I have a couple of the metallic mixatives but don't always use them with my alkis. I used to just dab on a few dots of Krylon pen onto my felt pad with the inks and add blending solution, as someone else said on here. Works a treat if you already have Krylons.
My applicator was home-made too, from an old office stamp with a handle, velcro stuck on where the stamp used to be and I use some really nice white felt which an American stamping friend sent me which is less absorbant than ordinary felt. She sent me a big sheet of it which I'm still cutting into little oblongs for my applicator years later!
Trouble is, I've had it so long I can't remember what she said it was called exactly.
Definitely Ranger 'Archival' inks are best and are also a must for photo-real stamping but that's another subject entirely....