Sunday, August 18, 2013

monami essenti-soft highlighter review

First, let me start off by saying that Asian stationery companies have it right. Many different brands have released their ranges of pastel highlighters, one of which I'm featuring today - the Monami Essenti-Softs. These, among other easy-on-the-eyes highlighter pens can be purchased at I have to admit, I first stumbled upon these when searching for a one dollar item that would boost me into the free shipping bracket. So I picked out one, the purple, which still is one of my favorites out of the whole bunch. On my next JetPens order, I splurged (for me) and got the rest of the set. They really are beautiful and I think the concept of lighter highlighters is genius, half because I'm obsessed with anything pastel, and half because I like the idea of less-vibrant shades to soothe me during finals week.
Monami Essenti-Soft Highlighters, $1.05 per pen, available at
 You may be thinking, hey! These don't look very pastel to me. And you would be correct. The other brand I've tried, the Zebra Mildliners, really do have that light, dreamy color. These Monami brand on the other hand are brighter and more vibrant, while still retaining a more subtle tone than mass-marketed American highlighter pens.  As far as the colors go, I think the orange and yellow are too bright and the blue is slightly generic, whereas my three favorites are the pink, green, and purple.

I've tested them here on the notoriously tissue-thin Filofax paper (back view). They are considerably more liquidy than their Zebra counterparts. I actually prefer the liquid content of the Monamis, though not with my Filofax. In reality I don't do much highlighting there anyway - it gets a little hectic if I do. There is considerable show-through on the end of each line, where I press my pen down before picking it up. Does everyone do this, or am I crazy? 

Overall, I really enjoy the performance and color payoff these markers give. I will most definitely be using them in my textbooks this semester, in reports, and possibly even to decorate some outgoing mail. I suggest you throw one in your cart next time you're on They're only about a dollar, sold separately, so there isn't much to lose. I bet you'll find a color that makes you oh-so happy!


  1. Monami are my favorite highlighters. They are softer on the eyes compared to the Sharpie or BIC highlighters we have in the states. I use the green for everything just because I love the look of it.

    1. I love the green too. It's such a nice minty color which we both know I love. :)
      I'm really glad I tried these. I was a little discouraged with the Zebras (have since passed them off to a friend) for my college work, but these work well for that.
      Thanks for reading, love! x

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  3. So pretty! Wished they were a little more pastel though! Didn't realise Zebra made pastel highlighters! How were they?

  4. I have just picked these up here in South Korea, and I <3 them! I was worried the colour would be awfully faint, but after a few highlights, they work perfectly! :) Lovely photographs x
    Lots of love from
    A newly married South African living in South Korea


  5. Hi there! I'm new to your blog =) I found you searching for other Kikki K planner owners and stumbled across this post. I wanted to recommend these highlighters. They're crayon and bleed and inkjet safe. I'd honestly never used highlighters before because of the bleed through but these solved the problem.

    Really thorough review!