The Best Deep Red Lipstick: MUA vs Sleek

Red Lipstick 1Red Lipstick 3

IN THE RED CORNER… we have MUA  in shade 1 (don’t stretch your creative brains too much MUA, they might explode). AND IN THE, ER, OTHER RED CORNER… we have Sleek in shade ‘Cherry’. These are two different lipsticks from two different brands, but they’re practically identical in shade. So – which is better?

First Impressions

MUA’s shade 1 retails for just £1. This is in itself completely ridiculous. How can a lipstick cost you just a quid? You go into Poundland and pick up a pack of Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers for a pound and you’re happy to have got those that cheap; never mind a WHOLE lipstick that you can use time and again (unlike the Cadbury’s Fingers, which usually last for approximately one cup of tea). Cherry by Sleek costs the much more sensible price of £4.99, which is still extremely reasonable even for a high street lipstick.

In terms of packaging, MUA has its usual black casing, with the really nifty little pot at the end containing an extra bit of product. Although I know that this is a cool feature, I’m not 100% sure what its actual purpose is. Sleek also has black packaging, though the matte makes it look (correctly) a little more expensive. It’s very small for a lipstick, and actually only has 3.5g of product compared to MUA’s 3.8g. I don’t think that 0.3 of a gram is really going to ruin your life, but it’s worth mentioning – yes, mainly because I’m proud of myself for bothering to look at this detail, and now feel really maths-y like Carol Vorderman. Anyway, moving on…


Red Lipstick 2

As you can see, the shades looks practically identical both within the packaging and when swatched on the hand. The only difference in the swatches is that Sleek seems to have a slight edge when it comes to pigmentation, though MUA is still extremely vibrant. Ain’t nobody accusing MUA of being wishy washy.

Red Lipsticks 4Red Lipsticks 5

On the lips, again both shades look practically identical. They both apply nicely, have a very smooth finish and appear very vibrant after only one layer. Ignore the pinky tones in these pictures – both actually appear much deeper than this in real life, and I can confirm they’re BOTH that dark red shade that is so perfect in autumn/winter for vamping up a daytime look or for a glamorous finish on nights out (whatever they are). Both feel very hydrating on the lips and not at all cakey. Of course, a lot of things in life that seem great at first can quickly turn awful – certain men, BBC sitcoms, etc – so the proof with a good lipstick is always in the…

Staying Power

I wore the Sleek lipstick out for my birthday ‘meal and drinks’ shindig last weekend and can confirm that it is a BEAST. After several cocktails and a lasagne, I popped to the toilet to re-apply my lipstick and found that I didn’t even have to. It. Had. Not. Budged. Nor had it started to go cakey; it was just as much of a satin dream as it was when I first applied it. I think I only touched up once or twice throughout the rest of the night (memory gets a little hazy, damn fishbowls) and it never felt at all dragging upon re-application as some lipsticks can. A HUGE thumbs up from moi.

Determined to test the MUA lipsticks under the same circumstances, I FORCED myself, in the interest of RESEARCH, to head out on Saturday night for another couple of cocktails. You have to test things in the same conditions; that is just a fact I learned in Science GCSE. Although the colour stayed vibrant and looked okay overall, I did notice that after a couple of drinks the colour had began to come away from the inner part of my lip and needed touching up. Again though, it re-applied very well so wasn’t really a huge drama.

The Conclusion of the Matter

So here we have two insanely similar lipsticks, both extremely good value for money and very good quality. I think Sleek has a slight edge on MUA in this instance, due to being a bit more pigmented and longer lasting. MUA is only one pound and so a complete bargain, but then I also think £5 for a lipstick is really reasonable so can’t fault Sleek for pricing either. This was my first lipstick from both brands, and I’m happy to report that I’ve been left with a great impression of them both and will definitely be stocking up on more of them in the future!

Red Lip 6
Me wearing MUA 1

What do you all think of MUA and Sleek?

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8 Responses

  1. Terri October 14, 2013 / 11:29 am

    I do think the quality of Sleek make up is generally pretty good for the price! I’m wary of MUA lipsticks as the ones I’ve tried so far really dry out my lips, but hell, for a quid it’s worth a whirl.

    • Claire October 14, 2013 / 1:44 pm

      Yup, I haven’t been disappointed with anything I’ve tried yet from Sleek and will definitely be adding more of their lipsticks to my collection 🙂 Ah really? I did think MUA lipsticks would be like that but was so pleasantly surprised with this one. True though, I don’t think I would have been heartbroken if it had turned out a bit rubbish for a pound! xx

  2. Charlotte (@makupbcandlelit) October 14, 2013 / 2:10 pm

    I’ve tried quite a lot of products from MUA and am still fairly new to Sleek, but it seems as if the quality of Sleek products are just that little bit better, particularly when it comes to lip products. Some of the MUA lipsticks don’t wear well at all and they dry in a horrible way, but I still keep an open mind and am willing to try the new releases from MUA. Xx

    • Claire October 14, 2013 / 4:53 pm

      I have to agree that Sleek won this time around! It was the first MUA lipstick I’ve tried though and I was impressed, but have heard a lot of other people say they’re drying so will still have to choose other shades carefully I think 🙂 xx

  3. Sarah @tempsec October 14, 2013 / 4:16 pm

    I’ve never tried Sleek products but have always heard good things about the brand! I’ll have to pick this lippy up next time I’m out, I am after a nice berry/deep red x

    • Claire October 14, 2013 / 4:55 pm

      I have to say, they’re quickly becoming one of my favourite brands! The only problem is that the stands in Superdrug are rarely as well stocked as the website is, so you have to take the risk of ordering online for a lot of products :/ Saying that though, I haven’t been disappointed yet! xx

    • Claire October 20, 2013 / 12:48 pm

      Ooh just read your review now – interesting that you didn’t love it as much as I did! Shows how differently products can work on different people 🙂 xx

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