Twinkling H20s and other shimmering products

Reported by Susan Reidy

Over the last several months, I’ve managed to amass a small collection of products that add shimmer and shine to my craft projects. My most recent acquisition was a few sets of Twinkling H20s by LumniArte.
I wanted to see how these tiny little pots of watercolor shimmery goodness compared to my other go-to bling products, specifically Shimmerz and Champagne Shimmer Paint sold by Stampin Up!
First off, the obvious difference — both Shimmerz and the Shimmer Paint are liquid inks. Twinkling H20s are dry cakes, like traditional watercolors, but include shimmery mica flakes. You add water — a little or a lot — to get the color flowing. You can add water to the pot, wait about 10 minutes and turn it into a paint (it will dry and return to its original cake form).

From left to right: Champagne Shimmer Paint, Twinkling H20, Shimmerz
I like to use sponge daubers and Fantastix to add any of the three shimmering products. Regular paint brushes or aqua painters also work well.

All three shimmering products can be used in a range of applications — as a color wash, to color in portions of a stamped image, applied directly on a stamp, and more.

Using a Fantastix, I made a few swipes with each on a white and a brown piece of Bazzill cardstock.

The Twinkling H20s did the best on the dark cardstock; the colors were the truest and most saturated. Shimmerz had a hard time on the dark cardstock, but I did like the results on the white cardstock. The Shimmer Paint did ok on the dark cardstock, but I still think the color was the best from the Twinkling H20s.

I did notice some of the “novelty” colors of Twinkling H20s don’t work as well on dark cardstock. For example, I tried Scarab Beetle on the brown cardstock; it looked turquoise. Then I tried it on the white cardstock; it looked brown, but when you shifted it, it had a turquoise sheen. Cool.

As for sparkle, the Twinkling H20s and Shimmer Paint did the best. Shimmerz was not as sparkly as I had hoped, and it got a little goopy, leaving large flakes of sparkle vs. an overall sheen.

I think this had to do with poor mixing by me, which is one reason I really like the Twinkling H20s. Because they’re dry to start out with, you don’t have to worry about mixing/shaking to ensure even distribution of the sparkling element.

After drying overnight, I found that all three were pretty permanent. Rubbing my finger over the shimmer only left me with a flew flecks of sparkle. There was some warping of my paper, but it quickly flattened out after I put it under some heavy books.

For my first project, I decided to try making a little swatch of background paper using Twinkling H20s. I like how I can layer the color to make it darker by just going over the same spot a few times. The colors also layered very nicely.

Another benefit of the dry nature of Twinkling H20s is you can control the color saturation by how much water you add. You can also tone down any colors by mixing them with the Oyster Twinkling H20.

Next, I added some water to my pot of Heavenly White, waited a few minutes and mixed it to a more paint-like consistency.

I then used a sponge dauber to add shimmer to my banner pieces, which I had embossed with snowflake pattern. I love how it highlights the embossing, as you can see in this before and after photo.

Here are some shots of my finished banner. I love how the Twinkling H20s give it a cool, wintry feel.

For my next project, I shimmered up a heart doily, also with Heavenly White.

I added it to my Valentine’s Day card. I also used the Champagne Shimmer Paint and a mask to add a border around my stamped image. That’s another of my favorite uses for these shimmering products.

Once I got started, I couldn’t stop shimmering! I used a paint brush to add some Heavenly White to the heart the little girl is holding, her petticoat, socks and to some of the words on the card.

I’m really glad I invested in Twinkling H20s; they’re a great addition to my shimmery products. Of the three products I tried out, they were my favorite for dark cardstock. I also liked using them on stamped images because I could control the consistency and color better than with the other two products.

Twinkling H20s are available in large individual 10 gram jars, large jar kits and mini Twinkler kits (5 gram jars). Prices range from $3.75 for large individual jars to $40 for 24-color mini kits. More than 150 colors are available.

They are available online through LumniArte and other stamping retailers.

Shimmerz is available in 42 colors, and other types of shimmery products are available including sprays. Stampin Up offers three colors (Champagne Mist, Frost White, and Platinum) of Shimmer Paint in .05 ounce jars for $5.95 each.

  • All three add a nice, permanent shine and shimmer to projects.
  • Twinkling H20s, because they’re dry, don’t need to be mixed/shaken to ensure even distribution of the sparkly bits.
  • Twinkling H20s provide the best color on dark cardstock.
  • Even though the pots are small, the Twinkling H20s will last through many projects.
  • Using more or less water, you can control the amount of color from the Twinkling H20s.
  • Oyster can be used to lighten any color.


  • All three can warp your paper, depending on how much product you use and the type of paper.
  • If you want to collect all the colors, these shimmery products can get pricey.
  • You won’t know when to stop and will up shimmering all your projects (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

What to you use to glam you your projects? Leave us a comment and let us know!


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6 Responses to Twinkling H20s and other shimmering products

  1. Avatar
    Sandra January 21, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    I love my twinkling h2os, I am glad they stayed in business!
    Sandra ltb

  2. Avatar
    Elaine A January 21, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I use Twinkling H2o’s. I love to watercolor and these add a nice sparkle.

    Elaine Allen

  3. Avatar
    pezadoodle January 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    i too ADORE my twinks – they are my preferred out of the three as well! great post! and no, i never know when to stop shimmering!

  4. Avatar
    Jan Castle January 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    I’m a BIG fan of the Twinkling H2Os…I have all but 2 of their colors (bought a couple of years ago with 40% off coupons…so don’t stagger with the thought – LOL)! I have found them to be one of the best shimmer products I have tried. I also love my SMOOCH! These are the go-to ones I use!
    Everything needs a little shimmer!!!

  5. Avatar
    Angela@Tinkology January 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    I have only tried the Shimmer Paint in champagne, frost, and platinum and I ADORE them. You can also take a small spray bottle, like the travel size spray bottles at walmart for $1…drop about 12 drops of the shimmer paint into the bottle and fill it up with rubbing alcohol. (you can use water, but water will warp the paper. alcohol works SO much better). shake it up and you have shimmer mist.

  6. Avatar
    rush January 22, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    i usually read these articles and find them helpful and learn more about products. this time, i find that this article (and others at times) compare apples to oranges. this article is comparing watercolor to acrylic, and the shimmer effect is so much different because of that. the h2o’s are made to shimmer on any color of paper, and experimentation is need to find what colors look good. as far as the the su! acrylic paint goes, different inks can be added to change the base colors to create new colors. i can’t speak for the other product, but it is probably similar to su!. also, any water-based product will warp paper. my girlfriend and i made a key to all of the h2o’s that we own on black AND white paper. we refer to that key for every project. this is beneficial so that we know what colors we need to use for any given project. we still need to make a practice sheet so that we are getting what we really want. so, it all comes down to this: compare apple to aplles, and it will make more sense.