I have purchased the kabuki foundation brush previously and had no issues, but this time my brush came kinda smushed. It was cleary a shipping issue. The brush is my absolute fave for my foundation. The blending sponges are latex free and are more of a velvet finish. These work really well, but I think I prefer the non-velvet style blending sponges, as this 'looks' dirtier to me. As far as application, it worked wonderfully on both my liquid foundation and powder. I apply with a wet sponge for both and get a flawless look. Despite the above concerns, I still recommend these to anyone looking for a foundation brush and to try different blending sponges.