Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki – Review
As you know, during Black Friday there were a number of fabulous sales. My absolute favorite was Sigma’s Free Shipping offer! The site besieged, I clawed my way through and ignored un-loaded CSS to force through an order. You’ll find out what else I got in future reviews but for now enjoy this overview of a cult class: Sigma’s F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki! Whee!!
I have to admit, my MAC 187 was a last-minute splurge, I never thought i’d purchase a brush that cost over $20USD, let alone $42USD. I’d planned on purchasing this brush well before I bought the 187, but back then $16USD seemed just as expensive as $42USD for a makeup brush. Now I know better (or I’ve drunk too much of the kool-aid.) $16 is a very reasonable price for this brush. However, don’t forget to add some numbers to that price (shipping isn’t free normally!)
You can purchase the Flat Top Kabuki for the single price of $16USD, or as part of one of two sets (with the F82, F84 and F86 for $56USD or F82, F84, F86, F80, F82, F84 and F86 for $99USD.) Purchasing it in a sent knocks the price down a few bucks, but unless you’re looking to create or revamp your brush collection I don’t think you should buy the sets just for this one brush. But let’s take a look at it and let you decide for yourselves shall we?
The F80 is a flat top, synthetic brush. The kabuki designation is earned from the soft yet dense (and I mean DENSE) bristles. Kabukis traditionally also have short handles and the F80 seems to fit this bill with a handle length of 5-inches from the end of the handle to the end of the ferrule (metal part.) End to end it’s about 6-inches total.
Now…I’m not quite sure why the edges of the fibers are white on this brush. It harkens to the MAC 187 (to which this brush is infinitely compared in terms of results) but the fibers are all one length so…what’s the point? The brush head is 1 1/2-inches in diameter and 1 inch in length, making application dense.
Sigma recently got rid of their matte black handles and replaced them with shiny ones, this seems to be much to the frustration of every blogger i’ve come across. The handles, though thick and sturdy are now officially finger print magnet capital of the world.
This brush definitely sheds more than my 187, a month and a half later and it still sheds a couple hairs when I wash and during application. The bristles are heavenly soft, considerably LESS scratchy than my 187. I like that there is no staining yet (I use this for liquid foundation application) but i’ll report back when i’ve used it for a bit longer on that.
Because of the unusual denseness of this brush, it takes a bit longer to air dry than usual. At least 24 hours and maybe a bit over, assuming you aren’t doing anything fancy to speed up the process. It also takes longer to rinse out the soap when you’re washing it.
As I mentioned up top, I use this brush to apply my liquid foundation. The synthetic fibers mean that it doesn’t absorb as much product as my 187…but that’s rather heavily offset by the design of the head.
To date, no matter how hard I try I can’t get an even application of my foundation on the brush. I try to apply my foundation lightly so I don’t like to smoosh my brush into the big circle of foundation; but if I use light pressure then the above happens. And of course that means…
It makes it difficult to get a nicely even application. I don’t see myself getting any better at this; so if you’re into a light and natural application this may not be the brush for you.
I use this brush by applying the foundation to the back of my hand and then using a finger to spread it around in an attempt to get all of the bristles to have some foundation on them. This doesn’t really work but it’s the best I can think of.
I then tap the brush onto the back of my hand (subsequently tapping the brush onto a napkin or towelette to get rid of excess foundation) and then use a stippling motion on my face. It takes longer to use this than my 187 because I have to go over my face multiple times to get the desired coverage (using the brush without blotting it ends up with TOO much coverage FYI – yes I’m quite nitpicky.) Below are two thin layers with the F80.
I don’t think the results are as dramatic or as natural as the 187′s. : (
The F80 is often compared to two brushes that I know of: MAC’s 187 and ELF’s Studio Powder Brush (which I have but have yet to review.)
Design-wise, the F80 resembles the ELF brush more closely. But trust me, results-wise it is leaning towards the 187 but IMO nowhere near it in terms of results. Both the ELF and the F80 are softer than the 187, but the quality of the bristles on the F80 easily beats that of both other brushes.
It’s not my favorite brush in the world. I don’t consider it a dupe for the 187 nor is the ELF Powder Brush a substitute for the F80. I think this is great for people who like a heavy foundation application or who can’t stand even the most minor of prickliness during their foundation routine. But for those looking for natural coverage?
Overall: 85.7 % (B)
In the end this brush gets the same score as the MAC 187, but primarily due to the value. The results are of an entirely different KIND (though not necessarily quality.) It’s all a matter of preference.