Find your Best Lip Colors
Last week I talked about the fact that, though all of your palette colors are gorgeous on you somewhere, they don't all look natural on your lips.
Now I want to describe a good way to figure out which of your palette colors are best on your lips.
In a nutshell, the colors that will look most natural on your lips are
- your MLBB,
- darker versions of your MLBB, and
- a handful of colors very close in hue and value to these
Your MLBB is your "my lip but better" lip color. You may already have a lippy in your stash that you know is your MLBB. If you don't, stand in front of a mirror with your palette and locate the peach, pink, red, or violet that is precisely as dark as your lip and the closest to it in warmth or coolness. (Your natural lip color will be less saturated than any of these palettte colors; you're basically finding the more saturated version of your natural lip.)
A lippy that's an MLBB will always look natural on you. Additionally, colors that are the same hue as your MLBB but darker will also look natural on you. Going very dark within your MLBB hue might be your evening lip, but it won't look unnatural.
In general, avoid opaque colors that are lighter than than your MLBB. This usually looks unnaatural.
The other colors that will look most natural on your lips will be the colors closest in hue to your MLBB, and as dark or darker. So if you're a Bright Spring whose MLBB is on your fuchsia strip, you may indeed be able to wear one of Bright Spring's violets as a lippy; the violets are close in hue to the fuchsias. You will find less luck with one of BSp's orange lippies, because orange is pretty far from fuchsia.
My MLBB is a neutral Soft Autumn pink that's medium-dark. I'll wear other pinks and reds that are very close to this color in hue, but I won't go all the way to a Soft Autumn brown -- even though those lippies exist.
Also, I'll go darker than my MLBB, but not lighter.
A lippie lighter in than your natural lip rarely looks natural.
Tarte Quench Lip Rescue in Nude is an MLBB for me. It's easy to throw on when I want some moisture but I don't feel like bothering too much with makeup.
CoverGirl Outlast in Wine to Five is a slightly darker version of my MLBB. It's been my staple daytime lippy for about five years; I order it in bulk on eBay or Amazon.
My sexy lippy these days is Tarte Tarteist in Bling, which is a very deep version of my MLBB. It's a Soft Autumn red lip -- which means it's striking on me, and would be rather blah on most other seasons. :-)
Though they vary quite a bit in value, all three of these lippies are similar in hue.
If I feel like it, I''ll go somewhat warmer or somewhat cooler within my palette. But I won't stray super-far from this central MLBB hue, and I won't go lighter in value, unless it's a gloss.
And this is what I recommend you do as well:
Find the hue that looks most natural on your lips, and choose lippies that stay relatively close to that hue.
For example, if your MLBB is an orange, experiment with your reds -- but don't stray all the way to a violet, unless you want to make a statement. :-)
And if your MLBB is a violet, experiment with your reds and purples -- but don't stray all the way to orange.
When you know your MLBB, use your seasonal makeup list and a computer to find the lippies from the list that will look the most natural on your face.
(Computer images aren't completely color-accurate, but you don't need them to be if you have the seasonal makeup list; if it's on the list, it's a color from your season.)
Just check the computer image to make sure the hue and value of the lippy seem right for your lips. Then buy it!
This post was originally published in March of 2017.
3/7/2017 02:47:03 am
This is very interesting (although I stick to what I said in my comment on the previous article, i.e. the best way to find out which colours look natural on you is to try them on ;))!
3/9/2017 06:33:11 am
Hi Melina and others, when I am going to choose the perfect lipstick for me I try it on. I don´t look at my lipcolor, I look at my face. I ask myself: does this color make me look pale or healthy? Does it bring out my natural beauty? The right shade will make my eyes sparkle and my skin glow. You will know when you find the perfect make-up for you. It will look as if the colors emerges from you. It will look like a natural part of you and it will reveal your special beauty.
3/10/2017 02:36:42 am
Katja, that's exactly what I do, with both makeup and clothes ;)
3/11/2017 04:50:32 am
Finding the perfect lipstick is in my opinion not only a matter of choosing the right shade for your complexion. The right hue from your seasonal palette matches of course your own coloring, but I also think it should match your style category.
3/11/2017 11:34:56 am
IMO, the style category matters much less in lipstick than in clothes, though certainly it plays some part. But you can imagine how difficult it is to find Romantic-Ethereal-Ingenue clothes in True/Dark Autumn colours!! :) (Even the collection on this site shows only very light colours for R/E/I's...)
3/16/2017 03:06:26 pm
Very helpful. It bothered me for years that so many colors in my Bright Spring palette didn't look great on my lips. There's a clear pumpkin color in bright spring (you've written about it, that term may be your own!) that looks absolutely perfect and natural on my lips. Other colors, like bright pink, can work if I've got pink in my outfit and I play up the rest of my makeup to somehow balance it. This all made me doubt my season for so long....but time has shown me that I am indeed a Bright Spring (I was professionally draped), it's just true that not every color works great on me for lipstick. I appreciate your articles for validating this!
3/23/2017 02:42:13 pm
I'm pretty sure i'm Bright Spring, but don't have a palette book. How can i find MLBB lipsticks? They look like they should work and I have a few from Pinterest searches, but often they are too light for my pigmented lips.
3/26/2017 09:09:54 pm
Well, I just tried this with my Bright Winter color fan and the winning swatch was bw 6.5. This is an almost exact match to Revlon's Cherries in the Snow, hands down my best color. I can't go much darker than that though, or it starts to look harsh. I can usually go a little more towards the fuchsia or the red side as well, but smack in the middle between pink and red appears to be my magic spot.
7/2/2017 10:45:53 pm
I have read that we should pinch our finger and our cheek as well as look at the color inside our bottom lip to find our best lip and blush colors. Rachel, do you recommend any of these techniques?
7/3/2017 12:35:01 pm
Hi, Mary Ellen!
7/3/2017 03:31:41 pm
Rachel, what you say makes perfect sense. I have tried the pinched finger thing in the store and found that the colors chosen were nothing special on me. I will try this your way.
9/12/2017 06:58:33 am
I just wanted to thank you, Rachel, for the tip about CoverGirl Outlast in Wine to Five - it's a perfect MLBB for me, too! :) Although I believe I'm DA, but I guess it would make sense as it's a similar heat level to SA, after all.
9/25/2017 05:13:54 am
Thanks a lot for explaining how to find a good lipstick! It sounds very logical and useful. Will try it today and am very curious about what I will find.
9/26/2017 06:36:25 am
I tried it out. That was one of the best beauty tips I ever got. I looked great with those lipsticks. It connected to me in stead of being on top op my face if you know what I mean. Thanks again!
11/23/2017 06:35:41 am
Thank you so much for this post! From now on, all the years of frustration trying to find MY lipstick have come to an end. Applying your tip I was able last week to buy my MLBB gloss without even trying it on (it was cheap so the risk was quite limited). It was matching the dot on my fan that I had identified following your instructions and bang! It is perfect. I wear it every time I leave the house even if I just go for some milk. Now for the first time I know in which direction I have to go, no frustration anymore! :-)
8/27/2018 01:13:34 pm
'(Your natural lip color will be less saturated than any of these palettte colors; you're basically finding the more saturated version of your natural lip.) '
3/5/2019 07:08:33 am
"This post was originally published in March of 2017."
3/5/2019 10:12:40 am
Agreed. There’s clearly a few commenters who are in serious need some info for their ID and I’ve only seen other blog readers chip in. She used to reply a lot before. I hope there’s nothing too bad going on in her personal life that is causing this...
3/5/2019 09:39:37 am
I truly think this is a great way to find the best colors for a "healthy glow." What I am struggling with it that I am EDC (50% D, 30% E), so I am wondering if I am shooting for a healthy glow look or not. Obviously, all of the fashion world info says I should be trying to look healthy, and my eye is trained that way, but I have noticed that I can wear some of my non-MLBB neutrals on my lips pretty well. These neutrals are not even my best neutral clothing colors. Is this because I can pull off a more supernatural look because of my Style ID? Is that something I should be shooting for as an EDC?
3/7/2019 02:34:28 pm
To me, it makes sense that someone with a lot of the supernatural essences would be able to pull off "unnatural"-looking makeup. If your features are otherwordly, then unusual makeup colors could theoretically look harmonious.
10/28/2020 08:20:46 am
What if my natural lip colour is towards the warmer shades of orange red but my colour is Clear Winter? My natural lip colour is way too warm to be closed to any of the Clear Winter pinks and reds. Please help!
8/9/2021 06:34:27 am
I am a bright winter, but I have been told the lighter end going towards Light Summer. I find it very difficult indeed to find lipsticks shades that look good, and that I feel comfortable with. My lips are naturally pigmented and turn lipsticks blue and bright. Plus I don't like the shape of my mouth and seek lipsticks to make it look fuller and softer. I often revert to soft summer lipsticks as my lips are mauvey. Adopting this MLBB method, my natural lip colour looks closet to 6.1A, anyone know of lipsticks in this tone or what the tone is? Plus the 6.1A and 7.1A strips tone well. Thanks
8/30/2022 01:56:45 am
Awesome blog. Will look in the future also to get more blogs like this. Looking to get the knowledge from such blogs only.
1/16/2023 09:58:51 am
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