I use stipple brushes (they look like old fashioned mens shaving brushes will look for a photo or two) for my distress inks. I have every color but my go-to colors are old paper ( kinda green tinted) and antique linen and tea dye. so I think you tell me what kind of a mood you want to create and I will tell you the color I think would work best.
alcohol ink is a different ball game, its for slick surfaces like glass or glossy cardstock.
distress ink is dye ink that dries slowly so you can manipulate it with a brush or a sponge.