Since getting the semi-matte lipsticks from Models Own I wanted to do a comparison to the Sleek ones that were released early this year. I don’t have all of the colours from both ranges but I do have some and wanted to see what they were like side by side. I have compared everything I could think of to compare, though I have done actual reviews for each of the colours I have, you can find the Sleek ones here (the original colours) and here (The Whimsical Wonderland colours) and the Models Own ones from the Dare to Bare collection here.
At the moment the only Models Own colours I can find in this range are the Dare to Bare collection colours, though if they’re popular I would imagine that their range will increase in the future and I’m not sure how permanent the Dare to Bare collection is. Sleek currently have twelve in their permanent line alongside three in each of the two most recent collections.
This one is purely personal preference as the main difference in the two is the looks. The Models Own range does have the plus of having the clear top as, although the Sleek ones do have the colour in the end it isn’t always exactly the same as the colour of the product so I’m assuming that it’s painted in rather than any of the product itself like some brands do. I, personally, prefer the matte black of the Sleek design, it just ties in with the rest of their products and it looks and feels more expensive to me as the Models Own half and half design looks cheaper, maybe it’s the white or the combination, I’m not sure. I think I’m just drawn more to matte effect product packaging half the time anyway, and surprisingly it doesn’t attract fingerprints like their palettes seem to. However, I do like the card outer packaging for the Models Own lipsticks, I was planning on getting rid of them but I prefer them to the tubes themselves and they do have a sticker giving the name and colour so I kept them.
The twist up mechanism for Models Own seems to be smoother, it has more resistance and so feels slightly better to me but both of them hold the lipstick in place when using so there isn’t really any benefit to this apart from the feel. I will say that Sleek is a bit less consistent (though that may be because I have a greater range of the colours) as some of them feel a lot better than others, for example Big Shot twists up really quickly and feels cheaper than Reserved does and Reserved has been used more.
Range of colours
This is one that’s probably subject to change but at the moment Sleek has a much greater range of colours, I know of 18 that have been released though 6 have been limited edition. I’m not including the most recent ones as they mention shimmer in them so I’m not sure how semi-matte they would be, though they do have a dark red and berry in there. The permanent range covers a fair range of colours with a couple of neutrals, corals, reds and some darker colours though the neutrals aren’t the most neutral, the most neutral colour I have is the most neutral in the range and it’s definitely got a more orange tone than a lot of nudes in other products. In the limited edition range you get the brighter colours in the Whimsical Wonderland collection with an orange, light purple and bright pink, and another neutral and the darker colours in the Goodnight Sweetheart collection released this autumn. Compared to this Models Own have a current range of five colours, all of them in the Dare to Bare collection which, as the name suggests, means they’re all fairly neutral colours.
With this category it pretty much depends what kinds of colours your looking for. If you want neutrals then Models Own currently have the better selection, with all of the colours falling in that category, but if you want a wider range of colours or brighter ones then Sleek is the one for you.
One of the biggest differences to me in these is the way they feel when you apply them. The Sleek Lip VIPs are so buttery when you apply them, they feel like they melt onto your lips and are opaque with one coat. They do need blotting to become matte and actually set properly but they don’t have the drying feeling of a lot of mattes. The Models Own formula, however, does feel dryer when you apply it and it does drag on your lips a bit more. I get that feeling of needing a lip balm when wearing this one, though that goes away a bit I did find that these were more dry feeling on my lips.
When it comes to the condition of my lips afterwards they were both pretty similar, neither were great and left them feeling slightly drier but nothing that a couple of applications of lip balm didn’t fix. They didn’t have the effect of a lot of mattes in making my lips almost peel and get more chapped but they didn’t do anything to improve them.
The Sleek ones win on this for me, if you want a one coat lipstick they’d be the ones to choose. I found that one coat of this was enough for it to be opaque. I did end up going back and touching up bits after blotting when I used something a bit too absorbent that removed it a bit but the coverage was a lot better than the Models Own range. With the Models Own range I needed to go over it a few times to get my lips fully covered, though the fact it was slightly drier when applying did make it easier to be precise as the lipstick held its shape more in the tube rather than rounding off faster like the Sleek ones have.
I actually found that both had relatively good staying power, three hours in after eating and drinking and there was still obvious colour. They both had the same weakness of more oily food and hot drinks seemed to make them less set. I also found that drinks in general did make my lips more moist and could mean that there was a bit of transfer but there was no obvious loss of colour on my lips. Around the four hour mark the Models Own ones were pretty much gone, the Sleek ones tend to last to five but some of the paler colours became less obvious a bit before that. I would say for both that they do benefit from reapplication after eating anything more than snacks so they probably aren’t the best choice for going out for a meal but drinks would be pretty fine if you didn’t mind a bit of a mark on the glass. I wasn’t sure how best to show the colour left so I used a small amount of makeup remover and blotted them after three hours and it shows how much of the colour was still on the lips to remove.
Matteness (not a word but I don’t know how else to describe it!)
Both just look like pure matte lipsticks to me when they’re set. The Models Own would set by itself but does seem to make my lips look drier and doesn’t always set in the lines on my lips so that made them more obvious. The creamier formula for the Sleek ones meant they got into any cracks on my lips but it did need blotting for the colour to appear matte for all of the colours I have. The matte effect does become less in the Sleek ones after a drink but it dries back to matte pretty fast. I think that the Sleek ones had a smoother, more velvety finish to them when I touched my lips and the Models Own was a more flat, slightly dry, matte finish.
At £5.49 Sleek is slightly cheaper than the £6.99 for the Models Own but both fall into the cheaper end of the scale when it comes to lipsticks. I don’t think that the price would make you choose one over the other.
Overall I think that, in the UK at least, Sleek tends to be the easiest to find in physical stores as both Superdrug and Boots (The whimsical collection ones are here) regularly have quite a range in there and I’ve seen most of the permanent range available in both near me. They don’t necessarily have all of the limited editions available though, a lot seem to either be available in one or the other. Sleek is also available on their own website, which has their complete range of colours. Outside of the UK I’m not sure about stockists, I know they have been hard to get in America but the Sleek web store does ship internationally.
It seems like Models Own is getting harder to find in the UK, I’m sure that Boots used to stock some but I can only seem to find a good amount available online at ASOS and their own website. Outside the UK I know that they’re available on the US ASOS website so may be easier to get than Sleek in America.
I would say that, overall for me, Sleek do edge it. I really like the colours of the Models Own range, I’m a big fan of neutral lips at the moment, but in all other categories Sleek just wins. There isn’t that much in the staying power, both of them appear to last pretty well even with eating and drinking and needed re-application after the same kinds of foods, but the drier feeling when wearing the Models Own would put me off using it as much as the Sleek ones. I wouldn’t say that the Models Own ones are bad, they’re a nice product and they do give you that matte look without getting overly dry afterwards or making my lips look worse, but I just feel the Sleek ones are better.
And after all of this I’m still not sure how these are semi-matte! Does anyone know what actually makes a semi-matte different from a matte lipstick?