Sigma F80 Kabuki Brush: To Apply Liquid Foundation For That Flawless Airbrushed Effect


If there is one face brush I had to choose, and one brush only, to apply everything from foundation to contouring powder to bronzer to blush to highlight, it would be the Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush.

When I made the switch from compact foundation to liquid foundation (*ahem* powder accentuates fine lines. Signs of aging), I didn’t know how to apply liquid foundation properly. Recommendations included the use of fingers, makeup wedges, makeup the expensive MAC 187 and Beauty Blender.

I never liked applying liquid foundation with my fingers because firstly, how clean can your fingers get? Secondly, some liquid foundations take such effort to wash off! The Revlon Colorstay Liquid Foundation is one – it just makes the fingers and hand all oily and yucky. Lastly and most importantly, the use of fingers to apply liquid foundation never gave me that effect Sigma F80 has.

As for makeup wedges, I bought a pack of 20 and the remaining pack of 15 are still sitting there pretty, waiting for the day I will use them for… art and craft, maybe? They soak up so much liquid foundation product and leave little to apply on the skin! Disastrous! And they’re not exactly environmentally-friendly, what with all that disposable throwing away business, ya know~

I did a lot of research on the best brush to apply liquid foundation with, and it came down to 2 brushes – the MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush (U$42.00) and the Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush (U$16.00).

The big difference in prices was one thing, but while the 187 had many loving it, it also had many people disliking it. On the other hand, the Sigma F80 had a very high proportion of people singing its praises. Most people who have tried these 2 brushes gave their vote to Sigma – even die-hard fans of MAC.

So I ordered it and waited about a month to receive it.

Haha, do I see (sense) shocked faces??? 3 weeks to a month is absolutely normal for things to get shipped from US to Singapore. I once waited close to 3 months as my order got lost in transition. @_@”

Super Soft Bristles

When it first laid in my hands, I couldn’t stop stroking it! The bristles were/still are soooooooo incredibly soft! I didn’t know then that its softness is attributed to the use of Synthetic Sigmax HD filament, I only knew it was the softest brush I ever felt. No scratchy, coarse bristles like some brushes that I bought from Coastal Scents before.

It feels so luxurious to apply foundation with this brush every time. It gets the job done and makes the experience so comfortable. Your skin will love you for it.

Kabuki with a Twist

The Sigma F80 is a kabuki brush. Characteristics of a kabuki brush are its very dense bristles, typically short handle and tapered brush head.

The F80 brush has very soft and dense synthetic bristles, but it has a long handle and a flat head. I love the long handle because it gives a good grip during application and is very sturdy in construction. You know you are holding a good quality brush.

Instead of a tapered head like most kabuki brushes, like the Too Faced Retractable Kabuki Brush, the Sigma Flat Top Kabuki Brush’s flat head gives even better coverage since it lays flat against the skin.

Apply Anything with This Brush!

Versatility is why this brush is so loved by many. The Sigma F80 Kabuki Brush can be used to apply liquid, mousse, cream, powder, or mineral products effortlessly. The results are all the same – flawless. No streak marks or cakey patches.

Even though we can pretty much use this brush for any face makeup, I don’t use it to apply liquid foundation after using it for powder. Think about it, you set liquid foundation with powder, not the other way round right? If the Sigma F80 brush has touched any form of powder (like if I didn’t bring or was lazy to reach for couldn’t find a blush brush or powder brush), I will deep clean it before letting it touch liquid products. That’s why this brush is reserved strictly for liquid foundation only.

Makeup Tip From Bun Bun: This brush can be used to stipple and buff products into the skin, but I only do the stippling. For some kabukis, buffing is done to ensure that the product is spread out evenly and there are no undesirable uncovered patches. But with this Sigma F80 Kabuki Brush, buffing is not necessary. Saves time too!

Airbrushed Look with Liquid Foundation

I need not only a liquid foundation with good coverage that does not feel heavy on my oily skin, I also need a brush that applies right, to get the smooth and airbrushed finish easily.

Well, it takes more than just a dream brush to turn my blemished skin to a flawless canvas, but using the Sigma F80 brush definitely triumphs other methods of application.

I could never achieve the same smooth and well-blended effect with my fingers or makeup wedges or sponges when applying liquid foundation. There was once I forgot to bring this brush to office after bringing it home to deep clean, so I used my fingers to apply the Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet Plus. The result was just not as good.

This brush has turned my makeup application into an utter joy because it leaves a natural finish with no streak marks. As of the time of writing, every picture of my face published on this blog was created using the Sigma F80 Kabuki Brush. =D

Makeup Tip from Bun Bun: One thing to note is that, due to its very dense bristles, this brush can absorb a lot of product. To minimize wastage, what I do is place dots of liquid foundation on the area first then blend the dots out, instead of using the brush directly to pick up product and transferring it onto the skin.

Can Be Very Difficult to Wash

Oh gawd, this brush has got to be the hardest brush ever to clean! I went rather mad trying to get all the makeup residue out of it. I tried so many methods – shampoo, olive oil, makeup cleansing oil, MAC Brush Cleanser. Nothing worked!

I had a love-hate relationship with this brush because I love using it yet cleaning it brought the devil out of me. That is, until I found the best makeup brush cleanser ever – Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge!!!

Now, all that is left, is love. =) LOL.

After having washed it many, many times, it still performs exactly the same when newly bought. So far it has shed only 1 or 2 bristles, and I take full responsibility for my abusive behavior towards it in the past. Haha.

Makeup Tip from Bun Bun: To reduce drying time, which may take up quite a bit due to its incredibly dense bristles, use a towel to gently squeeze out excess water first. Get into the bristles, like you would do with your own hair, instead of just drying the outside of the bunch. If I wash it at 1am, it is usually fully dry when I wake up at 7am.

Oh! Remember never to use a hair dryer to dry your makeup brushes! The heat will damage and un-shape the bristles. You can let the brushes dry with the fan on to accelerate drying speed, but don’t place them directly in front of the fan.

Hard to Triumph

It’s not just a makeup brush, its everything you would want in a makeup brush. By virtue of which I have awarded it the makeup brush that I simply cannot live without.

This is the most flawless way I have found so far in applying foundation, and it is all down to this brush.

For U$16 this brush is definitely a steal compared to other MAC or Sephora brushes. I have the MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Brush, it is just a smaller version of the 187 to reach more easily the crevices of the face, and I think I would have still have bought the Sigma brush had I bought the 187.

I love the Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush so much that I incorporated it into my blog banner! Bun Bun holds the key to airbrushed foundation finish!

Get the Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush already!

US: Sigma Beauty

Singapore & rest of the world: dolltodoll

Is anyone a fan of the F80 brush as well? =DDD

What do you apply foundation with?


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About Bun Bun

Hello! My name is Juli and Bun Bun is my alter-ego. I blog to share my love for makeup, how to apply it, and what works or what doesn’t work, all from an Asian perspective.

My first makeup product was a shimmery light blue lipstick which I proudly wore all over my eyelids and lips. It cost $2.50, felt like $250, and made me feel like a million bucks.

  • Kelly

    Great review! Now I must seriously consider whether to get this brush. You make it so desirable!!

    • Bun Bun

      It really is! I cannot imagine applying foundation without this brush! =D

  • Jeeps

    Your mascot looksso cute with harry potter glasses! haha!

    • Bun Bun

      Glad you noticed! I think she looks incredibly cute too! Heehee

  • Shaynnie

    Hi there.. any idea where i could purchase this brush in SGP?

    Thanks! :)

    • Bun Bun

      Hi Shaynnie,

      Unfortunately this brush cannot be purchased here in Singapore. I got it online. =)

      • Shaynnie

        Hi there! do u know how i can get it online? please advise.. thank! :)

        • Shaynnie

          Sorry! i accidentally click on the post button.. 😛 are there any similar brushes that i could make purchases here in singapore? Thanks! n sorry for the trouble.. 😛

          Merry Xmas!


          • Bun Bun

            Haha no trouble at all dear! Hmmmm… If you want to buy brushes in Singapore, the cost will inevitably be higher. You can try MAC 187 Duo Fibre Stippling Brush. The MAC stores in Singapore carry the 187.

            Merry Christmas to you too! How did you spend Christmas? :)

  • Shaynnie

    Hi babe! thanks for the tip! I heard about how ex MAC brushes can be.. I’m into their stobe cream at the moment :) I saw this online spree of Sigma Brushes and i thought maybe i can go for it? 😛

    How did i spent xmas?

    Nothing much actually as it was my brother’s GDL and we had a family gathering at our place followed by 3 good days or MJ session and i won for the first 2 days and the 3rd? i lost quite alot 😛 How about you? What did you do for Xmas?

    • Bun Bun

      Went for a movie with cousins and then we all went to ah ma’s house together for celebration with the rest of the family! I can’t play MJ to save my life. I don’t know why! I’ve been taught so many times, by so many different people (maybe 4), but still cannot get it. LOL!

  • Michele

    Oh man I’d really want to get one of these. When I saw that Sigma ships worldwide, I was so happy and then saw that the express mail shipping costs $38 to SG -.- That’s like almost twice the price of the brush. :( I hope there’d be sprees or something in SG. :(

  • Renji

    hey…Bun-Bun…u’ve got a really very good say excellent site..i liked it….
    I just bought F80…Can u make a step by step tutorial on huv to apply liquid products using F80..Tht would be gr8…::)

    • Bun Bun

      Thanks for dropping by, Renji! I hope you’re loving the Sigma F80 brush! Hmmm, I guess I could, but for now you can watch youtube tutorials on how to apply foundation. There’s one my Enkore makeup. He’s a very good makeup artist. :)

  • Shaynnie

    Woman! my F80 just arrived! loving it! and indeed cleaning is a little less tedious with the diaso detergent :)

    • Bun Bun

      YAY!!! I’m glad you have BOTH! The F80 is just wonderful for stippling on foundation isn’t it?

  • Joanna

    Hi Bun Bun!

    I’m so so tempted to purchase the F80 after reading ur review!
    I popped by Sigma’s website and omg their international shipping with tracking number is hefty!
    Can I ask which shipping method did you choose (the no tracking one?) and about how long did it take to reach u? Any advice will be great! Thanks in advance, Bun Bun! :)

    • Bun Bun

      Haha! I love it when readers tell me my reviews tempt them to buy stuff. 😀

      Oh…. let me recall how I bought it…. Hmmmm…. I think it was through some spree. It’s better to join a spree to share the shipping cost otherwise it’s going to be very expensive! It took very long though, close to TWO MONTHS! Coz there was some mishandling and miscommunication. Sprees are good in that they divide the cost, but there are risks involved too. If you want to get it fast, with minimal risk of getting your parcel lost, then opt for direct shipment from Sigma.

      Hope this helps!

  • chelseaaasj

    Bought the brush on this recommendation and though I haven’t tried it it’s so soft and fluffy I COULD DIE!! keke. Thanks Juli <3

  • janethm

    I bought this brush but have been reading online it kabuki brushes should only be used with powders, otherwise they’ll waste a lot of the product (i had been hoping to use it with my liquid foundation) is this true?

    • BunBunMakeupTips

      janethm Hello! I have used the F80 for liquid and powder foundations and I personally think it works BEST with liquid foundation. There’s no wastage, as compared to traditional sponges and other brushes (like paddle brushes). This is by far the best brush for liquid foundation. =)

      • janethm

        BunBunMakeupTips janethm  I actually have the f82, but it’s very similar, right? i’m sorry, i’m just starting to get into this whole make-up thing. I’m starting to feel quite overwhelmed! i bought the eye set and kabuki f82 brushes from sigma and the core set from real techniques. i just realized that i need blush, powder, and foundation brushes! Or i don’t know if i can use the real techniques for those purposes? Since i’m only starting i need something that works well but that won’t leave me bankrupt since i need so many things (i’m literally starting from zero). Any recommendations? I’ve been reading that the Sophia Kashuk foundation brush is very good but idk! 

        Thank you very, very much for taking the time to answer me by the way. You have no idea how much help i need.

        • BunBunMakeupTips

          janethm They are actually rather dissimilar, IMO. The F82 is more dense and I use it to pat and blend in concealer. I much prefer F80 for foundation. You can use the contour brush in the Real Techniques Core Collection for brush, the buffing brush for powder. Play around! It will be fun! =)

        • janethm

          BunBunMakeupTips janethm Really?? oh :/ hahah. Ok, i will, thank you very much!! :)

  • DaynaNgai

    Just wondering, how often do you wash the brush? Once a week? 😡

  • BunBunMakeupTips

    DaynaNgai Yup, about there. =) I try to keep my brushes as clean as possible coz I have sensitive skin and aim to have less bacteria build-up in my brushes.

  • Candychef

    Hi bun! what do you think about the F82 for mineral foundation? I’ve some pretty good reviews about it!

  • OllieLe

    Hi! How would you compare the Sigma F80 with the BeautyBlender?