Stabilo BOSS Pastel Highlighters Review

Hi everyone! You might have seen this lovely pack of pastel highlighters on my instagram. If you’re a bullet journal fan or just love stationery, you might have been eyeing the Zebra Mildliners and their aesthetically-pleasing colours. But, if you’re South African you’re probably also cringing at the exchange rate and R300+ cost of them through online stores even with free international shipping.



Yes, I’m reviewing highlighters on my blog. Fight me.

Cost and Availability

The Stabilo BOSS Original Pastel highlighters have been suggested on many blogs as an alternative to Zebra Mildliners and I’m happy to announce that they’re finally available in South Africa! I found them at CNA for about R140 for a pack of six. It is quite pricey at around R25 per a highlighter when you consider that the average price of a single highlighter is around R10 (based off scrolling through the Takealot stationery page).

Although I was lucky to find them in-store, they aren’t available on the CNA website yet. I also couldn’t find them at any other stores which sell Stabilo highlighters (like Takealot and Waltons) but this might be because they’re very new in SA. I hope that they’ll become more available as time goes by.

Why would you pay so much for pastel highlighters, Munira?

Good question! I’ve wanted mildliners for years but couldn’t bring myself to pay more than R300 for fancy highlighters. So when I saw fancy highlighters for less than half that price, I went for it. If you’re a stationery addict and like making your notes pretty, then you know why they’re useful. They’re also a lot less loud than conventional neon highlighters, but still grab your attention. They function a bit like markers too, since there is a 2 mm side to the tip. I like drawing quick, colourful diagrams with them (essential for physics) and using them as I would use conventional highlighters.

Colour choices

I am very happy with the range of colours available. You get a soft yellow, peach, baby pink, lilac, soft blue and a gentle mint colour in the pack of six. The colours look beautiful when you use them, and most of the colours do have corresponding shades of Stabilo fineliners if you’re a big fan of colour-coding. The packaging does also boast a four-hour anti-drying time if you leave the cap off, but I haven’t tested it out to be sure.


The downsides

The ink does bleed through paper if you highlight over the same area more than twice. I use them in both my ordinary notebooks and my Moleskine bullet journal and the bleed through is about the same. But, if you just highlight an area once or twice, there isn’t any real bleed through or ghosting. Heavier paper might hold multiple layers of ink better.

They’re also totally incompatible with gel pens. I use a gel pen for most of my note-taking so it can be quite frustrating. No matter how long you wait for the gel to dry (I tried it on day-old notes), the gel ink smudges with the highlighter and it is VERY noticeable because of how light the colours are. They don’t smudge as much with other types of pens, which is good, but the smudging is a huge pet peeve for me. If you like gel pens, these highlighters are not that great.


(sorry for the low-quality image)

The packaging (a very simple plastic case) is very flimsy and has already broken after two weeks, which is annoying. I do like having my highlighters with me at campus, so I’ll need to find some other case to carry them.

Final thoughts

If you’re a stationery fan or invested in making your notes/bullet journal/planner aesthetically pleasing, or if you’d like a type of highlighter that isn’t too loud and you can’t get your hands on Zebra mildliners – then the Stabilo BOSS Pastel highlighters are worth it. If you don’t really care about those things, then save your money and buy other, cheaper highlighters because there’s no need to spend an extra R15. Since I fit into the first category, I’m really happy with the highlighters despite its flaws and I’m really happy that I didn’t have to pay more than R300 for pastel highlighters.




I hope you liked this review. Are you planning on buying the Stabilo BOSS Pastel highlighters? If you’d like to see more posts like this, please let me know in the comments and subscribe to my blog in the sidebar. I’ll definitely be posting a lot about these highlighters and other stationery on my instagram if you’re interested!

xx Munira

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