Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Final Review on Sigma Professional and Complete Brush Kits & A funny coincidence...or was it??? : D

I've had both of my brush sets for quite a long time now, I believe almost a year, and I feel the need to elaborate on my initial review of them. As we all know, the more you use a product the more opinions you have of it. With time the bad qualities show their ugly faces, and the good qualities become better. I would like to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you. lol : D

I also wanted to share something I found extremely funny with you guys. In My Initial Review & Update I wrote a nice little "rant" note to Sigma for not selling their brushes individually. I let them know that their potential costumers, including myself, were taking there business else where in order to purchase their favorite Sigma brushes individually. I let them know how dumb of a business decision I thought this was, to allow other companies/people to make a profit off of Sigma's products simply by splitting up their sets and selling them at a more profitable price.

Well well, I think enough of us ranted about this situation, and Sigma was definitely listening and reading all of our complains on this matter. Mostly, I think that they realized what dumb asses they were being to allow their profits to go to other sellers simply because their company wasn't supplying their costumers with what they wanted. Now, Sigma offers both face and eye brushes that can be purchased individually! *sarcasm*  Great idea Sigma! lol!

Now for my updated review...I'm going to make this a painless as possible. Over the past several months of using my brushes, I have figured out that Sigma brushes are basically hit or miss. Some being fantastic, while others need to find their way to the nearest trash can, and others are un-necessary when you buy the sets, especially if you are just looking for essential brushes. So, that's how we're going to do this, I'm going to break them down in to categories for you and give you an updated review on each one.

Fantastic Sigma Brushes
F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki (SS197)- The best flat top kabuki brush I have ever used to apply liquid foundation. It also works very nicely to apply a pressed powder foundation. I always use this brush in a swirling motion all over my face. It gives great coverage with a flawless finish.

F70 Concealer (SS194)- Thankfully, I personally don't have to use this brush very often. But, it works great when I need to apply concealer to any blemishes I may have.

F05 Small Contour (SS109)- I wanted a 109 brush to apply liquid foundation with. After hearing all of the complaints about the MAC109 brush shedding so badly after using it with liquid foundation (it wasn't made for liquid products). I decided not to spend the extra money on MAC and just to pick up a F05 (SS109), that way if the brush started to shed I wouldn't be out so much money. I'm glad I did because my F05 (SS109) has not given me any trouble with shedding and works great for applying my liquid foundations.

F40 Large Angled Contour (SS168)- Some say that the SS168 is not as good as the MAC168 because the F40 (SS168) is not quite as dense. I never really noticed a difference myself. After I closely examined the brushes side by side I could see that the F40 (SS168) is slightly less dense, but I still think that the F40 (SS168) is just as good. The F40 (SS168) gives the same results as the MAC168. It applies and blends all of my powder blushes very well without being blotchy or streaky. I have also used it for contouring the cheek bones and it works fine for that as well.

F20 Large Powder (w/ Sort Handle) (SS134)- I don't use this type of powder brush that often, but if you are looking for a "paddle" type powder brush I think this one is the best choice. This brush applies nicely and gives a even finish, and is soo soft. However, I do think that the MAC134 maybe just ever so slightly denser. This does not effect the result of the application. So, I chose the Sigma one because the price is right.

F30 Large Powder (w/ Long Handle) (SS150)- My opinion of this brush is exactly the same as for the F20 (SS134). It's slightly less dense than the MAC150, but is still a great brush for the price. However, I don't think that you need both the F20 (SS134) and F30 (SS150). It just depends if you prefer the shorter or longer handle. So, the choice is yours.

E25 Blending (white hair) (SS217)- This is a fantastic brush and I recommend getting more than one of these brushes. In one single eye look I can easily use two or three of these brushes, simply because I need a clean one, as well as for all of the tasks I use it for. I use this brush for crease application, outer V work, and blending. This is truly a multi-tasker, and the E25 (SS217) is every bit as good as the MAC217. I've actually experienced less splaying with my E25 (SS217) than the MAC217.

E40 Tapered Blending (rounded w/ black hairs) (SS224)- This is another fantastic multi-tasker that you will need to buy more than one of. I use this brush for blending out harsh edges of my eye shadow, applying concealer, application of my setting powder on top of my concealer, and I have even used this brush to highlight the bridge of my nose and cheek bones. I've also used it to contour the sides of my nose with. I do see a very slight difference in the density of this brush compared to the MAC224, but it does not effect the application in any way.

E60 Large Shader (SS252)- I love this shader brush. I use it for placement of my eye shadows and pigments. I'm not going to compare it to MAC because the design is totally different. They are both wonderful brushes.

E65 Small Angle (SS266)- A must have for gel/cream eye liner application. It makes winged eye liner a breeze. I also use this one to shade in my brows a bit. This is another brush that I bought more than one of.

F25 Tapered Face (SS138)- I wasn't sure what category to put this brush in. It is trashy for sculpting. Because again, the Sigma tapered brushes are poorly cut. However, I did find a good use for this brush. I really like it to apply my setting powder with. I actually prefer it for powder application over all of my other powder brushes. I like to only powder my T-zone and leave the rest of my face with a nice natural glow. This brush is ever so slightly tapered and is narrower than any of my other "paddle" type powder brushes, so it is easier to use the F25 (SS138) to apply powder.

Trashy Sigma Brushes
E30 Pencil (SS219)- This is by far the crappiest brush of the entire collection. Sorry to be so blunt, but I really just threw this brush in the trash. It was that bad. The cut of this brush is horrible. I don't see how anyone could ever use this brush for it's intended purpose because the brush is not cut precisely enough to use it to apply a nice neat line of shadow under the lower lash line. It creates a large thick smear of color. Even after I gave this brush a much needed hair cut to better define the fibers and make it more precise. I still thew it away. You really can't turn a pile of crap into a pot of gold. lol : D

E45 Small Tapered Blending (SS226)- I have the same problem with this brush as I do with the SS219. The cut of this brush is not to hot. It's not quite as bad as the SS219, but still it's not what I would call a good brush.

E35 Tapered Blending (tapered w/ white hairs) (SS222)- Same thing with this brush. The cut is just not as precise as it should be. The brush can still be used successfully to achieve good results, but you really have to take your time and work with the E35 (SS222). The MAC222 is much better and takes less effort to get great results.

E05 Eye Liner (SS209)- This thing is to fat. It's like if you were using one of those fat Crayola Markers to apply your eye liner instead of a sharp pencil. The MAC209 is a better choice and allows for a more precise application, because it is thinner and the hairs are denser and stay together better.

F35 Tapered Highlighter (SS165)- Same old song and dance. Sigma's tapered brushes are poorly cut, and can't be used to precisely apply anything. The MAC165 is just so much better. I even tried to use this one like I use my F05 (SS109) and apply foundation with it so that it wouldn't be a total waste, but then the hairs started shedding like crazy. It's junk.

F15 Duo Fiber Powder/Blush (SS131)- Horrible. I was wanting this brush to be good so badly, because I missed out on the MAC131 when it was released, but this was a disappointment. I have mentioned that some of the other Sigma brushes were slightly less dense than the MAC brushes, but it did not affect the great outcome of the application. This is not the case with the F15 (SS131), the hairs on this brush are way to sparse. The application is horrible, streaky, and uneven. I also got a significant amount of bleeding from this brush when I washed it. If you can get a hold of the MAC131 get it. If you can't the MAC188 or MAC187 will do the same job as far as blush application goes, it just depends if you would rather the small or the large size.

F50 Duo Fiber (SS187)- This brush maybe slightly less dense than the MAC187. I compared to see and honestly I can't see the difference. Even if it is less dense it has no effect on the application. The application is great with this brush. I use it to stipple my liquid foundation and I have always gotten flawless results. The reason why I gave this brush away and went back to my MAC187 is because the damn thing sheds so much. Just when you think it has stopped it starts shedding again. I hated having to pick of all those little hairs off my face.

F60 Foundation (SS191)- I have never liked this brush by any company. I find that when used for foundation application it leaves streaks and gives an uneven application. If you would like a "paddle" type foundation brush I suggest the MAC189.

Brushes I Just Don't Think are Necessary
E50 Large Fluff (SS227)- This brush is meant for applying a wash of color on the lid. I find it to be to large for my eyes, and my eyes are not small. I have used this brush for highlighting my cheek bones and it works fine, but I still say that it is an unnecessary brush being that you already get the F40 (SS168) which works fine for highlighting.

F65 Large Concealer (SS192)- I used to use this brush to apply my under eye concealer. I have started using the E40 (SS224) for this and it works sooo much better. It blends the concealer into the skin so much better. I have also used this brush in the past to apply my cream blush with. Now, I perfer the MAC188 for applying cream blush. It blends better and gives a more even application.

F75 Concealer (yellow hair, medium sized one) (SS195)- This brush can be used to apply concealer precisely, such as on a blemish on your face. I use the F70 (SS194) for this since it is smaller. You can also use the F75 (SS195) brush to apply under eye concealer with. I prefer the E40 (SS224) for this job. You may also use this brush to apply other cream products with such as paint pots or eye shadows bases. I would much rather use the E25 (SS217).

E70 Medium Angle Shading (SS275)- This is suggested to apply brow highlight shade, apply eyeshadow to inner corners, and for detailed outer V work. The only suggestion that worked for me was to use it to apply brow highlight shade. It works good for that, but so does just about every other eye brush, ex. E60 (SS252)or MAC239. The E70 (SS275) is way to large to apply eye shadow precisely to any eye area. I suggest the MAC272 or MAC226 for precise crease and outer V work, and the MAC219 to apply eyeshadow to the inner corner with.

E20 Short Shader (SS214)- They suggest this brush be used to densely apply eye shadow on the lid. The E60 (SS252) or MAC239 can be used for the same thing. They suggest this brush to also be used to apply and smudge eye shadow or eye liner on the lash lines. I think that the MAC219 is a better choice for doing this.

E10 Small Eye Liner (SS210)- I never use this brush. If you already have the MAC209 this one is not necessary it does the same job.

F10 Powder/Blush (SS129)- This is a good brush. I just rather use the F40 (SS168) or MAC116 to apply my blush with.

Sigma Brushes I Don't Have
F55 Small Duo Fiber (SS188)- I do not plan to buy this brush based on my opinion of the SS187 & SS131

F82- I'm going to give this one a try simply because I love the (SS197) F80 Flat Top Kabuki so much. I'm wondering how this would work for applying under eye concealer, and if it will replace my SS224 for concealer.

F84 Angled Top Sinthetic Kabuki- I can't wait to see how this will work to apply my cream blushes with.

F45 Buffer- I already have the MAC181, so I don't think I need it.

Hollywood Glamour Retractable Kabuki- I already have an Ecotools retractable kabuki that I rarely ever use, so what the point in buy another one.

Looks like I will be making a small Sigma Order soon : )

The bottom line is that the Sigma brushes that are tapered suck because they are poorly cut, and Sigma duo-fibers bleed and some are not as dense as they should be. I also think that when you buy brush sets you pay for brushes that you may not necessarily use. Remember you can now order the brushes individually and order multiples of your favorites.

I hope you enjoyed my new take on the Sigma Brushes. I was never really satisfied with my first review of them and it was kind of a difficult post for me to do. I really didn't know what I wanted to say about them. I think that it was because I hadn't used them long enough to really know how I felt about them. The facts were good, and really my opinion really didn't change that much. But, I just didn't feel confident about what I had written. I guess that happens to us bloggers from time to time. Now, I am happy with the information that I have put out here for you guys to see. I hope you enjoy reading it, and it helps you to decide which brushes to buy. Please let me know what you think of your Sigma brushes. I love hearing from everyone.

Please remember that every review you see on this blog is a true representation of my honest opinion. I have never and will never be affiliated with any company mentioned. I purchase all of the products I review with my own money, and would never be interested in receiving free products or money in exchange for a great review. This is an honest woman's blog.


lilpil on December 28, 2010 at 3:15 AM said...

Great in depth Post Tiffany.

I have the Sigma Professional travel set and feel the same about the ss138 - its such a bad cut product, the ss131 is great though in the travel kit - compared to my MAC 131, it is actually more dense and applies equally well.

I also don't mind the ss226 from the travel kit, it is not really a dupe of the MAC226, it reminds me of NARS 12 brush crossed with Laura Mercier's Crease brush and is great for crease and outer V work.

The ss192 and ss227 were pointless for me and I don't really like using the ss210 either.

I just need to get the MAC 189 now- do your local CCO have it?

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