Subtle Lips (MLBB) for 12 Seasons

“I really don’t wear lipstick.”

This is the response I almost invariably get from women coming in for a draping. It’s not necessarily that they don’t like lipstick. It’s just that they feel silly and clownish whenever they try to wear it. Magazine articles like to try to dumb it down for us by categorizing skin tones as “Light,” “Medium,” and “Dark,” and giving us product recommendations based on us putting ourselves into one of those categories.

These recommendations might be helpful if our skin could only be described as one of those three things. If you’ve been following along at home, the whole reason PCA works is because our skin is so much MORE than light, medium, or dark. When we find your season, we find the undertones and overtones that make up your unique coloring, and find the colors that work specifically for you.

However, even when you find your season, it can still be intimidating to wear lipstick if you’re not used to it.

Fear not! For I have compiled a list of my favorite MLBB (My Lips But Better, a handy acronym from the makeup world) shades for the twelve seasons. These are sort of “baby step” lip colors that allow you to dip your toes into your season.

** Please note that any product recommendations I give are just suggestions. They are meant to be a starting point, not the final word on what you should wear. **


Light Summer – Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Tulip

A sweet pink in an ultra-moisturizing formula. I love how convenient the metal tube is to keep in your purse, too!



True Summer – Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry

Pink with berry undertones, this bestselling chubby stick is perfect for adding a hint of color.



Soft Summer – Urban Decay Vice in Sheer Rapture

A dusty rose shade that perfectly balances SSu’s subtly nuanced coloring. The sheer formula is so comfortable to wear.



Soft Autumn – Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Dusty Pink

This is exactly what it sounds like, a muted, rosy pink. I really love how long-wearing this formula is, and it comes with a convenient sharpener.



True Autumn – Clinique Tenderheart

A sheer, brownish red that is warm enough for TA without getting overly orange or dark. It’s also a classic Clinique lipstick – it’s been around for years!



Dark Autumn – MAC Brick-o-la

This is a classic DA starter lip; a mid-toned berry that looks effortless. What more could you want?



Dark Winter – NARS Hyde Park

It’s a muted cardinal red, and it’s been my personal go-to MLBB since I discovered it last year. If they discontinue it, I will cry.



True Winter – Chanel Rouge Allure Rayonnate

This is a soft violet shade that brings out the lovely tones in TW’s natural lip color.



Bright Winter – YSL Glossy Stain in #15 Rose Vinyl

A lightened hot pink that is great for every day. This is a lighter version of the pinks that make up a lot of BW options.



Bright Spring – Urban Decay Vice in Streak

This coral pink is great for adding a wash of color without giving off that “I’m totally wearing lipstick” vibe that is so common for Bright seasons.



True Spring – Lancome Shine Lover in #140 Corail Lover

Corals are kind of a Spring staple, but this warm, reddish coral is truly unique. Not nearly as orange as some other TSp options, this has quickly become a favorite of mine.



Light Spring – Dior Addict in #750 Rock and Roll

This light, pinkish coral harmonizes beautifully with the rest of LSp’s fresh palette. Jennifer Lawrence is the face of this line, which makes me like it even more.




Now go forth and color those lovely lips!

8 thoughts on “Subtle Lips (MLBB) for 12 Seasons

  1. Thanks for this post! I’m a TA living in Sweden, and was sad to discover that the Clinique lipstick you recommend isn’t sold here. There are other Clinique lipsticks though. Do you have other recommendations for subtle TA lipsticks? We have Bobbi Brown, NARS, Nyx, Too faced, Estée Lauder, Dior and YSL, among others.


    1. Hey Sofia!

      I’m currently working on a NYX post, so hopefully I can get that line swatched and categorized as soon as possible. In the meantime, why don’t you try Clinique Whole Lotta Honey, Bite Praline, or NARS Het Loo?


      1. Thanks, Alane! I’ll try those! Today I bought Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Shine lipstick in Baby Cashmere. It’s close to 5.4 on the TA fan. I like it. Looking forward to your next post!


  2. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! I’m a fair Bright Spring but I really don’t like most of the lipstick suggestions for it that I’ve seen. I’ve always loved nude/natural lips, and this is exactly what I was looking for!!!
    Keep posting!
    (Btw, is there any way to get an email update when you post a new article?)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s