I’ve had quite a few emails asking me about Sigma Brushes and if they were good or if they were comparable to MAC brushes (I can’t compare as I only own 1) and in the end, I capitulated and after a bit of research, ordered a couple of face brushes from Sigma Makeup – a powder/blush brush (F10), and an angled top kabuki brush (F86).
Sigma Powder/Blush Brush F10 (top) Sigma Angled Top Kabuki Brush F84 (bottom)
Then, as luck would have it, after my order had shipped, Sigma contacted me to offer me to try their 12 Brush Make Me Blush Brush kit.
I’ve been playing around with the brushes for a couple of weeks now (you’d be surprised at just how long it might take to try every single little brush there :P) and I couldn’t dig right in because I’m anal about washing my brushes before I use them for the first time. So what I’ll do in this post is to run you a quick low down on the brushes, what I think and which ones I personally like and recommend.
It might be long so grab a cuppa tea and settle in for a read. Alrighty then? Here we go! :D
Sigma 12 Brush Make Me Blush Brush Kit – US$99
Do you already have a set of good makeup brushes? Good. Then you don’t need this one. There, honesty is the best policy. However, if you don’t already have a set of makeup brushes, then these are worth considering, because you get a set of relatively good brushes in one handy kit. Full sized too, in a ready made brush container that sits quite prettily on your dressing table :)
The brushes come in a very sturdy tube case that locks together with buttons on the side. Unbutton it, and it splits into 2 perfectly useable brush holders as you see in the picture above. Its quite heavy too so it won’t topple over.
The Make Me Blush Brush Kit comes with 12 brushes and in 4 colours – Coral (pictured here), Purple, Black and Aqua (turquoise). The handles and metal ferrule of the brushes are colour coded to that of the brush holder which is sort of cute.
Top to Bottom: F50 Duo Fibre brush (Synthetic), F30 Large Powder brush (Natural), F40 Large Angled Contour Brush (Natural), F60 Foundation Brush (Synthetic)
The brushes are all full sized long handled brushes as you can see here. They are also a mix of synthetic and natural bristles (I’m not sure what hair is used – best to check directly with Sigma if you are curious) Quickly, here are my thoughts on each brush so you can evaluate if you need the whole kit or just the individual ones.
- F50 Duo Fibre Brush (Synthetic) – a nice sized fairly dense duo fibre brush or skunk brush you can use for stippling on liquid foundation or pigmented blushes. I quite like this one and I believe it might be a dupe of a MAC skunk brush but don’t quote me on it. I would get this one individually (and nearly did)
- F30 Large Powder Brush (Natural) – You can see that this brush has a big head and the bristles are quite dense. Its best for applying powder e.g. loose or pressed powder to set makeup. It will not work with Meteorites because the head is too big to fit into the tub but it can work with the pressed powder ones. I find the bristles on this one a little scratchy. I’m used to softer brushes so I’m on the fence about this brush. I will try to soften it by using conditioner when I wash my brushes next.
- F40 Large Angled Contour Brush (Natural) – This is a white hair brush and meant for blush or contour shades. I don’t like it for either. I find it does not deposit colour evenly and its stiff and scratchy. I will also try to condition this one, but I just don’t like it anyway. Despite the Large in the name, its not very large and is in fact a good size for contouring or blush if it didn’t scratch so much.
- F60 Foundation Brush (Synthetic) – I tried this one just once because I don’t usually use a brush for foundation, preferring to use my fingers or a stippling brush like the F50 Duo Fibre. It applies foundation quite well especially around the smaller nose and eye area, and the synthetic brushes are easy to wash and feel soft and kind on the skin. Its quite large too which makes it a quick job to apply liquid foundation. If you are a regular liquid foundation user and prefer using a brush, consider this one.
Top to Bottom: E55 Eye Shading (Natural), E05 Eyeliner (Synthetic), E65 Small Angle (Synthetic), F70 Concealer (Synthetic), E60 Large Shader (Natural)
Here are some of the smaller brushes which are meant for the eye. The eye brushes are mostly natural bristle, but unlike the face brushes, feel softer and kinder to the skin. Here’s a quick run down on them.
- E55 Eye Shading (Natural) – A large dense flat eye shading brush that I like to use to apply eyeshadow colour on the lid. It picks up and deposits colour quite well on the skin and the large brush makes applying sweeps of colour very easy and quick. Worth considering as an individual purchase.
- E05 Eyeliner (Synthetic) – A good little brush for drawing gel eyeliner. Its not too floppy and can be used to draw quite a fine line.
- E65 Small Angle (Synthetic) – My preferred brush for drawing eyeliner as I can use this for both powder and liquid/gel eyeliner. The synthetic bristles are easy to clean and its firm enough yet not so hard as to make it painful for the eye. You can also use this to draw in eye brows but the long handle is a bit finicky for that. Worth considering as an individual purchase.
- F70 Concealer (Synthetic) – I usually use my fingers to apply concealer because the warmth from my fingers just makes it easier to blend the product in. However, I found this brush good for getting concealer in around small areas like the nose to cover redness, or to dab on blemishes. I particularly like using this brush to apply a light brightening colour on my lower lid to hide redness, and make me look perkier. I’ve been using it nearly everyday for this purpose. Worth considering as an individual purchase.
- E60 Large Shader (Natural) – I don’t use this brush very much. I find the long bristles a little floppy and its a bit big for applying colour to small eyelids. Worth considering if you have a large eyelid area to apply shadow to but not if you have small eyelids as I do.
Erm… a close up look of the same brushes shown and reviewed above :P For idea of size. Alright alright, I’d already taken this photo so I might as well use it yes? :P
Left to Right: E30 Pencil Brush (Natural), E40 Tapered Blending (Natural), E70 Medium Angled Shading (Natural)
Finally, the 3 brushes I use the most from this kit.
- E30 Pencil Brush (Natural) – A small pencil brush that is excellent for putting colour in the crease and close to the lash line. Precise application of colour and nice dense bristles. Worth considering as an individual purchase.
- E40 Tapered Blending (Natural) – A blending brush I wasn’t too keen on in the beginning but which I use quite often now. I do find it a little scratchy but with use its turning out alright and it blends colours very well. Only problem is, it might blend it too well if you brush too firmly so colour can disappear. Use a light hand and its pretty awesome. Worth considering as an individual purchase.
- E70 Medium Angled Shading (Natural) – My favourite brush of all. This brush picks up colour very well especially from powdery or shimmery colours and applies very nicely too. It blends and shades and you can also use it to deposit colour in the crease and blend out. I love this one for Japanese, Korean or Asian eyeshadows which tend to be more powdery and shimmery in texture and application. Worth considering as an individual purchase.
And again, here’s a close up because the photos has been taken :P
So as I’ve said above, if you already have a full set of makeup brushes, this isn’t something you might want or need. But if you want a sort of starter brush kit, its definitely worth taking a look and for the price and the number of brushes you get, I’d say its worth it.
Summary: My favourite brushes from this kit are E30, E40, E70, F70, E65, E55, F50, F60. That’s 8 out of 12 brushes. Not too bad odds.
Pros: Synthetic bristle brushes feel lovely and soft on the skin, Eye brushes are quite impressive for the price, Practical and useful kit of brushes and brush holder, Cute colours
Cons: Initial investment is high but brushes last with proper care, Some natural bristle brushes are scratchy
Sigma Powder/Blush Brush F10 – US$16
Natural bristles initially felt scratchy but after regular use, has softened. Not as soft as a synthetic bristle brush but it doesn’t scratch. Dense round brush head is medium sized and picks up and deposits blush precisely where you want it. My first round blush brush and I think it does the job very well.
Sigma Angled Top Kabuki Brush F84 – US$16
Bought this on a whim that paid off handsomely. The synthetic bristles are lovely and soft against the skin and this is one super dense brush. It is perfect for applying cream blush and as a result of this, I want more cream blushes. It buffs cream blush right into the skin for a blushing from within look that is very pretty.
If you’ve gotten this far… kudos! :P Oh and the brushes are “Made In China” if that matters to you. I personally find Sigma synthetic brushes better than their natural ones and I did not experience any untoward shedding after the first wash so I think they are pretty decent, affordable brushes overall.
The only real problem I can see with Sigma brushes (for us here in Malaysia) is the shipping costs. The 2 brushes I purchased came very well packaged in a lovely organza bag and a free travel sized brush and cost about US$10 in shipping. Shipping is by weight and number of brushes so my recommendation is to share your purchase with some friends so you can split the cost as incremental shipping costs are lower than individual shipping costs. The Make Me Blush brush kit is pretty heavy and comes in a big box so 1 kit shipped here to Malaysia will cost US$116.89 (US$17.89 international shipping) The brushes still are affordable but the initial outlay will hurt your wallet some. There are smaller kits available but I haven’t tried those so I have no thoughts on them. There are also some local resellers who might have them locally since they buy them wholesale but I have no recommendations as I have not bought from any.
If you would like me to expand my thoughts and review on any one of the individual brushes in the Make Me Blush Kit do holler and I’ll try to oblige. I will expand on the 2 brushes I bought hence the very short review here :)
If you own any Sigma brushes you think everyone should try, do share! I’m always up to finding a new brush and I have my eye on the other 2 Kabuki brushes – round kabuki and flat top kabuki so if you have thoughts on those to share (whether I should get them or no), please do! :D
p/s I got a couple of email queries: I do not own comparable brushes in MAC and I have no thoughts on how they compare. I personally will not, because MAC is MAC and Sigma is Sigma and both should be rated on their own merits and price point. As with everything, you get what you pay for.
Sigma Makeup Brushes are available from www.sigmabeauty.com or any legitimate local resellers you might find. I usually buy direct from the source because I’m particular that way :) Update: Here’s a link to a local Malaysian site that resells Sigma brushes. I’m not affiliated, I’ve never purchased from them and the Engrish kills me somewhat but it might help. That said, I think you’d be better off ordering direct from Sigma as there is no price difference even with killer shipping. [link is killed. Reader Iffa had a terrible experience where her order was never delivered despite her paying the full price and despite numerous promises. I have no confidence recommending them to anyone].