From The Straits Times    |

Photo: Etude House 

ICYMI (in case you missed it), everyone’s all about ‘MLBB’ (my lips but better) these days. If you have no idea what that means, let us give you a crash course real quickly – basically, we’re swapping out our vivid red and orange tints for more subtle, natural colours like pinks and nudes.

Look, we love us a bright, bold lip but on the days we want to go a little more low-key, most lip tints don’t cut it as they tend to only be available in brighter hues.

Plus, if you’ve as into the no-makeup makeup look as we are, then you’ll know that the pain of trying to find a non-lipstick and non-lip gloss formula is very real. So we’ve rounded up the best 8 subtle-but-buildable tints that’ll take you from day to night in just a couple of swipes.


Hera Sensual Tint, $52.70, available at Takashimaya

This lightweight tint features a unique, glide-on texture for a super smooth application that leaves just the subtlest of hint of gloss. The oil and water soluble formula is packed with antioxidants to ensure highly pigmented and long-lasting colour while keeping your lips hydrated. Stick to 1 swipe for a more natural look, and simply build on the colour as the clock ticks closer to happy hour for a more dramatic look.

Promising review: “It’s one of the pricier tints I’ve purchased, but I’m going to keep buying all the other shades! The formula works beautifully for me and doesn’t smudge or wear off even after lunch and tea break. I’m fair-skinned and Ily Tango looks very natural on me.”


Laneige Stained Glass Stick, $34, available at all Laneige counters

Formulated to replicate the effects of light shining through a stained glass window, this latest drop from the K-beauty house features a shimmering pigmented glow upon a single application. The formula contains light-reflecting particles to help you achieve that “just licked my lips” look, and highly moisturising ingredients to keep lips soft for hours. Tip: customise how cool or warm you want your look to be by layering their Blue Topaz or Rose Quartz Glasstick over other colours.

Promising review: “I have so much fun experimenting with the colours, and I was pleasantly surprised by how long lasting the colours are. I’m a big fan of Korean lip tints but some formulas can be very drying and I’m so happy Laneige has released this product!”


Mamonde Highlight Lip Tint Velvet, $18, available at Tangs and

This highly pigmented tint lasts for hours, and keeps your lips majorly moisturised thanks to a formula that features a complex of flower oils like rose hip and lavender. We like how the tint applies as like other wet formula, but dries to a perfect matte finish. Bonus: the unique applicator shape also allows you to easily achieve the gradient lip look.

Promising review: “Gorgeous colour! It stains well and is smooth and kind of thick. The colour is very rich so use sparingly. I love the unique applicator (wide style with a dip in it that sits on your lip perfectly). Will definitely buy more colours in this brand.”


3CE x Maison Kitsune Velvet Lip Tint, $23, available at

Honestly, we’d buy this tint just for that adorable packaging alone, but this tint offers so much more. The soft-texture formula glides on like breeze and dries to a velvet finish, delivering a highly pigmented colour onto your lips that lasts for hours. The formula also has a primer-like consistency that fills in your lips’ creases, allowing for an impeccable finish. Tip: this tint is very pigmented, so stick with shades like Twin Rose (darker skin) and Strawberry Delight (fairer skin) to achieve your #mlbb look.

Promising review: “So natural looking! I’m more tanned so I opted for Twin Rose and some of my friends thought I was just wearing tinted balm. I really enjoy the sensation of applying this tint as it glides on so easily and evenly. HG!”


Innisfree Eco Camellia Tint, $10, available at Innisfree stores

The most pocket-friendly tint on this list yet, we love this tint for everyday use because a little goes a really long way. The colour is extremely pigmented and thanks to a blend of flower extracts, keeps your lips hydrated and perfectly kissable throughout the day.

Promising review: “Tried the eco camellia tint. Love the watery and smooth texture. Application is very easy. Have a very mild scent which is good. Color is natural with a mild pinkish red tone on my fair skin tone. It does not stain the cups when drinking.”


Etude House Active Proof Shield Wear Colour Tint, $12.90, available at Etude House stores

This tint comes in an adorable, pocket-sized bottle that makes it our favourite tint to tote along on vacations. The non-sticky formula is fortified with Etude House’s unique Shield Technology formula that actually repels water, making it perfect for beach getaways and intense gym sessions (or your 5 cups of morning coffee). The colours are super pigmented too, so you’d only need a single swipe for a more natural look.

Promising review: “I’m genuinely shook by how waterproof this is. I bought this specially for a beach vacation and I literally only applied it once in the morning and it lasted all the way to dinner. FYI, I went swimming, ate 2 cones of ice cream and drank a massive coconut juice with it on and had no fades or colour transfer.”


Clio Virgin Kiss Tension Oil Tint, $22, available at Watsons


This oil-infused formula delivers intense colour and moisture that lasts all day thanks to the conditioning oils that “cling” onto your lips. Made with a blend of 7 different flower oil extracts, the colours are so pigmented that you need just the lightest of swipes to achieve a natural, no-makeup makeup look.

Promising review: “Very moisturising! Not bad for a drugstore purchase and is definitely comparable with its more expensive, luxury counterparts. I like the oil base as I think it helps the colour stay longer and doesn’t transfer as easily.”


Laniege Two Tone Lip Bar, $34, available at Laneige counters

The most unique lip tint on this list features a special ‘V’ cut design that allows you to achieve the gradient lip effect with literally no effort. Part balm and part lip tint, this highly moisturising formula features Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask Moisture Wrap technology, which helps to protect your lips from moisture loss that occurs from environmental aggressors like pollution and air conditioning. Fun fact: the colours actually change depending on your lip’s pH and temperature, so any colour you choose is not only truly natural, but 100% your own.