Sigma F80 brush ($16 USD -- SigmaBeauty.com)
I bought the F80 brush back in April when it was still known as the SS197. To be honest, I didn't like it at first. It was too stiff, too dense. So I kept using my ELF Powder Studio Brush for applying my foundation (I love it so much, I have 3) for weeks. Since I'm not one for wasting money, I decided to use the SS197 more often. I discovered it became softer after a few uses, but firm enough to provide great blending of my products. Then I noticed it began to shed and loosing great part of the bristles. I think I hadn't used it more than 10 times when this happened:
Broken Sigma F80
The horror! (LOL--Drama!) Of course I checked the warranty. SigmaBeauty has, IMHO, a great warranty policy but you have to fill out a form they provide and send the product and pay for S/H, etc... I sent them these pictures first, because honestly I didn't want to go through all that to get a "sorry, no can do" answer. To my surprise they replied super fast and told me I didn't need to send them the broken brush and documents (thus, I needed not to waste money on S/H). They sent me a new brush that arrived (if I remember well) like 5 days after sending the pics. Now that's good service!
The new brush had the new name imprinted (F80) and after washing it and using it for week, it has become one of my favorites. I say one of my favorites because I use different foundation brushes depending on the foundation (i.e., some liquid foundations are denser/thicker than others). There are many ways of using this brush, I just love to play with it. I like how it makes the foundation feel on my skin, very natural. I can do a stippling motion to apply more product on problem areas. Of course it can be use for cream products too. Great product. Shipping was just $4.00 for Puerto Rico.
Is it very different from the ELF Studio Powder brush? I do feel the difference in terms of the density. The ELF brush feel a bit more 'fluffier' and of course there's the price difference -- $16 vs $3(ELF)--. Am I happy I bought the F80? Absolutely.
F80 compared to ELF Studio Powder Brush
Sigma F25 brush ($18.99 USD -- AllCosmeticsWholesale.com)
I wanted the MAC 138 brush so bad to use it as a bronzer brush but hey, $52 bucks are way over my budget right now. I've read this brush is very similar, so I bought it through ACW just because I was also getting a Stila Sun Bronzer in 02.
Now, I can't compare it to the MAC 138 (as I mentioned I don't have it), but the F25 works wonderfully with powder products. The reason I wanted to use it for bronzer was because, as many YouTube makeup gurus explained, the tip of the brush helps to precisely apply the product where you want to and then when pressed a little more, the wider area of bristles blend the powder on the skin. Love that. I used other brushes like the MAC129, 134 or 150 for bronzer but I'm loving the F25 more for contouring. Anyway, as with my foundation, I use different brushes depending on the bronzer.
The F25 is very, very soft. I do wish the brush were a bit more dense to help with the blending -- some bronzers are "harder" to apply than others, but it works great with very pigmented bronzers. There has been a little shedding, more like broken bristles, when washing it. But nothing like my experience with the F80, until now --I'll let you guys know!--. Shipping with ACW --to Puerto Rico-- was less than $6 bucks for both products and the delivery was also fast.
F25 (top) & F80 -- (sorry, my F80 was dirty)
I hope the review and pics are of use for you guys.
¡Vivan, amen y rían!