I've had this brush for EIGHT YEARS, and have used it nearly every day (unless I'm out camping or hiking). It still works the way it did when I first bought it. However, it's important to note that this works amazing for finely-milled and/or pigmented blushes (Illasmasqua, Rock & Republic, Tom Ford), but not so much for tightly packed, harder blushes (NARS, MAC MSF blushes). It applies finely-milled blushes smoothly and blends like a dream - leaves a very subtle look. With a hard blush (namely, my NARS Luster), I find that I have to dig into the blush a few times. We all know that force + expensive brush = brush abuse, so I would suggest having another blush brush that's made for harder blushes, like Nars/Hakuhodo Yachiyo, or something made out of black or white goat and squirrel, synthetic, or a mix.
The Stila #24 Illuminating Powder brush is a worthy rival Lancome Cheek & Contour Brush #25. I love this multi-purpose cheek brush! Its gorgeous and luxuriously soft on skin as well as so practical for a variety of daily uses (I mostly use for blush, contour, and highlight powder but also setting powder, whisper brush, blending brush). I have used mine for 2 years now with no problems. Being natural hair it cleans easily and doesn't go into a greasy clump after a few months and have to be binned like synthetic brushes often do (Everyday Minerals do this often - how environmentally friendly is that?) Its name hasn't faded off the handle (like MAC). The paint on the handle hasn't chipped nor cracked (like Bobbi Brown), and the brush has held its shape with no fallout. Its been a well used brush and the only thing I negative thing I could come up with is it can't sit in a brush cup as one end will splay. It has to be stored flat in a brush bag or on a tray or in a draw so both ends are cared for.
The blush side is the sikiest smoothest and most luxurious feeling brush I own.
a) Feels as light as air across my cheeks, never picks up too much pigment so it never overapplies blush. I have fair skin and I find for my stronger pigmented blushes it performs better than my dual fibre brushes.
b) I use to apply my more tricky blushes that usually go on patchy. With this brush even those appear even and airbrushed! This has saved me money as I never like to throw something away that can be (easily) worked with if possible.
c) If I turn it on the side (its a paddle shaped and tapered brush) its excellent at applying a whisper fine amount of highlight powder when I want a barely detectable natural look, or I'm dealing with a very intense highlighter and want to control the amount I lay down so I don't look like a tin man. When I'm doing this I apply less pressure when I pick up the powder and apply to the cheekbone so I'm using just the tips of the brush.
d) Blend highlight and contour - its a soft brush that gently blends without shifting the color around too much
e) After cream or liquid under-eye concealer, ths brush works can deposit the right sheerest amount of setting powder so it wont cake or go into wrinkles If you're over 35 like me.
The small flathead side also feels very soft on skin and is:
a) Good contour brush. Its soft and dense with lots of compact shorter bristles that don't splay out. This is so important as it gives precisely placed controlled contour only where you want it and doesn't throw the powder around in a spotchy mess. I'm not a fan of angled cheek brushes for this reason.
b) Apply cream blushers - stipple on first then buff in small circular motions to blend.
c) Sweep on soft highlighter over cheekbones, centre of nose and larger browbone. Or do the same with a foundation a couple of shades lighter. This look can completely transform your face in an ultra natural "I'm not wearing makeup I just look like a model naturally" way to add structure to the face without obvious color or shimmer. This is highly effective but more advanced
d) Sweep on mineral highlighters or minineral shimmery blushers - then use the same end to buff in small circular motions . Mineral products need the buffing in to develop the glow they are famous for and this brush being small, flat and firm is perfect for this.
Great brush, counting 9 uses for me so far, I love it!
This is really pricey in Canada ($70 plus 13% tax in Ontario), so I might never even have considered it except I had gift certificates and Optimum credits at Shoppers Drug Mart, to which Stila has recently been introduced. And I'm really glad I got it, because it is absolutely divine in quality.
The brush head is flat, so I've had to re-learn how to apply blush - instead of swirling, I'm sweeping color onto my cheeks. It picks up the right amount of product every time, from my heavily pigmented Nars blushes to my softer NYC mosaic blushes, and it is so, so soft that it feels like I'm dusting a feather over my face. The other side is a small flat top brush that is so good for both concealer and full-out foundation application. It's very similar to the smallest sized duo fiber brush MAC offers; firm and dense yet soft and silky. When I apply my liquid foundation with is, my makeup application takes a little bit longer, but the end result is totally worth it. Airbrushed and velvety and perfect.
I'm envious of the girls who picked this up at Sephora for around $10 when the line got dropped, but if a brush could truly be worth $70, this is it.
This brush is apparently identical to the Crown Brush M11 from the mineral line, which is cheaper by order of magnitude. No, I don't own it - yet.
This is a great brush. Extremely soft and picks up powder very well. I paid only $10 for this at Sephora, because they were getting rid of it. It has many uses.
One of my HG of brushes! I love this brush more than my Nars Yachiyo 27! It remains sooo soft after each wash and I just love the feel of it against my cheeks. I use the main brush side as a highlighting and contouring brush and I use the buffering side to blend everything together. Some people use this as a blusher which is fine as well because when I go travelling I would pack this brush and leave my blusher at home ... The only down side is the price @ $115 AUD, but then again you do get such much different uses for it so its worth the high price!
I'm a makeup brush snob. There is no substitute when it comes to the quality of Stila brushes. This was my very first Stila brush from over 5 years ago and it has never shed a bristle and is still going strong. This brush will redefine how you apply your blush. You will learn to sweep your color to your cheeks. You will find that you prefer softer, finely milled blushes (The hard packed stuff won't work with this brush) Finally, you will find that applying good blush with the right tool can be a lux experience. I use the other end to apply highlighter to cheeks bones and blending eyeshadow. I fear this and the #8 are being discontinued but I hope i'll never need to buy another! EcoTools Bamboo brushes are the only brushes I've found that are a close less expensive alternative.
This is one glorious blush brush, topped only by NARS' "Yachiyo"! The ideal marriage, however, is really to have this Stila #24, the NARS Yachiyo, & MAC's #165 Contouring brush: when you have these 3, you really don't need [note the verb here: NEED, lol...) anything else for blush, powder, & even liquid foundation for that matter (unless you're not into Less Is More & therefore you'd also like to add in Mac's smaller skunkster, the 188; & an excellent Kabuki. To be sure, Mac 188 IS extremely handy when dusting on a strong yet beautiful blush that only needs the tiniest treatment or you'll end up in Clown Town: e.g., blushes like Mac's "Love Thing" & Nar's "Mounia" -- however, the same's handled equally well by Yachiyo, ergo....)// Ah, but back to Stila's superb #24!!! Points of note about this perfect brush: like the other 2 in this Menage, Stila 24 is literally this-side-of-Heaven in softness -- something that simply cannot be duped unless  the Dupe-r is also using super-fine black goat hair: & if you've noticed, that's something most brush-makers just won't invest in. Those who do are those who are certain they'll make back their investment & THEN some: thus normally they do so by (A) creating nothing less than the very finest of brushes, & then (B) charging accordingly for them. Next:  the Dupe-r is not creating a TRUE "dupe" unless s/he is also creating an identical brush in ALL ways. Hence truly duping Stila 24 means excelling in countless, countless ways, including such things as: Creating a shed-free brush head so well made that its contours never separate, much less lose shape, after endless washings; -- Using only the finest in all components, right down to ferrules & glues that never loosen a whit after even MORE washings; -- & Etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum.  LAST: You can SAVE MORE than 50% OFF STILA 24'S REGULAR RETAIL PRICE & STILL OWN a flawless, Real-Thing, Stila #24!! (I.e.: no need for buying Less-Than-The-Very-Best ANYway!) And how is this possible? Simple: just go to 1 of the many Ebay Sellers who have impeccable Feedback & lots of it. That's how I got my Stila 24, & in absolutely fault-free, immaculate condition, for only $12.00 !! And it's still available for anyone & everyone else in this very same manner: right now.
I haven't used this myself, but wanted to let you know it looks exactly the same to the Crown Brush M11 to me, at the fraction of the price... http://www.crownbrush.co.uk/mineral1.html
One of my all-time favorite brushes EVER! Most definitely worth the high price tag! Very versatile and absolutely fantastic for contouring/highlighting as seen in the stila contouring how-to video! Snag yourself one if you are going to splurge on a good quality brush because this one will not fail you! :]