Some big brushes are airy and feathery, others are much denser, stronger and more suitable for a quick and satisfying final buff! With this Niji Pro, I was aiming for one that could fit right in between these two categories: a brush we can use both as a bronzing and a buffer, to cover several functions effectively and hopefully, fill a blank in our collections.
If you are familiar with these two brushes below (or have similar ones), this Niji is something in between a big fluffly powder brush like the big Tom Ford 05 here and a flat dense long buffer brush.
The Shape and Density
It’s quite large and splays out beautifully but since the shape is slightly curved towards the sides, it remains easy to maneuvre. If you use it straight with moderate pressure, the surface that touches the pan, or skin, is 4cm wide, if you use it with more pressure the surface in contact goes up to 5.5cm. We can still fit this brush in palettes with pans that aren’t gigantic 🙂 The Niji has almost twice the real-estate of most powder brushes out there, we can use the surface at the top, the sides and also the two corners, but it’s very easy to use because the contact with the pans or the skin is progressive and predictable.
The brush flows really smoothly onto the skin, all the bristles work with the same strength and the product is diffused and buffed with equal intensity even on a large perimeter. This is really the most important role of this brush and why the ferrule is arched and shaped the way it is, it supports the movement of the bristles so that all bristles work with similar flexibility.
If you are familiar with the flow of the Buffer Pro (ex Face One), this Niji Pro is more airy in comparison but the way the bristles work together is quite similar, the bristles don’t “flick” from left to right randomly but move smoothly.
Use and Purpose
This Niji brush is a wonderful brush for a quick and decisive all-over application of bronzer, a couple of swipes and it’s done!
It is effective with any type of formulas and ideal for baked gelees or hybrid formulas that look absolutely beautiful on the skin but that are sometimes a bit more tricky to work with.
It’s also a dream brush to gently polish and buff the finished application, it really feels like the softest pillow, flexing and adapting so smoothly.
I use this brush with bronzers, for an all over application or for a more sculpted “3” technique, it does not disturb the application underneath, even if it’s dense, it has airiness and flexibility. Please be aware that if your bronzer is very pigmented or much darker than your skintone, this brush may be too dense to apply it, you better opt for a more airy brush, then you can use this brush for a final buff if you wish to.
For bronzers that are very pigmented or very powdery, I will apply them with a different brush since they require a more cautious approach, but I use this Niji Pro with many of my bronzers, almost all of them.
I love to use this brush with the Tom Ford Gold Dust, the one with the hybrid formula that is more hard to pick up, together they make such a perfect pair!
The Sisley Phyto-touche gel powder is another one tough to work with that pairs well with this Niji, I can even tackle this bronzer with a denser brush.
I love to use the Charlotte Tilbury Nudegasm face palette with only this Niji Pro for the 4 shades. I am not going for extreme precision with the application, I swipe the contour shade on my face with the flat surface of the Niji (temples, jawline), then I apply the bronzer shade where the sun hits, I pick up the blush shade with the center of the surface, stipple and diffuse it and I apply the highlighter with the sides of the brush. Then I buff. For me it’s enough precision. I could use other brushes for a more targetted application of course but I often don’t bother when I am in a rush and love the versatility of this big brush.
Keep in mind that depending on the precision you require, this brush may be too big, but there is still a lot you can do with it because it’s so easy to manoeuvre.
When I described this brush to my father, who is curious about my designs and very much into cars and technology, I said this brush is like a truck but with stability control, 4×4 capabilities and a roaring powerful engine. He liked that 😀
“Niji” means rainbow in Japanese, it’s inspired by its arched ferrule and shape.
The handle is the same as the PRO series adapted to the thickness of the ferrule. It made sense to integrate this new brush in the PRO series and make it permanent since it’s quite unique and I don’t have very big brushes in my line. The PRO series were designed primarily to save time and act fast -they are quite decisive with the application and the blending, this Niji falls exactly in that category.
The bristles are all natural, it’s a blend of black and white saikoho bristles. I really loved the quality of this mix and it makes the brush look and feel very luxurious. You can swipe the brush gently on a towel in between uses to spot clean it or if you wish to switch products.
- Total Length: 180 mm
- Hair Length: 37 mm
- Ferrule Width: 5 x 13 mm
- Surface of the brush: approx. 4cm x 2cm to 5.5cm x 2.5cm
- Hair Type: Black and white Saikoho Goat Hair
Maintenance and care
It’s important to wash the brush before use because the bristles will losen up and open to their final shape, then the brush will work to its full potential.
You can swipe this brush on a towel to clean it in between uses. From time to time it’s great to give it a wash with lukewarm water and brush soap, remove the excess water and let it dry flat on a gentle surface (or a towel).
If you need to use sanitizing solutions, spray them on a towel and gently swipe the brush head on it. Japanese handmade brushes last a very long time but are often more delicate in comparison to machine made brushes, artisans don’t tend to use the same strong chemical products and also natural bristles tend to break more easily vs synthetics.
The Niji Pro is scheduled to launch next Tuesday 23rd of November 2021 on Beautylish.com.
It’s a permanent brush that will be sold individually, its price is 85 USD.
Niji Pro vs Buffer Pro
The Buffer Pro is denser and more directional.
Niji Pro vs Master Face
The Master Face is denser, more precise with the placement. I wouldn’t use the Master Face with bronzer unless the bronzer has a sheer pigmentation or is difficult to pick up.
Niji Pro vs Face Pro
The Face Pro is more airy, less dense and less directional. When your bronzer is more pigmented and bold, the Face Pro is more appropriate since it will allow a more gradual application.
Niji Pro vs Sculpt One
The Niji Pro is not a fan brush, almost, it’s a regular brush with a little twist, the arched ferrule pushes the bristles on the edges of the brush outwards to let the center of the brush move more freely and smoothly, it helps stabilize the pressure that is put on the surface of the brush.
The Niji Pro is really more built like a brush, it’s very thick in comparison if you look at both brushes sideways and has a larger, almost a flat surface at the top.
You will notice also in this pic that the sides of the Niji are more rounded, with more layers, this will allow a more stable working surface extended to the whole side of the brush. You can use the Niji with its surface, at an angle, even sideways and if you push it, with the corners since they are so fluffy and rounded.
I can show you how it compares in terms of size to these 3 brushes from other brands just for you to have a little idea in case you have one of these.
Niji Pro vs Tom Ford 05
The Niji Pro has less movement in the bristles and allows a more targetted approach.
Niji Pro vs Chikuhodo T1
The Chikuhodo T1 is much more fluffier, airy and large, the application is going to result much more diffused with the T1.
Niji Pro vs Chikuhodo Z-9
The Chikuhodo Z-9 is one of my top favourites brushes, sideways it’s also quite flat which I love, the application with the Z-9 is much more feathery and lightweight.
I hope these details helped and I hope that you will love and use this Niji Pro brush as much as I do!
Stay safe and happy!
Sonia G brushes are crafted by several manufacturers, which we select based on what they do best, their production capacities and what we are trying to achieve.
We chose a few years back to add the Kumano “K” stickers to our brushes to promote Kumano’s fude-making legacy – this was by no means an obligation but a choice we made. The serial number allows us to trace the brushes back to their original order and the batch of the hair used. Based on these serial numbers we can either track any production issues – should they arise, or should we ever have to question the origin of a brush, we can confirm if it belongs to an order we placed or not.
Kumano “K” stickers are only supplied to brushes with “tips” manufactured in Kumano Town.
As we mentioned above, we are supplied by several manufacturers and each brush batch could potentially come from a different manufacturer based on the quality of their production and the quality of the hair available to them at a given time. In the case of the Niji Pro brush for example- at the moment the manufacturer is not based in Kumano Town and, because of that, is not eligible for the “K” sticker. They are however highly renowned in Japan. You’ll also notice neither the Jumbo Bronzer nor the Hinoki set come with the sticker.
We aim to produce the best quality brushes and have the honor of having many contacts and friends working in different manufacturers. To achieve our target, we will choose the best matched manufacturer for a given task in and out of Kumano.