The Keyaki Brush Set
Sonia G The Keyaki Brush Set Holiday Brush Set ($125.00) is a new, limited edition brush set that includes two new, exclusive face brushes and three eye brushes (that have been released previously but are undyed saikoho goat hair in this set). They feature shorter handles that are made out of Keyaki Zelkova Serrata, which is a native wood from Japan. By opting for undyed saikoho goat, the eye brushes are intended for both powder and cream-based product usage.
The shorter handles also seemed quite a bit lighter to me when holding them, so they may be good for someone who prefers shorter handles and doesn’t want extra heft. I have longer fingers and larger hands, so I found that I preferred the longer handle length of the original Sky series brushes (eye brushes). The brush heads themselves are of the quality I’d expect from the brand — they pretty much do what they’re intended to do, are well-bundled, are soft but serve their intended purposes, and seem well-made. For reference, total brush length was just under 130mm (they varied by a few mm based on brush head).
If you’re interested in the brushes from a craftsmanship/artisan level, you’ll want to read the brand’s post detailing the process and concept of the set. Part of the appeal is the artisan nature of the handles, so it may be of interest.
I have not experienced any issues with the Sonia G. brushes I’ve had thus far, and I’ve switched over to heavily using the brand’s brushes over many of the other brushes I have or doubled (or quadruped) up on favorites. I have not experienced any noticeable wear (e.g. ferrule loosening, bristles getting splayed out of shape, or difference in softness/denseness).
The brush set launches today at 10AM PT, and as it is limited edition, I wanted to provide some photos and preliminary thoughts, but please keep in mind that I’ve only had the brushes for a few days, not weeks or years.
LELimited Edition. $125.00.
Classic Face (Keyaki)
Sonia G Classic Face (Keyaki) ($125.00) is a small-to-medium-sized powder brush that looks more like a traditional blush brush but with a little more roundness and a more tapered edge. It is made out of dyed and undyed saikoho goat hair. The brush felt incredibly smooth, almost silky, and soft regardless of direction or motion I used it with.
It wasn’t floppy but had a balanced amount of flexibility, which enabled it to pat and tap on product while also spreading and diffusing the edges of product. It worked well for applying products like highlighters, blushes, and bronzers. I think the shape is ideal for someone who likes moderate precision and prefers to sweep or gently pat (and then sweep) products on.
Mini Base (Keyaki)
Sonia G Mini Base (Keyaki) ($125.00) is a small, buffer-shaped brush with a subtle, domed edge with a fair amount of density and light spring. It is made out of white sokoho goat and synthetic fibers (Nylon and PBT), as it was designed to work with creams, liquids, and powders. The bristles were smooth and soft when in use, and they moved fluidly across the skin without losing any bristles.
It works well for smoothing and buffing products on the skin, whether that’s for foundation, blush, or liquid highlighter. It is a very small brush head–relative to most face brushes–so for those who want a very quick application over a larger area, like for foundation, it may feel too small. I found I reached for it more for buffing out the edges of blush application and to soften the edges of under eye concealer the most.
Mini Booster (Keyaki)
Sonia G Mini Booster (Keyaki) ($125.00) is a smaller, denser crease brush with a tapered edge. It seemed slightly firmer/less flexible compared to the dyed version in the Sky series, but they both worked well in terms of placing and diffusing color. I’d argue that the undyed saikoho bristles are slightly more precise and may pick up product a bit more heavily but wasn’t as diffusing as the dyed version (by a few hairs, ha, ha).
You can read my original review of the Mini Booster.
Flat Definer (Keyaki)
Sonia G Flat Definer (Keyaki) ($125.00) is a small, flat eye brush that works well for pressing and patting eyeshadow into place with greater precision, particularly for those with smaller features or who need a smaller brush for more detailed work. The version included in this set features undyed saikoho hair, so it seemed slightly more tightly bundled together (seemed a bit narrower than my dyed version) and seemed to retain more of its original shape after washing. I’ve found that this brush works well for placing product, but I find a pencil brush is more suitable to smudging out eyeshadow or eyeliner.
You can read my original review of the Flat Definer.
Jumbo Blender (Keyaki)
Sonia G Jumbo Blender (Keyaki) ($125.00) is a large, moderately-dense eye brush with a more tapered and rounded edge that is designed to blend out products. The brand also noted it could be used as a “crease brush” if used sideways. It’s a particularly useful brush for all-over blending and finishing or to apply more of a one-and-done shade all over the eye area. It was smooth, fluid, and comfortable to use in any direction or motion. Thus far, the undyed version seemed to fluff up less after a few washes compared to the dyed version, though it didn’t really make an impact in the application.
You can read my original review of the Jumbo Blender.