My Favorite Budget MLBB Shades

MLBB open Back when I was younger I never thought I’d find an MLBB for me. All of the rave reviewed MLBB lip products out there looked terrible on me. It took longer to realize than I’d like to admit that I was basing my choices on things that looked good on others. Other people who didn’t have the same coloring or tastes. I was taking their advice because they wrote for Lucky or had a super successful blog. Once I accepted I had darker lips than most pale women and that I had a red-violet undertone instead of pink or peach like most people I was finally able to find things that truly looked like my lips but better! These are my best budget picks from my collection!

MLBB swatch

BB Rose on the left and Revlon Sugar Plum on the right in full sun

1. Burt’s Bees Rose Tinted Lip Balm is a fun product because it’s pretty hydrating and doesn’t cost much to try. This actually doesn’t add much color for me but certainly will for many of you. What it does for me is make my lip color ever so slightly warmer. It’s barely perceptible but it wakes up my face and makes my lips look smooth and fresh. I can’t recommend this stealth tint enough. I’m going to pick up some other colors to see how well they work too!

2. Lipstick Queen Medieval┬áis something I’ve already talked about in this post here. With one coat it’s a slightly more pigmented version of the Burt’s Bees but with a lot more gloss!

3. Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum is the actual color of my lips. It’s about one shade lighter but the same color so this is what I wear instead of nude lips. I also use this when my natural lip tone is washed out by illness or lack of blood flow to the face. What makes it an MLBB is that it’s useful for making sure to cover the odd area on my bottom lip that’s uncolored like a reverse freckle. It’s still lip skin but lacks the pigment. It smooths out dryness and flakes and makes my lips look like their best selves while being pretty undetectable even to those who know what my face looks like bare! Plus, being so close to my lip color means it look good when it fades and if the application is a smidgen uneven, no one will really notice!

Revlon SP

Revlon Sugar Plum in combination lighting

Since MLBB’s are so personal to everyone we’d love to hear what your best shades are. They can be budget or high end! Just let us know in the comments below!


  1. 1


    Red-violet undertone? See, I learn something new from you every time! :) Now I understand your frustration (and difficulties) of not being able to find the right shade for your skin tone! Revlon Sugar Plum looks like a very lovely MLBB shade on you! :)

  2. 2

    Erin says

    Thanks, Jaa! Being pale has it’s own beauty but it does make selecting cosmetics for the face tricky!

  3. 3


    Truth! As much as I love coral in general, it is a shade best for other people. I can’t manage it at all. I may feel unadventurous sticking to mostly berry shades, but they flatter me the best.

    • 4

      Erin says

      I love coral, it’s just doesn’t love me back 99% of the time. I also feel very unadventurous. Unfortunately, most companies don’t offer a lot of variations on the “cool to neutral” color spectrum.

  4. 5


    While I am not always keen on the fact that I can look genuinely like a corpse without lipstick, one of the advantages of no-pigment lips is that you can try pretty much any lipstick except ‘concealer lip’ nudes and white based pinks. It also makes sheer coloured glosses much more worthwhile. I’m completely useless when it comes to understanding the plight of pigmented-lipped people, but I’m *so* glad you found your MLBB shades! Super envious of the lipstick queen Medieval – I’m dying to try some of Poppy’s stuff! :-)

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