Kabuki brushes are great for applying foundation… if you find the right one! There are some great brands out there. However for us New Zealanders, a lot of tthese brands can be really unaffordable. This week I am bringing you my favourite high end kabuki brush and, not one, but two, of my budget friendly alternatives!
I am a huge fan of Sigma brushes, and their F80 brush is renowned for being one of the best rated Kabuki brushes (2016 Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner). Before discovering this brush I really struggled to find a brush that would apply foundation that blended beautifully without leaving streaks. So you can imagine how attached I became to the F80!
As much as I love the Sigma F80, to buy here in New Zealand the cheapest I can find it is on Makeup NZ for NZD$39. It’s not the most expensive on the grand scheme of things, but it’s not the most wallet friendly. So I went searching for what else was out there and found two amazing NZ branded, budget friendly alternatives.
The first brush is from XO Beauty, the cosmetic line created by Kiwi YouTuber Shannon Harris, aka Shaaanxo. I had heard Shannon say in one of her videos that she wanted her brushes to be the quality of a Sigma brush without the price tag. This lead me to ordering this brush for comparison and I set my expectations high! The XO Beauty Flat Face Brush is $32.
The handle is matte black, which I really like, it adds a uniqueness to an otherwise ‘standard’ looking brush. The bristles are so soft, I can buff, and stipple it across my face and it is very comfortable. It blends foundation beautifully and overall I was very impressed.
The final brush is the Face Buffer by Carousel Cosmetics, $14. This is the in house brand from the Kiwi company Beauty Bliss. I’ve seen them online before, but the price seemed almost too good to be true. Originally an online store, they recently opened up a shop in Ponsonby. I jumped at the chance to take a closer look at these brushes, and I was blown away by how soft it felt. Of course I bought it!
Very similar looking to the Sigma F80, it is a lot lighter in weight. The bristles are soft and dense. It blends my foundation beautifully and is so smooth on my skin.
Compared to some other kabuki brushes from other brands (coughmorphecough) I can see that all of these brushes have been carefully made, there is no sign of bristles out of shape or glue seeping from joins. All the brushes look very similar, perform seamlessly and give a flawless finish.
So which one should you buy?
Out of the three brands, Carousel has the smallest range but the best priced brushes. Buying this brush would be supporting a local New Zealand company. They also have a beautiful range of lashes, and an awesome selection of international brands available in their store.
Buying from XO Beauty gives you a lot more variety; you can buy multiple sets and different styles of brushes. You would also, of course, be supporting the talented Shannon in her business.
Finally, buying from Sigma is the most expensive option, however this does come with a 2 year brush warranty. I can vouch for this, I recently had the bristles come loose on my F80. It was about 18 months old, and when I contacted Sigma, they sent me a new one free of charge.
If you want to see more of these beautiful brushes, check out my review and blend test from my YouTube Channel:
Let me know if you have any of these brushes, or if you’ve got any on your shopping list.
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