I have a soft spot for felt or plastic tipped pens. Maybe it takes us back to a time as kids where the teacher used to break out the markers in school and let us draw. Nothing like taking a big stick of ink and smearing it in bright, vibrant colors over a page. Let's face it, felt/plastic tipped pens are just markers for crying out loud. How could it not be fun to write with them?
One of the major benefits of this type of pen is improving handwriting. It can take horrible writing and make it look decent, decent writing look good, and good writing look to where you'd think it was written by an architect or professional cartoonist.
The Paper Mate Flair (the traditional one) has long been a favorite due to the expressive writing and cheap cost as well as the fact they are extremely easy to buy. There was about a year long period that I wrote almost exclusively with them. Crazy, right? They are great for taking quick notes, writing something on a Post It, or for grading papers in the educator arena.
The Paper Mate Liquid Flair is the lesser known counter part of the traditional Flair. For a time, it was branded as the Liquid Expresso (kind of a dumb name in my opinion), which was then changed to Liquid Flair. Much more appropriate. Actually, for a time the Liquid Flair seemed all but discontinued and could only be ordered by the dozen from a few retailers that had some stock left.
In a recent visit to Staples I eyed a four pack of Liquid Flairs on the rack which came with black, blue, purple, and red. I quickly donated the purple to a co-worker whom I knew would love it (purple is not so much my color), the blue went into a recent Sherpa acquisition (review forthcoming), so the red seemed only fitting for the review.
The Liquid Flair writes very much like the regular Flair, but with a bigger barrel and a visible reservoir of liquid ink, hence the name. Now, I've never torn open a regular Flair, but I'd imagine it is the standard marker style where there is a porous "stick" inside that feeds the tip, but no liquid sloshing around.
The tips on the Flairs tend to break down over time which hinders the experience, but being cheap they are easily replaceable. Would I put the Flair above comparable pens like the Sharpie Pen, Pigma Micron, or Finito? Not really. You'd probably be best suited with the Micron, but unless you want to order online or find a specialty art store near by, the Flair may be a suitable alternative for an everyday porous pen.