My reviews are based on my personal experience with a product or event. I am not a professional product tester nor do I get paid for any of my blog posts.

The items that I post reviews on, have either been purchased on the internet or through a local vendor. Additionally I will review items that I got on sale, as a gift or as a sample from either the manufacurer or some other source.

Note: always read the manufacturers directions on how to properly use a product and craft carefully. Additionally, I am an Amazon Associate and may earn a few cents (literally) from your clicking on my Amazon links. Since they raised the minimum payout from earnings to $10 I haven't seen a credit for a while but eventually I will get one.

Every penny counts when trying to set a budget to get supplies to use for my reviews, tutorials and hauls. However, you do not have to use my links. You can use your favorite search engine to find the best price for your budget.

My review of the Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pen Set and the Tank Koi Water Brush in Medium

I love the 24 Piece Koi Coloring Brush Pens because they are so easy to travel with and yet the brush tips of these pens can be used to create some interesting effects just by changing the manner in which you press the tip onto the surface. These can also be used with the Koi Colorless Blending Pens for special effects and drawing texture on the project.

The tips are tapered which makes it easy to change the thickness of the brush strokes just by adjusting the pressure from the nib onto the paper, as well as the angle which you apply the nib.

 The Koi Coloring Brush Pens offer a great selection of bright colors in an easy to use pen form.

My favorite accessory to use with these pens is the Tank Koi Water Color Brush with the medium tip and/or  small tips.  They are great to pick up excess ink, as well as to create some fun affects on paper.

Tank Koi Water Color Brush Tutorial 
Using the Tank Koi Water Color Brushes with the Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pens is pretty easy.   Below is a simple technique for using these pens.  You start by lettering the paper with pigment ink pens (waterproof) in a fun pattern.  Be sure to leave space on the letter for filling in with color.  Set aside to dry.

Step 1: Use your Koi Coloring Brush Pen to fill in the white open areas inside the letter.

Step 2: Using the Tank Koi Water Pen, add some water to the colored in area with the water pen.  Don't over saturate the area or it will make a mess.

Step 3:  Using the same  Tank Koi Water Pen , pick up some of the excess ink and use it to fill in areas on the paper around the letter.  

Step 4: To finish the project, just keep repeating the above steps with different colors of the brush pens.  You can use as much ink or as little as you want.  The fun is deciding which colors you like the best.

Below is a beautiful piece that one of my favorite artists, Lisa Engelbrecht,  made.  She used gold ink to draw the letters and then filled them in with some of her favorites pen colors.  I think it came out beautiful.

By the way, if you want to learn how to do some beautiful letter, the I recommend her book called "Modern Calligraphy" through which she shares her amazing talent for lettering and art.

Lisa Engelbrecht passed away a few years ago but her artwork constantly reminds me of what a wonderful and talented person she was.  I am so glad that I was able to purchase the pieces of her work that I have on my walls at home.

I really liked the ease of use of the Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pen Set and the Tank Koi Water Brush in Medium and how pigmented the inks really were.  I would see these are a really good brush pens in the mid price range of $41 for the set of 24 colors.   I would love to read your personal experience in using these pens and how well they worked for you.  Just leave a comment below and share your experience.

A Look at the 2015 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit

Sun safety is really important to me and my family and the 2015 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit offers a wide range of products to fit my needs.  The kit itself sells for $32 and for each kit sold,

Sephora donates $20 to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Having personally experience sun damaged skin and the less than fun experience of having a dermatologist remove potential melanoma cells from my

skin; I pay a lot of attention to sun safety for my family and myself.  I don't believe that a coat of sunscreen by itself is sufficient to protect my skin from the harsh California sun, so I do invest in quality products that provide additional protection to my skin.

There is an excellent selection of products in the bag and the products are mostly deluxe sized samples.

Here is a list of what came in the 2015 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit:

  1. Amorepacific - Natural Protector spf 30 (.1 oz)
  2. Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (.3 oz)
  3. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (.5 oz)
  4. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (.25 oz)
  5. Dr. Jar Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 (.17 oz)
  6. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 (.08 oz) 
  7. Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 (.5 oz)
  8. Korres Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (.34 oz)
  9. Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (.17 oz)
  10. Olehenriksen Eye Cream (.1 oz)
  11. Origins VitaZing Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Energy Boosting Moisturizer With Mangosteen (.5 oz)
  12. Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion SPF (.5 oz)
  13. Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50 (.6 oz)
  14. St. Tropez One Night  in Light-Medium (1.69 oz)
  15. Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 (.34 oz)
  16. Vita Liberata Passion Flower & Argon Dry Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (.34 oz)

I thought this was a really good selection of products for my investment of $30.  And since $20 of my investment went to the Skin Cancer Foundation, I felt really good about my purchase.  I not a fan of tiny samples (single use packets) because I can not use the product enough to form an opinion on it or not.  These deluxe samples were big enough that I was able to use them and decide which ones worked great for me and which did not.

Below are some of my favorite products that were included in my kit.  The sugar balm is just the right size to stick in my jean pocket and have it on hand.  It does have sun protection in it, so my lips get some protection as well as moisture.

The Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Daily Moisturizer with SPF 47 works really well for me and does not cause my skin to break out.  It does have a light fragrance, so if you are sensitive to fragrance make sure you check out the tester at Sephora to make sure it won't cause you any problems.

I also am a fan of the Ole Henriksen line but had not tried the "Total Truth" eye cream before.  I usually use the Ultimate Lift Eye gel because it helps diminish my under eye bags but this product is really moisturizing and great for night time use.

Now for my least favorite product:

The Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum with SPF 30, did not provide me with sun protection. I wore it for a few hours and managed to get sunburn.  It also made my skin itch.  The cream does have a noticeable fragrance which could easily have caused the reaction.  However, since I still got sunburn I will not be purchasing the Supergoop product in the future.  I had better sun protection from other products.

When you consider that I only disliked 1 out of 16 products, this really was a great deal.   Most of the Sephora stores are sold out of the kit but I have still come across some kits in the bigger Sephora locations.  They are perfectly sized for travel.  I was really happy with my purchase and enjoyed trying out some of the newer products that I was not familiar with.  It is a great deal if you can still find them in the store.

They seem to release a different one each year, so if you missed out on the 2015 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit then keep an eye for the 2016 which should be released around June 2016.