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Walgreens Gets Sleek

Sleek Makeup is a pioneer in beauty trends including contouring and matte lipsticks.

One month after Walgreens Boots Alliance introduced Sleek Makeup to the U.S. with a launch at Ulta Beauty, the trendy brand is moving into 150 Walgreens doors and

For Walgreens, Sleek adds another logo the chain can add to its merchandise mix to distinguish it from other mass contenders.

“Customers want to shop the most sought-after brands. The addition of Sleek Makeup to our cosmetic offering is just another example of how we continue to deliver on our promise to differentiate and elevate the beauty experience at Walgreens,” said Lauren Brindley, group vice president and general merchandise manager, Walgreens. She promised the chain will continue to add new brands and burnish the environment to build beauty sales.

While WBA executives declined to provide a first-year sales projection, industry sources speculate that the limited launch could yield between $5 million to $8 million in retail sales with the potential to achieve 10 times that prediction as it hits larger distribution.

In the past few months, Walgreens has brushed up its beauty presentation, adding more trained consultants and WBA brands such as Soap & Glory, Botanics and the cornerstone of its efforts, No. 7. The success of the upgraded beauty program encouraged Walgreens to extend the footprint to an additional 1,000 U.S. doors by the end of 2017. As of now, more than 2,000 stores have received the facelift. Walgreens executives said the company’s own brands make up 15 percent of beauty sales.

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Sleek Makeup, which was acquired by WBA in 2015, has the potential to nudge that total even higher. It has a good track record based on the fact it has quickly become one of the fastest growing 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, will be in the Walgreens assortment.

Sleek was 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 Walgreens.