Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Sigma Makeup Brushes Review

In mid-January, I asked all of you what do you want to know about Sigma Makeup Brushes. Instead of my usual review format, I’m going to go through and answer your questions, because at the end of the day… my review would have answered the majority of those questions anyway, but this way you can look for your answers more easily.  I am reviewing the brushes I have tried, which include: SS109, SS150, SS168, SS182, SS187, SS188, SS190, SS194, SS208, SS219, SS224, SS239, SS266, and SS275.

This post is a review for Sigma Makeup Brushes on their own merit, aside from MAC, not compared to MAC. I will post a follow-up shortly comparing the two as requested.

  • Brushes I liked: SS182, SS190, SS219, SS224.   I found these were the brushes that really stood out to me both in quality and in use.  I think all of the brushes are of good quality, but inevitably, they’re not better or different (and thus meet a different need!) than brushes I already have in my collection!
  • Good value for the money: these are worth getting if you are keen on building up your brush collection faster and without breaking the bank.  I would definitely love it if you could purchase more brushes individually, so you didn’t have to pick up brushes you didn’t like or weren’t going to use often.  Sigma offers quality brushes are a more affordable price point, and I can understand that not everyone wants to or can spend money on high-end brushes.
  • Read reviews and buy the brushes you need that also work well.  Not all of Sigma brushes are super-fab, some are good brushes (regardless of looking at price!) but some don’t hit the mark on what you expected to use the brush for.  e.g. the 187 isn’t stiff enough to stipple but it still works fine for applying blush with a softer, more diffused look.
  • My recommendation: I like Sigma Makeup brushes for the short-term.  There are a few (the ones I mentioned I liked) that are worth picking up not just to get your hands on more makeup brushes, but I think they’re a good starter set.  It’s a good way to get to know makeup brushes, learn what you need and like, and if you love one brush, maybe consider upgrading that one or others you use often later on down the road with something pricier.

See review and photos…

Sigma Makeup Brushes Quality

Q. What do you think of the brushes you tried? What should we use each brush for?

All of the brushes have solid, heavy handles (heavier than many other brush brands I’ve tried, but they’re not bricks or anything!). The brushes are made out of both natural and synthetic bristles. The natural brushes are typically goat hair, either white or black.  I think the brushes themselves are quality brushes.  They may not last a life time like higher-end brushes, but I think they will last you long enough to get your money’s worth.  The are a little softer than Sonia Kashuk brushes and about as soft as Eco-Tools overall (of course, there is variation between different types of brushes and all that).  When purchased in a kit/set, they can represent tremendous value.  I’d definitely like to see them expand their individual brush offering so that people can choose the brushes they need to use the most or get seconds, thirds, etc. of the brushes they use the most.


Sigma Makeup SS109 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS109 Brush

SS109 is soft and has a flatter surface which makes it better for applying blush than liquid foundation. It does shed some, though.


Sigma Makeup SS150 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS150 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS150 Brush

SS150 is a natural-bristled brush that’s a bit flat and compacted with very densely-packed bristles. I don’t find this is fluffy enough for all-over powder. I feel like this can over-apply powder if you are using it more for a loose setting powder or a light coverage powder. If you use powder foundation and want more coverage, this might work for that. This was the worst brush that I tried from Sigma. It sheds non-stop and bleeds dye (even six weeks later)!


Sigma Makeup SS168 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS168 Brush

SS168 is a fluffy angled natural-bristled brush that can be used to apply blush or contour cheeks and the jawline. (It’s too big to contour the nose with.) It’s quite soft, though, but almost a little too fluffy to give you nice contouring line. When washed and dried, the bristles splay out and the brush doesn’t retain its tight shape so much.


Sigma Makeup SS182 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS182 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS182 Brush

SS182 is an ultra soft, densely-packed buffer/kabuki natural-bristled brush. It has a light dome shape that is retained even after cleansing. It’s very tightly-packed, and it’s one of the best brushes done by Sigma that I’ve tried.


Sigma Makeup SS187 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS187 Brush

SS187 is a duo-fibre brush that’s a blend of both synthetic and natural bristles. It’s very soft and fluffy, but it’s not stiff enough to use to stipple for me. It can still be used to apply highlighters and blushes (for a more muted, less intense look), but I found it too soft for applying cream blushes or use with liquid foundation.


Sigma Makeup SS188 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS188 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS188 Brush

SS188 is a duo-fibre brush that’s a blend of both synthetic and natural bristles–it’s very much like the 187 except the brush head is smaller and more compact, less flared as well. Unfortunately, it had the same problems as the 187 for me — I tend to use the 188 solely for highlighting, but I rarely reach for it. I wish it was a little stiffer so I could stipple cream blushes on!


Sigma Makeup SS190 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS190 Brush

SS190 is a flat, slightly stiffened synthetic brush that’s best used with more emollient products. You can use it to apply cream or liquid foundations as well as your moisturizer.


Sigma Makeup SS194 Brush

SS194 is a short, slightly domed synthetic brush that’s designed to be used to apply concealer around the under eye area. The shortness of the brush gives you more control, but it’s a little too stiff for the under eye area. I like it better as a lip brush.


Sigma Makeup SS197 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS197 Brush

SS197 is a very soft, stiff, firm, and densely backed duo-fibre brush with natural bristles. It’s called a flat-topped kabuki brush, and it’s very much like that. I like it better for creamier foundations, but I don’t actually find I reach for it very often!


Sigma Makeup SS209 Brush

SS209 is a long, thin, and tapered synthetic-bristled brush. It’s wider and has more of a taper along the length of the brush. I found it a bit too thick to give a reallythin, defined line.


Sigma Makeup SS219 Brush

SS219 is a natural-bristled “pencil” brush. This is nice to use for a more defined crease or to blend out creas color for a soft, but still more defined, crease. It’s too domed and not tapered enough to work as I usually use pencil brushes (on the lower lash line). It can also be used to smudge out color or apply a highlighter to the inner corner.


Sigma Makeup SS224 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS224 Brush

SS224 is a rounded, slightly tapered natural-bristled brush. It’s good for using in the crease, and it’s not too long, so you can have more control over how much blending you want to do in the crease area.


Sigma Makeup SS239 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS239 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS239 Brush

SS239 is kind of a stubby, domed, kind of fluffy natural-bristled brush. It’s stiff but not too stiff to use, but it’s stubby. It feels too short! It feels more like a smudging brush than an eyeshadow brush.


Sigma Makeup SS266 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS266 Brush

SS266 is an angled synthetic brush designed for use with gel eyeliner. I find that this brush is really much too thick and not stiff enough to be used on the lower lash line. This was one of my least favorite eye brushes, because I didn’t find it useful for anything. It’s not thick/fluffy enough for eye brows yet too thick for eyeliner. It kind of bulged in the middle, which just made it even more difficult to get a thin, even lash line.


Sigma Makeup SS275 Brush


Sigma Makeup SS275 Brush

SS275 is a fluffy angled natural-bristled brush. This is a nice brush to apply highlighter to the bro w bone or get a softer crease color. I find it’s too big for my crease area to give a more defined crease, and you could use it to highlight the inner corner of your eye, but it’s a little too big for me.

Sigma offers several additional brushes, but I have not tried them, so I cannot vouch for them! These additional brushes include: SS129, SS134, SS138, SS165, SS192, SS195, SS210, SS212, SS214, SS217, SS222, SS226, SS227, and SS316. These brushes are all available in the Professional Brushes Premium Kit ($149).

Q. Are they good standalone brushes?

Yes, they are. If they offered the brushes all individually and at the prices of the brush kits, then I think they would be a very good value most definitely. The kits themselves are much like other brush kits and sets — there are always brushes you just don’t use.

Q. Do they shed?

The face brushes have a tendency to shed, even after several weeks of washings (as it can be typical for your brushes to shed a bit in the beginning). I don’t have shedding issues with most of the eye brushes (the 224 and 275 shed a bit, the 275 more so). I have shedding issues with 109, 150, 168, and 187. The 109 and the 150 are the worst.

Q. What do you think of them esthetically? Do they look cheap?

I think they look nice overall. There’s something about the placement or size of the logo that looks a little off to me, but the brushes themselves have matte black handles with a good weight to them so they don’t feel cheap.

Q. What is the stiffness of the brushes?

Some brushes are stiffer than others–it varies based on the brush. The brushes that are supposed to be soft tend to be soft and not too stiff, while brushes that are supposed to be firmer are so (except the 187 and 188, which are particularly not as firm or stiff as I’d expect, they are a bit floppy).

Q. Do they smell?

Yes, after about six weeks of washing them, there’s still a noticeable smell. It was stronger in the first week or two of washings, but there’s still an off-putting scent there. I don’t usually notice it when using it, but since I knew it was a question being asked, I made sure to do a sniff-test throughout!

Q. Do the black bristles lose their color after being washed?

No, I haven’t noticed the color itself changing in the brushes, though I have seen some dye get on the towel I lay the brushes on to dry.

Q. What brushes would you recommend getting (that aren’t in the brush roll)?

The only one that I’ve tried that isn’t in the brush roll I tried was the 182. It was definitely one of the best brushes I tried from Sigma, period.

Q. Do you think they could sell these at a department store counter?

I don’t think they could based on the extreme similarities (particularly with the numbering system) to MAC brushes. Quality-wise, perhaps at a retailer like Sephora, which can accommodate specialty retailers that have smaller ranges (e.g. not enough products to need a counter).

Q. Do the brushes bleed after a few washes?

The majority of the brushes do not bleed. I have had some bleeding issues with the 109, 150, and 182. The 150 is the one that bleeds the most. It’s not like a big bucket o’ dye, but it’s annoying.

Q. How soft are the brushes?

The majority of the brushes are quite soft. They are not the softest brushes of all time, but they feel soft against the skin and only a few are a little scratchy (150, 190, 219).

Q. How versatile are the brushes?

They’re as versatile as any other brush line! There’s nothing different about these brushes that would limit how you could use them based on your needs.

Q. Are the brushes handmade?

Yes, according to Sigma Makeup’s About Us, the brushes are handmade.

Q. Do the brushes retain their shape after washing and drying?

Yes, the majority of the brushes retain their shape after a cleaning. I found that the fluffier brushes (like the 168 and 219) splayed quite a bit after drying, even though I re-shaped them after cleansing.

Q. Are these cruelty-free?

Technically, no. I asked Simone, owner of Sigma Makeup, and she explained that PETA believes that animals need their coat, so regardless of technique or whether or not there was no harm to the animals in order to get the hair, they do not consider natural-haired brushes to be cruelty-free. Simone said that they make sure animals are not harmed during the harvesting of their coats (nifty fact, Simone is actually a veterinarian!).

Q. What does SS stand for?

Sigma Shopping.

Q. Are the ferrules tight or loose?

They are tight in the beginning, but some of the ferrules are loosening a bit. It’s very subtle, but I would expect them to loosen up more as time goes on. I wash these the same as my MAC brushes, which I haven’t experienced ferrule loosening (just to clarify that I don’t think it’s user error in cleansing/washing brushes).

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask. I will answer if I can, and if I don’t know the answer, I will field it to Simone (the owner) for an answer. PLEASE DO NOT ASK COMPARISON QUESTIONS AGAINST MAC IN THIS POST (comparisons are covered in a separate post!).  Thank you!

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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83 thoughts on “Sigma Brushes Review, Photos

  1. Leidy

    I pass. Thanks! I rather put in the money and get the quality. Even if Im collecting little by little.

  2. Stefh

    Hi Christine, I just ordered the new Pro brush Kit, do you think they will be as great as the first kit?

  3. I don´t like the SS188; mine after the first wash lost a lot of hairs, and I think it´s not as dense as the SS187 from MAC. But overall I think the Sigma brushes are a great buy because of the price and quality. I noticed the smell on them too lol

    Sigma should also sell them as individual brushes, because in my opinion they´ve got right now just a few but would be great if you could buy any of the brushes in the kit individually. Anyway, thanks for this great review!

  4. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Alicia Alicia

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do this review! I was considering getting these brushes but I think id rather just stick with brushes I know are excellent quality.

    I appreciate your honesty with every review you do!

  5. Thanks for the review. I agree with Leidy, I would definitely put in the money and get the quality so I would skip too.

    Also Christine, I’m so glad you’re doing a very in depth review rather than the other reviews that I’ve read just say “I really liked this brush…” and thats it, because we all have different preferences and if you like it doesn’t mean I’ll like it too. So thank you very much =)

    • Happy to help, Sheila :)

      I think if your budget allows, it’s a great way to get brushes while you save up money for MAC brushes, but you know, I survived on 1 239 (and that was my ONLY eye brush!) for like, 2 years! I didn’t grow my collection overnight (wish you could just water one and then there’d be ten more the next morning, could be fun, yeah?), and it’s important to love what you buy, so if MAC is what you want (or Sigma, or NARS, or fingers!), that’s all I want for you!!

  6. Bahar

    Sigma is amazing.. LOVE their brushes! Especially because they are so soft. Im just waiting for the ss197 to get back on stock…

  7. HC

    I have this set too. Brushes are a hit or miss for me. I do like the softness of the 187, but do you think its TOO soft where it picks up product that stays on the brush rather than transferring to your skin? I have that problem w/ blushes and the SS187.

    • Hi HC,

      The 187 works well for highlighting or soft color (e.g. if you have a super pigmented blush), but it’s not firm enough to use for stippling for me.

      • HC

        Yeah, I also found my SS190 to be SUPER pokey!! I was so turned off by it. I think that’s the one brush in the whole set that I have not used yet. Oh wait, the SS168 too b/c it SMELLS like plastic from China. EW.

        • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jenny CAMommy

          Agreed. My ss190 feels like a few bristles have tiny sharp tips on them… kinda as if they weren’t cut cleanly/sharply when they were being made. I do honestly prefer the ss224 over MAC’s 224 because it’s not as floppy.

          I bought this set and the new set and I honestly don’t use most of the face brushes in the new set. Like everyone says, it would be much better if the brushes were sold separately.

  8. Ashley

    Never used Sigma brushes. I don’t even know where they can be purchased, especially in Canada. Aren’t they sold online exclusively?

    I’ve used cheap brands before with great success. I have never found any pricier brushes that were as soft and performed the same as my Ecotools brushes, as most high end brushes that I’ve come across use animal hairs, which irritate my skin :/ Like my MAC 182, that one is my least favourite brush of all my brushes.

    I think that some affordable brands can offer just as much quality as pricier brands, it all just depends on the craftsmanship of the brush!

  9. Nina

    I truly appreciate your review as you give it straight and I really like that you did it after 6 weeks of usage. Some review these brushes straight away and praise them to high heavens. I think that these are a good alternative to MAC if you’re on a tight budget and want some brushes to play with. There are some gems in their line but I wouldn’t go ahead and buy a full set.

  10. AmazingRaquel

    how do you stop brushes from bleeding color? I am having this problem with my Sephora brush.

  11. Jane

    It kind of sucks how biased this review is since you do own every MAC make-up brush that not every girl can afford. Even if it’s your honest opinion, others would think it’s the best brushes if they’ve never owned any MAC brushes, and I don’t even own Sigma brushes but I do own a number of MAC brushes and the MAC brushes are THAT great either.

    Even if you aren’t intentionally saying that suck and that MAC is better, I can just read between the lines. And yes, I actually read the the whole review.

    • If you’ve never used X, but have only used Y, wouldn’t that still be true, though? If you don’t like MAC brushes, that’s fine! If you prefer something else, that’s also fine. MAC is better, on the whole, but if you can’t afford MAC, these are a great alternative. I certainly don’t expect everyone to be able to afford MAC or even want to spend that much money on brushes, period!

      Like anything, there are great gems and there are misses. I don’t love every MAC brush I own. There are better brushes by other brands, like NARS or Chanel, than some of the MAC brushes out there.

      • Leidy

        I sometimes feel that some people just arent worth responding to. Your reviews are completely unbiased and are based on your knowledge of all things beauty. It is sad that you have to defend your OPINION when people are voluntarily reading your blog. If they dont trust what you say then why do they bother? I have purchased many things because of your advice ranging from $3.00 to $78.00. One thing I have learned form your site is that there is quality in things that are not as costly. Sometimes its even better than the high budget things! Thanks Christine!

        Leidy- NYC

        • Thanks Leidy! ($78, is that Guerlain Parure Gold?!)

          I try to review things primarily on the quality of the product. I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s great just because it’s cheap. I think it’s always important to think about price and buy within your means, but for me, I’m more interested in quality and how that stacks up. I can make my own assessment on whether it’s worth it or if I can afford it later on!

  12. Cynthia

    I have had completely different experiences than you with My Sigma Brushes. I have and love every single one of them!! Not had shedding after the initial wash, no bleeding, no splaying (although I use brush guards when I dry them). I have very few MAC brushes but the one that sheds the most for me is the 181 and it sheds 1-2 hairs each time I use it (2-3 days a week).

    • Monet

      Yeah, me too! But, every brush can’t be the same I guess since they are hand made. lol I still love my sigma brushes, and even sold my mac ones to get more sigma brushes! Thx Christine for your honest review tho. Not everyone can have a great experience.

      • Yeah, it’s crazy. And even differences between handmade vs. machine-made. I have the holiday 266 which I LOVE for brows but find the full-size 266 a little too thin in comparison!

    • Nichole

      Me too! I also purchased the newest set available and love it as well. The only thing Sigma can not compete with is MAC’s 239. Even Sigma’s 217 is fantastic.

  13. brittany

    I Understand that everyone has their own opinion, but I really do think that this review is Biased =[

    • I’m really sorry to hear that. I can only reiterate that I wouldn’t have put in six weeks of testing and countless hours photographing, using, washing, etc. for any other reason than I wanted to be as honest and as unbiased as I could.

      • Aw Christine, your reviews are always the best. I’ve bought countless things just based on your one review (or swatch) because I know with your expertise and experience (and lets not forget the time that you put in), its very unlikely to go wrong. Bravo, and keep up with the amazing work =)

    • Mai

      Considering that the other post says that she received this set from the PR, and she’s one of the few to say that she wasn’t all that fond of them versus the countless others who received it for free and “loved them” then I’d accuse them of being biased.

      • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jenni Jenni

        I agree. I’m confused as to why some readers think that this post is biased. She listed some great brushes, and some not great ones… if she were biased toward MAC, why would she even bother listing the good brushes (e.g. SS182), and waste time posting pictures of each brush from a different angle? There are pictures of them on the Sigma website, after all…

        Anyway, Christine, thank you SO much for this review. I’ve been waiting for a long time for this (I know you’re busy and all)! Now I can finally buy some brushes to replace my 5-year-old drugstore no-name brand ones LOL.

  14. Julie

    Thanks so much for this post! I really wish I would’ve seen this post before I purchased them! I don’t mind spending a little extra for quality. I agree with you with on the SS150, I’m on my 2nd (replacement) and it has been shedding and bleeding non-stop. Same with my SS187!

  15. I’ve always wondered about these brushes. I’m so happy you did a review on it’s own! Thanks!

  16. stephanie

    I agree with your review 100% some of these brushes are good and some could be improved upon. I really wish they did offer more brushes individually. Some brushes MAC is not offering anymore (they were LE) it would be nice to be able to get the SS counterpart without having to spend a grip on the Sigma premium set.

    • stephanie

      the travel set is really good. the brushes are sturdy and long lasting.

    • I think it would be so awesome to see the individual range expanded upon. Especially with the roll out of the premium kit, I can see brushes people would love to buy but $149 is still a lot of change to plunk down at once… which is what you said, so I suppose a simple “I agree!’ would have sufficed, lol!

  17. Juliana Domingues

    Well, i had a completely different experience with the ss150, mine never shed or bled, and the shape is the same as it was when i got it. I do use brush guards to store my brushes, but i’ve never had any problem with it. I’ve actually compared it with my cousin’s mac 150, and to be honest, it felt the same to me, and the application was just as good.
    What i think is that for us who don’t have as many knowledge regarding makeup, the sigma brushes are a VERY good alternative, and as a brazilian girl (simone is brazilian as well, despite the american company), i am very proud of her and her products, since it hasn’t been around so long.
    That was a good and thorough review, but i think you could have been less “mean”, for lack of a better word.

    • Hi Juliana,

      I’m glad you’ve had such a great experience with your SS150! I wish that I could say the same.

      I’m sorry you thought I was mean, as that was not my intention. I spent many hours writing these reviews to be as honest and as objective as I could possibly be, and I certainly don’t want to be mean to anyone. I’ve talked to Simone and have told her that I think the product is quality and a great, affordable alternative and can’t wait to see Sigma move away from the MAC numbering system this year.

    • Ashley

      I don’t see how it was mean…?
      I mean, it’s an honest review, and everyone has different opinions!

      And it’s not like anything in the review was bashing the company of the people behind the company, but simply stating what was good or bad about the products from a personal experience stand-point! I mean, MAC has amazing reviews, yet I really dislike their brushes because they irritate my skin!

    • TC

      She wasn’t being mean!! Get over yourself! This company was founded by piggy-backing on the success of another company. That’s NOTHING to be proud of!! Christine gave a very honest and fair review. This review was an excellent breakdown of what works and what could be improved upon. It’s pretty simple- If you can’t afford a MAC brush, buy Sigma. That’s essentially what Sigma markets them for- they’re the “poor man’s MAC” . Thank you for the excellent review, as always, Christine!:)

  18. Tiffany

    my favorite brush is the 197, especially since I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to applying my liquid foundation. the only downside is that it’s a pain the behind to thoroughly clean. the bristles are so compact… good for application and bad for cleaning. :)

  19. Janet

    Christine, thank you SO MUCH for such an honest review of the Sigma brushes. I have to admit, I was swayed by other reviewers when the “Sigma craze” first started and bought a bunch of their brushes. Although the price was really reasonable, I’m actually quite disappointed with the brushes. I experienced a lot of shedding issues and noticed that after six months of use, the brushes really couldn’t even compare to my Quo ones (Quo is a Canadian drugstore brand). I really get the feeling that other reviewers were really swayed by the freebies given by the company and may have exaggerated how amazing these brushes were. I wish I’d waited to read your review!

    • Too bad we don’t have Quo here – sounds like they’re worth trying :)

      Wish I had written this earlier for ya, Janet!

    • Ashley

      Imo, Quo brushes aren’t that good, especially for the price. I remember sniffing their skunk brush, and nasty! Stunk so much. I have a few of their brushes from.. maybe 5 years ago? Maybe even 6. And honestly, their just kinda scratchy, especially when using them to blend. Perhaps it’s because they aren’t made with synthetic hairs (and if they are, then it’s just the quality). I prefer Sicara and Ecotools brushes, both of which are cheaper and can be found in some Canadian drug stores!

      • mandy

        Ecotools are AMAZING brushes! That blush brush is something I could see myself plunking 25 bucks on… I am so happy it was only like $7!

      • Janet

        Ashley, you’re right. Some of the Quo brushes have a really terrible smell when they’re new, but in my experience, the smells wash out. I’m not sure about a few years ago, but some of the newer brushes, and especially the new “professional” line of brushes are actually quite nice. I prefer my Quo angle brush and cream eyeshadow brush over even my mac ones.

        I never buy them at full price because Shoppers has them 40% off really frequently.

        I have both the Quo and Sigma skunk brush… I’ve had the Quo one for a lot longer, but while the Sigma one has now shed a bunch of the black hairs (which makes the white hairs clump together in batches… it looks like toothbrush bristles now), my Quo one looks the same every wash. *sigh*

        • Ashley

          Hm, perhaps I should take a look at the brushes next time I check out Shoppers! I’m not really in need of any new brushes right now, but it never hurts to stock up.

          Do you know if the Quo brushes are made of natural bristles? If they are, then I’ll have to stay clear of their facial brushes (which might explain why their blush brush broke me out :/ )

  20. Julie

    I find this review amazingly fair and comprehensive. Thanks for putting the time and energy into it!

  21. This review is soooo long, lol. But I did sit down and read through all of them and paid extra attention to the brushes I’m curious about. I have wanted these for like a year because of all the hypes and I still haven’t given in. And frankly, if I accumulate all the cost I spent on brushes this year, I could’ve gotten a set.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your honest review. I think I really need to think about purchasing them or not. I think it’ll be good for travelling since it’s already in a set. (I’ve heard that the travel set is better than the full size set, which is kinda weird).

    I think I would rather getting MAC brushes bit by bit too, since they do last a life time. (My MAC 266 brush is still going strong after 5 years of uses, and I use it every day!) Though I would be interested to try the SS182 since the MAC 182 is just too pricey.

  22. Denise

    Finally an honest, unbiased, detailed review. Thanks temptalia!

  23. Lorna

    i got the same kit and i noticed the same problems with the SS150. it bleeds and it also leaves black hairs on my face every time i use it. i was wanting to get some MAC brushes just to see how they compare. i like the diversity in brushes but i still think i prefer my sonia kashuk ones more.

  24. Liz

    I am really quite shocked that some people have found this review to be “mean” or “biased”. The difference between this review and other reviews found on youtube is that Christine was not swayed by the free brushes into giving a misleading review of them. She was very objective and honest in her opinion of the brushes, which was not done overnight by the way. The fact that she owns many higher end brushes does not take away from her ability to distinguish between a good quality brush regardless of price (she even mentions that she owns sonia kashuk and eco tool brushes). Furthermore, she was asked by her readers to review the brushes, not to say that she loved every single one of them. If we asked for an honest review then why get offended by the honesty? If the sigma company or the owners of sigma brushes are offended by the fact that the brushes don’t compare to Mac then why call them Mac comparables and use the same numbers? I stand behind Christine’s opinion. They are good brushes but there are better brushes out there.

  25. Rita

    I have the Sigma Travel Kit Nice in Pink. I have used the brushes a couple of times, and they are ok for travel. You don’t have to carry aroud your MAC brushes, and I think that Sigma travel brushes could be better than MAC SE brushes. I especially liked the SS224, because it has more control than MAC 224, which I do not like that much for the opposite reason. I also used the SS187 for applying liquid foundation for awhile. It was ok, but now I have MAC 130. The SS187 – at least the travel size – is much smaller than MAC 187, somewhere between MAC 187 and 188, and less stiff as Christine said.

  26. I got my sigma brushes yesterday (I purchased the face & eyes kit as well as a SS109) and I was shocked with the handling and everything else on the SS109.
    I wanted to have a rounder (a tiny bit tapered), softer Brush, which should be small, but not that small.
    Would you say I should check out the MAC109?

  27. Rosa Napoleon

    I really like the Sigma brushes. I agree the are affordable than the Mac brushes, but can’t beat quality. I have a Mac 239 brush it alot small than Sigma brush version of the Mac 239, but both pack the color on my lids. I looking forward to getting the MAC 130 brush. Hey Christine what do you think of MAC 130 brush? I heard many people talk about this brush.

  28. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy Amy

    I think I can only trust your reviews for things. You are so honest and I really appreciate how much time and effort you put into everything you do on this website. I check your blog everyday and usually more than once a day and I am sure that many other people do as well. You are like my in-between studying and report writing, my down time tends to be spent reading your amazing blog. Keep it up :)

    • It is really important to me to be as honest as I possible can be with all of you! The last thing I want to do is exaggerate and then have readers come back and say, “THIS SUCKED!” So much of blogging is based on credibility and reputation! Sometimes I fear someone will hate it and think I’m a liar, lol!

      Thanks, Amy :)

  29. Katie

    Thanks a ton, Christine! I seriously need some new brushes, and I was seriously planning to buy these since I’m on a budget. I’m really glad I read this post, because I just feel like some Youtubers felt inclined to give the Sigma brushes glowing reviews because they got them for free.

    Just asking your opinion – do you think the brushes are worth using for at least a few years before I bump up to MAC, or should I try to collect brushes from other brands separately?

    • Hi Katie,

      I would probably get either a few individual brushes or maybe opt for their eye brush set (I think their eye brushes hold up better – less shedding, dye bleeding, etc.). I don’t think you would be disappointed in them, they are good brushes (just not the same as MAC). I bought various brushes before eventually just using MAC, so I think it would be worth using them while you built up your MAC collection :)

  30. Ally_D

    Thanks for the review Christine.

    I admire the amount of time you put into your posts and I can tell you really care about giving an honest opinion. Your reviews are always well balanced and give me enough information to make a decision on a product. Thanks again from Cambridge, UK

  31. lisa

    Thanks for the review!

  32. Playet

    I’m glad you did a review on this that seem to me to be “honest” because all the other gurus on youtube that got them for free just RAVED about they were better than mac and such… and although I do own some and REALLY LIKE THEM… and think their better slightly better than my sonias and much better than most brushes Ive tried from cheaper brand…most seem to not be as much like mac as they claim…. have you tried the premier set? I am considering ordering it but its a bit more pricey the main reason I want it is for the 165( I have the mac one and love it and need a back up but since its discontinued I wondered if they sigma is close enough to be used for highlighting?)

  33. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Megan Megan F

    Hey Christine!!!! I don’t know if you knew this but allcosmeticswholesale.com now sells most of the sigma brushes separately instead of having to buy the entire kit with some brushes you will never use!!!

  34. Lhei

    I got the Nice in Pink travel set after reading this review! ;)

  35. abl

    My sister ordered these for me as a Christmas gift. I’m excited to try them—I’m just starting to build my brush collection, so it sounds like it will work for now while I build my collection.

    Thanks for the review!!

  36. Glaucia

    Get 10% off on your sigma purchase. Just click on the link http://www.sigmabeauty.com/?Click=84932 and than put GLAM2011 as your coupon code.

  37. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rachel rachel

    i really don’t like that these are essentially mac knock offs. these are NOT cheap. clearly there isn’t any creativity in the brand. are they handmade? are they EXACTLY like mac brushes? then they will never be as good. i’m the typical, cash-strapped college student, and even though i’ve gotten into makeup the past two years, i only own three mac brushes. i immediately noticed their superior quality and i think they’re amazing and worth the money since they last for technically ever, since at any point, they are guaranteed and you can bring them back. with proper care, they should last forever. even if they last 30 years, it’s still less than a dollar per year to own each brush.
    if this brand actually made its own brushes, i might have tried them. for example, i really like urban decay’s shadow brush and it will be right along side my mac brushes. the only reason i might make my “collection” all mac is because i have a thing about them all being the same in design. anyways, yeah, go mac! =P

  38. Barbie Dunlap

    Does anyone have any info on the body brush. I was interested in purchasing it.

    Thank you for your help

  39. Thanks for the thorough review! I’m really glad that Sigma has changed their numbering system since then!