Also, a head-to-head to answer one of my most frequently asked questions -- between the Chikuhodo Z-10 and Suqqu S brushes.
1. Boots No7 Smokey Eyeliner Brush designed by Lisa Eldridge (hair unknown. Anyone? Bueller?)
2. MAC 219 deservedly famous goat pencil brush
3. Chikuhodo Z-10 uncut grey squirrel
4. Suqqu Eyeshadow S uncut grey squirrel
5. Suqqu Eyeshadow M uncut grey squirrel, larger and more rounded than S
6. NARS Small Domed Eye No.12 long, loosely-packed tapered squirrel hair7. Kevyn Aucoin Small Eyeshadow Soft Round Tip pony(!) but amazingly softer than most goat brushes in my experience. More rounded than the Nars 12 but firmer too.
I use all five pencil brushes (1-5) with both powders and creams; No7, MAC and the Suqqus handle both brilliantly, but Chikuhodo Z-10 is a little too loosely-packed for thicker/drier cream textures.
A closer look at 2 through 5:
While I am very fond of the MAC 219, it now feels horribly scratchy compared to the grey squirrel trio, and was only ever suitable for precision work in any case. I can use this to sketch out shapes, but need a separate blending brush to buff out the harsh lines; both the Suqqu S and M deposit pigment and blend with every stroke.
My latest acquisition the Chikuhodo Z-10 suffers in comparison to the Suqqus (likewise the Hakuhodo Kokutan T, which I decided not to keep). Its similarity to Suqqu S in particular makes a head-to-head inevitable, and the Z-10's longer hairs make it harder to control and manoeuvre, while its loosely packed nature make it less useful for smudging and, as previously noted, for creams. Despite its finer tip, it delivers less precise results than I can achieve with the Suqqu S.
More pictures of the Z-10 (C) and Suqqu S (S) to illustrate these differences:
Pressed down until I could feel the natural 'tension' in the hairs
Freshly-washed, damp brushes
Z-10 has fewer, longer hairs that taper to a finer point
Suqqu S has a wider base too
flattened while damp -- Suqqu S is more densely packed with shorter hairs
Hope this has been somewhat helpful! As always feel free to ask further questions and I'll try my best to answer them.