I received an email notification to inform me that my package was shipped on 12 August 2010. And I received my package from Sigma on 20 August 2010. It just took 8 days to ship the package from USA to Singapore, considered quite fast since its through USPS First Class International mail service.
^ Much thoughts were put into the packaging of the brush kit.. Instead of just bubble wrapping the brush kit, the brush kit was presented in a draw-string purple pouch, and even the complimentary gift was placed inside a smaller draw-string pouch.. A brochure, and a even an instruction card to inform us how to clean and maintain my newly acquired Sigma brushes were included in the package. Presentation of products is really impressive! ('',)
^ The instruction card on how to clean and maintain the Sigma Makeup brushes.
^ The 7 brushes in the travel kit.. The stippling or duo fibre brush on the most right is a free gift that comes with the purchase of the kit. ( and if one ordered the travel kit in pink, the foundation brush (3rd from left) will be the free gift, but in the end, still will have all of these 8 brushes).. All the face brushes come with a plastic brush guard to protect the bristles of the brushes., at least they won't go out of shape.
Ok, I admit the very first thing I did when I see these brushes was to sweep the bristles at the back of my hand to test whether they are soft..and all the bristles of these brushes are really soft, especially for the 2 bigger face brushes - F30 and Large Powder brush and F40 Large Angled Contour brush.
The next thing I did was to smell the bristles.. I guess nobody would like smelly bristles brushing our skin right.. All the bristles do not have any unpleasant smell, except for F40 Large Angled Contour brush ( 2nd brush on the left). It really has got an unpleasant smell, the first thing that came to my mind was smelly pig's hair even though I have never smell pig's hair before.. Funny! I was concerned about it and sent an email to Sigma, and a lovely and helpful staff explained to me that F40's bristles is actually goat's hair.. and added that its normal that some brushes tend to have stronger smell than others, and suggested me to wash the bristles with a mild baby shampoo followed by perfumed body wash. True enough, the horrible smell is gone, and now my F40 bristles smell nice..
A Closer look at the 8 travel size Sigma brushes in black. In the past, Sigma labelled its brushes' model numbers somewhat similar to M.A.C ( for e.g a MAC 217 is Sigma's SS217). Now Sigma totally changed the way they labelled their brushes... What is labelled on the brush handle include the Sigma brand logo, the type of brush and its model number (F50, F40 etc for Face brushes , and E40, E55 etc for Eye brushes)
In this kit, the longest brush (large powder brush, 1st brush from left) is around 16cm, and the shortest brush (eye shading brush, 5th brush from left) is around 12.8cm.
More about the pouch.. When I first saw the pouch, I was quite surprised that it looked bigger than what I used to perceive.. All along I thought it was a very small brush kit, but did not expect Sigma travel kit pouch to be this big.. Ok still smaller than my full size brush holder. One thing to note is these Sigma travel brushes are considered quite big ( for travel size), Sigma travel size eyeshadow brushes are just a bit shorter than some of my full-size eyeshadow brushes...Which make them easier to hold for application.
Here is a picture showing a comparison of the size of Sigma Travel kit pouch with my BodyShop and MAC Colour Forms Brush holder... ( The size is in between a full size pouch and a small travel brush holder)
The most important thing is how the brush perform..here are my personal thoughts on the brushes..
* I washed all the brushes with mild baby shampoo before I started using them..
- Sigma F30 Large Powder Brush ( Natural bristles)
I can feel the bristles are very soft when I use it on my skin. Very dense with a rounded top. I use it to apply loose powder after applying my liquid foundation. It also work as a blusher brush. It is pretty similar to my MAC 129SE, but its slightly denser. Slight bleeding occurred when I washed it for the first time, luckily after 2-3 washes, there is no bleeding. A few strands shedded during first wash too. However, do wash this brush thoroughly before using it. Nonetheless,this is one of my favourite brushes in this Kit.
- Sigma F40 Large Angled Contour Brush (Natural Bristles)
As mentioned earlier, this brush has got an unpleasant smell when I smelt it before washing the bristles. I followed the advice given by Sigma staff, that was to wash the bristles with a mild baby shampoo followed by a perfumed body wash to get rid of the smell finally. I do not contour my face so I use it as a blusher brush and it works perfectly fine. Very soft bristles pick up the blusher easily and I am able to apply my blusher effortlessly. This is also another of my favourite brush in this kit.
- Sigma F50 Duo Fibre Brush (Natural Bristles)
Slight Bleeding and shedding occurred when I washed this brush though on first wash, but no more bleeding after washing it a few times.
When it comes to applying liquid foundation, I will always reach out for my Holy Grail MAC 187 or ELF powder brush, because I will use lesser liquid foundation yet able to produce an even finish within seconds. So when I received Sigma F50 Duo Fibre brush in the kit, I am most eager to try out this brush. and the result is even application of my liquid foundation on my face, but it feel abit different from MAC 187. I think because the bristles is less dense than MAC 187. If the bristles can be densely packed, I think it will be much better. Not too sure if Sigma full size F50 will be better though?
- Sigma F60 Foundation Brush ( Synthetic bristles)
This foundation brush can be used to apply liquid foundation or any cream-based products such as moisturisers and concealers on large areas. I never own similar foundation brush before, so I cannot compared with others. However, I tried using it to apply liquid foundation on my face and it works great, giving a smooth and well blended finish. I can alternate between this foundation brush and F50 brush when it comes to application of liquid foundation.
- Sigma F70 Concealer brush (Synthetic Bristles)
The rounded, tapered, flat shape bristles make it ideal to conceal the under eye areas. The bristles are quite densely packed for a small concealer brush.I love how I can easily control the amount of concealer that I applied on my under eye areas. It also makes it easy for me to apply concealer to corners of my eyes as well as the corners of my nose. Concealer is evenly blended out. It is also recommended for a precise application in small areas.
- Sigma E30 Pencil Brush (Natural Bristles)
This is slightly pointed at the tip, for precise application of color on the crease, outer corner and upper and lower lash line. I use it to apply eyeshadow on the outer "V" or outer corners of my eyes, and it gives precise application. I also like to use it to soften/ smudge my pencil liner on my lash line, so that the liner won't appear so harsh.
- Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush (Natural Bristles)
This brush is specially designed to apply and blend color on the crease. All along, I use MAC 217 to blend my eyeshadow. I know Sigma E40 is pretty similar to MAC 224 (a blending brush) which I have heard raves about, but I never try before. So I am pretty excited to try out Sigma E40. However, I find that its a tad too big and fluffy for my liking. It can still blend out harsh line though, but I much prefer it to be more dense like MAC 217. Most of the times, I used Sigma E40 to apply eyeshadow under my brows. If Sigma E40 can be replaced with Sigma E35 (something like MAC217), it will be great!
- Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush (Natural Bristles)
This brush is soft and dense with a rounded tip. It is a perfect tool to use for application of eyeshadows onto eyelids. To make the eyeshadow color more intense, simply pack on the eyeshadow using the brush. It also work great to apply eyeshadows to the outer eyelids, when the side of the brush is used (Just tilt the brush.) This is also one of my favourite brush in this kit.
Overall, the brushes in Sigma Travel kit are pretty good, soft and the size/length is comfortable enough to hold. I think if the kit comes with an eyeliner brush ( for gel eyeliner application) , an eyebrow brush ( for eyebrow powder application), and a lip brush. it can be called a complete travel brush kit. .
The price of this Sigma Travel Kit (with 8 travel size brushes) cost US$49, with shipping of US$10.31 (using USPS First Class International mail), which added up to around SG$83) ..Actually if I were to choose the full size complete set, it will add up to around SG$157(including shipping), with 12 full size brushes,1 complimentary travel size eye brush and a bigger brush roll.. I wonder if the quality of the brushes in the travel set the same as the full size set??
I just wish my Sigma E40 can be replaced to Sigma E35 ( something with a more dense bristles) for my blending brush, it will be perfect!
All products can be shipped directly to Singapore without going through Vpost. Reasonable direct shipping charges apply.