Highlight and Contour
For the past few months, I have been seeing Sigma Brushes in the brush rolls of many of my colleagues and celebrity makeup artists that I have had the opportunity to assist. Of course, I had to test these brushes out for myself! I have been test driving my new Sigma Makeup “Professional Brushes Complete Kit” for about a month and I am excited to finally share these awesome (budget-friendly brushes) with everyone!
My first opportunity to use my new Sigma Brushes was on a photoshoot with an actress named Alexandra Daddario, from the film Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief. Even though I usually go through tons of brushes when I work, I forced myself to use only the 12 brushes in my Sigma brush roll (ok, ok… and only like 8 of my regular brushes as well ). It was much easier than I thought it would be since you have pretty much every brush you need to do a whole face! I need more when I work, but you could definitely get by on these 12 for everyday makeup application.
On first inspection of the brushes, you can tell they are very good quality. The bristles are silky smooth and they just feel well made. I use a lot of brushes from Crown (which are cheap, but not necessarily the best) and the difference a quality brush makes really can transform your application. After a month of use and routine cleaning, they are still holding up really well. I’m getting a little bit of shedding from several of the brushes, but not enough to worry too much about.
One of the best things about Sigma Makeup Brushes is their price! They are extremely affordable, especially since the quality compares many higher end lines. The Professional Brushes Complete Kit that I have is only $69 without the brush roll ($89 w/brush roll). To get an entire brush set at that price is an amazing deal that would be hard to find anywhere else. If you are on a budget but don’t want to skimp on quality, I highly recommend Sigma Makeup Brushes.
The pencil brush is one of my favorites from the collection. It really helps give a precise application and is awesome for applying eyeshadow to the crease of the eye. I also love it for buffing out a harsh eyeliner, to get a smokey effect. I definitely have found myself reaching for this brush the most!
This has become one of my favorite concealer brushes! It is very firm and the shape is great!! It has a slight point at the tip which I really like for doing detail work. It can cover a pimple effortlessly! It came in handy on a recent shoot when the model’s foundation kept creasing in her undereye folds. I would just pop in and quickly knock it out with this brush and we’d be shooting again in the blink of an eye.
I looove Duo Fibre brushes!! The synthetic tip blends foundation, powder, blush etc flawlessly for an amazing, airbrushed look. This Duo Fibre brush from Sigma is great because it compares to MAC’s infamous 187 brush, for only a fraction of the price! The only real difference between the two is that MAC’s is slightly denser and $26 more expensive! MAC’s 187 retails for $42, while Sigma’s retails at $16. Yes please.
I am in love with this little “Hollywood Glamour Kabuki” brush! It is sooo soft and cute! It’s a little too bulky and awkward to fit in my brush belt, so I’m actually keeping this one for personal use! It buffs my powder and bronzer on flawlessly and is retractable, so perfect for throwing in your purse for mid-day touch ups!
-The Eyeliner Brush (SS209) is a little too thick for my taste. I prefer a slimmer brush that allows me to build. For someone with smaller eyes, or not much of a crease, the line you would get from this brush would probably be too thick. On a positive note, I have been using it on the lips lately and actually love it! The point gives me control and the ability to make perfect lines while eliminating bleeding.
-The Contouring Brush (SS168) has altered shape after several washings. It is not as tight as it used to be, which is makes it more difficult for precise contouring. It’s slowly becoming a great blush brush though
- I wish all of the brushes were available for individual sale. As far as I can tell, some are not available to purchase separately.
Disclaimer: From time to time, companies will send me products to review. I pride myself in providing my readers with honest feedback of the products I am testing. I will not recommend something I would not use personally or professionally.
Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder- Give Yourself the Cheekbones You’ve Always Wanted!
What is it?
Kevyn Aucoin’s Sculpting Powder is a contouring powder. The color is specially made to mimic the “color” of shadows, so when properly applied it can be used to shape, sculpt, minimize or sharpen features!
Why is it Amazing?
Kevyn Aucoin was a makeup artist renowned for his dramatic and incredible transformations using makeup. Check out this picture (below) where he transformed Calista Flockhart into Aubrey Hepburn and Gywneth Paltrow into James Dean!! How could his sculpting powder not be amazing?
One of the main reasons that I love this product is because of the color! Many times, people use bronzer to contour, which can look too orange, or contain shimmer. This product is formulated with brown, gray and red pigments to create the look of a natural shadow!
I recently used the sculpting powder on a model with a rounder face. The photographer wanted her to look more angular for a specific look, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to see how well this actually works! I sculpted out cheekbones and contoured around her jawline, hairline and along her nose. It worked beautifully!! She looked like a different person.
It goes on super smooth and blends really well. It comes with a sponge but I use a brush to apply. I would think that the sponge might deposit too much color.
Where Can I Buy It?
Or check out Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and Beauty.com
-The price! At $42 a pop, it’s not the most budget friendly product Keep an eye on HauteLook.com! They have sales on Kevyn Aucoin and I got mine for 40% off!
- You really have to practice with this one! It’s really easy to use too much product which will make your face look dirty. Not cute.
Lea Michelle’s makeup artist Melanie Inglessis used Kevyn Aucoin’s sculpting powder on her for the 2010 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.
Kristen Stewart’s makeup artist, Beau Nelson uses Kevin Aucoin’s Sculpting Powder on her all the time. This picture (above) is from her appearance on Jimmy Fallon.
Do you Contour? What Products Do you Use?
Albatross Review and Pictures
I finally bit the bullet and bought NARS’ infamous highlighting powder, Albatross. While it’s no secret that I am in love with their Copacabana Multiple for highlighting, this gorgeous powder definitely gives an old stand-by some new competition!
At first glance this highlighting powder looks white, so I was pleasantly surprised when it went on perfectly golden and warm! I placed it on the tops of my cheekbones, and it gave me a gorgeous candlelit glow that wasn’t too glittery. I have heard some people compare it to MAC’s Vanilla Pigment, and while I can definitely see the similarities, Albatross is less gold and way more velvety.
Most of my highlighting products are liquid, and I love that Albatross is pressed! It’s perfect for those who want easy highlights without dealing with the mess and hassle that some liquid ones cause. It’s also small enough to throw in your purse for touch-ups.
When applying Albatross, I recommend using a fluffy large blending brush, or a small blush brush. The key to highlighting is placement and if you use too big of a brush, you might get it everywhere. Swipe some along the tops of your cheekbones, and down the bridge of your nose, and you’ll be glowing in no time!
On a personal note: I really like Albatross a lot, and I am definitely going to be putting it in my makeup kit BUT I still love Copacabana more The foundation I wear on an everyday basis is very matte and I feel that Copacabana gives me the dewiness I need in order to counteract that.
It’s not the easiest product to get to show up on camera! If you look on my upper cheekbones, you will be able to see a subtle golden glow…
Paying Thanks to the Products that Make My Life and My Job Easier!
1. Embroylisse Moisturizer
Thank you Lait Creme Concentrate Moisturizer by Embroylisse for hydrating the skin of my models and actors so perfectly! Thank you for providing smoother, firmer and softer skin and for being the ultimate moisturizer in my kit!
2. Artificial Light by Smashbox
Thank you Artificial Light for helping my achieve dewy skin and radiant highlights. Thank you for looking even more amazing on camera and for being my favorite go-to highlighter!
3. Banana Boat Self Tanner
Thank you Endless Summer color for being the best self tanner I have found in my quest to be tan but not leathery. Thank you for making me look bronzed and not orange, and for only needing one application to achieve the perfect color.
4. L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara
L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara, you are my best friend lol!! Thank you for making my lashes thick, long and black. Thank you for living up to your name and for not breaking my bank account.
5. Yaby Cosmetics
THANK YOU YABY for making being an amazing addition to my kit!!! I love your eyeshadows, pearl paints and freestyle palettes. Thank you for helping me condense my kit into a more manageable load to carry.
6. Beauty Blenders
I love you Beauty Blenders! Thank you for helping me achieve perfectly blended foundation and concealer. You never give me lines and you always help me make skin look flawless and gorgeous.
7. MUFE HD Powder
MUFE HD Powder, you have been a God-send. Thank you for being truly transparent and for working on every skin color I have ever used you on. Thank you for providing a soft, natural finish and for not ever looking “powdery.”
8. Eve Pearl Salmon Concealers
Thank you Eve Pearl Salmon Concealers for being the perfect answer to dark circles. You are a miracle product and every time I use you, I am thankful for my decision to buy you.
9. OCC Lip Tar
Lip Tar you are my favorite new product this year!!! Thank you for your incredible pigmentation, versatility and performance. Thank you for being the only lip product I really ever need and for being so easily mixable. I LOVE YOU!!
Kind of broad, but so important. Thank you sunscreen for protecting my skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Thank you for reducing my risk of skin cancer, wrinkles and sun spots. Your long term benefits completely outweigh the annoyance of having to apply you everyday
Smashbox’s Wish for the Perfect Palette!!
Smashbox has been coming out with some great gift sets this season!! I recently received an email about their newest “Wish for the Perfect Palette” and didn’t really look twice at it, until I heard rave reviews from other makeup artists. I just purchased mine today at Ulta and I’m REALLY happy that I did!
What is it??
This palette has it all! 64 eyeshadows, 8 creme eyeliners, 6 brow tech powders, 1 brow wax, 8 lip glosses, 2 blushes, 1 complexion brightener, 1 bronzer, 4 mini brushes (eyeshadow, eyeliner, brow and lip). All compactly held together in a portable palette that closes up into a little box.
Why is it amazing??
I love this palette because of how much you get for a VERY reasonable price! The quality is the exact same as item that you would buy separately from Smashbox. It comes with all colors of their brow tech powders (which I LOVE). It’s totally worth it for these alone, especially if you are a makeup artist.
How much is it??
It’s only $59!! (A $225 Value!)
Where can I buy this??
This is an Ulta exclusive item. You can only get it at Smashbox.com, Ulta.com, and at any Ulta retail store. If there is no Ulta near you, Smashbox.com is offering free shipping right now!
Are there any cons??
The only thing that I’m not thrilled about is the packaging. It looks super cheesy and cheap like the enormous makeup palettes you can find at Wal-Mart or CVS during the holidays. I wish I could take it apart somehow and arrange it in my makeup kit how I want it. Also, the brushes are kind of cheap and not that great of quality. HOWEVER, these are only cons for ME because I’m planning on using this palette professionally. It could definitely be great for women on the go because the palette is still small enough to throw in your car, or your bag to touch up, or change your makeup mid-day. It has everything you need in a compact set-up.
One other negative is that the complexion highlighter, and blushes are suited more for lighter skin. Ladies any darker will probably not be able to use these items. Laaaaaame
Overall Rating: 9/10!