Monday, November 19, 2012

Thinly Veiled


We've had the strangest weather in Brisbane- fine in the morning, storming sheets of rain and hailing in the evening, and 29 degrees and sunny the morning after! Bizarre Brisbane weather. 

I received my Sigma order and thought I'd share my thoughts about the two brushes I bought. :) Despite hearing about Sigma brushes from almost every second beauty Youtuber, I had never tried anything from them before. I'm very happy with Ecotools and Real Techniques for face brushes so I passed on their iconic Sigmax foundation brush line but I wanted some eye brushes that weren't similar to the ones in the Ecotools 6 Piece Eye Brush set. I ordered the E25 Blending and E30 Pencil, which are almost dupes for the MAC 217 and 219. I say almost dupes because although the shapes are similar and the functions are identical, the bristles on the E25 are longer than the 217, and apparently the E30 is softer and less stiff than the 219. They're natural bristle brushes, which I'm a bit iffy about. These are the first animal hair brushes I've bought and I infinitely prefer the synthetic bristles of Ecotools and Real Techniques, because these have a distinct smell. Also, the E30 was shedding like crazy before I washed it. I've never had a brush shed (a testament to how good Ecotools and Real Techniques are) before so it was very alarming. But after washing them and letting them dry, the shedding stopped. (Phew.)


It's no secret that Sigma copies MAC, they even copied the numbers of the brushes before overhauling their line, and though the workmanship isn't the same, they're decent quality for the price. All the Sigma affiliates post 10% off codes every month too, so it's even more affordable. Sigma also does a free gift for every order over $30, but it's been more or less confirmed that the free gift is a travel sized E25 so even though I contemplated ordering the Sigma equivalent of the MAC 109, I didn't bother ordering something else to make it over the $30 mark since I was already ordering the full sized E25. I noticed Sigma's raised their prices in the last few months- when I placed my order, the brushes cost $9 each, but they're now $10.

The MAC 217 is said to be the universal eye brush, but seeing as it's some extortionate price in Australia ($37, I just checked), I thought I'd try out the Sigma version instead. The brush is a typical fluffy blending brush but because the shape is cinched instead of being rounded, creating an oval shape, you can also use it to quickly shade and 'add colour to the crease' (I say it like that because I don't do crease colours. I can thank my Asian eyes for the inability to do so.) while blending. I wanted a pencil brush for darker eye looks (for the once-in-a-blue-moon occasions that necessitate eye makeup) or to highlight to the inner corner. The pencil brushes that came to mind were the MAC 219 and the Sigma E30 so because I rarely use eyeshadow, I decided to be cheap and buy the two brushes from Sigma, because the total including shipping was less than getting the MAC ones, even from AllCosmeticsWholesale (219 and 217). 

I've played with them a couple of times and so far they've proven themselves to be pretty decent. They haven't shed since, thankfully. I'm happy I bought them. Sigma's shipping can get pretty expensive depending on what you're ordering so that's something to watch out for, and like every online order, they can take a couple of weeks to arrive. I think Sigma's renditions are alright in and of themselves, but whether or not they're comparable to the MAC originals is something else. 

13 comments:

  1. I also prefer synthetic bristles because they don't get stained as easily and are usually more affordable.
    I haven't tried Sigma, but I do have MAC's 217 and although it's a little stained, it has never shed. It is an amazing brush and deserves all the hype in my opinion.

    I would love to see an update later on how these brushes are holding up since I am still undecided about Sigma :)

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    1. I'd love to buy the 217 but it's just too expensive in Australia! $37 for one brush is extortionate. I'll definitely see how they go and post about them later on! :)

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  2. I agree about Sigma shipping, but I've heard the quality is great :)
    Nice post, those brushes DO look like MAC ones!

    Just a question, where do you take your pictures? Do you use a lightbox? They're always so nice and I struggle to find a good way of taking photos.

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    1. I don't use a lightbox, just macro or Aperture settings on the camera, natural daylight and a sheet of white or off white paper. I've been tweaking the exposure on the Windows Image editor program or PicMonkey so that the pictures are brighter and better-lit. Without editing they can look a bit dim and grey.

      Haha of course they look like the MAC ones, they're almost replicas! :)

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  3. I've never thought of trying the Sigma brushes even though they have been raved about as I absolutely love my Real Techniques :) Hmm I don't think I would like brushes that have a smell to them! Shame that the bristles of the Sigma brushes shed but glad they don't anymore :)

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    1. I noticed the smell because all my other brushes are synthetic taklon. And agreed: love Real Techniques! :)

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  4. Oooo, lovely stuff girly. I really want a pencil brush for smudging and who can have too many blending brushes? I'm actually in need of something for contouring at the moment and I must get a 10% off code then before I purchase, now that I think of it, youtube gurus do post codes all the time. Thanks for sharing, glad to hear the shedding stopped! ^^

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    1. Do post about them if you place an order! :)

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  5. I have wanted to try the MAC 217 for ages, but cannot justify even the US price :p This Sigma alternative looks promising, but I don't want to wait a month and pay $13 or whatever it was for shipping :p I have thought about getting a similar shaped small dome brush from MakeupGeek, but I wasn't too sure of their shipping either. Hope both of them hold up well :)

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    1. Shipping did take up quite a chunk of the total, but I calculated and it worked out to be something like $13 a brush, and I know I'd pay that much if that's how much they cost in a shop here. Aw, not even at the US price? :p

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  6. I have tried anything from Sigma but I love the MAC 217. I hate when online shops charge crazy amounts for shipping.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

    Stop by and enter my Giveaway for a nail polish set, a clutch, and a necklace set.

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    1. Agreed! I don't do eye makeup much so I couldn't bring myself to pay for the 217.

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  7. Sigma are having free worldwide shipping for 48 hours so I might grab the blending brush, I'm in a dire need of one! Check it out if you're looking for more brushes ;) xx

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