Last month we all (or most of us, anyway) saw the furore on social media surrounding the exclusive, ultra- lux influencer press trip that Benefit had coordinated on both sides of the Atlantic to celebrate the launch of their newest product. Upon seeing the huge amount of influencers of colour from both the UK and the US attendees, I assumed that Benefit had FINALLY listened to their consumers, and was getting ready to release a foundation suitable for darker skin tones. Alas, we were instead treated to a reboot of a mascara instead and it had many people thinking: why do brands not want to cater for darker skin?
You’d think that with the incredible success of Fenty beauty and its 40 shades, brands would begin to buck up their ideas and hop on the diversity train, but alas; between Benefit, Tarte Cosmetics and other big brands refusing to cater for darker skin, it seems like we just can’t win.
One brand, however, that has been absolutely consistent in providing an expansive range of shades in all skin tones, is Sleek Makeup. I remember at an early age going into my local black hair shop and seeing racks and racks of Sleek products marketed towards black women, and it was so amazing to see. Now that Sleek is a lot more mainstream, it’s nice to see that they have still not forgotten their core audience and continue to provide a great range of foundations available in all skin tones. In today’s post, we’re talking about three of Sleek’s foundations: Lifeproof, Vitality Fresh and Creme to Powder.
The Lifeproof foundation comes in 24 shades, with 8 of those shades being available for darker skin tones, with a variety of cool and warm undertones, but I would say it mostly works well with cool/pink undertones. One thing I WILL say is that don’t let the small sample window on the packaging scare you; the formulas are not as red as they appear.
The foundation is said to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and make the skin appear shine-free, with ‘soft-focus powders’ that create a blurring effect on the skin.
I absolutely love that the shades go quite deep, however, I will add that the formulas tend to oxidise just a little bit after application, so it’s something to bear in mind if going for a shade with orange undertones. The foundation is supposed to be mid to heavy coverage, however, I find that you need to use quite a lot in order to get a decent bit of heavy coverage tbh. Once on though, the foundation doesn’t budge and when it comes to sweat control, it does quite a decent job.
I’m also a fan of the soft, squeezy bottle packaging as we all know how annoying it can be when you’re doing to the dregs and struggle to get out the last bits. Just a caution, however (as I found this when opening the packages for the first time) that the excess air inside may cause the formula to gush out en masse, so be careful when opening!
The Vitality Fresh foundation also comes in 24 shades, with 8 of the shades being suitable for darker/black skin tones. Vitality Fresh is a lightweight foundation containing hydrating ingredients including lotus flower, bamboo and water lily extracts, which leaves the skin looking flawless. It is an oil-free foundation that offers light to medium coverage and a semi-matte finish. I like that there are variations of warm and cool tones to suit, and you can also mix a couple of the shades to get a custom shade for you too!
I think the Creme to Powder compacts are my favourite out of the three as they give off a matte finish and have a velvety texture upon application. The formulas are lightweight, yet buildable and they can also double as contour powders too!
I’m a fan of the packaging, however, i find the compacts are a tad hard to open, with some of them having to be opened with my teeth. I’m also not a fan of the compact sponge that comes with it as I prefer to use powders with brushes, although I appreciate the inclusion!
The powder evens out my face with a very little amount of product, and I’d say that the longevity is about 5-6 hours or so, before having to touch up with some powder.
In conclusion, I’m a big fan of the foundations; packaging and oxidising issues aside, I think they are inexpensive little gems that go a long way longevity wise, and it’s nice to know that we are able to purchase foundations in our skin tone on a drug store level. Hopefully the premium brands will start to take notice!