Home Brushes Special Mini Keyaki brushes: NIJI and BUFFER

Special Mini Keyaki brushes: NIJI and BUFFER

by Sonia G.

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.

Mini Niji Keyaki vs Holiday Trio handle

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 Mini Keyaki Niji and the Mini 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

ex Face One – Buffer Pro – 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!

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Sunsarae 21 January, 2023 - 7:38 pm

The brushes are stunning and will be an awesome addition to my collection. Thank you and the artisans for these beautiful creations. I can’t wait to use them.

Sonia G. 22 January, 2023 - 9:15 am

Thank YOU Sunsarae for your support, it means so so much for all of us working on these brushes, we are truly very grateful!!! <3

Iris 21 January, 2023 - 9:38 pm

Can’t wait for these!!! I’m in love with the keyaki sets 2, really like the feeling of the handle. I’m so sad that I missed the first set…

Sunsarae 22 January, 2023 - 3:55 am

I agree Iris. I’d like the first Keyaki set as well 🙂

Sonia G. 22 January, 2023 - 9:18 am

Hi Iris, Thank you!! great news!! I take note about the first one, if one day we can make it happen we will <3

Gayle Coloe 22 January, 2023 - 3:27 am

I have set my alarm as it will be 4am Sydney Australia time! So excited and grateful, thank you Sonia not only for the beautiful brushes but for all the details of the brushes and their creation.

Sonia G. 22 January, 2023 - 9:19 am

Hi Gayle, it’s my absolute pleasure, I wish I could all take you with me to Japan, maybe one day, at least virtually!
Thank you so so much!!! <3

Cathy 22 January, 2023 - 3:51 am

Will these brushes come with the Kumano sticker? Or will they not have a sticker like the Niji Pro?

Sonia G. 22 January, 2023 - 9:13 am

Hi Cathy,
they don’t come with the Kumano sticker, however, they have been made in Japan. There are wonderful artisans and traditional Fude crafts outside of Kumano.
The Niji has been made by the same artisan as the current long handle Niji Pro.
The Buffer has been made by the same artisan as the Face One iteration that had a diamond mark on the handle (in case you have that one). It was really very loved release due to its flat shape and soft bristles, so this is a great opportunity to work with the same artisan for this shorter version.
I hope this helps?
Thank you for your interest!! <3

Victoria Dzurinko 22 January, 2023 - 3:51 am

I am so excited to add these to my collection. I love how thorough you are with your education on your brushes as well!

Sonia G. 22 January, 2023 - 9:24 am

Hi Victoria!! So happy to read your comment, thank you for stopping by and taking yout time to leave me a comment here! Thank you also for your kind love and support, it brightens my days to read all your kind messages, big hugs!!!! <3

Bea 22 January, 2023 - 10:28 am

Both look stunning! Can you tell more about the difference in the surface of the Buffer Pro vs the slightly flatter Keyaki Buffer? Will the new one be more gentle on the base layers? I feel the Buffer Pro removes a bit of blush coverage as I buff.

Sonia G. 24 January, 2023 - 11:08 am

Hi Bea, the flatter the surface, the more the strength is evenly distributed. A flatter shape shouldn’t put too much pressure on its center so it should leave the other layers underneath unaltered. Sometimes the shape, the products, the pressure or a combination can still be too much strengh in the very center. That’s why we do our best to make it not as dense so that the bristles can still have a nice movement and buff with similar intensity. I don’t know if this helps, please tell me and if you decide to go for this version, I hope that you will love it!! <3

Marina 22 January, 2023 - 11:18 am

Hi Sonia!
Huge thanks as always for this very informative post about your two new brushes. For a brush lover as I am, Fude in particular, it’s very important for me to know all the details so I can make the right decision on which ones to chose depending on my needs. And I think we have similar needs (dry skin) and application style. Both new Keyaki brushes sound amazing! I have both the Face One and Smooth Buffer, as well as the Jumbo Bronzer. From your description of the Mini Niji and your use of it, it sounds like it would be a great addition to my travel brush kit for applying bronzer and powder. I don’t have a travel size bronzer brush and none of the two Keyaki sets have a brush large enough for an all over powder application (for my way of doing my makeup). And I like the idea of it being a mix of the Jumbo Bronzer and the Niji Pro so that it’s not an exact replica but a new brush which offers a great deal of versatility.

Sonia G. 24 January, 2023 - 11:03 am

Hi Marina, that sounds just perfect, thank you for your feedback! I love versatility and finding the perfect balance between strength and softness is probably one of my top favorite things in the design process, I am happy to read that this brush is interesting! Thank you for stopping by and leaving me a message, I sincerely appreciate it!!! If you get it, I hope that you’ll love it as much as I do!!! Big hugs!!

Anette 22 January, 2023 - 1:43 pm

These brushes look stunning! Can’t wait to add them to my other Keyaki sets! I just love the natural materials, the gorgeous wood and the soft bristles. It really makes my morning to be met by beautiful things on my vanity, and gradually wake up by soft bristles on my skin 🙂 I will set my timer, so I don’t miss out on these!

Sonia G. 24 January, 2023 - 10:59 am

Hi Anette! thank you so so much, we are so grateful for your love and appreciation of the materials! a smooth wake up is good for me too, I like that 😀 thank you again, I know the artisans will read this and it will make them very happy! stay safe and enjoy every moment <3 <3 <3

Denise 23 January, 2023 - 3:08 am

Sonia. How will the difference in bristle type between both Ninji brushes affect makeup application? Thank you!!! Denise

Sonia G. 24 January, 2023 - 10:56 am

Hi Denise, Both Nijis have saikoho grade bristles, the shape on the Mini Niji splays out a bit more so it feels just a little bit more airy in comparison. The Niji Pro will be in contact with a smaller area when working and it will feel firmer at the very top, the Mini Niji will adapt a bit more to the skin, flex a bit more and touch a slightly larger surface.
That’s the difference that I feel with all the Nijis Pro that I have versus all the Mini Nijis. So the Niji Pro offers a bit more precision and a more intense application in comparison. Big hugs!!! <3

Julia 23 January, 2023 - 4:48 pm

So excited for this release, Sonia! I wonder if you would consider releasing an updated brush envelope that would accommodate these larger Keyaki face brushes?

Sonia G. 24 January, 2023 - 10:44 am

Hi Julia,

yes I am working on it but it will take some time though as it is made in Japan, but thank you for asking and I am really happy to say that it should come if all goes smoothly! Thank you so much for asking and for your interest! <3

Elena 24 January, 2023 - 10:37 pm

Hi Sonia!

This is so great news! I was wishing you will bring us some new brush cases and finally there is some sparkle of hope! Fingers crossed – everything will go as planned!
And yes, just bought the 2 new Keyaki beauties (although I have their big sisters). They will be very valued and trusted brushes in my purse!

nelly 24 January, 2023 - 8:58 pm

Hello sonia g
I would like to know if the mini Keyaki sets v1 will be coming back please
Thank you

Carmen 24 January, 2023 - 9:12 pm

I’m so excited for this new release. I have both of the Keyaki Mini Sets and I love them. I’ve wanted to try the larger brushes in your collection but as lovely as they are, they don’t “speak to me” like the Keyaki and the Hinoki (I have those also). They’re in my basket as we speak and I’m about to checkout on Beautylish. Thanks!

Robin 29 January, 2023 - 1:37 am

Hello Sonia- I have the Keyaki V1 & V2 (love ‘em), and between the two, most of my brush needs have been met. I would like to ask how the TF Glow Bronzer and Suqqu Melting Blushes apply with the Mini Buffer and Mini Niji. Thanks!

Katie 31 January, 2023 - 3:00 am

Hi Sonia! I just wanted to tell you how much I love your brushes! This year I decided to upgrade my make up brushes and splurged on your pro eye set, then the face fusion set, the jumbo bronzer and now the mini Niji! I have loved every brush of yours that I have tried. I also really appreciate your blog posts, they are so informative, and I can’t wait to experiment more with my brushes. I’m in my late thirties and having better quality brushes makes a huge difference in how my make up turns out. Thank you again!

Georgette 1 February, 2023 - 7:31 pm

Hi, will the 2022 traditions Holiday three-piece set come back? I missed it, and of course it’s sold out on beautylish.

Sonia G. 1 February, 2023 - 8:19 pm

Hi Georgette,

So sorry you missed it! <3

Unfortunatelly it will not come back the same as it was released for this holiday but something a bit similar will be here sometime this year hopefully. Working on it right now! thank you!!

Georgette 3 February, 2023 - 1:01 am

Thank you Sonia! I I did get the 2 mini brushes that you recently launched on beautlish. I’ll be looking forward to see what’s coming up!

Sonia G. 14 February, 2023 - 11:42 pm

Amazing Georgette! Thank you so much!!! many hugs!!

Cynthia 31 March, 2023 - 5:12 am

Dear Sonia,

I relocated to Japan six years ago, and discovered the magic of fude through your blogs. Since then I have followed you and collected many of your brushes which have not only significantly improved my make up application, but my enjoyment of makeup and caused an intense love for brushes! I recently purchased the mini keyaki buffer despite already owning the original face one. I want to tell you I love it very much. I’m surprised (though not really, as I know you have precise standards) that the bristles are just as soft as my original ( considering with time it’s harder and harder to get good quality saikoho or any natural hair of exceptional quality for reasonable price), the wooden handle has a beautiful grain and colour, and it’s length is perfect for me travel-wise, and also as I’m short- sighted, it’s easier and more pleasurable to use ( handle doesn’t hit the mirror and I can buff to my heart’s content).

I still love my original face one, but this is now one of my favourites in my humble fude collection! And I’m glad I essentially have two now!!! Thank you xxxx

Sonia G. 4 April, 2023 - 3:28 pm

Hi Cynthia,
Wonderful! you have relocated to Japan, that must be truly exciting! and thank you for reading my blog!
yes absolutely, it is more and more difficult to make brushes with great quality bristles so you are definitely right to get it now 🙂
so happy with your comment, thank you so much again and I hope you are having an amazing time in Japan, enjoy every minute of it! <3

Toni 4 April, 2023 - 7:02 am

When will the Niji Prolong handle be restocked? I’ve been waiting 4 months now!! Love Sonia G brushes!

Sonia G. 4 April, 2023 - 3:34 pm

Hi Toni,
It’s in progress at the moment but it takes time I am so sorry about that. I will ask if there is any update at all on the planned shipping date!
Thank you so much, so kind of you to stop by, and I am so sorry for the very long and annoying wait…

NITA HARESH SAKHRANI 3 June, 2023 - 8:34 pm

Hi Sonia
Love all your brushes and I have over time collected quite a few. Just baffled that my Niji Pro came today but it did not have the authentication serial number sticker on the plastic that enveloped the Niji Pro. All my brushes from your brand came with the sticker. I ordered from Beautilish and they said they don’t know why there is no sticker but won’t exchange me a new one with the serial number sticker on it. Is there a problem with the brush if it does not have the serial number sticker on the brush packaging? I am concerned about this. Would appreciate your input on this.

Sonia G. 3 June, 2023 - 10:39 pm

Hi Nita!
Thank you for contacting me and for purchasing the Niji Pro!
Sure I can absolutely explain, when we first launched this brush I mentioned the reason why it did not have the sticker, but since then it has been a while, I think this is the third or fourth restock.
The sticker that you see on the other brushes is from Kumano, it’s not a necessity to add it but it’s a protection for me as a brand so that other companies abroad cannot copy my brushes as easily. So whenever I can add it, I do! The sticker also helps us track which batch the brush comes from. Not all brushes come with it because I work with several manufacturers, some in Kumano and some outside Kumano.

For the Niji Pro, the production is outside Kumano, it’s made in Japan, but not in Kumano town. In Kumano they did not have the possibility to work with these curved ferrules and they did not have such soft saikoho goat bristles. So the manufacturer that makes the Niji Pro is extremely well known in the Japanese Fude world, but not entirely based in Kumano. Since the sticker is from Kumano town, that’s why it’s not on those brushes (it’s also not on the Jumbo Bronzer or the Hinoki set for example).
We are working on a solution to add an identifying number to every brush so we can trace them and protect ourselves from the companies who try to copy our brushes, but it’s long process and it’s not yet ready to be implemented but it will.
I did mention to Beautylish the reason why as well, so they know why, maybe someone new took the case and could not answer but this gives me an idea, I will write down a FAQ for them and add your question onto the FAQ.
Thank you again for contacting me, this means a lot to me and I appreciate that you took the time to reach out.

I hope you will love the Niji Pro! Please take care and if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate! <3


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