As a pro makeup artist, I have three sets of these! I seriously can't say enough good things about these brushes! The cost of around $18 for four high quality brushes is an awesome deal!
Buffing brush: I use this for applying liquid/cream foundation, powder foundation, blush, and setting powder. This creates a beautifully blended, seamless finish. The bristles are firm enough to move the product around, yet have enough give to be very gentle on the skin. So soft, feels like a dream.
Foundation brush: This is the flat brush. I find this too small for applying foundation, and personally like using buffer brushes for applying foundation anyway. What this IS great for is applying under eye concealer! Perfect size and shape to get right in there. Plus it's super soft and gentle on that sensitive area.
Contour brush: I LOVE this brush! I use it for both highlighting and contouring, as the small shape fits right into the hollows of the cheek, and the tip of the brush is perfect for hitting the high points of the face.
Detailer brush: This is my least favorite of the set, just because I find less use for it then the rest of the brushes in the set. But it IS a great brush. This can be used for concealing small areas like blemishes, eye shadow (particularly highlighting the inner corner of the eye), lip color, etc... I particularly like this bruush for blending out the concealer highlighter I put under my brows and down my nose. Like the rest of the brushes in the set, it is very soft.
I LOVE the fact that the ferrules are so high that they come up to about a quarter to the end of the brush. This makes washing them much easier, as you don't have to worry so much about getting water in the top of the ferrule, thus ruining you brush (you still have to keep the bristles pointed down under the stream of water though).
The flat shape of the end of the brushes doesn't really bother me on a personal level, but on a professional level, I'd rather have a tapered, less bulky brush handle so that I can fit more brushes into my belt. These take up a LOT of room. I feel no need to set them standing upright in any situation.
I find no use for the case the brushes came in. At home I put my brushes in a cup, and my pro brushes are kept in my belt. Even for travelling, I would use something else that holds ALL the brushes I want to take with me. The little elastic holders on the case are too tight to really fit the flat ends of the brushes into. I find this holder an unneeded part of the set. Maybe if it had a better design, I could see it as a useful tool.
All in all, these are EXCELLENT brushes, and I highly recommend them for personal and professional use.
These stand the test of time for professional use. They have withstood a multitude of makeup applications and rigorous washing's without excessive shedding or falling apart! I HIGHLY recommend these. My only qualm is the large end of the handles. I wish they were smaller or tapered so that I could fit more into my brush belt.