All brushes are mine except for the Suqqu L, which was a loan. All have been used/washed.
2. Suqqu Eyeshadow L uncut grey squirrel, looks flat on its side but rounded from the front
3. Illamasqua Blending Brush 1 synthetic -- similar to the MAC 224 in shape but much softer. I use this for concealers.
4. Stila No.9 mine is blue squirrel (bought in 1999) but newer ones are goat hair, v. soft and diffuse brush perfect for all over blending and sheer washes
5. Shu Uemura 8HR angled sable brush -- I use this in a windshield wiper motion in the socket
6. MAC 217 goat hair -- I don't care for this as a blender/crease brush, but love it for cream shadows
7. Paula Dorf Eye Contour Brush angled blue squirrel brush -- this is my favourite socket brush for softer looks / very pigmented shadows
8. Shu Uemura 4R sable -- its loosely packed long hairs make it useless for powder products in my clumsy hands. I can only use it for precise undereye concealing, but it excels at that one task.
A closer look at Suqqu L with EB Luxury (L) and MAC 217 (R)
from above, they look similar in shape...
...but the cross-section illustrates the shape differences
and a haloed shot displays the textural differences
Suqqu L is probably technically as densely-packed as Edward Bess (in terms hairs per square mm), but the softer, finer and longer grey squirrel hair means it applies pigments in a more diffuse way, so it works much better for placement as well as blending.
In terms of shape it is a larger version of the MAC 217 (which I use as a cream laydown brush rather than blender) but is much more efficient at blending out powders without patchiness, because it is denser and the hairs are more even. However I very much doubt that the Suqqu would handle creams as brilliantly -- would love to hear from any readers who've tried this.
Next up, the final part: precise/liner brushes.