If you're using this for a sheer wash of powder (as it was meant to be used), this is an excellent brush. I use mine to dust on finishing powder. As a previous reviewer mentioned don't compare this to MAC's 187 as that brush is stiffer and meant for liquid/cream use as well, and of course Alima's products are all powders. I've had mine for 2 months now and haven't experienced any shedding or bleeding, but it does take longer than I'd like to dry. I also find Alima's brushes a bit overpriced for items made in China, hence me removing a lippy. Even so I may buy another at some point.
I think this brush is pretty good. The bristles are super soft. The brush is not very dense. I can't compare it to other similar brushes because this is my first "skunk" brush. I haven't tried it yet with mineral makeup but I plan on doing so in the next days. Also wanted to add that I don't have any problems at all with this brush concerning shedding or bleeding. I washed the brush out today and no bleeding or shedding at all was visible. The only con for me is that I am not sure atm what I am going to use this brush for .. I hoped it would work for a light application of blush. But not very happy with it. Hope it will work better with mineral MU.
UPDATE 10/2012: I put the brush aside for a very long time but now I love using it with my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in "Center of the Universe" which is a strong/dark coral with golden shimmer. This brush works perfect with it with its sheer application. So I like this brush now :)
I love Alima brushes in general, but this brush is poorly made. It sheds like crazy and it still leaks dye after many times of washing. I have NEVER had a single synthetic brush or skunk brush that sheds and bleeds like this.
This is a nice (but not great) synthetic powder brush. I would NOT COMPARE this to the MAC #187, since that one is stiffer and therefore also great for applying liquid, gel and cream products. The Kitten brush is definitely not something I'd recommend for those products.
I use this brush to apply my EM Tinted Silk Dust.; it helps to achieve a sheer/light application. I suppose it would also work nicely with applying (mineral) powder foundations, if one only needed a sheer/light coverage. I need a little extra coverage and for that EM's Flat Head brush, EM's Long Handled Kabuki or BE's Soft Focus (Face) brush are better suited.
I suggest that you WASH this brush really really really well, BEFORE using it. I had to shampoo and rinse my Kitten 5x before it stopped bleeding A LOT of black dye!!! Now, it washes (1x/week) more easily without bleeding quite as much. (It still bleeds a little dye if I soak it.) So far, it has shed only a little on me.
I'm not crazy about the thickness of the handle. It doesn't fit into my brush roll, for travel. I had to find another case ... (Check out this one: http://www.ebags.com/baggallini/jewelry_cosmetic_bagg_rip_stop_nylon/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=5793 )
I gave this brush 2 stars because it only has two good points ... its soft (I haven't had a skunk brush though that isn't soft) and its not too expensive. Maybe its just the one I got, but this brush sheds like crazy! I always end up with hairs on my face after using it. Hopefully after several washings this will go away and I will update my rating. Also, I like it for finishing powder, but not so much for blush. I prefer the MAC 187 or Flirt's skunk brush for that, although honestly a skunk brush is not my favorite to apply any type of blush (MAC 129 or Sonia Kashuk is my favorite for blush). I also do not see this brush being very good for liquid foundation, but since this is from a MMU company I didn't expect it to be. This brush isn't as dense as the MAC 187 skunk. I have around 5 skunk brushes and this one ranks 4th .. my favorite skunk by far is the MAC 187 and even though it is more expensive ... it is worth every penny! I wouldn't waste my money on this skunk brush again.
This is from Alima's new line of synthetic brushes that I cannot rave enough about. I bought them all when they first came out and I have to say I love every single one.
This brush retails for $27, and is an amazing brush! I don't have any other "skunk" brushes to compare it to, but I really love this. I always thought I couldn't wear blush before I got this, but this brush has made all the difference in how I wear blush. It perfectly blends in any color, making it look natural on my skin. It is amazingly soft.
I may even pick up another one!
****CLICK 'CONTINUED' FOR PICTURE****
I have been searching literally for years now for a synthetic skunk brush and my dream has finally come true thanks to Alima. I have rosacea with super sensitive skin and most animal hair brushes irritate my face. I sold my MAC 187 because as soft as that brush is it still irritated my face. The Alima 23 (aka the Kitten Brush) feels even softer than the MAC 187, is completely synthetic, and does not irritate my skin in the least! Finally I can use the highly pigmented blushes that I was not previously able to apply with a light enough hand to not look like a clown. The Kitten brush is alot cheaper than the MAC 187 ($27 vs $42), and it's great for travel because of the shorter handle. Kudos to Kate and everyone else at Alima - I love this brush! Click on continued to see a picture of the Kitten brush.