This was my first purchase from Real Techniques and what led me to buy other brushes in her line. It consists of 4 brushes with gold-colored, lightweight ferrules: Buffing, Contour, Detailer, and Pointed Foundation, all for under $20. The first 2 I use everyday for buffing in foundation and blush, respectively. I have literally shunned all other face brushes for these (including brushes that are 2-3x as expensive) and I bought another set so I can rotate them.
* The Buffing Brush is mostly flat-topped with rounded edges and applies powder foundation perfectly. It always seems to pick up the right amount and the brush itself is soft and comfortable on my skin.
* The Contour Brush is kind of an elongated, slightly tapered dome shape and on the small size, which I prefer for applying blush--it lets me have control over where I place it on my face. I usually use a light circular motion to apply.
* The Detailer Brush hurt when I tried using it on the skin around my eyes [for concealer and to apply powder e/s to my lower lashline]. However, I think I'll keep it as a lip brush since it seems to have the right amount of stiffness and give.
* The Pointed Foundation Brush is the real head-scratcher of the bunch, though. It's too small for applying liquid or cream foundation, but it's too big to use for concealer. Love the pointed shape, just not the size. If you only like to apply foundation to small patches of your face maybe it'll work, otherwise...I just can't figure out what to do with this one.
As for the carrying case, I really like it. I use it in its stand-up/easel form to dry my brushes by insert them upside-down. Then, turn them every so often and they're done! I've never had a problem with them drying flat on one side even if I forget to turn them b/c it's really easy to fluff them back up once they're dry. Also, for synthetic brushes, which are notorious for taking forever to dry, these don't take any longer than my natural bristled brushes. They sure as heck don't shed anywhere near as much as others do. I think one finally gave up a single hair, but otherwise they're still going strong. I considered knocking off a lippie for the Pointed Foundation Brush, but given the quality and price and the fact that I actually bought another set gives this brush set a 5.