This eyeshadow brush from Kevyn Aucoin (US$25), has become a stalwart in my brush collection ever since it was highly recommended to me by a makeup artist friend in the US (*waves* to Kellie!). Like the MAC 219 Pencil Brush, it has a sharp tip similar to that of a pencil or marker nib. However, it differs from the MAC in that its bristles are more firmly packed and its tip more precise, delivering less diffused colour.
I love this brush because it picks up colour easily (allowing for intense application) and blends it beautifully, especially on the lid and lash lines. It often makes a wonderful smokey eye; its dense tip placing colour exactly where it is needed and its firm yet soft bristles blending out harsh lines. It is a good brush for bright colours too, allowing their vibrancy to show up perfectly.
Although it has the ability to create defined eyes, this brush is also excellent softening eyeliner and waterline shades in both pencil or powder forms. While the perfectly tapered tip imparts precise application, its firm yet semi-pliable tip yields gently to subtle pressure, allowing you to soften and blend out eyeshadow.
My favourite way to use this brush is to apply powdered eyeshadow over pencil or cream liner to set and define/highlight the eyes. Its tip enables application control and on some occasions, I am even able to apply cream eyeshadow on the waterline with it.
This brush is also known as an eyebrow brush and you can use it to soften harsh brow colour or gradate brow colour for a more natural look. It would be especially useful for the inner brow area where brow colour should not be too strong.
The only drawback to this wonder brush is that the different parts of the brush are of such matching and close hues that I sometimes place it upside down in my brush holder by accident and thus have difficulty finding it. :P That said, it is a beautiful brush with a handle of rich tone, encased in classy acrylic.
Image source: Kevyn Aucoin