My Favorite Sigma Brushes And How I Use/Clean/Store Them

When putting  on your face of the day, it's not only what you're putting on your face, it's also how.  I have had these brush sets for a couple of years now, and it's very hard to think back to what I was using or how I was applying my makeup without them!  Makeup application is so much easier and looks so much better when you use the appropriate tool.  Today I thought I would share with you my most-loved and most-used Sigma Beauty brushes.

This was the first brush set I ever purchased from Sigma, and from that day on I was hooked.   MAC brushes were the first brushes I started investing in, and while some of theirs are HGs for me for sure, I have to say, I love some of these just as much.  The Essential Kit contains 12 brushes, I have listed what I personally use these for beside each one:  

*E05 Eye Liner - bottom lid eyeliner or shadow
*E30 Pencil - fill in brows, outer V work, smudge eyeliner
*E40 Tapered Blending - crease work
*E55 Eye Shading - apply shadow on lid
*E60 Large Shader - to really pack color on lid
*E65 Small Angle - top & bottom eyeliner (fave)
*E70 Medium Angled Shading - inner corner/tear duct, outer V/crease, brownbone highlight
*F30 Large Powder - to apply face powder or to blend
*F40 Large Angled Contour - blush
*F50 Duo Fibre - bronzer (I go in and contour with Nars Ita brush after this)
*F60 Foundation - rarely use this
*F70 Concealer - to cover troublesome spots

As with all their other brushes, they are so well constructed and so pretty to look at, and are vegan-friendly as well.  (Sorry mine are so dirty, you'll see below that I broke down and washed several of these after this blog post).  The Mrs. Bunny brushes look a little different now, the ferrules on my brushes were a beautiful pink, now they are silver.  Other than that everything is still the same.  If you don't have any brushes and need all the basics to get you started, you cannot go wrong here.  A little bit of an investment, but I have used these for quite a while now and they look brand new when they're, well, clean.  lol.  They hold up, don't shed, retain their shape, and you will be able to use and adore these for yearssss.  Plus, how nice is it that Sigma brush sets come in these really nice brush holders?  LOVE LOVE LOVE.

If you follow my blog, then you are fully aware that I do not like packing my everyday items I use at home for travel use.  I have makeup bags and toiletry bags that stay packed and ready to go so that I don't have to constantly pack and unpack all this stuff.  So obviously, I have a travel Sigma brush set, lol.  Mine are in Make Me Blush, a pretty pink set.  And while these are still available on the Sigma website, they have changed a little as well.  As you can see, the ferrules on these are a pale pink, where as they now are available in silver.  Other than that, same exact brushes in the same lovely pink holders.  The Travel Kit contains 7 brushes:

*E30 Pencil - fill in brows, outer V work, smudge eyeliner
*E40 Tapered Blending - crease work
*E55 Eye Shading - apply eyeshadow on my lid
*E65 Small Angle - top & bottom eyeliner (my fave)
*F30 Large Powder - to apply face powder or to blend
*F40 Large Angled Contour - blush
*F60 Foundation - rarely use

For added protection for my brushes, I put brush guards on all of them since they're always on the go.

Even though they take up some space (not too much tho), the brush holders are EXCELLENT when traveling.  All your brushes are up and out of the way and not scattered all over the bathroom counter, they are all pointing up for easy access, and they're just so handy.

I have added several brushes that I have purchased individually to my collection, and out of all of those, these are my favorites.  If you have a need for a brush, Sigma has got you covered.  They really do have a brush for everyyyything.  You could easily pull off just about any look you could ever want with the Essential Kit, but I have added some brushes that give me just a little more precision in certain areas.  Also, sometimes you need more than 1 brush of a certain kind....(especially if you are not too good at keeping your brushes washed).  For example, my F40 Large Angled Contour brushes are alwayssss dirty.  I use these for blush, so at basically any given time you'll see one has maybe a pink or mauve blush on it and the other has a more neutral/earthy blush on it or whatever.  You get the idea.  Just so I don't have to wash this brush every single day.  Also, sometimes I use one F30 Large Powder brush to apply a thin layer of powder, but sometimes I want a clean one just to blend.  Anyways, pictured here:

*F30 Large Powder, $24 - to apply face powder or to blend
*F80 Flat Top Kabuki, $21 - foundation
*F84 Angled Kabuki, $21 - foundation
*F40 Large Angled Contour, $19 - blush
*F25 Tapered Face, $29 - highlight
*F86 Tapered Kabuki, $21 - to apply under eye concealer/highlight
*F35 Tapered Highlighter, $21 - for powder to set my under eye
*F05 Small Contour , $18- bronzer, highlight, or to blend
*E40 Tapered Blending, $19 - crease work
*E45 Small Tapered Blending, $12 - defining crease work, outer V
*E25 Blending, $12 - sturdier lid/crease blending and color application

People, if you've not tried anything by Sigma, let one of these be the first brush you purchase!  Best brushes for foundation.  Period.  I use the F80 (Flat Top) here at home and pack the F84 (Angled) in my travel makeup bag.  LOVE!!!

These 3 give you the most perfect under eye makeup you could ever achieve.  The F86 (middle) applies the perfect amount of concealer under your eye, and takes all the guess work out of where to apply.  It kind of takes care of it for you, soaks up what you don't need so you don't end up getting all cakey-eyed, etc.  Same goes for the other two, they finish your face so perfectly, blend great and are quite forgiving if you go a little heavy with certain products. 

The most perfect eye makeup brushes.  Aye-aye.  I can't say enough good things about them.  My E40s (first one) stay dirty usually with something like Makeup Geek Peach Smoothie or Beaches and Cream, Urban Decay Naked or Buck, or any other blending out crease color.  The 3rd little guy, the E25 Blending brush, is very similar to a MAC 217. I use it the exact same way.  I sometimes apply color on my lid with this, sometimes I use it to apply darker colors to the outer 1/3 of my lid and to blend up in my crease, and sometimes I use it clean with no product on it whatsoever, to blend, blend, blend my crease and corner.  And the middle one?  The E45 Small Tapered Blending brush is perfect for adding your dark, smokey shades.  It's very small and very tapered and keeps you from having that 'black eye' look.  It's shape and size let you lay down product exactly where you want it.  If you're like me and you've ever used the wrong brush when attempting a smokey eye, then you already know - NOT pretty.  Instead of giving you that sultry, sexy, smoked out look you end up with a thick, muddy, heavy mess that isn't flattering by anyone's standards.  Like I said, beautiful looks are easily accomplished with the basic Sigma Essential Kit, but these other brushes really help you with the precision work. Ugh.  So perfect.  You can buy any and all of the brushes I have mentioned today here.

You'll be happy to know they've all had a bath now, lol.  I know a lot of people use brush guards and brush trees to dry their brushes.  And while it makes perfect sense to do so, I just never have.  The whole logic in drying your brushes vertically is so that when they're wet the water won't seep up into the ferrules and loosen the glue that is holding your bristles.  I don't argue with that one bit, and maybe one of these days I'll pay for not doing it, lol.  But, I have always just washed, rinsed, and dried my brushes laying flat.  I never have shedding, never have any problems whatsoever.  And let's face it, I just want to do it and be done with it and don't invest too much of my time doing this activity.  As far as what I clean my brushes with, I have used a variety of things.  Started out using only baby shampoo.  Then, I went through a phase where I only used Dawn dishwashing liquid and olive oil, followed by only Parian Spirit, etc etc etc.  Now I just use whatever.  Doesn't really make a difference from what I can tell, and doesn't really matter to me.  I'll use all of those I mentioned sometimes, I'll use shampoo (of any kind, usually something I've bought for my hair that I didn't care for), Dr. Bronner's, whatever.  Again, I think it's just important they get cleaned, and cleaned well, a couple of times a month or so.  I only wear makeup on average about 1 day a week, so mine are not getting used all that often.  Also, when I am sitting down applying my makeup, I use wet wipes and have a dry hand towel handy.  At various times while I am sitting there, I will swirl my brush on the wipe and swirl it on the towel and clean it off.  I don't think you have to worry in all the specifics that much, just clean your brushes every now and then.  The last 2 or 3 times that I have cleaned my brushes I have used  the güd Natural Nourishing Shampoo by Bert's Bees in Vanilla Flame. It's veryyyy gentle and makes your brushes SMELL SO GOOOOOOOD.  Literally, you will want to sit around huffing them.  Smell lasts when they dry.  Love using this stuff!  Got it from Target many moons ago, and while it's not my favorite shampoo for my hair, it is definitely one of my favorite brush cleaners.  I didn't see it on Target's website, but it is available here.

How you store your brushes, I think, is more important than what soap you're using.  I use a Pampered Chef caddy designed for kitchen tools to sort mine in.  It spins around so you can easily grab the brush of your choosing.  And, it allows all my brushes to stand with their bristles facing upwards, so nothing is crunched or too tight.  Nothing worse than reaching for a brush and all of it's bristles are either curved or bent or they're shooting in every different direction.  Noooooooo!

If you're on the market for some makeup brushes, then hopefully this helped you out. If you have any questions just leave 'em below!  Have a great weekend!
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NOTD: Revlon Parfumerie Nail Enamel in China Flower

Ooh-la-la!  Such a gorgeous polish!  I have told myself for months now that I had enough nail polish, and that I did not need to buy any more until I used some of mine up.  Well, every single time I walked by this polish I picked it up and looked at it.  And, well, I totally love it.  The color I chose was China Flower, a perfect bright, warm red shade.  Part of the Revlon Parfumerie line, these polishes have a light scent when they dry.  I think there are over 20 colors in this line, and they each are supposed to smell like their name.  Straight out of the bottle this smells like nail polish, but once you apply it and it sort of dries it does have a slight floral scent.  I did use a base coat and a top coat, so that really minimizes the pleasant aroma this polish gives off.  One coat of this jelly-like enamel gave me perfect coverage.  So pretty, applies so smooth, LOVE.  I found mine at Rite Aid for $5-6.  Cheap and beautiful!  Let me know your favorites in this line, as this is the only one I have purchased.....(so far, hehe).

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Nike Free Run 5.0

Hey everybody!  I've been on the lookout for a new pair of athletic shoes for summer.  I wanted something light but supportive, and preferably gray in color.  I love the style of the Nike Free Runs, the 5.0 version being my favorite.  I found these at Hibbetts.  They were originally $100 but they were on sale, so with tax and everything my total was $90.

The Nike Free Run 5.0 shoes are supposed to be like running barefoot.  They have a snug yet flexible fit, the flex-groove sole provides a more efficient stride, they are light as air, and the mesh patterned material lets your foot breath.  So far I totally love these!  I looked on the Hibbett Sports website but couldn't find these.  I'm sure you could always get them at your local sports store or on another website like Amazon or eBay.  Thanks for stopping by!
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Nailtiques Formula 2

Hey everybody!  Today I thought I would tell you about a nail product that I have been using that is really working well for me.  Sometimes you don't want any color, and your nails are just too fragile to go completely bare. My nails have been peeling really bad lately, and I have been using a product that has worked miracles!  I am very active with my hands, I am constantly doing yard work, dishes, cleaning, etc.  With all the abuse I put my nails thru, you'd think I wouldn't have any at all.

While my nails grow EXTREMELY fast, I don't really want long nails. I more or less aim for nails that are long enough to file them where they're squared off.  Short and clean. I am constantly having to file length off my nails.  The Nailtiques Formula 2 nail protein has made my nails so much stronger!  The most amazing part? My nails have very little peeling anymore. Everything is filed and strong and always ready for polish. 

If you haven't tried this stuff, I highly recommend doing so. It makes your natural nails so much stronger and prettier!  I got mine from Ulta for $9.50 (0.25 oz bottle).  You can also get the 0.5oz bottle for $17.50.  That is definitely the one I'll get next time, I just wanted to test the smaller bottle out first to make sure it was something I liked.  Let me know if you've tried this and how you like it!  xoxoxo

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend!
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Lookalike Stuart Weitzman Gladiator Sandal For Cheap!

If you watch the Kardashians or follow any celeb fashion at all, then you've probably seen these before...

A gorgeous knee-high, leather, caged gladiator boot, these are SO utterly adorable.  With all the straps and studs and embellishments, these are somewhat of a statement piece.  I think they would definitely be worth an investment, but I was a little unsure if this would be something I would get a whole lot of wear out of.  So, I went out on the hunt for a cheap knockoff.  I decided that I would grab me something inexpensive, and if I really loved them and thought it would be worth it, I'd buy the real ones.  Forever21 had a great pair that looked very similar, and they sold out in no time at all.  Boo.  Never one to give up, I found this great pair at GoJane.com.

 Caged Arena Gladiator Sandals, $37.70 (on sale right now for $30.88)

Faux leather embellished with studs, these look remarkably like the SW ones.  The full-length side zipper make them really easy to get on and off.

Slightly padded faux leather insole, this sandal is completely flat.

The horizontal straps on the boot are elastic, making it easier to get these bad boys zipped up when you are a fuller-calved gal like myself. 

Adjustable buckle on the top strap, just like the originals.

Ignore my bruising!  I do lots of work around the house and in the yard.  I keep bruises!

As you can see, while these are not exactly like the $$$ Stuart Weitzman Sandals, they are very close.  Close enough for me anyways.  I have only tried these on, I haven't worn them anywhere yet.  Can't wait to sport them out for a few hours to see what I think.  Do you have the original sandal?  What do you think?  Is it worth the $$$?  Is this something you think is trendy and will not be in style long, or is this a style staple to you?  The verdict is still out where I'm concerned, but I'll definitely let you know when I fully decide.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

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Spring Victoria's Secret Pajamas

Hey guys!  Cute and comfy pj's are a must for me.  If you follow my blog then you are aware of my obsession with Victoria's Secret pajamas.  They have so many styles to choose from and everything is just adorable.  It makes you feel nice to go to bed in something so cute.  Plus, it makes you feel not so...bummish?  Today I am going to show you a couple of pairs I picked up for Spring/Summer.

The Cotton Mayfair Boxer Pajama, $39.50 in Pink Dot
These feel great!  A super soft garment-washed cotton, this is extremely light and not too hot, perfect for the warmer nights we've been having.  You get the classic long-sleeved Mayfair Cotton Pajama top with a pair of drawstring-waist boxer shorts.  Love.

Adorable print!  This photographed a little darker than what the color actually is.  It is actually a true pink when you see them in person.

The Mayfair Tee-jama, $49.50 in Metropolis Top/Pink Leopard
Super soft, thin cotton pants with a soft V-neck tee.  These couldn't be more comfortable.

Super cute ruffle-trim side pockets!

Let me know which pajamas are your favorite from VS.  I am a BIG fan of their Mayfair Cotton line if you couldn't tell, lol. We are taking a family trip to the beach this summer, and I plan on taking both of these.  When you travel with several people you want to be covered up and decent while being comfortable as well.  I think these will be just perfect for that!
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Product Rave: MAC Peaches Blush

Ooh!  Such a great blush!  A beautiful Sheertone matte peachy-orange shade, MAC Powder Blush in Peaches looks PERFECT on the skin.  Even though it's matte it gives a gorgeous glow to your face. It's a perfect shade for summer and looks beautiful with the on-trend orange-hued lipsticks.  $21 for 6g, you are getting a LOT of product here.  This will last forever!  Cannot recommend highly enough!
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