Ink Review: Tono & Lims Kaleidoscope Maboroshi

While hanging out on Mike’s Friday Live Chats, I’ve been tempted to try Shigure Inks. Just before Christmas I decided to place an order and I received Tono & Lims Kaleidoscope Maboroshi (30mL for $22). Unfortunately it is a limited edition that is now sold out, but I was intrigued by a beautiful red shimmer ink from a new to me ink company.

Tono & Lims is a Japanese company and the ink line is produced in collaboration with a South Korean ink producer, Lim’s Lab. Maboroshi is a limited edition offering, described as red with a hint of shimmer.

Maboroshi literally translates to “phantom,” but I also saw it translated as a “trick of light.” Sort of an apt description for a shimmer ink right? So let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

The ink is slightly less saturated than I was expecting. It is a pinkish red, redder in darker applications and sort of a light watermelon red/pink in lighter applications. I can see the shimmer very slightly on the Col-o-Dex card but the only place it really shows up is in those ink splotches that I love. As far as I can see, it doesn’t show up much at all in my writing samples, but I am using a fairly thin nib to do those. I did shake the bottle before I started, but there was “dust” on the bottom of the bottle so I would imagine it does settle slightly.

In terms of color comparison, it reminded me instantly of Pen BBS #220, Watermelon Red. It seems closest in tone to Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji, although it feels a touch lighter and more pink. Aside from the pink vs. orange tone, it’s very similar in saturation and shimmer to Pen BBS #140, Bloom, which also has a bit of iridescent sparkle in it.

This particular ink feels like a bit of a dryer ink. I suspect I won’t use it as much as I had hoped if only because it’s a bit lighter than I expected in thinner nibs. However, it’s a gorgeous color if it’s what you’re looking for!


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