RAVE Review: Sigma Makeup Premium Professional and Complete Kits (27 brushes in all!)

**BE FOREWARNED: I wanted to be thorough, so this is a VERY LONG BLOG POST. Please feel free to skip around a bit and read only the bits that are most applicable to your queries, or if you'd like more detail on a particular brush, just leave your question in the comments section. Thanks!**

If you've read any of my other reviews on Beauty Babble, you'll know that I'm an incredibly honest blogger. I'm not one of those women who blog only when I love a product, because I personally find both positive and negative reviews to be helpful when I'm teetering over whether or not to buy a product (sometimes the odd negative review among a sea of positive reviews is actually more helpful!). Thus, I hope you'll take my word for it when I do write the odd "Rave" review, because it means I really, truly love the product and would highly recommend it. This is how I feel about my Sigma Makeup brushes.

Now, although I've been a beauty addict for years, I never spent a lot of money on brushes in the past, mostly because I didn't realize what a difference professional-grade brushes could make. I often settled for the "Gift With Purchase" brushes that I'd haphazardly receive every once in a while, or I'd "splurge" for a cheapy set and kick myself when the rough bristles scratched my skin or when the handle quickly fell off. It wasn't until last summer that I started looking at more expensive brushes -- I purchased two from Laura Mercier with a gift card I had been given and was wowed by the difference in softness and application. Only problem? Each brush was $30-$50 and at that rate, I'd have a collection of brushes but no money to buy makeup to use with them!

Then I was introduced to Sigma through the YouTube beauty community and after watching countless reviews, I was convinced that I had to try them. Today I want to add to those fantastic reviews because I am an incredibly satisfied customer and would recommend Sigma brushes to anyone who asked (I already convinced one of my friends, who is a fellow beauty blogger, to buy the face kit!). In summary, Sigma Brushes are professional quality, luxury makeup brushes at bargain prices.

The Review
One of the only negative things about Sigma is that they don't sell all of their brushes individually -- I mention this only because it was the caveat that pushed me to purchase BOTH their Premium and Complete kits (there were specific brushes in each that caught my eye). In reality, I think it's exactly what Sigma wants to hear, although, it is worth it to note that they are beginning to sell their most popular brushes separately. In total, my order consisted of 27 eye and face brushes, plus their amazingly soft, leather-like brush roll. With shipping, I paid roughly $225, which seems like a lot, but when you consider that it breaks down to less than $10 a brush, it feels much more reasonable -- even more so if you imagine the cost of purchasing 27 MAC brushes, which these brushes are comparable to (over $800!). (Also please note that I know you probably aren't supposed to cram all 27 brushes into the one brush roll, but I don't have an alternate set-up at the moment and this worked because the faux-leather stretches!)

Face Brushes
Since I have 27 brushes to review, I'm not going to go into immense detail for each specific brush. Rather, I've categorized them by use and will share my general thoughts on which I find to be the best in the bunch. In this first image moving from left to right, you'll find your standard blush brush (SS129), the angled blush brush (SS168), small rounded stippling brush (SS131), large round blush/face brush (SS150) and your large paddle-shaped face brush (SS134). The left two come in the Complete Kit, whereas the right three are part of the Premium Kit  and the SS150 is one of the brushes that can be purchased separately. Overall, I find that I reach for the left three more than the right two. The two largest brushes tend to shed the most in the whole kit, plus I find them too large for precise application of blush or bronzer -- in my opinion, they are best suited to a light all-over dusting of powder, but in that case you certainly don't need two brushes for that purpose. The blush and contouring/tapered brushes are fairly standard, which leaves the stippling brush as my favorite from this group. The white synthetic bristles are the ULTIMATE in soft, which makes this brush perfect for blending out creme blush or a slightly heavy handed bronzer application. Love it!

In this group, you have your standard stippling brush (SS187, also sold separately), a small tapered brush (SS165), a large tapered brush (SS138) and your standard foundation brush (SS190). Of these four, I find little use for the two tapered brushes in the middle. Apparently, they are best used for highlighting or contouring, but I've found the big brush to be too big and the little brush too small to do this appropriately (I have a case of Goldilocks here). The stippling brush is just as soft as its tapered twin, and although it's a fine brush for foundation application, I find the bristles slightly too sparsely packed, which leads me to believe I waste a good deal of product because it doesn't all sit on the top of the brush (the good news here is that Sigma is now selling two alternatives to this brush, the SS188 small duo fibre brush and the SS197 flat top synthetic kabuki, either of which I believe would make for a better foundation brush). The stippling brush is also a nice alternative for blushes and bronzers if you want a lighter application. From this group, I use the far right foundation brush the most and find it to be good for blending; however, I have two complaints about this brush. Firstly, it's really hard to deep clean, so I always feel like there is a bit of residue left on the brush (to be honest, this happens with most brushes of this shape and texture, so it's probably not fair to blame Sigma for this). Secondly, it is my only brush that has started to show a loosened handle. This could perhaps be due to using the brush every single day, but I am a little disappointed to see it showing wear already. From this lot, your outer two brushes come in the Complete Kit and the inner two come in the Premium Kit..

The three brushes shown here are all varieties of concealer brushes. From left you have the medium sized SS195, the large SS192 and the small SS194. From this lot, only the smallest concealer brush comes in the Complete Kit. It is also the one that I reach for the most because I find it to be the perfect size for getting right under the eyelashes to cover up dark circles and bags. It's also perfect for dotting concealer on top of blemishes that you don't want to enrage by distributing extra oils from the touch of your fingers. I find the medium size brush useful for covering up slightly larger areas, but probably would have left the largest brush aside if I were buying these individually.

Eye Brushes
More so even than the face brushes, I love, love, love Sigma's collection of Eye brushes! From left in this photo you have the small liquid eye liner brush (SS210), the medium liquid eye liner brush (SS209), the angled eye liner/brow brush (SS266), the lip brush (SS316) and the flat-top liner brush (SS212). The medium liner brush and angled brush come in the Complete Kit, while the other three come in the Premium Kit. Of this lot, I reach most for the angled and flat top liner brushes, but because I don't use gel eyeliners, I find them better for shading in my brows, blending eye liner or applying wet/cream shadows as liners. Due to the nature of the brushes and their purposes, these are a little more stiff to the touch.

This next group contains two of my favorite brushes in the whole kit (the middle two!). From left to right you have the tapered shadow brush (SS226), the large blending brush (SS224), the small shader brush (SS214) and the large shader brush (SS227). Only the blending brush comes in the Complete Kit from this group. While I like the tapered brush as a crease brush, I don't find that it does anything so different from the SS217 or SS222 (which are coming up), and all three come in the Premium Kit so it seems a little superfluous. The 224 Blending Brush is BY FAR the best brush in the kit. It is incredibly soft and requires almost no pressure to effortlessly blend away harsh lines. The small shader brush is my favorite for packing on a lid color or applying a subtle highlight. The large shader brush I could probably do without, as I find it to be TOO big unless you are applying one shade ALL OVER the lid and brow bone.

My apologies for the poor picture quality on this one as the goat hair brushes are nearly the exact same color as my background. From left to right we have a tapered blending brush (SS222), and then the full- and travel-sized SS217 blending brushes (the travel sized 217 came as a free gift with purchase). Honestly, these three brushes are SO similar that you certainly don't need tham all, yet these are all included in the Premium Kit. I do find them to be excellent crease brushes, but as mentioned earlier, don't really see the need for these PLUS the black tapered crease brush.

This final lot of brushes contains four brushes that I use almost every single day. From left to right we have the angled shadow brush (SS275), the pencil brush (SS219), the medium shader brush (SS239) and the large shadow brush (SS252). From this set, all four come with the Complete Kit. The right two brushes are wonderful for packing shadow onto the lid, although the SS252 is actually made out of more concealer-brush like fibers. This also makes it a good choice for loose and/or creme shadows. The pencil brush is a great alternative for precise crease application or for applying shadow to your lower lash line. Finally, the angled shader brush is yet another alternative for blending shadows into the crease or applying highlight colors.

A word about the brush roll...
If you are ordering the Premium Kit, the brush roll is included; however if you are ordering just the Complete Kit, you'll have to pay an extra $20 for it. The question then becomes: is it worth it? Firstly, I want to mention that it is certainly of a VERY nice quality -- the faux-leather is incredibly soft and very easy to clean. The roll also has a magnetized snap closure, which keeps your brush roll from falling open if you pick it up from the wrong side. This can also come in handy if you want to take your brushes on frequent travels or if you don't plan to buy any additional individual Sigma brushes. HOWEVER -- if you plan to buy multiple Sigma kits, generally store your brushes on a vanity or have a myriad of brushes from other brands, I would not pay the extra $20 just for the brush roll. There are only enough spaces (technically) for 15 brushes and if you stuff more than that into it (as I did), the faux-leather will stretch such that you will never be able to store just 15 brushes in there any longer because the spaces become too big to hold just one brush (this can also happen if you accidentally put the brushes back in the wrong places). Furthermore, it personally frustrates me to have to dig through a brush roll AND pull brushes from separate containers (since I have several brands) every morning. Just a thought to ponder!

My final musings
In the end, as I said, I absolutely LOVE my Sigma brushes and would buy both kits again in a heartbeat. Even when I go back and force myself to eliminate the brushes that I care less for, I find that I'm left with a good mix of brushes from each kit (9 from the Complete Kit, 7 from the Premium Kit), which allows me to rationalize my purchase decision. ;) Sigma Brushes can be purchased online directly from their Web site at http://www.sigmamakeup.com/. If you own Sigma Brushes, please leave a comment letting me know which are your favorite brushes. And if you're just contemplating a purchase, please leave your questions below! Until next time... 


  1. Hey Gabby,

    Hope you got my letter this past week; wonderful, thorough posts you got here. One suggestion though would be to include links to all the products you are reviewing/featuring, preferably right when you first mention each product. You can also feature the links again at the end of the post so readers don't have to go back and scroll. This might help get more readership in for you. :) I know for one I do like to click on links if I'm curious about a product featured on a blog...

    Anyway, keep up the good work! Hope to hear from you soon.

    - Helene

  2. Love this review, i am definitely purchasing both kits! xxxx

  3. Helene -- I did get your letter and I just put my response in the mail today, so keep your eyes peeled for that soon! Thanks for the suggestion -- I will certainly implement it going forward :)

    Shiara -- I'm glad that you enjoyed the review and hope you love your brushes as much as I love mine!

  4. Hi found you on google while i was searching brushes , what a great blog post . Please come by and see if my blog interest you to become a member too :)https://www.facebook.com/groups/287646154661867/



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