Aqua-Flo waterbrush fell apart in my hands

My Aqua-Flo water brushes that fell apart and leaked all over the place.

So I was at a local makeup/special fx store, in the section where they kept the alcohol activated paints and I spied these Aqua-Flo waterbrushes made by Royal & Langnickel. Waterbrushes are brushes with a hollow handle that you can fill with water.  The water is slowly released into the bristles when squeezed lightly. Allowing you to easily paint with watercolors.

I asked a store clerk if they were for alcohol activated paints like Illustrator, Temptu and Reel Colors dry palettes. It made sense to me because those palettes work the same as water colors.  The brushes were less than $3 so I thought I would give them a try.

Royal & Langnickel Aqua-Flo water brushes are CRAP-O-LA!
This is definitely an instance where you get what you pay for. I thought that even though the brushes were inexpensive, they would be of relatively decent quality because they were made by Royal & Langnickel (R&L). I have used R&L makeup brushes both personally and in my professional makeup kit. I even use their art brushes when I do special fx. I have never had any trouble with the R&L brushes. I have been a big fan of their brand. Even their cheap makeup brushes held up reasonably well for their price.

I didn’t think the water brushes would last forever, but I didn’t think they would fall apart on the first use either. Since I have never spoken an ill word against R&L, it pains me to have to say that these waterbrushes are absolute crap-o-la.

Testing the Aqua-Flo waterbrushes
I bought the package with three brushes, small, medium and large. The first one fell apart as soon as I unscrewed it, so I set that one aside.

The 2nd one leaked so much alcohol when I was trying to paint, that it created a worthless, watery mess.

So I thought, maybe the lady from the store was wrong and it’s not meant for use with alcohol. I took the last unused waterbrush and used it with a set of dry water-color paints. I got the same results. The waterbrush leaked and I ended up with a watery mess.

Lesson learned… (sigh)
I went online and found that other people reviewing the Aqua-Flo waterbrush product had the same results I did. Which is a lesson to me: NEVER BUY IMPULSIVELY! Always research stuff before you buy it. In this economy one can’t afford throwing away hard-earned money on worthless crap.

Anatomy of a piston waterbrush

Anatomy of a piston waterbrush from

Other waterbrushes to try
So, no one liked the Aqua-Flo waterbrush, but I did see some good reviews on other brands like the Niji waterbrush and the KOI waterbrush by Sakura. I even found a Piston waterbrush pen on a website for Chinese painting. Plus, an interesting observation on waterbrushes at  I have not used these brands, but if you have, then drop me a line and let me know what you think of them.

Niji waterbrushes from

Please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think. If you have a makeup or special fx website, I would love to hear about it.

Twitter: @MakeupDrShari
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