That first shade must have been the spark that set off my eternal love for MLBB colors as I own a ton of them now. MLBB, for those of you who are uninitiated, stands for My Lips, But Better and is a term used to denote lipstick colors that are close to your natural shade of lips, but which are pigmented enough to subtly enhance them. Since the no-makeup makeup look is quite popular these days, these types of colors are really coming back in style.
This winter, while most people don their plums and reds, I've been dipping into my MLBB collection on the daily. Not sure why, since I usually reserve these for spring, but there's just something so fresh and pretty about a clean face with subtle pink lips on a crisp winter day. It's a look that's very much inspired by my love of Asian makeup and the youthful look that is so popular there.
Here are my favourite MLBB picks from my current rotation box:
|Top to bottom: Vasanti tinted lip balm in Tahiti | Annabelle Stay Sharp Self-Sharpening lip liner in Java | Annabelle Twist Up lipstick crayon in Breeze, Boots No. 7 High Shine lip crayon in Delicate Pink|
1. Vasanti Tinted Lip Balm in Tahiti ($15) - for those just starting out in makeup or who are "low maintenance" types, then this is the color for you. Tinted lip balms are rarely my thing as I prefer my balms to be clear bases, but this one is actually useful for giving a barely there flush of color for when you want to say, wear lip balm to the gym or are going jogging. Hey, you never know who you might run into! See this product in action..
2. Annabelle Stay Sharp Self-Sharpening Waterpoof Lip Liner in Java ($9.95) - the trend lately seems to be for products to contain all their selling points in the name and a good example is with this lip liner from Canadian brand, Annabelle. Like the name says, this liner is self-sharpening with a unique lid that sharpens this retractable pencil each time you twist the cap on and off. This magical lid even collects the shavings somewhere and deposits it into, I suspect, a teeny tiny black hole, as the shavings are nowhere to be seen! If you're looking for a simple way to define your lips and add color, without ever having to worry about touch-ups, then this is your product. This lip liner lasts all day and doesn't budge an inch. Java is a dusty rose color that seems quite dark compared to the others here, but looks very natural on my skin tone. It's also been my gateway drug into trying to achieve Kyle Jenner-esque lips! Surprisingly, this actually works. And no, I am not brave enough to wear this look outside. Check out my review on another shade from this line!
3. Annabelle Twist Up Lipstick Crayon in Breeze ($9.95) - my, how have times changed. When I first reviewed this crayon in 2013, I liked it, but didn't love it as I was more into dramatic, bright reds and oranges. Zip ahead to 2015 and I am ALL about this color! Breeze is a blue-pink shade that seems like it wouldn't work on my Asian skin, but it totally does. This color makes me feel like sugar, spice and everything nice. The Twist Up formula is awesome as it's long-wearing, creamy, imparts shine to the lips, and is very pigmented. My only caution is that you want to apply this one generously, but not go overboard. I made the mistake one time of applying Breeze in a poorly lit room and the blue really accentuates with heavier application, leaving me looking like a very scary Barbie doll!
4. Boots No. 7 High Shine Lip Crayon in Delicate Pink ($17) - I picked up this lip crayon while in the UK earlier last year for work. This crayon is the shimmeriest of all my picks, but thankfully delivers its shimmer without any grittiness to the texture. This crayon is probably in-between the Vasanti and the Annabelle Twist Up in terms of pigmentation and color tone. With its chubby, rounded shape, it's an easy, no-fuss shade that looks great on its own or layered over top of other, deeper colors to give it more dimension.
|Left to right: Vasanti tinted lip balm in Tahiti | Annabelle Stay Sharp Self-Sharpening lip liner in Java | Annabelle Twist Up lipstick crayon in Breeze | Boots No. 7 High Shine lip crayon in Delicate Pink|
|Top to bottom: Lise Watier Haute Lumiere lip gloss in Natural Shine | Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in LA Exclusive | Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Pinky Nude | Ladykin One Touch Bling Glow Lipstick in Fall Rose|
5. Lise Watier Haute Lumiere High Shine Lip Gloss in Natural Shine ($23) - the ever-popular Haute Lumiere series always appears in the LE Lise Watier collections and it's easy to see why: this lip gloss delivers non-sticky lasting shine AND decent color payoff, which isn't the case with many lip glosses out there. I love the shine and usability of lip glosses, but far too often, they lack any color at all. The shade Natural Shine is subtle enough to be worn over most any color, but can still stand on its own. Natural Shine highlights the natural rose tone of my lips and gives it a very subtle stain. Read my original review here and see it in action here to be convinced of its awesomeness as well.
6. Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in LA Exclusive ($10) - is it a lipstick or a lip gloss? Who can tell, but who cares! All that matters is that these lippies work. I was so excited to try the Colorstay Moisture Stains when I received them last year, but in reality, the reality isn't quite as cool as it looks. Sure the packaging of these lip stains is pretty slick, and the price point is spot on for the value, but as a lip product, I wouldn't rank this as my HG. LA Exclusive is another blue-pink tone that gives my lips that feminine look that makes me swoon. The color lasts similar to a gloss, about a couple hours, but it leaves behind more of a stain. What I love the most about this product is the opacity of the color as it covers up any imperfections on the lips in one fell swoop! What I dislike about this product is the slightly odd smell and the texture of the applicator, which is very bushy and leaves behind little granules of dried up product on my lips.
7. Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Pinky Nude - I'm not bothering to put the price here as *sob* Sonia Kashuk is leaving Canada along with Target. For my American readers, it's $7.59 at Target. I scooped up a couple of these during the Target clearance and I really regret not buying more! These crayons are fricking amazing, particularly the shade Pinky Nude. By now, I'm sure you can see why I love this shade. It's a beautiful natural rose that is just a hint lighter than my natural lip color. The velvety texture allows it to glide effortlessly across my lips and it never settles into lines. I've been trying really hard not to use this one everyday as now I must hoard it forever!! Or at least until I go to the states again.
8. Ladykin One Touch Bling Glow Lipstick in Fall Rose - last, but not least, is another shade I will have to hoard forever. This beautiful rose-brown shade is one I received from Memebox, which sadly no longer ships from Korea to Canada. This out of all of these shades is my HG MLBB color. It just works. While with some of the shades here, like the blue-pink ones, I have to coordinate my makeup and blush to match, with this one, I can literally wear whatever other colors I want and it will still look awesome. Long-lasting, pigmented, and with a deliciously creamy texture that I love, this is everything I've ever wanted in a lipstick. It figures that it's the one pick out of this list that I am least likely to be able to repurchase! Life is so cruel sometimes. View my original review here.
|Left to right: Lise Watier Haute Lumiere lip gloss in Natural Shine | Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in LA Exclusive | Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Pinky Nude | Ladykin One Touch Bling Glow Lipstick in Fall Rose|
I hope you enjoyed this post! Have you tried any of the above? What are your favourite MLBB shades? I'd love to hear your recommendations!