Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review: Sigma Brushes - Naughty in Black Travel Kit (Pic Heavy!)

Hey everyone! I was recently given the opportunity to do a review of Sigma brushes. This brand has been rising in popularity lately, and is often compared to MAC brushes. I only own one MAC brush and have never owned any Sigma brushes before, so you're getting my honest first hand opinion and experience with these brushes :) For those who might not be familiar with the Sigma brand, you can visit their website to learn more about them!

"The Sigma Makeup brand is synonymous with quality and functionality. Our products are handmade and were developed to satisfy the highest quality standards."

Sigma offers many different professional brush kits for face, eyes, travel, etc. You can also buy individual brushes, brush rolls, belts, mirrors, and makeup bags. I chose the Naughty in Black Travel Kit -- yes, can you believe it? I passed up on pink! -- because I wanted to be able to test a variety of their face and eye brushes that are also travel-friendly (and because I fare better with shorter-handled brushes). I really like the signature sleek black look as well.

Shipping was very quick, it took about a week. I really loved the personal touches that Sigma included, it really made me feel like they take the time to make their customers feel special :) Their customer service and communication is also excellent. I was in contact with a marketing manager the entire time, and she was very accomodating and friendly.

Everything came in a cute purple bag!

Brush care instructions:

You also get a pamphlet with details on all the brushes. Very helpful.

And here is the Naughtly in Black Travel Kit:

The brush roll is black, simple, and sleek. It's made out of a soft pleather material that seems like it would be easy to clean. The brushes all fit snugly into their slots. There is also a zippered pocket, but you can't put much in their or the brush roll won't roll up and stay closed properly (it has a magnetic closure in the lining).

First look at the brushes:

Also comes with a free F50 Duo-Fibre brush!

Price: $49 from

What they say: The Sigma Makeup travel kit Naughty in Black contains 7 essential brushes to achieve a flawless look on the go. Take Naughty in Black to your favorite travel destination or keep it in your purse for a quick touch-up during the day or a night out. All brushes are individually stored in a stylish black clutch equipped with a convenient pouch to carry all your must-have makeup items.

Clutch dimensions (closed): 7 x 4 inches.
Face brushes: 5 inches total
Eyes/concealer brush: 4 inches total

The brushes all come wrapped in plastic and the face brushes have their own brush guards.

I prefer the shorter-handled brushes because I do my makeup standing in front of my closet door mirror, and longer-handled brushes tend to tap against the mirror -_-; These handles are the perfect length for me and fit comfortably in my hand :)

Now, on to the brushes!

Large Powder (F30) - Very dense with a rounded top.
Ideal to apply powder products on face and body. Natural bristles.

First thoughts: Very soft yet very dense! After washing this brush, it had a few flyaways but held its shape very well. No color bleeding and no shedding while washing either. It did get that kind of off-putting smell you get with natural hair brushes afterwards, but it dissipates. As long as you're not shoving the brush up your nose (lol), the scent isn't detectable.

How I use it: I use this brush to lightly dust my EDM Pressed Powder all over my face.

Overall thoughts: I love that this brush is soft -- not as soft as my ELF Flat-top Powder Brush, which I normally use, but nowhere near scratchy -- AND it's dense. It easily picks up powder and deposits it evenly. It's also a good size even for a travel brush. Although the brush head is small, it's not so small that it doesn't pick up enough powder and takes forever to apply it. Three swirls of this brush in my EDM pressed powder is all it takes to apply my foundation nicely.

Large Angled Contour (F40) - The angled shape makes this
brush ideal to apply blush or contour shades. Natural bristles.

First thoughts: I was really excited to try this brush because I've been looking for a good angled blush/contour brush for the longest time. It also had a few flyaways after washing but had no problem maintaining it's shape. No shedding. It also had that smell to it, but it goes away like the Large Powder brush.

How I use it: I use this brush for applying blush on the apples of my cheeks and sweeping it upwards to my temples. Have not used it for contouring yet.

Overall thoughts: This brush is also very soft and firm. I really like that aspect of Sigma's face brushes -- many ELF face brushes, for example, are super soft but really flimsy and floppy. Sigma's brushes combine soft AND dense, which is ideal in my book :) This brush easily picks up powder blush and applies it wonderfully. It has a great shape for precisely applying blush just where you want it. I do wish it was a tad more dense and firm, though. It's a bit too flexible for my liking if I press too hard with it.

Foundation (F60) - Can be used to apply liquid or cream foundation.
It is also recommended to apply moisturizers and conceal large areas. Synthetic bristles.

First thoughts: I was also excited to try this brush because I've been looking for a good foundation brush that I could use with powder products. It had no flyaways after washing and held its shape perfectly. No bleeding or shedding and no smell (bristles are synthetic, but no chemical scent either).

How I use it: I know this brush is meant for liquid/cream foundation, but I use it for precisely applying powder foundation below my eyes, around my nose, forehead, and chin. I normally use a Kirkland Borghese Foundation brush for that (it also has a compact, dense shape), but it's been getting scratchy lately so I opted to try this one.

Overall thoughts: I really like the size of this brush head. It's dense and firm enough to pick up powder foundation perfectly and apply it just where I want it. I don't like other foundation brushes I've tried because they're meant for liquid foundation and are just too flimsy for the purpose I want to use them for. This brush is soft, dense, and has just the right amount of flexiblity. It just about replaces my beloved Kirkland foundation brush!

Eye Shading (E55) - Soft and dense with a rounded finish. Can be used to apply pressed or loose eye shadows and pigments. Ideal to build intense color on the eyelid. Natural bristles.

First thoughts: Soft and VERY dense. A couple flyaways after washing and only 1 hair shed while washing. Not really much a smell to this one even though the bristles are natural. The handles also come off as a little "chubby" looking with these shorter eye brushes (not that it bothers me, it's kind of cute ^.^)

How I use it: I used this brush to apply a highlight below the brow, and pack eyeshadow onto my lid.

Overall thoughts: This brush is a little too wide for my eyes when applying shadow to the lid and a little too dense for my liking to use as a brush for applying a highlight below the brow. It functions perfectly fine for both purposes and packs on color nicely, but the shape and density of the brush head is just a bit too bulky for my eye shape and leads to somewhat messy application :(

Concealer (F70) - The rounded, tapered, flat shape makes this brush ideal to conceal the under eye area. It is also recommended for a precise application in small areas. Synthetic bristles.

First thoughts: Very soft. No bleeding, shedding, or flyaways. No smell either!

How I use it: I use this brush to precisely conceal small areas -- it's good for covering up pimples and the redness around my nose. I don't use it to conceal below my eyes though, I use ELF's Studio Concealer brush for that because I prefer its larger, wider shape.

Overall thoughts: I love that this brush is very soft but not flimsy. It picks up creamy concealer and pats it down perfectly over tiny areas. It also is great for concealing around my nose. I don't prefer it for concealing under my eyes because I feel like it's too small to quickly cover my huge dark circles -_-;

Tapered Blending (E40) - Rounded and tapered top. Specially designed to apply and blend color on the crease. Natural bristles.

First thoughts: Very soft, but lots of flyaways before AND after washing. Doesn't hold its shape very well. No bleeding, but it did shed at least 4 hairs. Very floppy.

How I use it: I used this brush to lightly blend eyeshadow shades together.

Overall thoughts: I think I was the most skeptical about this brush because the brush head is so big and bushy. It's also quite floppy and soft, not really dense enough to easily and quickly blend for me since it's so soft and floppy. I think it will work better for applying a light highlight below the brow or doing a sheer wash of color over the lid. I wish the bristle length was shorter, and that the hairs were packed more densely together for a firmer brush. It is very soft and not scratchy at all though.

Pencil (E30) - Precise application of color on the crease, outer corner, and upper and lower lash line. Also ideal to smudge out pencil liner. Natural bristles.

First thoughts: Again, another brush I was excited for because I've been wanting a brush for precise application of eyeshadow. It is very soft and dense. Had a few flyaways after washing but maintained its shape. No shedding, not much smell.

How I use it: I use this brush to precisely apply eyeshadow to my lid, crease, and outer-V.

Overall: I adore this brush! It is perfect for applying shadow to small, precise areas and smudging it out. It picks up powder shadow perfectly, and deposits it with the same pigmentation as in the pan. Great! It is also the perfect size for my eyes. The bristles are soft but densely packed together so the brush is firm but still flexible. Great for precision!

Duo Fibre (F50) - Specially designed to generate an ‘airbrushed’ finish when used to apply liquid foundation. It can also be used to apply blush, highlight shades and loose pigments. Blend of synthetic and natural bristles.

First thoughts: A nice, soft brush. A few flyaways after washing but held its shape well. No bleeding or shedding while washing.

How I use it: I know this brush is best used for applying liquid foundation, but I haven't used it for that purpose yet. I used it to lightly apply blush using the stippling method.

Overall thoughts: This is a nice brush, like most of the other Sigma brushes I've talked about so far, it is soft but still firm and dense. It picks up powder nicely and is great for lightly applying a wash of blush (and also building it up). When I have the time to use it for liquid foundation and stippling, I'll update this review :)


The quality of most of these brushes is excellent, very reflective of the price. They are all very soft. Some of them aren't as firm or dense as I'd like though. The face brushes are my favorites, as well as the pencil brush. The blending brush and eye shading brush may work better for others, just not for me. This is the perfect kit for travel, as it contains all the essentials you'll need! I took this kit with me on my recent trip to Oahu and got to make full use of each brush. I even want to buy some of the individual regular-sized brushes now!

LOVE IT: Pencil (E30), Large Powder (F30), Foundation (F60)

Concealer (F70), Duo-Fibre (F50), Large Angled Contour (F40)

PASS ON IT: Tapered Blending (E40), Eye Shading (E55) -- if you have small lids

Also, I was a little curious about why the brushes say "Made in USA" but the wrapper says "Made in P.R.C." Apparently, the brushes are designed in the USA but made in China. Just to clarify :)

Anywho, I hope this review was helpful for anyong looking to try Sigma brushes! :)

The Rundown:

Comes in a stylish, durable black brush roll. F30, F40, F50, and F60 come with brush guards.

Product: 4.5/5
The brushes are all very soft! They feel and look high-quality. Some of them aren't dense enough for my liking though.

Price: 4/5
A bit pricey for beauty on a budget, but the quality definitely reflects the price.


[ click here to read about my Review & Rating System ]

Have YOU tried Sigma brushes?
What are your favorites? Flops? Share!

Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this review were provided by the company.
This is my 100% honest opinion and experience with these brushes.