We’ve all experienced it. You’re going out for a special event and you want to do something a little extra. You grab your foundation, concealer, eye shadow, or whatever else you have in store. You spend a good amount of time perfecting it, making sure that everything looks great. You’re done, feeling great about what you’ve done. You go outside and YIKES. You look in another mirror and see that your makeup is about 10 layers too thick. Oops.
The problem wasn’t your makeup skills, you just weren’t using the right lighting. Bad lighting can take you from looking like a HOT MESS to just a MESS. The solution to looking great? Take advantage of natural lighting and open your windows or go outside. If that won’t do, use LED lighting.
What types of lighting won’t cut it?
- Fluorescent lighting: It washes away the color in your face, so as a result you’re going to cake on the foundation or bronzer WAY too thick.
- Yellow lighting: It’s dull so it makes you look tired and sick. This emphasizes your dark spots and blemishes. As a result, you’re going to overdo in on the powder or concealer. If you’re not interested in looking like you rubbed your entire face into an entire pile of powdered doughnuts or like you took a time machine back to the Victorian era, it might be time to skip the yellow lighting.
- Rosy lighting: It’s going to warm up your skin and make it look wonderful. The downside? You’re going to step out of that heavenly light and see that you’re makeup is in uneven patches.
Bad lighting IS wasting you money
A lot of makeup department stores have florescent lights that over-exaggerate your blemishes and imperfections. This subconsciously causes you to buy MORE makeup. Sure, it’s pretty cool that they’re making more money, but it’s NOT cool that they’re doing it at YOUR expense.
Adding to this, fluorescent lighting also makes it VERY difficult to find shades that match your skin tone. Instead of buying a certain product immediately, try a swatch and then walk outside. Natural light will show you exactly what’s blending, in a way that fluorescent light won’t. You can even bring a mirror with you if you want to see how anything looks on your face.
What are the best types of lighting?
Warm, natural light is always going to be your best bet. The best place to get that is directly from the sun. That doesn’t mean that you have to go outside. Cracking your windows can do wonders for your makeup game.
But what if you can’t go outside of if the weather is feeling a little moody? THESE lightbulbs are a great alternative. LED light bulbs mimic the wonderful, warm white light of sun. Look for bulbs with a color rendering index (also known as CRI) of at least 90. A temperature between 2,700 and 3,200 in Kelvins is also pretty reliable.
Where should I position the lighting?
It was fun to hold your flashlight up to your face when you were a kid, but that won’t do. Overhead lighting might leave you looking a little scary, both before AND after applying your makeup.
You should position your lighting in front of you, so that it illuminates your face evenly. If that isn’t possible, put two lights on either side of you to mimic this effect. Positioning is crucial. Uneven lighting will leave you looking a little two-faced.
If you’re installing lights in your bathroom, make sure that the illuminated part of the mirror is at eye level. Otherwise, you’ll have to bend over or stand on your tippy-toes to get the best lighting. Overhead lighting above the mirror illuminates your forehead, making it harder to apply makeup.
What are some useful alternatives to natural light?
- VANITY MIRRORS are every makeup lover’s holy grail. They’re fun and make getting ready that much more fancy. You can’t tell me that THIS Hollywood style mirror wouldn’t look GORGEOUS in any household.
- ATTACHABLE MIRRORS. Looking for something a little more portable or don’t have the room for a large mirror? You can attach something like THIS to your bathroom mirror. You’ll still look good AND it won’t take up a bunch of space.
- STANDING MIRRORS. You shouldn’t have to do your makeup one-handed. THIS can stand on its own and folds up, so you can close it when you’re not using it. THIS one can swivel a full 360 degrees, so you won’t have to tilt your face to do your makeup. It also has different magnifications to ensure that you’re doing your best work.
- RING LIGHTS are really popular among makeup Youtubers and other beauty gurus. They’re provide even, warm light that is great for applying makeup. They’re also portable, depending on the size that you get, and are great for placing next to a vanity or mirror. If you’re interested in buying one, THIS is a pretty good one. If you’re looking for something smaller, THIS is a great alternative.
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