Family for a customizable character - no more ashy lips!

Building off this guide: I wanted to bring up an important part of customizable characters. It’s not enough to match the skin tones of your family members to your MC if you’re not bothering to change the mouth colour as well! I have read too many stories (featured stories included) where I create a non-white MC and her family shows up with dark skin and light lips. I immediately stop reading at this point.

Not every customizable MC of colour should be adopted by a white family, that’s lazy, and not fixing the lip problem is sloppy. So here’s how to do it.

Check out the guide above to see how multiple characters can be added to the customization template. In a nutshell, you want all of your family members to be standing offscreen so that when the reader changes a feature of the MC, the family members change that feature as well.

Instead of setting up the mouthcolor template with your family members (everyone could end up wearing the same shade of lipstick - oops!) you want to add a mouth colour command to the skin tone template. Make sure you figure out which lip colours match which skin tones (Limelight guide below) and every time the MC’s skin is changed, both their family’s skin AND mouth colours will change as well. No more ashy lips!*

The code looks like this:

  • ashy lips = when a characters skin tone is much darker than their lip colour. Characters of colour should not have blush coloured lips. Accuracy is essential to respectful representation.

Adding mouth colour to your MCs customizable skin tone template is also just a good idea in general, since it makes the whole customization process smoother for the reader (if they don’t like the lip colour they can always go change it themselves).

Another time to do this is if you are including monolids as an eye shape. If your character’s family are of similar heritage, chances are some of them might also have monolids. Keep this in mind!

A final tip - family members in real life often have different skin tones! A black family, for example, might not all be the same shade or even have the same undertones! Play around and get creative, you don’t need to use the same tone for everyone.

Limelight mouth colours and corresponding skin tones.

Unlike in ink, there are many options in limelight for matching lip colours to skin tones. I’ve gone through and matched a few of them here. If you notice any issues or have anything to add, let me know and I’ll update!

Brown Deep Rose - C09-10, G09-10, N08-09, R09-10

Brown Deep Gold - G08-10, R09, N08-10, R10

Brown Neutral - N06-07, C07, G07, R07

Brown Gold - G06-07, C07, N06-07, R07

Rose Dark Nude Matte - R09-10, G09-10, N08

Tan Deep Neutral - N04-05, G04-06

Tan Deep Gold - C03-06

Beige Light Gold Matte - R02-03, N02-03

Beige Deep Neutral - N03-05, C03, G03-04, R05

Beige Rose - N03, R02-03,

Beige Gold Matte - G00-03, N00, N03, R03

Pink Peach Medium Matte - C00, R01-03, N02, G01-02

Pink Beige Matte - N02-03, R01-03,

Fair Rose Matte - R00-03, N00-02

Fair Neutral Matte - N01-02, R00-03,

Fair Gold Matte - C00-01, R02-03, N02, G00-02

N = neutral
G = gold
C = copper
R = rose