I encountered my first my-lips-but-better lipstick in high school, right before graduation. I was adamant in my refusal to wear any makeup. But my mom was as stubborn as me. I remember her practically begging me to put some color to my face because according to her, I looked kawawa. Just before we left, she sneaked in a Clinique lipstick in my room in the hopes that I’d swipe it on at the last minute. And I did.

And I kind of liked it.

It wasn’t the perfect MLBB color, but it was still somewhat mind blowing for me that such lipstick exists. Back then, I thought that lipsticks only came in various shades and intensities of RED and nothing else.

I don’t know if the MLBB label already existed at that time. For me, it was foundation for the lips, aka my lips but even-toned.

I should’ve known that moms actually do know best, just look at how dead-looking I could look like.

Fast forward to today, 14 years later, I still haven’t found the perfect MLBB color that I would find myself reaching for a lot.

It’s been hard to find a lipstick that is “the shade of my lips only slightly darker, brighter, or intensified.”  How could that be possible if I don’t actually know the shade of my lips? — them looking like a starving vampire’s lips.

I decided that my definition of an MLBB color is: a shade that could pass off as a natural lip color, and would flatter my skin tone  — my lips but different.

Mid-last year, I thought I already found it with Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Bangkok.

Sonia Kashuk Nars Pure Matte 3

But it looked too ashy and frosty on me. It was a step up from my actual lip color, but it was still too pale and it made my lips look drier — this is not a problem I usually encounter. From that experience, I promised that I will never buy an expensive lipstick…

…that I haven’t seen on my lips yet. Yeah, right.

My next attempt was Sonia Kashuk’s Velvetty Matte Lip Crayon. This lipstick has the awesome-est texture and finish. It’s matte but it glides on swiftly. Some say that these pencils feel and look the same as the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils (but the former only have nudes & mlbbs).

Same as Nars, I bought the wrong shade for Sonia Kashuk. I imagine that the shade I have, Mulberry Nude, would be the perfect nudey/ mlbb shade for NC 40/ 42 skin tones. I should’ve bought Berry Nude or Pinky Nude instead.

Sonia Kashuk Nars Pure Matte 4

The search goes on.

But before I can buy another tube, I still have to finish and or give away 5 of the 10 lipsticks I currently have.

Currently, I’ve been punishing* myself by layering the two — and the mix is nothing short of PERFECT.

(*Maybe this would make me more critical in my MLBD shopping decision/s in the fuure).

Sonia Kashuk Nars Pure Matte 5

Although I can’t say that I already found the perfect MLBD lipstick, at least I already found the color.

Sonia Kashuk Nars Pure Matte 2 That super faint pink flush on my cheeks is Bangkok used as a cream blush.

If you have MLBD recommendations, list them below.

Note: I prefer mattes and I don’t like peach lip colors.
Skin tone: MAC NC 35-37, Bobbi Brown 4-Natural to 4.5-Warm Tan.


Hi, I’m Rae and I am a scatterbrain. I am in my 30s and I write in this blog from the Philippines. I spend a tiny portion of my time de-stressing with makeup and skin care. Email: scatterbraintures@gmail.com | Instagram: @scatterbraintures


  1. Hey Skintone Twin (hehehe), my MLBB is MAC Cosmo. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should prolly swatch it. It’s so pretty. I have Mehr too but it’s too mauve-y for me.

    • What finish is cosmo? Amplified? I usually just buy matte lipsticks but I’m more tolerant of shine if it’s not a bold color and kung opaque :)

      • Yup amplified sya and very opaque :) I had my fair share of matte MACs. They’re very drying but super nice ng colours.

        • Nice. I only have one amplified lipstick and it’s the only non-matte I have currently. Btw, I hope you can do the lipstick tag. If I found your blog before I wrote that, I would’ve tagged you.

          • Sorry, kinda noob with using WordPress. What’s the lipstick tag? :S

          • Oh, it’s a post I wrote several days ago: https://scatterbraintures.com/2014/02/12/the-lipstick-tag/ where you have to answer several questions about lipsticks :D

      • Whoa, Antique Pink is beautiful!

        I’m eyeing NARS Sex Machine too. But I feel like I’m more likely to purchase Never Say Never :P

  2. sis are your eyes green? :) i went through a lot of lipsticks too before i found my perfect MLBB shade, found the shade but not the lipstick. im currently using mac brave its a beautiful pinkish nude, its really really pretty but it doesnt last very long on the lips

    • Haha, no, they’re dark brown. I’m wearing prescription contacts.

      I agree MAC Brave is a beautiful shade. I wish there’s a matte version.

    • I googled it and it looks like a good color. If only I were into lustre finishes.

  3. Rae,

    Thanks for the message!

    Like you, I used to think lipsticks only come in almost red, red and very red. It wasn’t till recently that I stormed beauty counters to find the best shade I can wear everyday. I’m not very useful– i have no clue what to recommend specifically but I’ve swatched matte lipsticks I may have liked from Shiseido (glowing matte), VMV (velvet matte) and Shu Uemura (supreme matte).

  4. Have you tried Revlon Matte Balm? I haven’t, but been eyeing on the “Sultry” shade and I think it fits your “my lips but different” :)

    • It looks really nice, but it seems a bit dark, will google for more swatches. Thanks Kim!

  5. Ohh too bad I can’t think of any. My MLBB ones are just nude colors like Maybelline Warm me up and WnW Bare it all. I’m also into pinks and corals. I’m thinking of WnW Ravin’ Raisin but I think it’s a dark plum but I like it.

    • I used to have warm me up, you’re right, it’s more on the nude side.

  6. Have you tried NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams? I think Milan looks like an MLBD shade you’re looking for that would look good on you. :)

    Personally I go for warmer toned lip colors. Currently my lip staple is Human ♥ Nature’s tinted lip balm in Island Kiss. I just top it with whatever lipstick strikes my fancy at the moment. :)

    • What does warm mean? orangey red?

      Milan caught my eye too, kaso not-so stellar yung reviews.

  7. Just discovered your blog! Followed you on bloglovin’. :)
    I would recommend my current MLBB Nyx Matte Whipped Cream, it’s not too drying and more of a plummy~brown color. I have swatches in my blog if you’re interested. One more plus is, its so affordable! :)

    • Thanks! Coincidence, I just subscribed to your RSS feeds yesterday, my college friend mentioned you in my instagram — a blogger with an online store daw :)

      Will definitely check that out, when I googled “muted plum” as Tellie suggested, Nyx Whipped Cream was one of the first ones to pop up.

  8. I think dull plums would look most natural on you! I’d also like to see you in a brick-ish color like Burberry Lip Cover in Hibiscus.

    • Oh my goodness, you know exactly how to describe the color I’ve been looking for. I like dirty plums, but those I found were too dark on me for mlbb standards. I found a good brickish one from ever bilena but the bullet always breaks and it gets splotchy on me.

  9. Aww too bad I can’t recommend anything cos i’m more into peach/coral shades. But goodluck on finding that perfect MLBB shade! :)

  10. When I was younger, I thought lipstick just comes in different shades of red too. Haha, fail. Anyway, you and me both. I look so namumutla without any lipstick on. Para akong hihimatayin.

    I would suggest MAC Please Me and same with Carina, MAC Mehr. You can also try MAC Taupe. It works for me. I’m NC37-40 :)

    • Me too. When I don’t wear lipstick, people ask if I’m sick. Haha, will definitely try out taupe. I used to have mehr but I don’t reach for it often so I gave it away.

    • I used to have Mehr, it’s one of the lipsticks I gave away though. In the tube it looks like the perfect muted bluish pink, but it registers peach on me. Weird.

      I shouldve gotten Montego Bay or Tonkin. Next time. Maybe.

  11. I’ll keep an eye out for this color and let you know if I find anything! Bangkok looks different in the tube and when swatched! Dapat talaga sa lips itry lalo pag expensive lippies. Sayang if you end up not liking it. (I have to keep this in mind next shopping trip!)

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: