeshadow bases..

  9. wow great swatches! I would like to try the indigo, seems to be a subtle soft colour~!

  10. Great swatches, I love indigo and denim. I like a lot of Sleek's products, especially their I-Divine palettes. I've never tried gel eyeliner so I might give these a go given the price.

  11. I totally need this in denim, its beautiful!!

    Following ya!

  12. i really like the zest, to me its gorgeous!!


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