Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sigma Extravaganza Complete Kit: Review!

A few weeks ago, Sigma released a new 29-piece luxury brush kit with 18k gold ferrules. When I first saw this release, I fell in love. An 18k gold brush set is like a fine piece of jewelry for makeup addicts such as myself. However, the price tag of this kit is very hefty. Thus, I would like to acknowledge that this is supposed to be a luxury brush kit. Sigma didn't create this with the idea of selling millions of sets. I think it would make a wonderful graduation gift, or fancy present that is something different from fine jewelry.

The price is $510 for the whole set. For that reason, I would like to address the price aspect of the kit before continuing with the rest of the review. Yes, $510 is an ENORMOUS amount of money to spend on a set of brushes. I am not in any way trying to say this is cheap. However, when you do the math, $510 for 29 brushes comes out to $17 per brush, with 18k gold plating! That is still cheaper than companies like MAC. This set is extremely expensive because you are buying in bulk, not because it is necessarily overpriced per brush (if they work well-- see below!).

This kit comes in a leather zip case, with a binder-like system inside for storing the brushes complete with brush guard flaps for protection. I am really impressed with the quality of the case itself... I wish Sigma sold empty cases like this, as they would be nice for any kind of brushes!

There are, in a sense, two "pages" of brushes in this kit. The large face brushes all come with plastic covers to protect the hairs during storage. The kit is also split pretty evenly between face and eye/lip brushes. Here is the first "page":

Here is the second "page":

This set includes 29 of Sigma's best selling brushes, which for the most part are ones I am familiar with. Here is the first row of eyes brushes. As you can see, there are three crease brushes, a short shader, a few precision eye brushes for liner application, and a lip brush on the very end.

E25, E35, E45, E20, E15, E65, E05, E10, L05

The first row of face brushes includes three stippling brushes and 3 powder brushes. I really love the selection of this row because it includes popular brushes for basic face makeup.

F50, F15, F35, F30, F55, F20

Here is another look at the same row outside of the case, so you can get a better idea of what the brushes look like:

F20, F55, F30, F50, F15, F35

The second row of small brushes features another crease brush, a pencil brush, and some shader and concealer brushes. Once again, a great selection to choose from.

E40, E30, E70, E55, F70, F75, E60, F65

The second row of face brushes includes several more powder brushes, including an angled brush, and a foundation brush.

F25, F10, F40, F05, E50, F60

Here is the second row of brushes outside of the case, for abetter look at their shapes:

F25, F40, F60, F10, F05, E50

Each handle has the Sigma logo and brush number on one side, and "extravaganza" in gold cursive on the other side. The whole design is really beautiful.

Here's another look at the case, which you can see is very thick! It is quite heavy when you have it full of brushes!

So now for the big question: do the brushes work well? Overall, I would say yes. The hairs are soft and they apply product nicely. I experienced quite a bit of shedding with the F15, but aside from that brush, none of the others have shed on me. The E30 pencil brush seems to have a little bit different shape from a standard E30, but I think I like the Extravaganza shape better.

I do not think these brushes outperform standard Sigma brushes. The big appeal of this kit is the 18k gold ferrules and vast selection of brushes. I do not think you need this kit in terms of getting the best makeup application on the planet. The original Sigma brushes perform just as well, in my opinion!

However, if you are looking to build a brush collection and are willing to spend money on something like this, I think it is a great choice. You get almost every type of brush you could need in a collection, and buying brushes individually can add up to $500+ over a few years pretty fast anyway. It would have been much cheaper for me to have purchased something like this at the start of my collection than to grab a MAC brush here and there for several years.

Overall, I LOVE this kit. It's pretty, it's fancy, and it works really well. I don't think it is a must-have, but if you want it and have the means to get it, I think you will be very pleased with it.

xx, Allison