I briefly mentioned this in my October favorites post but I figured it was worth doing a deep dive into one of my newest favs from last month! I recently picked up a beautiful set of Sigma kabuki face brushes, and today I’m telling you all about them 🙂
I got my set from Hautelook (click here to read about that if you don’t what it is) on an amazing sale a couple months ago. The set of 5 brushes normally costs $90 but I got it for $45 aka half price!!!! Amazing!!!
The brushes included in this set are as follows:
“Kabuki” is just the name for that type of brush with really short, densely packed bristles. All of these brushes normally sell for $25 each so that price of $90 is actually already a good deal, but getting on sale on Hautelook makes it even better!! A lot of beauty bloggers I follow rave about these brushes so with that price I decided to finally take the plunge.
First up we have F80, a flat top circular brush:
The first thing I noticed about these brushes is that the bristles are SUPER densely packed and so soft!!! Sigma says this brush is great for “application of liquid or cream products to flat areas of the face such as the forehead and cheeks”. Having used it for the past few weeks, I really like it for applying liquid foundations. However, I found that the one I like the most for foundation is the next one…
F82! This is a brush with the same circular shape as F80, but the top edges are rounded rather than flat. Sigma recommends it for applying mineral products but I absolutely love this for applying foundation. It’s super dense so it picks up a lot of product without soaking up too much of it, and again the bristles are so soft! I’ve also used it to blend out cream contour products, like my Fenty Match Stix. It’s been my go-to the past few weeks and is my favorite of the set. I’m sure it would also make a great brush for mineral products as Sigma recommends.
Next is F84, the angled brush. This one is advertised to “buff cream blush or bronzer onto the skin” and the nice angled shape makes it really easy to place product into targeted areas on your face. I used it for powder blush too and it worked well, but you have to apply it with a light hand. It’s easy to pick up a lot of product with this brush because of how many bristles it has!
F86 is next, which is a unique tapered-top brush. This one is another that’s recommended for foundation, specifically to get into difficult areas like cheekbones and nose contours. I really love this brush and find those claims to be true, but I do prefer the F82 for applying foundation. That one just applies the product better to the flat areas of the face in a way that this one can’t do as well, and I’m not about to use two different brushes to apply my foundation haha…so this one is probably the one I’ve used the least, but I still really like it for its intended purpose!
Finally we have F88, the flat angled top brush. This one is for applying “cream and liquid foundations onto the harder to reach contours of the face” – honestly at this point you can probably tell that all these brushes can essentially be used for the same thing haha. I use this one to apply and blend out my cream highlight products, specifically the Fenty Match Stix again. I like to apply it directly to the brush and then to my face – it looks so pretty and provides just the right amount of product!!
After my initial review, something else I was really interested in was comparing them to another set of brushes I already owned. A few years ago I bought a set of similar brushes on Amazon that is an OBVIOUS knock-off of this set of Sigma brushes.
Like…look how apparent this is that it’s clearly copying Sigma here haha. But this was when I was first getting into all things makeup and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on brushes I didn’t know I would like and probably didn’t even know how to use. Now that I’m more well-versed, it’s nice to have a more high quality set to use instead. I didn’t think there would be SUCH a huge difference in quality, but I was very surprised at the results when I compared them side by side…
We’ll start with the F80 again. It’s the same basic shape, but you can see that the Sigma one is much more tightly packed in there. In the brush on the left you can see some loose bristles poking out on the sides and it’s obviously not as dense either. You can also see that the Amazon one is stained a little bit – obviously I can’t tell if the Sigma ones will stain yet because in these photos I hadn’t used them yet, but it feels like the Amazon ones sometimes can’t get 100% clean no matter how much I scrub.
The biggest difference in all the brushes I think was the quality of the bristles. The Amazon set weren’t necessarily bad or anything, but the Sigma ones are sooooo much softer and I’d estimate they probably have 2-3x more bristles packed in there. Something I also don’t like about some of the Amazon ones is that they clearly don’t have enough bristles (I felt this way in particular about the flat top angled brush) so it feels like product is just falling down into the brush rather than being packed in and on to your face. The Sigma set is much higher quality in that regard. Also, the Amazon set sheds bristles a LOT:
This is the knockoff F82 which I regularly had to trim or pluck loose hairs from before using, because it sheds so much! Look at all those hairs poking out on top!!!
The F82 shows an even bigger jump in the quality from the Amazon set to the Sigma one. The Sigma brush is so smooth and dense on top, while the Amazon one actually has like…a little ‘dip’ of sorts in the middle of the brush? Idk, you can kinda see it in the first pic. This one also has the curse of stained bristles. No matter how many times I wash it I have NEVER been able to get it back to white bristles, and that’s been true since the very first time I used this brush. This brush did me well while I had it but I’m super happy to have a much better replacement!
The top view of the F84 really shows my point well about how dense (how many times can I say that word in this post) the bristles are in the Sigma ones as opposed to the Amazon set. You can just see how spread out the bristles are on the right side in comparison. This angled brush is one I occasionally used for cream highlighter and blush, but I found that it was too flimsy to apply it the way I wanted it – now I know the bristles just weren’t dense enough!!
I thought this comparison was funny too – I almost never used this knockoff of the F86 tapered brush because I always felt like it was too floppy to do what I wanted. The brush isn’t thick or packed in enough to move foundation around on your face pretty much at all. You can see that this one has pretty clean, white bristles – that’s because I rarely used it!
Finally we had the F88, the rounded angled brush. Again, in the side by side picture you of the tops you can see how much more tightly packed in there the Sigma one is. It just makes it so much easier to apply the product. I feel like a broken record at this point but I was really amazed at how much better the Sigma brushes were…what had I been missing out on all this time haha
Final thoughts: I am super happy with my purchase of these brushes!! I really liked my “fake” brushes from Amazon and they served their purpose well when I had them (which was to try out brushes without spending a lot of money right away), but I am also really happy to have these newer, nicer versions now. I feel like I didn’t even realize how much better they could be until I got these new ones!
This set is really great, and having used them for about a month now I can happily recommend them if you’re in the market for new brushes, but I do think that I would wait and see if you could get them on sale like I did. They’re really nice, but I don’t know if I personally could bring myself to pay $90 full price for makeup brushes haha. So it really worked out that I was able to get them on sale 🙂 I haven’t used many other Sigma products yet but now that I know how great these are I definitely look forward to trying more things! You can find this set here if you’re so inclined to purchase them.
I hope you enjoyed this review post! I’ve really enjoyed doing these lately as it’s helped me talk about new things in more detail than just mentioning them in a favorites post or something. Thanks for reading as usual 🙂