This is a review for the Sigma Travel Brush set (Naughty in Black). This review will be very pic heavy since I will be showing comparisons with the MAC brushes which I own.
Note: Sigma has a very aggressive affiliate program. I am not affiliated or sponsored by Sigma, and this product was bought by me with my own money.
Price: $49, plus shipping
Brushes in this set: Large powder brush (F30), Large Angle Contour brush (F40), Foundation brush (F60), Eye Shading brush (E55), Concealer brush (F70), Tapered Blending brush (E40), Pencil brush (E30).
This set comes with a Travel Size F50 and E25, as well as the black brush roll in the picture.
Now here is a brush by brush comparison!
Large Powder Brush - F30 vs EDM Round Top Kabuki
The EDM brush is on the left, F30 on the right in both pictures.
(My EDM brush is stained, sorry!)
What Sigma says it does: Very dense with a rounded top. Ideal to apply powder products on face and body. Natural bristles
MAC dupe: MAC 150
Comparison: I've compared it to the EDM Round Top Kabuki because I do not own the MAC 150. The EDM brush head is denser and more compact than the F30. It is also softer , and applies powder more evenly. . As you can see in the picture, the hairs on the F30 are not all in place. The F30 is also prickly.
Verdict: EDM RTK is MUCH better. I cannot stand the prickly feel of the F30!
Large Angled Contour - F40 vs MAC 168
MAC 168 on the right, F40 on the left in the above picture
F40 on the left, MAC 168 on the right in the above picture. The pilling you see on the F40 is explained below.
What Sigma says it does: The angled shape makes this brush ideal to apply blush or contour shades. Natural bristles.
MAC dupe: 168
Comparison: The F40 brush is much larger and less dense than the 168. The 168 is more compact, denser, and it seems that the brush hairs have been cut with more precision. My biggest peeve with the F40 is that it sheds constantly. Every time I use it, I'll get hairs on my face, even after a few washings.
The other major peeve I have with this brush is that it keeps pilling. The white pieces of fluff that you see in the above picture keep appearing, and I think it is the glue at the base of the brush, since I can detect this pilling even deep within the brush hairs.
Verdict: MAC 168, for sure. I use the F40 for travel only because I don't have another blush brush for travel.
Foundation - F60
What Sigma says it does: Can be used to apply liquid or cream foundation. It is also recommended to apply moisturizers and conceal large areas. Synthetic bristles.
MAC dupe: 190
Thoughts: When I wrote this review, I did not own another flat foundation brush to compare it with. This is a really stiff brush and the brush hairs hurt. I did not like this brush. I did try out the MAC 190 at the counter. The MAC brush was much softer and gentler on the skin.
Verdict: stay away from this brush!
Eye Shading - E55 vs Sigma full size E55 & MAC 237
From left: Full sized E55, travel E55, MAC 239
What Sigma says it does: Soft and dense with a rounded finish. Can be used to apply pressed or loose eye shadows and pigments. Ideal to build intense color on the eyelid. Natural bristles.
MAC dupe: 237
Comparison: I have a separate review on the full size E55. These are definitely not exact dupes. The MAC 237 is smaller and thinner, and has longer bristles. Both E55s are thicker and have rounded tips. The travel size E55 is thicker than the full size E55. Both are OK for packing on eyeshadows, but the MAC 237 is better for getting into the inner corner. Both E55s pill, like the F40 above. The E55 has more in common with the Elf eye shading brush (including that it pills), and the Elf brush is $1.
Verdict: good enough for packing on eyeshadow, but the full size MAC 237 fits into the brush roll, so I might put it in instead.
Tapered Blending - E40
MAC224 on the left, E40 on the right
What Sigma says it does: Rounded and tapered top. Specially designed to apply and blend color on the crease. Natural bristles.
MAC dupe: 224
Comparison: Let's take a look at the bristles.
MAC 224 on the left, E40 on the rightThe E40 has longer, looser bristles. To me, this makes it harder to blend. It is also a bit prickly. I honestly don't get much use out of my MAC224 either, since I prefer to blend with my MAC 217.
Verdict: MAC 224
Pencil - E30
E30 on the left, MAC219 on the right
What Sigma says it does: Precise application of color on the crease, outer corner, and upper and lower lash line. Also ideal to smudge out pencil liner. Natural bristles.
MAC dupe: 219
Comparison: The bristles on these brushes are significantly different.
E30 on the left, MAC 219 on the right.
The MAC brush is somehow made so that the brush naturally tapers towards the tip. In comparison, the E30's bristles are obviously cut to a point. The shorter hairs on the edges of the E30 irritate my eyelid and sometimes get into my eye.
Verdict: MAC 219
Concealer - F70
What Sigma says it does: The rounded, tampered, flat shape makes this brush ideal to conceal the under eye area. It is also recommended for a precise application in small areas. Synthetic bristles.
MAC Dupe: MAC 194 (which I don't own)
Thoughts: This is a decent brush. I thought it was a little stiff, but it does a good job at patting on concealer. I wouldn't use it to blend concealer, though.
Sigma Makeup offers a free travel size F50 brush with this kit!
F50 - Duo Fibre
F50 on the left, MAC 187 on the right
What Sigma says it does: Specially designed to generate an ‘airbrushed’ finish when used to apply liquid foundation. It can also be used to apply blush, highlight shades and loose pigments. Blend of synthetic and natural bristles.
MAC Dupe: MAC 187
Comparison: The MAC brush is larger and more sturdy. I find that the Sigma brush is less dense and a bit more floppy, making it harder to apply foundation.
Verdict: MAC 187
I have done a review of the E35 Tapered Blending Brush here. At the time, I was happy with my purchase. However, now, I find that the E35 is thinner and harder to blend with than the MAC 217.
You can see that I wasn't too happy with these brushes. I bought this solely for the brush roll, so I was happy with that. However, I won't be bringing the majority of these brushes with me when I travel. Most of my MAC eye brushes fit into the roll, so I'd rather bring those. The Sigma travel face brushes are really not good quality, so I'll be bringing other brushes.
I see a lot of very positive reviews of these on youtube, so this may work for you. For me, my Ecotools travel brush set (a gift from a friend, but it is also much cheaper) was much better quality and worked much better for me.