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Sigma Brushes Review

Hello Everyone!
So I received a press package from sigma a while ago, and I promised that I would post a review on the brushes and other stuff I got.
I'll start with the brushes today, since they are the most talked about items.

So for those that are not familiar to Sigma makeup - Sigma is a fairly new brand that launched last year or so (not sure) and has brushes that resemble MAC brushes. The selling point of these brushes is -I think- their marketing image as "affordable MAC dupes".

So I tried to use all the brushes and here are my final thoughts

1. Very dense bristles.
- all of the brushes are jam packed with bristles!! and I liked that. especially the Kabuki brushes were so tightly packed it didn't have that empty, light feeling while I was using them. If you run your finger through the bristles, it goes on and on and on.
I think some brushes are even denser than Sephora brushes (which, btw, I recommend!! they are really great, quality brushes) which makes applying makeup easier and quicker.
Here's a small comparison between the most famous 187 dupes (Sigma v. Coastal Scents)
Sigma is superior in density and the white fibers are rigid compared to CS's soft, flimsy white bristles. You can also see that there is a difference in how the bristles fan out

2. Soft bristles.
- I couldn't help but compare these sigma brushes with the other low-priced brushes (mostly Coastal Scents brushes or elf studio line ones) and at all aspects Sigma seems to be much better. If you have the money to buy three Coastal Scents brushes, I think you are wayyyy better off buying one sigma.
I always had the scratchy feeling when I used my CS brushes, but sigma doesn't have that itchy, scratchy feeling. I love how these bristles feel soft and gentle against my skin .

1. The black bristle brushes all leak color.
- I know this is pretty common in many brushes (even MAC brushes - start watching from 4:30) when they are washed, so it doesn't shock me, but I do think it is a bit excessive.
this is my first wash of SS187 and I was surprised at all the color leak

this is SS224 after 2 washes
there's still some color bleeding after washing and pressed with a white towel.

this is the SS150 after 4 individual washes in one day
I pressed it with the towel, and yay! finally no more color leaking!

So if you're impatient with brushes, I wouldn't recommend the black, natural bristle brushes, but if you don't mind washing them a lot before using it, I think they are really impressive :)

Other than the black bristle brushes (the goat hair and brown bristle ones) don't leak colors.

2. The smell
- All of the brushes come with their own brush guard, but there's that yucky smell to it when you first take it out. I don't know if it's coming from the plastic sleeve itself, or the bristles.. but the smell is definitely there! And it is very hard to get out :'(

Something else is the price.
Now this I think is subjective - since the price issue really depends on one's financial situation and how much brushes are worth for a person. Personally, I have a very low threshold for brushes. As long as they don't suck too bad, I am pretty okay with any brush.

I do have to say Sigma brushes are somewhat in the midrange. It's not as soft and amazing as the expensive high end ones (price ranging 30-50 dollars/brush), but it's not as harsh and shoddy as the cheap ones (price range 1-10 dollars/brush). So I do think its price is priced just enough for its quality and what it is worth. I don't think it's cheap because the quality isn't really comparable to MAC brushes. So don't trick yourself into thinking that you are getting a MAC brush for a deal. I don't think it works that way.
MAC brushes are either made in Germany or Japan and Sigma seems to make their brushes in China (or not? they don't state this anywhere and that was a turn off. Other than that, I don't think they can get their prices cheaper than what it is). I'm not saying every made in China product is inferior, but usually labor costs and material quality are higher and better for good reasons. I took two Sigma brushes to the mac store and compared them to the "comparable" ones, and honestly I think there are many different qualities in small details (bristle length, thickness of the bristle barrel, etc) which could overall change the experience with the brush.

So my final verdict?
If you want a MAC brush, you should just go ahead and get a MAC brush. It's like designer bags.. If you want a Louis Vuitton, you might as well save up and get an authentic one since no fake could ever level up to an authentic one. But if you want a good quality brush and don't care if it's a MAC or not - then definitely go for the Sigma brushes since the quality is amazing itself. I had very low expectations for the Sigma brushes so I was very surprised at its good quality when I first used them, and I can not emphasize enough how they have great qualities that don't need to be compared to MAC brushes.

Brushes I like: SS187, SS252, SS190, SS182, SS194
- Overall good quality and impressive performance

Brushes I'm Okay with (on the fence): SS150, SS209, SS275, SS239, SS224, SS109, SS266
- Good, but each comes with a catch (flimsy bristles, continuous hair fallout, bristle length..etc)

Brushes I'm not a big fan of: SS197, SS188, SS291, SS168, retractable Kabuki (princess Grace)
- Okay, but wouldn't pay my money for it (uneven cut, hair fallout, bristles bending excessively)

Sorry there were more words than pictures. I couldn't demonstrate the subtle differences with pictures and the only thing that could be photographed was the color leaking.

Sorry about the text heavy post.
Let me know what you guys think about the brushes if you own any! :)


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  1. Thanks for the reviews on the Sigma brushes. I use to be a fan of Bare Minerals and used their brushes for several years until my Kabuki brush's entire load of bristles fell out of its based and I looked inside and it was molding! (very disturbing). I threw it away and got a Ecotools brush. It's very soft and its synthetic but its not very firm (dense) but it does the job for less than 10 bucks and it helps the environment. However, one of these days I'm going to get a better brush but for now, whatever works.

  2. i agree with you! i don't like the hype that everyone is making about sigma brushes. they are definitely nice brushes for the price, but i wouldn't compare them to mac. i definitely like a few of the sigma brushes though! like the 219, 239, and 266.

  3. I always supported u and come to check ur blog out everyday. But u really upset with me with that made in China comment. that's not very nice of you!

  4. WTF and I think Koreans are stupid. You Japanese wanna be!

  5. I kind of disagree with parts of your review~ Not with the whole review or anything, but as a whole, perhaps the brush-set is not impressive, but there are individual brushes (OK maybe one or 2) that I find worthy of getting in place of MAC brushes (that I happen to also own)~ ^^ I think with each brand of brushes, it's really a case by case basis - they always have a few brushes that are excellent and some that are meh!

    I especially was disappointed at the Sigma pencil brush (I sorry I don't know the numbers...)~ it was not dense enough~ but I agree with you about being 'mid-range' and 'average performance'~ ^^

  6. hi! I bought the Sigma brush, but ended up returning them because I was hoping they would be comparable to MAC! I did like some of the brushes, but overall as set, I knew i wasn't going to use them if I didn't like them as a whole..
    lol wished I read your review first before jumping on the gun. anyhoo, the brush set is made in P.R.C or People's Republic of china(its engraved on the end of brush handle, but cannot see it well unless you look for it), FYI!
    besides that, I think its pretty good starter set for any makeup beginner~

  7. Hi Kitty's Daze,
    Just wondering the kit that you purchased was it the new Premium kit that sigma have brought out now>?
    Curious cause i was thinking to purchase one???


  8. I have compiled the 2010 Complete MAC vs Sigma Brush Chart w/ Prices and Function list and posted it to my blog. Its a new blog and I could use some visitors!

  9. HI

  10. i got the sigma brushes and i love them! they are a good quality! and if they didnt have sigma on them you would not be able to know they aint "MAC"..
    i still have my mac brushes, but i dont use them for the reason that when im putting my makeup some of the fibers end in your face!! so annoying!!


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