Karin Marker Review Part 2: The Re-Do

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It’s been about 9 months since I got my Karin Brushmarker Pro set as a Christmas present to myself. I wrote an initial review which you can find here. In those 9 months, I’ve had some thoughts about my Brushmarker Pros and I wanted to write a little more information for anyone wondering. This week, when I re-did my marker test for my new Bullet Journal, I realized it was time to explain my thoughts.

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A note: I wish I had put both sets of marker tests in the same order but I didn’t so you may refer to the names under each.

Do they bleed or ghost?

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Not all markers are good to use on all papers. The Karin markers are particularly wet when you write or draw with them. Because of that, if ink pools up, it’s possible that you might get a little bleeding through the page. However, the overwhelming problem they actually have is with ghosting.

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Ghosting is when you are able to see a marker’s ink through the page. I use a Leuchttrum 1917 normal notebook. The paper isn’t very thick – about 80gsm. That makes the paper more thick than a Moleskin but considerably less than other Bullet Journals or marker paper. Depending on the saturation of the color, you can absolutely see through the pages as seen above. I have the same level of ghosting with black fine liners and some colors of Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pens. However, I do find that the majority of Karin markers have the color saturation to ghost.

Storage

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Karin recommends that you store your markers top up. This is a little unusual – most markers and pens are better stored horizontally. So just keep that in mind. You can use their incredibly bulky box but I just put them in mason jars and called it a day.

The Color Changes

I stored my markers top up but I do also store them in a relatively light filled location in my apartment in Southern Spain. I haven’t noticed that many problems with this in general with my stationery but these Brushmarker Pros have had a bit of an issue in certain colors. The only thing I can blame would be sunlight or heat but I do think it informs how I feel about the markers overall. While the saturation hasn’t been affected, the colors have been.

When you compare my original marker test to the new one – you can see some distinct differences in color. Some colors have a slight difference when compared. Olive Black has a distinctly greener now. Gold is much less orange and much more of a truer yellow in the new book. Blush is much more of a yellow now compared to a more skin-toned very pale peach before. Almond is also more yellow now. Royal blue seems more saturated in my new journal. Egyptian blue is slightly less purple. Cinnamon is much greener now than initially. There are two colors that are absolutely different.

Rosewood was one of my absolute favorite colors. Something has gone off in the time I’ve had it and instead of being a really unique pink toned brown – it’s now a straight up ugly puke green color. This casualty is the one that I’m most upset about.

The other one that has changed considerably is Warm Grey 1. To be honest – I didn’t love it before but now it’s almost the same color as Almond in my new journal.

Use

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This is something that has surprised me. I very rarely actually reach for my Brushmarker Pros. I would say I maybe grab one for a spread every other month. I’m not sure that I would go so far to say that I don’t like them. I’ve used them in a number of birthday cards and other projects outside of my bullet journal. In terms of the use I was expecting to get though, I just haven’t.

They are a gorgeous product. Some of the colors are extremely unique in my collection like pale violet, turquoise, cool aqua and rosewood (RIP). Some of the colors just aren’t that beautiful to me like ogre, curry, warm grey 1 and sulphur yellow. Do I reach for these markers over my other options? Absolutely not.  If you are someone who apparently takes better care of your markers than me – I would love to know if yours have shifted in color. But I’m just a little wary of going so far as to recommend them for someone who uses markers more casually.


I would love to hear from people who use and love their Karin markers. I just haven’t found that they’ve been something I love using or reach for regularly. Please let me know below what your experience has been!

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