Kabuki brushes originated in Japanese rituals of geisha and kabuki theater, because makeup is an integral part of both. Kabuki brushes are great for blending, contouring and highlighting—and they're popular because they provide great coverage. In general, kabuki brushes are soft and strong, making them excellent tools for creating a buffed, glowy look.
The Nars Ita Brush ($38.50) is made from extremely soft black goat hair. It has a small, flat and angular design ideal for blending and contouring. Any intermediate or advanced level makeup junkie will know what to do with this brush once they see it, since it lies perfectly flat along your upper cheekbones.
For two more cool new kabuki brushes,
Adesign Flat Top Foundation Kabuki Brush ($26) is a new and innovative shaped brush designed for wet-to-dry foundation. It's ideal for buffing, and the texture of the brush stimulates your skin when applying makeup.
Aromaleigh Silky Smooth Taklon Kabuki ($17.50) is a baby sized version of the original kabuki. This soft, smooth, and adorable brush is great for a compact makeup bag. It's also great for touch-ups in the small areas around your eye and nose. It is made from synthetic taklon (which is cruelty-free) and won't shed.