I have to admit that I was surprised by the 100% positive reviews of this brush. While it's very soft and I do love the way it deposits color and highlighter, every time I use it I have to pick brush hairs off my face. Lots of shedding every time I (gently) wash it and use it, ugh....
I wish I had researched more fan brushes before purchasing this one, I could probably have found a better-quality one for about the same price.
I bought this during ULTA's buy 2 get 2 and I absolutely love it! I use it to apply my NARS highlighter - Albatross on my cheek, down nose, lip cleft and anywhere I wanted to highlight. I then used it to apply NARS Taos and let me tell you... I was soooo impressed. My cheeks looked simply gorgeous, radiant and natural.
Loved it so much I went back and got a second for back up. I don't know if bristles are synthetic or animal hair, but it's soft and not prickly at all. Much better than my Clinique blush brush.
I bought this brush specifically for my new NARS blushes, which are so pigmented they're hard to control. And it works perfectly for that purpose! All I have to do is just lightly tap it on my blush for each cheek. It picks exactly the right amount of color, and I don't have to be so self-conscious about looking overdone. Plus, it's super-durable and isn't in any way flimsy. If you own a few super-pigmented blushes that you just can't get right no matter how hard you try, pick up one of these brushes. It'll solve your overblushing problems once and for all!
This is a fantastic brush for applying brighter blushes like Nars Torrid. It applies evenly and lightly, and the bristles are very soft. Excellent quality for under 20 bucks.
When compared to the Smashbox fan brush I have and the MAC fan brush, this is the most substantial of the three. The Smashbox is so wispy that its only real function is to flick excess product from the face. MAC's brush is thicker and can be used for blushes, but I love Ulta the best. It is thicker and much more substantial, yet it still picks up a small amount of product and applies blush so beautifully.
I have used this every day for a couple of weeks now and have flawless application of deeply pigmented blushes with this brush...it's a staple...Definite repurchase...
UPDATE (2/12/08): I use this every day now. This is an indispensible tool in my routine now. It has held up very well with no shape derangement and no bristle fall-out. Highly recommended!