I've had the Sigma Essential Brush Kit for over half a year now, and there are definitely some brushes that I would give a big thumbs up and a big thumbs down. Unfortunately, not all of the brushes are amazing, which sucks because I'm paying $120 for 12 brushes. I know this comes out to be around $10 /brush, but as you all know, money doesn't drop from the sky. If I'm going to shell out $120, the product I get better be damn good. Now for the review.
The Good Brushes
~E55 Eye Shading Brush
I adore this brush because it applies the perfect amount of eyeshadow on my eye each and every single time. It blends well over my eye lid, and I would repurchase this brush without any hesitation.
~E70 Medium Angled Shading Brush
This brush is GREAT for highlighting the brow bone. I use it strictly for that purpose. It blends the powder in really nicely, and the shape is just perfect for high lighting.
~E65 Small Angle Brush
I used to use this brush for brow powder, but then after purchasing a different brush, I realized that the angle brush is too dense. I had to use it extremely lightly or else I would look like freaking sasquatch. Now, I use this brush as an eye liner brush for my lower lash line, and it works great. I do like it a lot, but not as a brow brush.
~F30 Large Powder Brush
This brush is going to pick up just the right amount of powder for your face. It blends powder really evenly, and I always apply my MAC Studio Fix powder foundation with it. I have also used it as a finishing powder brush, but now I use a kabuki brush for that. I would recommend this brush if you're looking for a large fluffy brush that does a great job. The only issue I have with this brush is that after a couple uses, it starts to irritate my almost unnaturally sensitive skin. I just have to remember to wash it often!
~F40 Large Angled Contour
This brush is absolutely amazing for applying blush and bronzer. It just works really well. I know Bianca had an issue with her F40 because when she got it, it smelled REALLY rank. This happened to my brush after a few uses. However, after I cleaned my brush, the smell left and never came back. Though with Bianca, even after several washes, the odor stubbornly remained on her F40.
~F60 Foundation Brush
This is one of those paint brush-type foundation brushes. Now, I don't usually use this type of brush to apply foundation, but when I do, it does a good job. I don't really have too much to say about it because I don't use it quite as often, but I have always had a good experience with this brush.
~F70 Concealer Brush
Again, this is not my choice brush or tool to use when applying concealer. I generally just use my fingers because I think my fingers blend in my concealer the best (even better than blending brushes). It has been great whenever I used it, but in the same respect, I don't find myself picking up this brush very often. (Bianca here and I gotta disagree with this one. I am not a fan of this as a concealer brush. It might be okay to pat it on, but it is nearly impossible to blend with the brush. Tbh, I think it is easier to pack on a pigment or shadow with this brush)
The Not So Good Brushes
~E30 Pencil Brush
This brush is a small domed brush that is meant for applying eye liner (I think). This brush is really more on the neutral rather than bad side for me. I just don't like it much, most likely because it's too big for me to use on my eyes. I have smaller, asian eyes, so a large domed brush is not ideal for liner. It would just make me look raccoon-y. This brush can also shed a bit. (I gotta disagree with Julie. This brush is not actually for eyeliner; it is meant to smudge shadow. It is great for smudging shadows under the lash line. And for smaller eyes, like some asian eyes, it works wonderfully as a crease brush. Much better than the E40)
~E60 Large Shader Brush
Again, like the E30, it's just way too big for my eyes. I haven't been able to use it once because I know it would just engulf my eye with powder. (As a big eyed person I love this brush hehe. But if it is too bug for your eyes, the tip is quite stiff and you can use it to smudge water under your lash line or apply a browbone highlight :)).
~E40 Tapered Blending Brush
This brush is not only too big to blend colors into my eye crease, it is just extremely flimsy. I guess if you're just applying high light to your inner corner or even your brow bone, it would do, but as blending brushes go, I would not choose this one. I prefer either the coastal scents blending brush or the MAC 217. I even tried using this brush to blend in concealer, which was a huge fail because the bristles were so loose and flimsy. (This brush is good for blending in powder. I recommend setting your concealer with a translucent powder (like the Rimmel Stay Matte) and this brush. You can also use it to apply powder highlighter to your cheekbones. And if you do have bigger eyes, I think it can work well for a blending brush. Use it to soften harsh lines and get a good blend going :))
~E05 Eyeliner Brush
This brush shed so bad, I couldn't use it anymore. I e-mailed Sigma, and they mailed me a new one as a replacement. This is what I love about Sigma, their customer service is absolutely impeccable. My new one hasn't really shed yet, but I also haven't really used it because I'm scared of the shedding. (Luckily I have not had this issue. And for gel eyeliner, this brush works wonderfully. It gives a very fine point and a very precise line. Just practice with it! :))
~F50 Duo Fiber Stippling Brush
Okay, I'm sorry, but this brush is probably the worst of them all. The bristles have shed so badly, I'm not even quite sure how I still have a bristles attached to the brush head. Whenever I apply foundation, I try to blend it out (I know I'm supposed to use that whole stippling motion/technique, but honestly, no one has the time for that, and who really does that with out any blending? If you do, props man!), and I am left with black bristles all over my face. I am considering purchasing the Sigma Mrs. Bunny vegan synthetic fiber brushes to see if the bristles are any better. I hear that they don't shed, so I'm really looking forward to that. I'm also getting the BeautyBlender, so I may not even need a foundation brush anymore! (Agreed! This brush does shed a lot. I would recommend the Real Techniques Stippling brush. It is less than $10, you can get it from any ULTA or their website, and the brushes are shorter, so you have a lot more control when you are blending in liquid foundation)
Okay guys, I hope this post was super informative. Let me know what you think and what you guys would like me to blog about. I have tried so many products, and I will always give you my honest opinion no matter what.
p.s. what are you all doing for Valentine's Day?! I'm in a long distance relationship with my honey, so I guess my plans include a skype date ;]. Let me know what you're all up to, I'd love to hear about it :]