Brush purchases, NOTDs and What’s for Dinner

I finally succumbed to the Sigma marketing and have purchased 2 items off their site. If you’re not familiar with the Sigma brand – they became popular in the online beauty community for producing cheaper dupes of MAC brushes (right down to the numbering). Although they no longer copy MAC’s numbering, they still sell brush dupes along with their own unique products. 

I was sceptical about this brand because they sent their brushes to A LOT of Youtubers and bloggers. Part of me wondered how much of their positive publicity was related to free brushes/commissions for referrals rather than actual brush quality. Although I read a lot of blogs, I only trust the opinions of certain people:  those who buy MOST of their products themselves…and when sent products – aren’t afraid to review them critically – highlighting both the positives and negatives (I apply this standard to myself as well). Here are the two items I purchased (with my own money!)

Sigma F80 brush – this brush is unique to Sigma and not a copy of any MAC brush. It is meant to be great for buffing in foundation and is supposed to be unbelievably soft and dense. On the downside apparently some Sigma brushes bleed and shed when washed – hope that’s not the case with this brush. I’m going to try this as an alternative to my ELF flat-top studio powder brush.

Classic Brush Roll – This faux-leather roll should help protect my brushes and keep them organized – especially when travelling. The most valuable part of my make-up collection are my brushes – so I want to make sure that they stay in the best shape. In the past I’ve used large make-up bags to carry my brushes, but I’m always paranoid that their bristles will get stuck in the zipper – this roll has a top flap to protect the bristles.

I will definitely review these items once I’ve had the chance to use them. Despite my skepticism, sometimes internet hype is worth it – I found out about my brush guard through the online beauty community – and I can’t live without it! I hope I feel the same about my Sigma purchases…

Now for some “Nail of the Day” photos from this past week:

Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro Nail Enamel in English Rose – I really like this range of polishes (even more than Sally Hansen’s Complete Manicure line). The brush that comes with this polish has a curved shape which allows precise application. The formula was opaque in just 2 coats (but it was quite thick so I should apply thinner layers next time). The colour is a cheerful watermelon pink – very glossy and pretty.

Joe Fresh polish in Fig – I’ve reviewed Joe Fresh polishes before here. I like the consistency of these polishes – they’re very creamy and pigmented. They have a wide range of shades – and since the bottles are so small, they’re great for experimenting with different colours. This lavender is very cheerful and spring-like – but I felt that the shade was a bit childish for me…

Finally, here’s some food I made this week:

Filipino Chicken BBQ – inspired by this recipe here. It tasted good, but was not worth all the effort and specialty ingredients it took to make the marinade/glaze from scratch. I think I’ll stick with my pre-mixed seasoning powder next time!

And lastly – here are some mini-cupcakes I made for my Dad’s birthday:

Have you purchased Sigma products? Are you less likely to buy products that have been given to bloggers/vloggers?


  1. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 / 9:34 am

    I actually love Sigma brushes,I have never had any bleed and the only one I have had a problem with shedding is the really big fluffy one that I use for powder. I have the set, I bought it myself, about a year ago and they have held up really well. I still use other brushes too because sigma doesn't have every brush I need. I really love flat top brushes especially for my bare minerals, the one I use came from Everyday Minerals, only $10!

  2. Lilly's Style
    March 18, 2011 / 4:25 pm

    I haven't purchased any Sigma brushes, yet. I've been tempted in the past though. Most of the brushes I own are from i.d. bare minerals line since I use their foundation. I love the color of English Rose. I tried it few weeks ago but ended up getting a different color…which I now regret. But for that price no reason not to go back and buy it :)Oh, and the chicken and cupcakes look delish!

  3. Ella Pretty Blog
    March 18, 2011 / 10:46 pm

    Jennifer – good to know you didn't have any problems with the Sigma brushes – I hope mine are as good. I have the flat top Everyday Mineral brush, but I found it ineffective for buffing in mineral foundation – what do you use it for?Lilly – I have the Handy Buki brush from Bare Escentuals…it's very effective but a bit scratchy on my skin. I've heard their concealer brush is really good as well. I want to get the purpley/grey colour from Rimmel next (I think it's called Steel Grey).

  4. Anonymous
    March 19, 2011 / 12:24 am

    Love your recipe posts, it's always great to get new inspiration and ideas. That purple Joe polish is gorgeous! The F80 brush looks really nice and fluffy, can't wait to hear your full review. It looks perfect for buffing and polishing!

  5. G A B Y
    March 19, 2011 / 12:31 am

    Love the Joe Fresh nail polish, so pretty! And those cupcakes look yummy x

  6. Ella Pretty Blog
    March 19, 2011 / 12:37 pm

    Andi – thanks – I'm always looking for new recipes and meal ideas – otherwise dinner preparation becomes too much of a chore :-)GABY – Thanks…Joe Fresh keep coming out with more cute and unique colours – they currently have a yellow polish that I'm SO drawn to…but I think it would look ridiculous on me LOL!

  7. Justine (Productrater)
    March 21, 2011 / 6:23 am

    Hmm I've purchased a few Sigma brushes, but only a few. lol. And I agree with you, I was skeptical of this company for the longest time, and only started buying them when they offered individual brushes, they used to only sell kits and I couldn't compete that much money to something that I wasn't sure about. Joe fresh polishes are awesome! One of my faves is powder blue! 🙂

  8. Ella Pretty Blog
    March 21, 2011 / 6:29 am

    Justine – I love your reviews (on Sigma brushes and otherwise), they are so thorough and honest…after I ordered my F80 brush, I went back and read your comparisons to the ELF studio brush and Everyday Minerals brush – so helpful!

  9. featherfactor
    March 22, 2011 / 2:45 am

    Those cupcakes look delicious – I need to check out Sigma brushes :)

  10. Ella Pretty Blog
    March 23, 2011 / 7:03 am

    The cupcakes tasted good – I should make them more often, the recipe is so easy! I love your blog posts by the way – especially the one showing your gorgeous birkin!

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