I was introduced to Shu Uemura Synthetic Brush 14 by a makeup artist who showed me how versatile it is with any cream product you want to pat onto the skin on a relatively small area. This means building up the coverage of a foundation where needed, concealing, highlighting, and even applying a cream blush without buffing it onto the face. I bought the brush last year but it has taken me a while until I've become as enamored with the patting technique and its results as I am today.
Shu Uemura Synthetic 14 is a flat paddle shaped synthetic brush. It's narrower than standard foundation brushes in this category (compare to Smashbox #13). It's more tapered and precise, and the bristles are softer. My favorite use for Shu Uemura Synthetic 14 is for cream highlighter as it picks up the perfect amount and places it exactly where needed; a crucial requirement when using such products.
For those keeping tabs, Hakuhodo offers a more luxurious version of this idea: G518 is the newest Hakuhodo brush released (at least in the US).
Shu Uemura Synthetic 14 ($42) is available from shuuemura-usa.com.