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Sleek Makeup Puts Influencers and Drag Queens to the Challenge

The GlowDown consists of a series of four challenges where participants craft unique makeup looks.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is putting the muscle of influencers behind Sleek Makeup.

The U.K. brand owned by WBA is now available in the U.S. at Ulta Beauty and select Walgreens doors. To build buzz, Sleek Makeup created The GlowDown, the first activation under the brand’s platform called My Face. My Rules. The premise is that Sleek Makeup promises to champion everyone’s right to define their own individual beauty boundaries. The brand is associated with its bold and broad shade range with a hue for any complexion.

The GlowDown consists of a series of four challenges where participants craft unique makeup looks. YouTuber Laura Lee hosts each face off, along with influencers Bri Hall, Sonjdra Deluxe, Nazanin Kavari and Kristen Leanne, and drag queen stars Miss Fame, Peppermint, Pearl and Violet Chachki. Each challenge includes two participants, an influencer and a drag queen, going face to face and creating personalized looks based on a specific theme, rallying around Sleek’s #MyFaceMyRules mantra. These include Lit AF, showing off the glow of influencer-favorite Sleek Highlighting Palettes, and #Throwback, which goes back in time.

“By pairing beauty’s top names and faces alongside one another we are able to celebrate their own unique styles, while encouraging makeup lovers everywhere to do the same,” said Lauren Consiglio, category director of global consumer brands Americas at Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Sleek Makeup’s Stateside debut was chatted up by influencers online even before its U.S. stores. Industry sources expect the brand can build into a major contender in America, with some thinking it would eventually edge toward the $80 million mark. Sleek Makeup, which was acquired by WBA in 2015, is one of the fastest-growing mass market cosmetics brands in the U.K., according to Lyle Tick, managing director at Walgreens Boots Alliance-Boots Retail USA.

Sleek Makeup was created by Dennis Tharratt, a beauty wholesaler operating in East London. He identified a lack of products suited for some of his consumers — especially those of Afro-Caribbean heritage. His response was Sleek Makeup, which was introduced in 1995 and picked up by Boots in 2006 and then purchased by WBA. While Sleek Makeup started as a brand for women of color, it evolved into catering to all skin tones.

The brand has become associated with bold color performance at an affordable price. Prices range from $5.99 to $15.99. The brand’s full line, including best-selling products like the Solstice Highlighting Palette, Cream Contour Kit and Major Matte Lip Cream. Sleek Makeup was also an early pioneer of the contouring trend with the launch of Contour Kit in 2009, and was one of the first beauty brands to introduce the matte lip look with its Major Matte lipstick in 2012, according to WBA.