Advertised as a crease brush but for my small Asian eyes, this works even better as a blending brush, read on why.
I was just browsing in Nordstrom beauty department last summer (umm, yes, I've been using it for over a year now), wasn't particularly looking to buy anything but then I saw a Smashbox counter and thought, let's check out their brushes (I was and still am a brush fanatic!). Never did I think it would become my #1 favorite blending brush of all time.
Smashbox Crease Brush #10 doesn't work as great at applying color to the crease area as blending for my small eyes. It is a long-handled brush that is very thin and surprisingly easy to maneuver. The bristles are incredibly soft and dense with enough give, making blending colors a breeze. This brush is the last tool I use for my eye makeup to diffuse colors and blend any hard edges to create a perfect smokey effect. I typically use a circular or back and forth sweeping motion to blend the shadows and if the bristles are harsh, I can tell right away. This Smashbox crease brush bristles are so soft and fluffy and does not feel prickly at all. I love the way it feels against the eyelid so much that sometimes I overdo the blending! I think I may have been abusing this little tool as my everyday eye socket message therapy. ^_^
Since the bristles are so soft, it may not be suitable for picking up colors or used with cream shadows. As I mentioned, I have had this brush for over a year and it still does retain its shape, granted, I always use Brush Guard for drying all my brushes after washing. I never, ever lay my brushes flat on the surface to dry like most people do. Water needs to come out of the ferrule, and by laying flat, the water is not going to go anywhere (gravity, anyone?). You have to lay it on the angle, the smallest angle, just enough to get the water out but not to the point where the brush bristles splay out. I'm always careful drying my brushes, they are expensive investments and I try to keep them looking as new as possible. Dupes for Brush Guard are readily available on eBay but the quality doesn't match. I have not had any shedding problem with this brush the entire time I've been using.
In the photos below you will see the size and shape comparison between the Smashbox and blending brushes from other brands. The Burberry Socket Line #9 is great for blending as well but the head is much bigger and the bristles splays out more. MAC 224 is a little scratchy and does shed. The Sigma E40 is a synthetic brush, fluffy but not as soft.
Overall, I think the Smashbox Crease Brush #10 is a must-have in any makeup kit. It's great for both applying color to the crease and also for blending. I highly, highly recommend this brush in all aspects.