Sigma Makeup Brushes: Four Years Later


I can't believe that it's been over 4 years since I started writing this blog! Time really does fly. :) I still remember being around when the YouTube beauty community was in its infancy and Sigma makeup brushes were ALL the rage. Everyone talked about how they were the absolute best alternate to MAC brushes, which were so crazy expensive that most folks couldn't afford to buy them. And like many girls, I rushed to load up my brush collection with Sigma brushes, buying what now seems like a crazy 27 brushes in one go. Truth be told, I went through a bit of a crazy makeup phase in 2010 altogether, and am still trying to work through a lot of the products that I bought that year!

That said, at the time I wrote a glowing rave review on my Sigma brushes and followed up with a blog post on how to clean/take care of them. For the most part, I don't really take back much of what I said in those original posts, but needless to say, I thought it would be interesting to share a unique perspective on how these brushes hold up after four years of nearly daily use.

Let's start with a couple of generalizations, and then I'll get into some specifics around certain brushes. Overall, I find that Sigma's eye brushes hold up WAY better over time than their face brushes. Of the 12 face brushes that I started with back in 2010, a mere four of them remain in my collection to-date. Over time, I found that even with gentle care, their densely packed blush and powder brushes just started to shed all over the place, and that is a huge pet peeve of mine. There's nothing more annoying than having to spend 10 minutes picking tiny brush hairs off your face after using a brush. Several of the other brushes just got really coarse or lost their shape over time and wound up in the trash can.

That said, of the 15 eye brushes that I purchased, I still have 13 of them in my collection, and of those 13, I actually lost one of them, so really and truly only one eye shadow brush has gone in the trash in 4 years. The brush that I tossed was their goat-hair pencil brush (was the SS219, not totally certain what it's called now) because the fibers got so incredibly coarse that it actually became painful to use. Outside of that one brush, the only other obvious wear has been in the form of two of the synthetic blending brushes shedding consistently -- the SS224 blending brush continues to shed a lot and has lost some of its softness, but is still useable. The SS??? (all the writing has rubbed off sorry!) blending tapered brush honestly isn't tapered any more, as most of the brush hairs have fallen out, but it still works as a great crease brush so I don't mind all that much. Outside of that the only complaint that I can make is that some of the lighter colored brushes have taken on some staining over time, but I think that's probably normal and partially my fault, since I don't clean them every single day.

The latest brushes to bite the dust
Specific to the face brushes, outside of the shedding, the large foundation brush (SS190) that I complained about having a loose handle 4 years ago is still hanging on, but since it hasn't fallen off the brush still gets some use every now and again (although I've primarily moved on to Real Techniques for face brushes, which I'll talk about in another blog post). The brush that lasted me the longest and only recently met its maker was the angled contour brush (SS168), which like the pencil brush, just became so coarse that it was uncomfortable to use (that and the fibers totally lost their shape so it wasn't very effective any more).

All in all, I am highly impressed with how the eyeshadow brushes have lasted and truly believe that I can easily get another 4 years out of them, which makes them tremendously worth the cost. I know Sigma's prices have gone up over the 4 years (I originally got 27 brushes and a brush roll for $225 and now their 29 brush kit is over $400), but their brushes are still cheaper than MAC brushes, so among the higher-end brush market, I believe they are still a good deal.

Would I recommend buying their face brushes? I'm not honestly sure. I don't think I'd buy back the ones I had in their original collections, but they have expanded their line SO much in four years that I might try some of their newer lines, like the Sigmax Kabuki Kit or Mr./Mrs. Bunny line -- those look to be made of different material that may hold up better with less shedding.

Have you ever purchased brushes from Sigma Beauty? Have they held up over time? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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