Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sigma Essential Brush Kit & Professional Premium Brush Kit- Review: Updated 5/10/10

Sigma Essential Brush Kit

SS150- ♥♥♥♥♥- I love this brush. It is super soft and has a long handle so that you can control your application better. I don't have the MAC150, so I have nothing to compare the Sigma one to. Never the less, this is a must have for setting powder.
* Update 5/10/10: I hear that some people have issues of bleeding and shedding with this brush. My brush has been washed about 5 times now. I have not experienced any of these things with my SS150. When I first received the sets all of the brushes had a stinky plastic/chemical smell. One wash took care of that issue and they all smell fine.

SS187- ♥♥♥- I was really worried about this brush being horrible before I ordered my set. Well, it's not horrible, but it's not amazing either. When I washed it there was barely any bleeding like I was afraid there would be. It's more dense than the MAC187, which I like. The only thing is that I get some slight shedding when I use 5 to 7 hairs. I know that's not a lot and is definitely not a good reason to not buy the brush, but I am a freak about shedding. There is nothing I hate more than to have to pick hairs off my face after I'm done with my foundation. I rather use a dang sponge and that's horrible. I am hoping that the more I use it that the hairs will stop falling out, but my patients are getting thin.
* Update: 5/10/10 ♥♥♥♥: The hairs have finally stopped shedding. No bleeding either.

SS194- ♥♥♥♥♥- I don't use this brush that often for concealer, but when I did it worked just fine. I usually use the SS192 to blot out my concealer under my eye. If you like the smaller size though, you will like this one. Although, I don't really use this brush for concealer. I do love it to blend out my eye primer. It's smaller size and pointy-ish end gives you more control, so the primer goes right where you want it to go. Especially, if you are going to prime your lower lash line area. It's a nice brush to have no matter what you use it for.
* Update 5/10/10: I use this brush to dot on my foundation in sections all over my face before I use my SS197. It is also great for doting concealer on any blemishes. I prefer the SS195 for applying eye primer and base.

SS190- ♥- Never use this brush or the MAC190 to apply your foundation, they're both horrible! Streak City! I have never liked this brush. The only useful thing I can figure out to do with this thing is to apply a tinted moisturizer or a face mask. Since the tinted moisturizer is thinner than foundation it doesn't streak it up.
Update 5/10/10: I gave this brush away.

SS168- ♥♥♥♥♥- This brush quickly became my HG blush/contour brush. I have very high bone structure, and this makes applying my blush a quick and easy task. It pretty much blends it as you go. So, no streaks or blotches. I've had no shedding at all from this brush.
* Update 5/10/10: I am looking to buy another one from some where. I'll let you know if I find them individually for sale.
* Update 5/11/10: ACW   has them for sale individually, plus some other good ones. Check it out.

SS275- ♥♥♥- This thing is huge! I don't have a MAC275 to say if it is bigger or whatever, but I do have the MAC272 and it is WAY bigger than it. I really don't have a good use for this one because of it's size, except for maybe a highlight brush??, and I already have a brush I like for that. What do you do with it? It's really a nice brush with the softness and angle and all. I'm just clueless about what to use it for. It's way to big for me to use on the lid. Sigma suggest to use it for application of color in the inner corner. I don't think so. I don't have eyes as big as saucers, and don't know anyone who does. This would be a  mess, the color would go every where. Highlight, yes. Crease, maybe. Inner Corners, oh no no no. Outer Corners, Definitely not.
* Update 5/10/10: I use this brush a lot for highlighting the brow. Still not much more to do with it than just highlighting.

SS252- ♥♥♥♥♥- I love this one just as much as the MAC252. I would also say that the MAC252 and the SS252 are two totally different brushes. I love the SS252 for the oval shape and narrower size. Amazing. You will love it. It fits the lid perfectly. It's great for sweeping your color across the lid. The MAC252 is flatter on the tip and is great in it's own way. I love it for pressing in the color on the lid, like foiling pigments and highlighting. In this case I would say get both.
* Update 5/10/10: I'm still in love with this one, and I find myself reaching for it more than my MAC252, SS239, and MAC239. Must have. I would like to get another one.

SS239- ♥♥♥♥
* Update 5/10/10: Yes, the MAC239 is flatter and comes to more of a point at the end  than the SS239. They are both great brushes. I do prefer the MAC239 over the SS239 only because of the precision on the end of the brush. But, if you are OCD like I am about keeping your white hair brushes looking new and hate it when your eyeshadows stain your beautiful white hairs (MAC239) the SS239 is a great alternative that won't stain.This is another one I would say you need both brushes. Besides you always need more than one placement brush for eyeshadow.

SS224- ♥♥♥♥♥- The queen of blending brushes. This brush has changed my over blended eye looks forever. Love, Love, Love. I had a smaller version of this brush by Coastal Scents. The Coastal Scents one was a lot more dense and shorter than this one. Little did I know that it's denseness was the only reason why all of my eye looks were coming out looking over blended. Just goes to show you good tools are a must, and this one is wonderful. Lots of girls say that if you have the 217 blender that this one is not needed. Bull Shit. I had a MAC217 before I ever got this brush and still my eye looks were coming out over blended. Sometimes you just need a brush of this shape and most importantly this softness to get the best results.
* Update: I bought a second SS224. My love for this brush is unchanged.

SS219- ♥♥- Ehhh, well I'm not impressed. IMO, this is the worst brush of both sets. Don't get me wrong you can use the brush for placing the shadow on the lower lash line and on the inner tear duct just like with the MAC219. It's just that the SS219 is so much fatter and the tip is not cut nearly as precise as the MAC219. After several uses the roundness on the tip gets even worse. I gave my SS219 a much needed hair cut with a pair of scissors and now it's just fine. I think it is ridiculous that I had to do this, but it did work. This brush is a miss for Sigma and really needs to be redesigned. MAC wins this one hands down. Sell your Sigma one that you get in this set on e-bay, save a little more money to go with it, and buy the MAC219.

SS266-♥♥♥♥♥- Oh yes! This brush is exactly what you need in an angled eyeliner brush. It is small and supper thin. I'm thinking more like the MAC208. It is great to do your brows with because of it's size. It's also nice to get than thin line on the upper lash line and makes the winged look a breeze. I would love to have a few more of this one.

SS209- ♥♥♥♥♥- When I first saw this brush I was like damn it's fat. After I used it I realized that this is exactly what I want when I use a regular pencil eyeliner. I love to use a pencil eyeliner b/c it just seems like I have more control over the pencil ones. The best thing is that this brush is always pointed at the end and never goes flat like a regular pencil liner does, no sharpening needed, ever. Just how you use your pencil eyeliner is how you use this brush. You just have to dip it in the color or you can rub the end of the brush on the pencil eyeliner to pick up the color. Looks great every time.

Sigma Professional Premium Brush Kit

SS134- ♥♥♥♥♥- I didn't think that a brush could get any softer than the MAC134, but Sigma proved me wrong with this one. The SS134 is super soft. You just want to rub it on your face. I love to use this brush for any powder application on the face. I even use it some times to apply a more sheer toned blush or MSF, such as Light Flush or Refined.

SS138- ♥♥♥♥- The quality of this brush is great. I just think it was dumb of Sigma to include this one in the set when they have already included the SS165. I think you only really need one brush of this style and I prefer the MAC165, because it is smaller and more precisely cut. I would have much rather gotten the 109 or 116 (which they don't make, but need to). So, I guess if you like the MAC138 you will probably like this one. Especially since the MAC138 is $52USD and the SS138 is part of the set.
* Update 5/10/10: I still say pick one, the 165 or 138, you don't need both. The thing that is hanging me up is MAC vs. Sigma. I know that the Sigma brush is not as precisely cut as the MAC138, but I've been using the SS138 without any problems. I use it to dust my setting powder on my T-zone and I have used it a couple of times to swirl my blush on the apples of my cheeks. It works just fine. So, if you like the MAC138, I would say that the SS138 would be a good alternative. I find that I use it more than I thought I would and have given my MAC165 a little vacation. One thing is for sure...I have a MAC165 backup that I will be selling. There is no need for me to have a backup of the MAC165 when I already have one, the SS165 and the SS138.

SS131- ♥♥♥♥♥- This duo fiber brush is the best one of both sets. When I washed this one I got no bleeding at all. I'm also very happy that this one doesn't shed at all. I was going to purchase this brush from MAC and I messed around and didn't get it. I'm so happy I did. I didn't have to pay MAC's ridiculous price for it, and it works great. I use this brush to apply blushes that are very pigmented and to apply my beloved MSF.

SS129- ♥♥♥♥♥- Nice and soft. I like to use this one to apply my blush to the apples of my cheeks. It's small enough that the blush goes right were you put it. You know more of a precise placement.

SS165- ♥♥♥♥♥- This brush is one of my favorite face brushes. I use this brush every single day. What don't I use this brush for is the question. I always use it to apply my accentuate powder under my eyes to kind of "set" my concealer. I use it to apply my highlight shade to the top of my cheek bone and  use it to contour with. I have also used this brush to apply my blush precisely on the apples of my cheeks. I use it in a swirling motion for that and it works great.

SS192- ♥♥♥♥♥- Yep, I like it. I use this brush to lightly dab in my under eye concealer. The synthetic bristles don't really soak up to much product so it all stays where you put it. The shape fits the under eye area perfectly making quick work of concealing darkness under the eye.

SS227- ♥♥♥- Dang, is this thing huge. There is no way in hell you are going to be able to use this on the lid area, what a freakin' mess that would be. Really, I don't think this would be good as a brow highlight either. It's just to big. This thing is supposed to be an eye brush, but I don't see how the hell your supposed to use it for the eyes. However, I did find a really good use for it...I always apply a loose powder under my eye before I apply my eyeshadow pigments, so the powder will catch any fallout. This brush is great to apply that powder with. It's small enough for you to be able to put the powder right where you want it to go. The brush is stiff enough that when you're ready to take the powder off you can just use flicking motions under the eye and remove the powder.
Update 5/10/10: Figured out one more good use for it. I sometime go out of the lines when I do the outer V on my eye. I use this to clean up the eyeshadow and create the perfect shape on the outer V. So, a handy brush? Yes. A must have brush? Nope.

SS217- ♥♥♥♥♥- Just as good as the MAC217. It's slightly less dense than the MAC217, but not enough to make a difference in your application. I get no shedding from it. This is truly the best of all the multi purpose brushes. I use this to blend out my paint pots, blend any harsh lines on lid, crease application, and to drag out the shadow on the outer corner for a cat-eye look.
* Update 5/10/10: I will be looking for another one of these.

SS222- ♥♥♥♥- Shapelier sister of the 224. This is a good brush if you are looking to apply color it in the crease and just a little on the brow bone (smoke out the crease shade), because it kind of blends as you go. You can also use this as a more precise blender on the outer corner. I like it a lot, but as far as it being a must have in the collection, I would say no. There are already brushes in the collection that do the same thing. I would have rather gotten a different brush, such as the 272 or even a 242.
* Update: I could see where I would love this brush, but the SS222 falls short of my first judgement. I really think this would be amazing to kind of swirl your e/s on the outer V for a fab smokey eye. Again, the down fall of this brush comes to the precision of the tip of the brush. It does an ok job, but could be better. Definitely not as crappy as the SS219.

SS195- ♥♥♥♥♥- I love to use this brush to apply/blend out my paint pots, jumbo eye pencils, and eye primers. It's slightly larger than the SS194 and is angle cut on either side giving you a precise point on top. The way this brush is cut makes it much easier to apply your eyeshadow base/primer very close to the lash line which is great. This brush can also be used for concealer, but I just like it for the lid. Must have? Yes. I need of a second? Nope.

SS226- ♥♥♥- The MAC226 is the only MAC brush I have ever paid full price for. I usually get my MAC brushes from the CCO or from a lovely Specktrette. I just can't see paying full price for them. Weeell, I definitely don't regret paying full price for this one. The SS226 is good and does it's job well, but the MAC one is just better. The SS226 is not cut quite as precise (sharp) at the tip. I did a comparison review for this one already so take a look at the pics there to see what I mean. The SS226 is a good brush to have and no you don't need both of them. Since the MAC226 was a Limited Edition brush the asking price for it it ridiculous now. So, please don't pay the outrageous price for this brush on e-bay or anywhere else. The Sigma one will do a good job. I just prefer the MAC226.

SS212- ♥♥♥♥♥- This is the key to tight lining your upper waterline. Even my shaky hands can do it with this brush.

SS214- ♥♥♥♥- It's a good smudger, but seems a tad scratchy to me.

SS210- ♥♥♥♥♥- Everyone needs this brush or a brush like this...can we say "winged eyeliner". This is a must have for a successful winged eyeliner look. I was having so much trouble perfecting mine with just the MAC266, it is just to big to do a detailed wing look. Now, it's all good, the color goes exactly where you put it. I don't have a MAC210 to compare this one to, but this one is great.
* Update: Oooow Laa La, Double Winged eyeliner...even better.

SS316- ♥♥♥♥♥- It does the job and is great to carry in your purse, because it's all covered up. I like it. What more can I say.

♥♥♥♥- Overall, I think that both sets are definitely worth the price you pay. Although, a few of the brushes are not as precisely cut as they should be and some are way to big to be as useful as I would like them to be. I do wish that Sigma would have included a SS109, SS116, SS242, and SS272, but since I don't run the company I guess you just get what you get and you don't throw a fit. I do think that these are great sets and I am looking forward to buying more of the Sigma brushes that I think are winners. However, since I already have both sets I will be looking to purchase individual brushes from Sigma or who ever else has them for sale individually. Love it!!

** 5/11/10  A note to Sigma! lol **  I'm not sure who cuts your brushes such as the SS219, SS222, SS165, SS138, but you need to fire them. The SS219 is absolutely horrible. Also, check this site out...ACW they are stealing your revenue because they are smart enough to break up your brush sets and sell them individually for a little more than they would each cost in the set. Take a hint from them and make money on your own products instead of letting others take your business. Frankly, I like your company and customer service much better. For now, I am off to make my order for the individual SS168, SS217, SS266, and SS252 with ACW. Even though, I think that they are highway robbers when it comes to the MAC products they sell. They have what I want when it comes to Sigma individual brushes and the price is not bad. So, I'll be putting it in my cart and checking them out.


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