In the past, I have had some trouble with my brushes keeping their shape and softness after washing. It's annoying when your favorite blush brush ends up all splayed and frazzled looking like you dried it by shoving the end into a electrical socket. After my favorite foundation brush (flat top stippling brush from Real Techniques - details here) died, I started looking for a new set of brushes of a little bit higher quality. I looked into MAC and gave their holiday travel set a whirl, but it still wasn't quite what I was looking for, and neither were the various brands from Target.
All my favorite YouTube makeup gals talk about one brand - Sigma. I resisted for a while because it seemed so "trendy" and I didn't want to jump on the bandwagon for something I wasn't sure I would like. I started reading reviews, watching more videos talking about the various brushes, and even starting following Sigma's Twitter to see what others were saying. Very quickly, it became clear that the quality was what I was searching for, and I just needed to go for it. I purchased the Make Me Cool collection, as well as the F80, F82, and F84 from the SigMax collection (see them all here) and decided to give them a whirl. (However, this post isn't about the brushes, which I will review extensively very soon!)
I wanted to keep these brushes clean and looking great for a long time, so I decided to get the Sigma Dry N Shape for help with cleaning and traveling.
The Dry N Shape is essentially a brush roll/holder that doubles as a handy drying-accelerator for your brushes after washing! It's a very soft black trifold with two magnetic snap enclosures.
Inside are 12 "rows" of brush holders, each with one end designed to tightly hold the bristles of your brush in place while accelerating drying time, and the other end designed to hold the handle of the brush so it doesn't move around (which would cause the brush bristles to bend and splay). Sigma promises that your brushes will be completely dry within 6 hours, and I've found that this is absolutely true, even when drying the densely-packed SigMax foundation brushes.
You wash your brushes, wring off excess water, then push the brush through (handle first) the smallest rung it will fit, pushing through until the bristles are held tightly by the mesh holder to dry. It works wonderfully - my brushes look like brand new after every shampoo - completely dry, soft as usual, and with bristles back in their place. (It works with non-Sigma brushes as well - note the random Real Techniques powder brush below!)
My brushes, fresh from a bath - taken at night
I wondered if this roll could also double as a travel brush roll, so I asked Sigma and they answered that it is perfect for that. I love the case that came with the Make Me Cool collection (I'm a sucker for that shade of blue!), but I want something that protects the shape of my brushes a little more, plus I will be traveling in 3 months for my wedding and honeymoon, so I'll need to be able to wash my brushes while away from home. This is perfect for that!
I can just close the Dry N Shape and pack it in my bag for great brush protection!
So, I ended up loving the Sigma brushes a LOT more than I thought I would... so much more that I ended up signing up for their affiliate program. I even raved about them to my hair-dresser, who is about to get a makeup counter at her salon so that she can do makeovers in addition to hair. And now I feel like I can make them last forever with the wonderful Dry N Shape roll. If you don't watch YouTube videos, you don't really hear about these little gems (I never did), and it's such a shame because they're really fantastic - the best I've ever used and worth every single penny.