This is one of the most splurge-worthy brushes I own. It's MAC's #182 buffer brush (also called a "kabuki" brush). At $47, it's a splurge, but it is SO worth it. It's natural fibers provide the perfect dusting surface to apply mineral powders flawlessly. EVERY ONE (as in 100%) of the clients I use this brush on, have commented on what a soft, luxurious brush this is. With LOTS of hairs, and a huge fluffability factor, this brush ensures a sublime coverage. This one needs to be on your Santa List :)
This Julie Hewett Los Angeles "cheekie brush" is my newest love. It's still in my own personal makeup drawer. . . it hasn't made it to my kit yet. I'm not ready to let it go, so that means I'll be purchasing another one soon (at $28, I find it quite reasonable for its specialized nature). Because I personally test each product I write about, that's how I gauge my standard for bloggage: do I want to move it over to my kit? If I can't quite part with it, that's a sure sign I've got a winner. So, I don't part with it. . . I go and purchase another one to use with my clients.
The pictures above are right on with regard to size. The cheekie brush has a small, densely-packed head of hairs. The fibers are not bend-y like the MAC buffer. The cheekie is meant to apply cream blushes which is one of my current faves. I like to use this brush to collect cream blush, then dot it on the apples of my cheeks. I use it with any of my NARS Multiples and my MAC Blushcremes.
If you are looking to seriously up-the-amp on your makeup applications, these two brushes would make a spectacular addition to your tool arsenal.