Professional level pencils like Derwent or Prismacolor offer the best quality and typically are the most expensive pencils to buy. The wax in these pencils is softer and the colors are a higher pigment providing brighter colors. The soft application allows blending and shading.
Soft Pastels are interesting media to work with. It can also be fun for you can use your own fingers to apply the color or you can use a brush or cotton balls.Just outline the drawing with your chosen color and smudge it with your finger, brush or cotton. You can achieve a soft, hazy look with this just like the one in the picture. Plus, you can actually erase smudges using eraser.