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13 Jul 2012

Sigma Synthetic Kabuki Kit

Sigma Synthetic Kabuki Brush Set
This set from Sigma retails (from their site) at $56 (around $68 if you include the cheapest shipping option) - so that's around $17 a brush (approx €14 in Irish terms, per brush, inc shipping, assuming you're not purchasing anything else, etc).

Once upon a time, Sigma produced cheaply made, reasonably priced, MAC brush dupes, down to the names and numbers.  No longer.  Now they have grown and, in my opinion, improved and now produce their own brush shapes and ranges.  Case-in-point, the Synthetic Kabuki Kit as reviewed here.

Do I like these brushes?  Yes, I do.  They are soft, dense, work well, wash well, wear well.  Unlike a lot of other Sigma brushes I've bought in the past, these don't shed and seem to work with powder as well as cream products.

The four brushes that are included in the set are as follows:
F80 - Flat Kabuki

This can be used for application of liquid or cream products to flat areas of the face such as the forehead and cheeks.  I am not a huge fan of flat kabuki brushes personally, I feel it's too easy to create local micro-exfoliation which is not great especially for dryer skins.  That said, they work particularly well with mineral or powder-based products.

Some other brushes, for size comparison:

L->R: Crown C108, Sigma F80, Sigma F82, MAC 109
L->R: Crown C108, Sigma F80, Sigma F82, MAC 109
As you can see, both the F80 and F82 are decent sized brushes, comparable with the Crown 108 and a good deal bigger than the MAC 109.


F82 - Round Kabuki

This is great for blending mineral products onto the skin, or for cream or wax-based foundations.  It probably rivals my Real Techniques buffing brush (reviewed here), my hitherto fore go-to buffing brush, but it's more dense and a bit firmer than the Real Techniques brush.


F84 - Angled Kabuki

Because this brush is cut on an angle, it presents a large area which makes it excellent as a buffing brush for super-fast foundation application (cream, liquid or powder).  It can also be used for cream or powder blush and bronzer.  You could even contour with it (if you want a diffuse application of a contour product, or use it pinched for a sharper line), but it's not what I use it for.

Some other brushes, for size comparison:

L->R: Crown C104, Sigma F84, Chanel 5
L->R: Crown C104, Sigma F84, Chanel 5
As with the F80 and F82 above, the F84 is quite a large, dense brush.  It's a great all-round brush and my favourite of the four offered.


F86 - Tapered Kabuki

I have found this mostly good for application of liquid foundations and also as an alternative to the Stila #33 brush (reviewed here) or the Lauren Luke pointed foundation brush (reviewed here).  It's the least firm of the four brushes and not quite firm enough to replace my Louise Young LY34 (Super Foundation Brush - see here also, which I use almost exclusively for application of my favourite bronzer, Soleil Tan de Chanel).

Some other brushes, for size comparison:

L->R: Real Techniques Contour Brush, Sigma F86, MAC 165, Stila 33
L->R: Real Techniques Contour Brush, Sigma F86
These brushes are also available to purchase singly and all feature Sigma's own super-soft synthetic fibres (Sigmax).  As they are synthetic, they wash best with just water and a disinfectant wash-up liquid (see here for more information on washing makeup brushes).

Of the four, my favourite is the F84 (Angled Kabuki), as it can be used for a wide range of applications and products.

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