I wanted to share my favorite brush for liquid foundation- the Sigma F82 Round Kabuki. It's better than a MAC #187 and great for buffing the makeup cleanly for an airbrush finish without smearing, missing crevices near eyes/nose, and annoying streaks.
$18.00 at Sigma Beauty's website HERE and if you use discount code JAN2013, you can get 10% off your order. Shipping for one brush in the USA is about $3.00. It'll come in a sturdy cardboard box, including another Sigma signature box holding the actual brush, and a nice brush shaper plastic sleeve to keep your bristles nice and new.
Here's the star of the show- the Sigma Round Kabuki F82, part of their precision synthetic line!
Unique Feature: Dense and rounded head, length is 15.7 cm or a bit past 6 inches
Function: Buffed powder foundation application
Recommended Use: Blend mineral products onto the skin.
Bristle Type: Synthetic Sigmax™
I chose the rounded kabuki although there are several to choose from, angled, flat, tapered, etc...because I think this shape works better for facial angles, whereas the flat top tends to soak up product and miss smaller areas near eyes and nose.
The bristles are very soft, densely packed, and don't shed or smell weird. I wish MAC made a brush like this...the closest is the 130, the short/small duo fibre, but it's nowhere near this dense. I feel like this brush fits the niche between a duo fibre and a kabuki- giving the best of both. The flawless not too heavy finish of the 187 without the streaks, along with the buffing smoothing application of a kabuki without such a large head. To me, foundation brushes don't get any better than this.
Photos to show head size in approximation to my thumb and density of bristles. It's a very 'substantial' brush and I haven't felt that $18 was too much. I do feel it's as good as a MAC brush in it's function, but perhaps not as 'cool'...but it works so well I don't care what name is on the handle.
Here's a straight on shot of the brush head. You can see how closely packed the bristles are. This is great so you won't have product backing up each fibre. Instead it'll blend into the skin evenly. The bristles again are synthetic and Sigma states that animal testing (even on animal hair products) aren't conducted, so cruelty free, friends.
Another nice little touch is the word Sigma engraved on the ferrule. I felt this leant a certain quality to the brush. The photo below shows how nice it looks.
A small issue, I do have qualms on whether they were made in the USA...I don't have perfect facts on that, but I know MAC's brushes are largely made in Japan and France, which I don't mind, but wish I knew where these were manufactured. A quick google shows OEM in China although the handles states "USA". I wish it was stated on Sigma's website so that it's crystal clear.
Also, be warned several reviews are mixed on quality- yet mine have been excellent, hardy, daily use brushes comparable to MAC. I wouldn't say these brushes hands down replace MAC brushes. Why go for the imitation when you can get the real thing? So go for MAC if you can. Temptalia, Phyrra, and others have pros/cons about quality and customer service from Sigma, whereas some YouTube gurus rave about them or get them for free. Bah, I don't worry too much. If they work, they work and mine have. So I recommend them, but felt it fair to share what I've read/heard online about Sigma's products.
Overall I give this brush a straightforward 9/10. I like the heft of the brush, the length, the application, and the quality of the bristles. I found Sigma's shipping to be accurate and fast and the prices worth the product. I would definitely buy more of these and hope you might try it out too. If MAC had a similar brush I would've bought it, but as this is unique and works so well, I'm right pleased I purchased this. No regrets!
Vegan/Cruelty Free: Yes
Ferrule tight: Yes
Bristle Loss/Looseness: None
Construction: Hand-made, nickle plated ferrule (not stated on website, but online info says brass with nickle plate and hand-made, BUT if these are mass produced in China, they are probably machine milled. Wish I knew for sure).
Let me know if you have Sigma brushes or your experience with them. I've been pleased with this brush and I think it's excellent for achieving that flawless face.
Have a great day,