I have the longer version #21 and I have to say it is a good brush but honestly you can get similar results from other brushes. I do however think the shape and handle make it an easier tool to sculpt out the face with contouring products so that is why I like to use this. I use it to apply either my bronzer or contouring powder and it applies very much airbrush-like as it slightly diffuses the color. It makes the products go on sheerer than with other powder brushes.
The packaging is what drew me in as I love Japanese influenced make up brushes and I do feel really 'professional' when using this. As with everything NARS, the handle is rubber which can get really dirty if you don't have clean hands or store it near dirty brushes/make up. The fibres are goat hair and surprisingly they're not soft at all but on the skin it doesn't feel rough. When I wash this brush I notice a lot of shedding but when I use this brush to contour it doesn't shed, so I don't know what's up with that?
Overall, I'm happy to own and use this brush on a regular basis but would I say it's essential? No, but if you want to splurge on a contouring brush than yes.
Fantastic brush, I have the long handled version. The brush is simply the best for contouring, as you can see from the shape, creates a great, precise line, picks up colour/product easily, and never sheds. The thing I actually like most about this brush is that it's surprisingly good at blending too! Just flip it horizontal use it to feather out the edges of a harsh contour line, I also like that it's small enough to get into smaller areas, like sides of nose, etc. Soft, durable, and overall great quality. Yes, it is incredibly pricey, but I don't mind because I'm sure it will last me a long time. I will also note that if you are not into contouring, this brush is really not necessary, but is a total must for contouring enthusiasts. I would also recommend to anybody new to contouring who would like some guidance, as this brush practically does the work for you!
I absolutely adore this brush for contouring and blusher! As someone who's cheek bones are harder to find than the perfect pair of jeans it really is a very important part of my routine and this just makes it quick and precise. Love love love....love.
I have both sizes of the Ita, and I just don't like them. They would be great for cutting a cheek, haha, but for regular every day looks they just give too harsh of a line or require lots of blending. I'd rather just use a blush that does it in one step. I actually use a Chanel blush brush for contouring and it's perfect for a natural contoured look where you can't actually SEE that there is sculpting going on, it just looks like natural shadows. I can't get that same look with these brushes.
I am just posting this to remind myself to review it. I got this brush recently in a gift brush haul. I am extremely attracted to Matte black items. I want to compare it to another brush I received in the haul, the Mac 109. These brushes look nothing alike but are both used for contouring. I am interested to see how they both spread out pigment on paler skin (like mine) where contouring can be extremely unforgiving. Will update soon.
Ideally, a brush of this price should not need to be repurchased again.
I haven't used it for contouring, but I used it for Highlighting, and just wow. Lovely disbursement of product. Highlights are easy to over do on my skin because I am so pale it is hard to see. This seems to place a wonderful amount evenly considering the flat shape of the brush, which I thought my be a problem with light application, seemed to do an excellent job.
Though I think brush is wonderful so far, I do not yet think it is unnecessary unless you love contouring and highlighting. Also I believe I forgot to mention that this is the longer handle, shorter length version of the brush, and not the shorter handle wider version.
Edit :: 12/02/2012::
So I used this brush a few times for contouring, it is impressive. Will definitely define with a contouring powder. I am rather pale so I have to be very careful how I apply a contour, but this is great for a dramatic line, but the line can also be blended out. It even displaces pigment. Lovely brush.
I adore the NARS kabuki brush line. I have the Botan, the Yachiyo, and this one. Mine however is the shorter one.
The design of the brush sets it apart from the usual brushes on the market. It's sleek, unique, and very purse friendly! No long handle to get in the way.
There's so many different uses for the Ita. Initially, I bought it to contour. It fits perfectly into cheekbones, chin, cheekbones. I actually prefer this much more than the traditional angled brush I was using before. Afterwards, I can even blend my contour out.
I've also used it for blush and powder highlight. It is just a great design, easy to use, and very versatile (especially for travel).
While my Botan brush does shed, I've really had no issues with the Ita.
Note: I've had mine for 1 year and don't see myself needing to repurchase anytime soon. It's in perfect shape!
I have the #21 which is the longer brush,not the shorter kabuki. (Although I haven't tried the short one i've heard there's a slight different in the density/length/etc of the brush hairs) Its EXTREMELY versatile, can be used for blush, powder, contouring and highlighting of any location, but it particularly like it for contouring. I wish it came with a case because the shape makes it kinda awkward to store in a regular brush holder. The shape is so unique, its flat and can cover both very large areas or very small with practice. Something I couldn't help noticing though...this brush Sheds like NO brush i've ever experienced. Because of this i'm not quite sure if its worth the steep price tag but then again it is Nars, and even though they're pricey their products always deliver.
i got this brush in the Nagauta Kabuki Brush Set, and i am fully satisfied with all the conponents, and the box is awsome!! this brush in particular is just what i was searching for since years for contouring! super soft and the size is perfect. i am finally in love!
I really loved the sleek and elegant design of the long brush, but the honeymoon was over soon. The protective spray (?) on the handle peeled off over three years of use. It also sheds like crazy!! I was literally picking off fall-offs on my cheeks after each use. Appalling.
The NARS Ita #21 is my go-to brush for applying blush/ contour/ highlight, and it also works for powder! I love this brush. It sculpts my face effortlessly. Unlike traditional blush brushes which, more often than not, result in uneven application, with the #21 Ita I just tap it into my blush and tap/ sweep it along my cheeks at an angle to get perfect results with zero fuss. The only downside is NARS' notorious gummy black packaging. This horrid coating on my first Ita ended up such an icky gooey mess I had to actually scrape it all off. The brush is still functional, it just looks like it's a fake that's been through hell. I purchased a new one today though. I cannot live without this brush in my routine and I am extraordinarily happy to have discovered it.