Saturday, February 6, 2010

Review: Sigma makeup and brushes.

I know there are a gazillion reviews on Sigma brushes and makeup, but most of those are by people who have received the items for free. There is nothing wrong with that (heck, I wish I got stuff for free); I just figured that there might be interest in a review where I used my own $$$$ to pay for this.

I'm very torn on Sigma makeup as a company. On one hand; I like that they are offering more affordable alternatives to MAC brushes, on the other hand they raise their prices while giving bloggers lots of stuff, and they send out a "news letter" pretty much every day, and there is never anything new in there.

Oh well, on to the brushes. I bought them when Sigma was still new (and their brushes were a little cheaper). I got the complete set, but opted out of the brushroll. In general; I think the brushes are quite good. Mine are well made and don't shed much. The ones below are the ones I find myself using a lot:

224: Great for blending and for applying a diffuse brow highlight. More fluffy than the MAC version
252: Awesome for applying shadow on the lid. I don't own the MAC version.
239: Maybe even more awesome for applying shadow on the lid. Love this more than MAC.
219: Great for detailed crease work. Like this about the same as the MAC one.
190. I like the for cream blush. Don't own the MAC version
150: Amazing for bronzer. Don't own the MAC version.

I also forgot to include the 209 in the picture, but I love it for cream eyeliner:

These are the ones I don't find myself using much:

109: I tried this for blush, but I like the Illamasqua blush brush better. Tried it for foundation, but I like my Sephora Platinum #55 better. I don't much like the MAC version either.
188 & 187 I use these for very pigmented cream and powder blushers. A little less dense than the MAC versions.
266: Don't like this kind of eyeliner brush. Don't own the MAC version.
275: Don't like this shape of brush. Don't own the MAC version.
217: I like the shape and feel of the MAC version better. Still a good brush though.
194: About the same as the MAC version. I just don't really have any need for this type of brush.

Overall; I recommend these. I do find the quality comparable to MAC. On to the makeup. You can see what I bought here:

The cardboard packaging is really cute. It has cupcakes and bows and crap like that:
When I first saw the makeup; I thought it looked really great. The palette with room for 4 eye shadows/blushes looked like it would be perfect for my travels. The palette is quite nice. It has a large mirror, and it's easy to open and close. Unfortunately the eyeshadows/blushes pop out easily, so you need to be careful.

The black plastic look sort of cheap. Like a discount version of Bobbi Brown packaging. The single shadows/blushes are really hard to open. I hate packaging that breaks my nails.

The singles have a tiny mirror that's not really useful. I would like to put them in one of those magnetized palettes, but the pans are plastic as well, so I don't think they'd stick. They come with an annoying sponge tip applicator that sometimes prevents you from closing the container. I find it sort of funny that a MAKEUP BRUSH COMPANY will give you sponge tip applicators.

The full set comes with a little instruction book with different looks. I think that's great. It's not great that all the pictures in the booklet were clearly created with makeup that's not from Sigma......

All the shadows are very shimmery and soft. They remind me a little of Dior Iridescent shadows. I quite like the texture, but they are a bit fragile, so I would not travel with them. I think it's a problem that they did not include any matte eyeshadows (there is one matte blush). It makes it SO difficult to create complete looks with the palettes.

All the shadows are 4g. That's a lot of shadow. MAC shadows are 1.3g-1.5g. Honestly I'd rather they were cheaper and I got less, but at least it's not likely I'll ever run out of these!

Neutral shades:

A good set. Wish one of the dark browns were matte, and that there was a lighter highlight shade. I did this look with the Neutral Shades (these shadows don't photograph well with flash because of the shine:

Base: MAC Soft Ochre paint pot
Lid/Highlight: Sigma Angie

Crease: Sigma Brown Sugar
Outer V/Liner: Sigma Brown Eyed Girl
Mascara: Rimmel Sexy Curves

Fun Colors:

HAHA FUNNY. Not really. These aren't particularly bright or fun, but they are nice wearable shadows. I did this look with some of the "Fun Colors":

Base: MAC Rubenesque paint pot
Lid: Sigma Play With Fire
Crease: Sigma I Got The Blues

Highlight: Sigma Shine a Light (from the Smokey Eyes)
Liner: Smashbox cream eyeliner in Caviar

Smokey Eyes:

This one is pretty nice. You can easily make a classic silver smokey eye with it. Wish it had some matte shades.

Blush and Highlighter:

I'm a blush and highlighter junkie, and I have to admit that I love these. Nice variation, and really nice texture and pigmentation.

Overall; I'm a little meh about these. I'm not sure who they are aiming these towards. It seems like basic collections would be useful for makeup newbies, but the lack of matte shadows means you need to combine these with your existing collection to get good results. The palette design and "Beauty on the Go" name makes it seem like you should use them for travel, but they are too clumsy and a bit too fragile for that.

Personally I'm glad I got them. They are not terribly unique but the texture is nice, and I like shimmer. If you are makeup junkie like me; you'll probably like them. If you're only going to get one palette; I recommend the Blush and Highlighter. I think that one is my favorite.

And the pictures in the booklet still piss me off :(


Nea/ Fashioned in Finland said...

I LOVE your nail polish!

Great post, I like the brushes (too bad if the prices are higher now) but I HATE that newsletter... Need unsubscribe asap!

I didn't find those palettes that interesting and definitely won't get those after this post. Thanks!

I still think it's easier to be satified with free stuff. Especially if the product is expensive.

Thia Winter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pixie said...

Nea: Thank you! It's Nubar Hot Lime Green. It's quite unique.

I do think it can make a difference if you get stuff for free. Expectations tend to be lower.

Thia: Thanks :) I totally want the MAC 222. It looks like it would be great for crease work.

I don't know if I should be angry or just laugh at that picture. It also has another pictures where the model is wearing a pink shadow. Sigh!

Thia Winter said...

AWESOME post Pixie.....I'll have to compare the brushes though. I only own one MAC brush and LOVE it (222)and I'm not scared of plunking down good money for a brush, but if I can get it cheaper I'll do that. More money for makeup. LOL!!!

I agree the colors are Meh. The neutrals, the smokey eyes, and that teal are pretty though. And the pic that came in the box...LOL....

CucumPear said...

Neat review! I'm still considering getting some of their brushes, but the palettes don't excite me.

Thia Winter said...

LOL I know what you mean....btw I deleted my other comment, because I had some typos including YOUR NAME ROFLMBO!!!!!! GRRRR I must've been distracted. :D

I absolutely use the 222 for my crease. I'm addicted to crease brushes....and that one is one of my faves.

Pixie said...

CucumPear: I do think the brushes are very useful. Good quality.

Thia: No problem :) I'm absolutely terrible with names myself!

Helen said...

Great review!! I've been curious about those brushes for a while - great to know which ones are worth investing in, and I'll also remember NOT to sign up for the newsletter.. :D

Nea/ Fashioned in Finland said...

Helen: there were 5-6 newsletters last month :-O

Shadowy Lady said...

first of all, I LOVE YOUR NAILS! Thanks for the review. I'm interested in their 109 and 252. I think I'm gonna bite the bullet and order them

Vanilla said...

awww love ur eotds using theit eyeshadows!:)

Citrine said...

My favorite part is the nail polish as well...

Anyway, I tend to not take those sponsored review too seriously,even when they are "honest" the blogger tend to "forget" about minor flaws that they will go crazy for if the thing is out-of-pocket-purchase... (Nail bloggers have slightly easier life though, since there isn't that much explaination needed...)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! Thank you so much for all the good information.

Pixie said...

Helen: Thank you! Overall I do think the brushes are very nice :)

Nea: OMG I know. I especially hate the ones with those crap looking mirrors.

Saadeh: Thanks babe. It's funny; I was bitching on twitter about how ugly the polish was :/

Vanilla: Awwww, thanks :) I do think the eyelooks are a bit shiny for my 30 year old eyelids :p

Citrine: Glad you like the polish! I think it must be REALLY hard to not let free stuff affect you just a little bit.

aestheticcoo: Thank you! I'm so glad you found it useful :)

Arrianne said...

I love that Nubar Hot Lime Green. It's so unique!