Tweezerman vs Sigma: an Exploration of Tweezerman’s New Makeup Brush Line

a little while ago Tweezerman launched a new line of makeup brushes named Brush iQ.  always looking to add to my brush collection, i snatched up a few at Ulta while they were having a sale.  let’s take a look.

(L to R) Tweezerman Brush iQ Contour Concealer, Finishing Contour and Shader

(L to R) Tweezerman Brush iQ Contour Concealer, Finishing Contour and Shader

Brush iQ is made with DuPont Natrafil filaments.  they’re supposed to feel like animal hair but perform better.  question?  why would we want them to feel like animal hair?  most of my animal hair brushes are Shu Uemura ones from 20 years ago, and i have to say, i like my new synthetic brushes better because they’re softer. DuPont Natrafil filaments vary from a little scratchy to decent.  it does get a little softer with conditioning, but it’s never going to be a brush that’s pleasurable to use.

Contour Concealer Brush

Contour Concealer Brush

tweeze contour conceal side

Brush iQ Contour Concealer Brush retails for $18 and is the most interesting in the line due to its unique shape.  i apologize for the crappy photos.  i’ve started a photography course, so hopefully by the end of august, you’ll see an improvement.  the curve in this brush is designed to follow the contours of your face so that you can conceal the hard to reach areas with ease and blend out highlights with minimal effort.  sadly, the performance of this brush doesn’t live up to the ideal.  even after conditioning, the brush feels too scratchy for the under eye area.  the application is streaky if using the curved contour side.  if i flip it and use it to brush downward, the way i’m holding in in the first picture above, it blends a little easier.  however, you’ve defeated the purpose of buying a specialized brush if you do this.  the formula of your concealer will also affect how much streaking there is.  Contour Concealer Brush handled thicker creamier formulas, such as Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, better than thinner formulas, like Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen.  Contour Concealer brush does fit into the crevices around the nose nicely making concealing in that area a breeze.  it does perform adequately for cream highlighters.  i also tried it with a powder highlighter but the shape of the brush wasn’t conducive to getting product onto the brush.  you can also use this brush to highlight your brow bone.  my current arsenal for doing the jobs mentioned above is my Sigma Precision Angled Brush P84 for concealing and my Beauty Blender for cream highlighters.  so does the new toy oust the current favorite?  not in the slightest.  the bristles of the P84 are softer and more densely packed helping concealer blend out with minimal fuss and effort.  i’ve never had my P84 streak any concealer i’ve asked it to blend.  the slightly rounded and domed shape of the brush head means nothing abrasive will hurt my under eye area.  there isn’t a huge difference between using Contour Concealer Brush and the Beauty Blender other than softness and your preference for style of tool.  obviously the Beauty Blender will be softer than the brush, but as i mentioned before, Contour Concealer Brush is slightly scratchy.  even if you preferred using a brush to blend out your cream highlighter, i’d still recommend you look elsewhere.

brush iq shader vs sigma front

(L to R) Sigma Eye Shading E55, Tweezerman Brush iQ Shader Brush, Sigma Firm Shader E57

the Sigma brushes still outshine Tweezerman when it comes to softness of bristle filaments.  pigmentation wise, the Brush iQ Shader Brush is a little better than Sigma E55 and about the same as Sigma E57 on good quality shadows.  on powdery, patchy shadows, however, Brush iQ shader does give better and more even pigmentation.

brush iq shader comp side

the flatter shaped head of the Brush iQ Shader also gives more precise control of color placement than the Sigma brushes.  the difference of control was minor between the Sigma E57 and Brush iQ Shader which makes sense since they both have smaller, narrower heads.  if you’re skilled in makeup, this will probably not make a huge difference to you.  i’ve seen people more skilled than me place small patches of color precisely with their Sigma E55.  i’m not so skilled, so i depend on small brush heads designed to give more control with ease.  if you’re someone who likes to execute a complete eye look with your shader brush, the harshness of the bristle filaments are going to come into play again.  while i’m ok using the slightly scratchy brush to pat or swipe on color, i draw the line at using it to blend out the edges of my color.  both the feel of the bristles and the way the head is shaped work against it in blending.  while it is capable of it, it takes longer and with less comfort than my Sigmas.  where the Brush iQ Shader brush really shines is fall out control! i noticed there was a lot less fall out with a few of my more sparkly, glittery shades from Urban Decay.  Sigma E57 was designed to control fall out as well as give strong pigmentation, but the Brush iQ shader is just a little bit better at controlling the fall out.  i would say the difference is that Sigma E57 will leave a small amount of fall out with problematic shades while the Brush iQ Shader will leave minimal fall out.  the Sigma brushes retail for $12 and the Brush iQ shader for $16.  it’s difficult to say whether i would recommend getting this brush or not.  i’ll probably keep mine since i got it on sale, it controls fall out better than any of my brushes, and i happened to want to add an additional shader brush to my collection.  if you’re already happy with the brushes you own then skip this brush.  if you’re looking to add an additional shader or if you don’t have one, i’d say this one is serviceable, but you might want to do a little more research before you commit to it.  if i could only own one shader brush in my collection, i would choose my Sigma E57.  it’s more well rounded and more comfortable to use.

(L toR) Crown, Tweezerman, Urban Decay and Sigma

(L toR) Crown, Tweezerman Brush iQ Finishing Contour, Urban Decay and Sigma F40HD

sorry the brushes are dirty but at least now you know it’s been well tested right?  i don’t have brushes in my arsenal to fairly compare with the Brush iQ Finishing Contour, but i’ve included some of my other angled brushes for size and shape comparison.  Brush iQ Finishing Contour Brush is a dual fiber angled brush that’s good for both blushes and bronzers.  the dual fibers are supposed to be good with all types of formulations, but i’ve only tested it on powder.  this kind of brush is great for building up pigment intensity slowly.  i have a couple of round versions of this kind of brush for super pigmented blushes, but this is the first time i’ve come across an angled version.  this is my new favorite brush for when i want to do some light contouring with my bronzer for a day time look.  it picks up just enough pigment for a light dusting of color that doesn’t require much blending out and thus speeding up my day time routine.  while the bristles are not as soft as my Sigma Duo Fiber E50, it’s not scratchy either.  it’s a brush that’s comfortable to use but not one you’d stroke just to feel the pleasure of something soft.  it retails for $35 and is the only brush from the collection that i’m definitely keeping.  i haven’t done in-depth research, but a quick scan through google seems to indicate that not a lot of companies have made an angled version of these dual fiber stippling brushes.  with the rise of popularity in contouring, i feel like this would be a solid addition to anyone’s arsenal.

overall, i prefer Sigma over Tweezerman’s brushes.  even the lowest grade of Sigma brushes have softer bristles than Tweezerman’s.  they’re also slighter cheaper and perform well.

Readers, are you curious about Tweezerman’s Brush iQ line?  what are some of your favorite brush brands? do you know of any other companies making an angled dual fiber brush?