I have now been using the Sigma brushes for exactly a month so I thought this would be an ideal time to share my thoughts with you. The day I got the brushes I did a post sharing my first thoughts so now I want to tell you what I think of the brushes now that I've been using them for a while.
I purchased the Complete Brush kit, without a brush roll. The reason I didn't get a brush roll was simply that I doubt that I'm ever going to want to take all my brushes out with me, as I'm not a makeup artist or anything and I don't need all the brushes with me when I go on holiday. I also received a complementary brush with my order, the SS217.
I'm not going to compare these brushes with the MAC brushes because you've seen so many of those already (plus I only own one MAC brush). Instead I'm just going to tell you what I use each brush for and my thoughts on them.
I'm going to review the brushes in numerical order according to Sigma's new numbering system, starting with the face brushes.
Large Powder - F30
I use this brush to set my foundation with MAC's MSFN. It's very large and soft, ideal for powder products. It shed quite a bit, about one hair (sometimes just a tiny bit of hair) every other time I use it. Just as I was writing this I picked it up and brushed it across my fingers and it shed a hair. I don't know if this is unusual or not, but it doesn't bother me very much, as long as all the hairs don't fall out!
Large Angled Contour - F40
I use this brush to contour my cheeks and I really like it, I think this was the brush I was most excited to try and it lived up to its expectations. It hasn't shed much, maybe two hairs the first time I washed it, but while writing this I realised that there is one black brush hair among the white ones (see photo below, click to enlarge). I hadn't noticed this until now, it's rather strange isn't it? Oh well, it doesn't affect the brush's performance in any way. :)
Duo Fibre - F50
Reading reviews about the brush set, I learn that this brush can be used for foundation or blush, some people even use it for bronzer. I don't use bronzer but I have used the brush for both foundation and blush. It worked OK for blush but I find that I had to use a lot more product than if I was using my fingers to apply the foundation, as I normally do. I also had to use more foundation in order to make it look even and non streaky. This lead me to feel a bit cakey, but this may just have been my fault, maybe I should just have blended more with the brush. I do however like using the brush for blush. I apply MAC's Fleur Power with this brush as it needs a very light hand due to its pigmentation. I tried applying Well Dressed with this brush, but I found that it's not dense enough, in my opinion Well Dressed needs a very dense brush so that you get the colour onto your cheeks and not just the glitter.
This brush also sheds quite a bit, not so much when using blush, but more with foundation.
Foundation - F60
I used this brush a few times to apply foundation and thought it was OK, I preferred it to the Duo Fibre as I think it applies the product more evenly, but I still prefer to use my fingers. I would probably use this if I was going to apply foundation on a friend. It did not shed at all.
Concealer - F70
I think I have only used this brush once, maybe twice, just to try it out. I didn't really like it very much, the concealer did not apply any better than when I use my fingers. Again, I might use this on a friend.
Now for the eye brushes!
Eyeliner - E05
This is just your basic eyeliner brush. I've used it a few times, but I think I need to practise a bit because I can never get the eyeliner to apply evenly with this. I like using it to sharpen a flick when I do one.
Pencil - E30
I'm surprised to say that I haven't used this brush much, I think it was the eye brush I was most excited to get, but I think I've only reached for it once or twice. This is most likely because I haven't been wearing an eyeshadow on my lower lashline, which is what this brush is ideal for, and I haven't been doing a sharp, defined crease. I'll probably use it for a night out in the near future. :)
Tapered Blending - E40
In all honesty I think this brush is rubbish for blending. It is much to light and fluffy, it does absolutely nothing when I try to use it. I much prefer my MAC 217, or Sigma SS217 for blending. However I do like to use this brush for concealer, if concealing large areas, as it is very light and therefore doesn't rub the concealer off your face when you're trying to blend the edges.
Eye Shading - E55
I use this brush for placing shadow on my lid. It works fine, though I don't think it works brilliantly for light colours, I don't know why, it just doesn't seem to pick up the colour, just the shimmer. It works great for darker colours though.
Large Shader - E60
I haven't used this brush much, mainly due to its size. It's too big for my lid, but I imagine that it would work well for wet shadow or pigment. I suppose it could also be used for concealer, but I haven't used it like that yet.
Small Angle - E65
I haven't quite got the hang of this brush yet. I use it to apply gel liner (it can be used for eyebrows, but I don't shade my brows as they are very dark already) and it's not quite thin enough to do the job properly, in my opinion. I have a similar angled liner from the Body Shop, which is thin enough but not stiff enough. So I need one that's half way between the two! Oh well, I'll keep practising!
Medium Angled Shading - E70
This is definitely my favourite brush out of the eye brushes! At first I had no idea what to use it for, but then one evening I was in a rush to go out and wanted to change my eyeshadow. So I grabbed this brush, thinking that it would be quick to use due to its shape and fluffiness, and grabbed MAC's Sable eyeshadow and swept it on my lid, I was really pleased with the results. Sable is one of those eyeshadows that you can wear on its own without a different colour in the crease, and the shape of this brush allows you to sweep the shadow on your lid and outer corner in one fell swoop. An absolutely brilliant brush and one I use every day!
Tapered Blending - E35 (SS217)
As I mentioned before, this was the free brush that came with the kit. My brush says SS217, but on the Sigma website it has been renamed "Tapered Blending - E35." This is the only brush I have a MAC version of, and I have to say that I think this one is better. It's a lot softer, the MAC one sometimes stings a bit (like the bristles have pointy ends or something, do you know what I mean?) and does a better job of blending the colour. So I am very happy to have this brush and have stopped using my MAC one, only using it if I need a clean brush to blend with.
So, that concludes all the brushes! If you have any questions or suggestions for alternate purposes for brushes than those I mentioned above, please leave a comment below as I am always keen to learn new tips and tricks!
I would definitely recommend Sigma brushes for anyone who wants a brush set, but doesn't want to spend a lot of money on them. I wouldn't say they were the same quality as MAC, I think they shed more (as I said, I haven't actually got many MAC brushes, but I'm guessing the MAC 150 doesn't shed a hair every day!) and the handles feel a bit cheaper than the MAC ones, but this is really not an issue, and you can't really expect to get the same quality for such different prices! I've already convinced my friend to get a set of these brushes!