I am so happy to finally show you the new mini “big” brushes that are joining the limited edition short handle Keyakis!
The Mini Keyaki NIJI and the Mini Keyaki BUFFER
It has been a long but a happy road and today it’s such a joy to finally add the Niji and the Buffer to the mini Keyaki series. If you love the mini Keyaki handles, and you wished for bigger brushes with the same shorter handle, I hope that this release is happy news!
I have been trying to bring them for a long time, it could only happen now but it was worth the wait. These are very special as they are a luxurious combination of precious materials and extraordinary Japanese craftsmanship.
We have previously launched 2 mini Keyaki sets and the softness of the brushes in those two sets is exceptional.
The brushes with the natural (saikoho goat) bristles in those previously released sets are small to medium size. I couldn’t include a big one even though I wanted to, as there was no availability of longer bristles with the same grade and quality.
Working with a different manufacturer and provider made this possible- so this became a separate project, which meant starting almost all of the processes from scratch. This little spin off project allowed us to have at least these two big ones available with the shorter Keyaki handles, and with extremely soft and high quality materials.
Fude (Japanese handmade brushes) are increasing in price and this project was quite important in terms of investment. All the materials that we used are the best we could possibly find.
If you are new to Fude (Japanese handmade brushes), “saikoho” refers to the grade of the natural goat bristles, it’s a very specific selection of extremely soft and high quality bristles.
I am very grateful to the artisans for working with so much dedication and attention to detail. On top of that, they are incredibly kind people, very funny, touching, and also appreciative for the work.
I love to go there to get to know them, it’s important for me that they are happy and I can see it, so it makes these projects even more special for me.
These two brushes are so much fun, so soft and effective! They come with the same type of handles as the mini Keyaki set, which are also the same wood and finish as the recent Holiday Trio. All the Keyaki handles in my collection have been made with the same wood, the same precious craftsmanship and techniques.
I have shared many details about Keyaki wood in my previous posts. If you are interested, please have a little look at this post and you can also check out the Mini Keyaki set that is currently available on Beautylish. Unfortunately, the Mini Keyaki set is limited (as are these 2 brushes) and after these pieces are sold out they will not be brought back in stock.
Each one of these little handles requires a lot of preparation before it is assembled with the ferrule and the brush.
The shaping, sanding, coating- every step is done with a lot of care and it’s a surprisingly long process, it’s very therapeutic to watch. Then, at the end the finished handles feel so smooth and the grain of the wood is luxuriously enhanced.
Keyaki wood has a very pleasant fragance specially when it’s raw and when the artisans are working on it, it’s a shame to have to coat it. On the other hand, it allows us to use prestigious materials like Keyaki in our daily lives, with pieces that we get to touch and use repeatedly.
I have shared this video in my previous Keyaki post but, just in case you are new to my brushes, it’s good to see a little glympse at the craftsmanship that has been used to create these handles.
Here, the technique with Tonoko (polishing powder) is used for the underneath layer to make the wood grain look beautiful and smooth. Then, the handle is finished with a thin layer of urethane paint that has been meticulously applied to achieve a beautiful smooth surface.
Why these two shapes?
Many reasons, but the main one is probably that it was important for these brushes to be relevant and effective when we are on the go.
I love all my brushes individually. It’s difficult for me to chose favorites or to recommend just a speficic one to you, as I suppose it depends what you are looking for. These two stand out because of their history, their unique shape and I love to think about them like a signature type of design, not that there aren’t other flat or bronzer brushes out there, but more because of how they perform and how they feel.
It made sense to pick these two and do this iteration with a short handle because of their spefic role in a make-up application.
I have often been asked what brushes are better to start a collection with, or what brushes to upgrade first when investing in Fude (Japanese Handmade brushes). My answer has always been to start with blenders and/or buffers. “Blending” or “finishing” are important steps in our make-up routine, I believe that having great brushes for that purpose is going to instantly make a difference in the results and the experience is going to be so much more effortless.
The Buffer and the Niji can both be considered as blenders, buffers or finishing type of brushes, they can both handle such tasks, and more, in different ways. They will be sold individually as you may not need or want both but I will explain the nuances and functionality of each.
THE KEYAKI BUFFER
This brush has been a key brush since the day the first iteration launched in the Fundamental series as the “Face One” in 2018. It’s the same brush, just with a different ferrule and a more portable handle.
There are many flat buffing brushes in the market but I never found one that was determined and effective, while remaining extremely soft and having just the appropriate movement on its surface.
In general, brushes with a similar flat surface are firmer, rougher, denser. This flat Buffer feels like a cloud on the face- it moves on the surface of the skin without friction and without disturbing whatever layers or products have been applied before. Whether we have texture, big pores, or extremely sensitive skin, this brush will do an amazing job and hopefully become a staple in your collection.
This flat buffer was my top priority brush when I started to design brushes. This functionality was entirely lacking in my collection and I kept asking myself why nobody would design a brush with this density and this softness. This brush is exactly the one I was looking for. After reading the amazing feedback of its previous incarnations (Face One and Buffer Pro), I realised I wasn’t the only one looking for something just like this!
This Mini Keyaki Buffer is a limited edition, there is a permanent version (the Buffer Pro) in the PRO series with the long handle but it’s not currently available. “Mini” refers to a shorter handle and not a smaller brush head.
I have received a lot of feedback on the Buffer Pro (which is actually the ex Face One). You told me how much you loved the brush, how flawless and natural the results were, and that this brush takes the application to a whole new level. Many of you wanted to have it on a portable format, so finally, here it is and it’s truly wonderful.
The BUFFER is 135mm length in total. The diameter of the ferrule is 20mm. The bristles are 30mm long.
There are many ways to use this BUFFER:
- with a pressed or loose powder foundation
- with some bronzers that are more sheer or difficult to pick
- to apply a setting powder
- to apply specific powders like Guerlain Meteorites or similar
- to work some blushes, bronzers or finishing powders that need a more determined polished application
- to buff the finished application with or without powder
How I use it:
I have extremely dry skin, I usually only use liquid foundation (light to medium coverage).
However, if I want to add a little more coverage, and depending on the weather (for example if I am in Japan or Spain) I can definitely add an additional light layer of powder foundation. It will set the previous application and at the same time add a little bit more coverage. Using the Buffer with powder on top of a liquid foundation application will not disturb or move the products.
I also use this BUFFER with bronzer. I have many bronzer formulas that are more hard to pick or shades that are too subtle or formulas that take work to build up, pairing them with this dense soft brush actually brings the best out of these products. Applying while polishing the application delivers a very natural and flawless application.
On a daily basis, I grab this brush to buff and polish the finished application. For myself, since my skin is so dry I don’t need to add more setting powder to the process as the natural goat bristles will absorb the excess and blend all the products together.
I love Guerlain Meteorites or powders that add radiance or glow to the skin, I use the Buffer with them to add more luminosy to the skin and depending on the shimmer particles that they have, I either target the application on a small area or work them lightly on the entire face.
This Buffer is a dense brush but it still has movement and airiness, it won’t “slap” the product onto the skin. We can easily adapt the pressure and strength that we need depending on the product and diffuse it as we move the brush.
Buffer Pro vs Mini Keyaki Buffer
You will notice that the flat shape at the top is not exactly identical across all brushes – although it is the same brush and it has the same functionality. This is due to the artisans having their very own tools and expertise, the brush will reflect the artisan’s techniques and know-how.
This Mini Keyaki Buffer is a little magic brush, whether we work with a powder or use it at the end to buff and bring the whole application together, it does take the results to a whole new level.
The Mini Buffer is a limited edition brush, the price will be 75 USD and will launch on the 24th of January at 10am PT.
This Mini Niji is based on the current Niji Pro which is out of stock at the moment. This Niji comes with a very slightly different shape and only with brown dyed saikoho goat bristles. The Niji Pro will be restocked hopefully- We are working on it – but, if and when it comes back, it will be with a price increase.
The bristles on this Mini Niji are extremely soft and the shape is spectacular. “Mini” refers only to a shorter handle because in terms of size of brush head, this is a very big one.
It can remind you of a fan type of brush because of its flat ferrule and shape, but it doesn’t behave like a fan, it has the body and behaviour of a wide and quite substantial face brush.
The NIJI is 142mm length in total. The ferrule is 36*13mm. The bristles are 36mm long.
In terms of functionality, the tasks it can do for you will vary depending on the precision that you need. It’s actually more versatile than it looks, it’s large but if we use it sideways it does allow to navigate with control along the contour area or the cheekbone.
How it can be used:
- with a pressed or loose powder foundation
- with bronzer
- with blush
- with contour
- to apply a setting powder (on a large area)
- to buff and polish the finished application with or without a powder product
How I use it:
I use this brush mainly with bronzer but also with blush and contour. If you use the surface of the brush and work with a linear buffing technique, it can apply blush or contour with enough precision. Just like the Niji Pro, we can place the product with the edge of the brush (or the surface at the top) and then diffuse and blend the application. Since it’s so wide, the buffing is super fast and effective.
How it compares to the Jumbo Bronzer an the Niji Pro
The measurements are similar to the Niji Pro, if you see any difference it will be within the manufacturer’s tolerance margins. The shape is just a tiny bit different because this version splays out just a little bit more.
If we place it between the Jumbo Bronzer and the Niji Pro, it’s obvious that these two brushes merged and created the Mini Niji: it has the style and measurements of the Niji Pro with a bit of the fluffiness of the Jumbo Bronzer.
Niji Pro vs Mini Keyaki Niji
The way the bristles of the Mini Niji open gives the brush more movement and airiness in comparison to the Niji Pro. The Mini is still dense and strong so it can also be used as a buffer, the technique for buffing will be more linear in comparison to the Mini Buffer – which would be more appropriate to do in circular movements.
If the Niji Pro seems too big for you then the Mini Niji may not be a good idea as it isn’t smaller! However, if you wished for a sllightly fluffier Niji Pro, then the Mini Niji might be better option.
Jumbo Bronzer vs Mini Keyaki Niji
They both have brown dyed saikoho goat bristles, the Niji has more bristles in comparison but the bristles on the Jumbo Bronzer are longer. I find that the bristles on the Niji are consistently softer, although the batches may differ – which is normal in a brush with natural bristles.
The Jumbo Bronzer is going to be a more fluffy option that will target a larger area since the bristles splay out more once in contact with the skin. The Mini Niji is going to focus on a smaller perimeter (when using it sideways) as the bristles are shorter and won’t splay out as much.
In comparison to the Jumbo Bronzer, the Mini Niji has less airiness and less movement in the bristles, we can achieve a placement or work a product with more control.
The Mini Niji is a limited edition brush, the price will be 85 USD and will launch on the 24th of January at 10am PT.
I hope that these two new Keyaki brushes sound fun and functional! They are essentials that many of us can enjoy at home and on the go. We made them available individually as you may not want or need both, but they are both so beautiful and unique! They will be available on Beautylish starting on the 24th of January at 10am Pacific Time.
Thank you for all your incredible support and for your love and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate!