If you’ve ever applied makeup, you know just how important lighting is. Without it, you simply can’t achieve great results due to low visibility, shadows and weird colors that don’t match natural sunlight all being casted on your face.
While the sun is the obvious choice to get the very best lighting, there are also other alternatives to ensure that you get as close to natural sunlight as possible even when it’s cloudy, nighttime or you simply don’t have any useful windows near you.
By following these 5 easy steps, you’ll be sure to get the perfect lighting that’s needed to achieve that gorgeous, top-notch makeup look that only comes once in a while but you’ll have it everyday! Let’s dive right in.
1. Move Closer to Sunlight
As you might have guessed, nothing beats the real deal. Getting natural sunlight is the absolute best way to ensure you nail your makeup due to the unbeatable color temperature, potency and fully lit atmosphere.
If you’ve got windows, open them and if possible you should try to move as close as possible to them as well. Even if they’re far, just having them wide open will create a fantastically well lit ambiance all over the room, ensuring that you, at the very least, get much better color fidelity and reduced eye strain.
If you’ve got a windowless room or it happens to be rainy or nighttime, worry not as there are other great solutions. Let’s take a look at them below.
2. Get a Potent Room Light
While this isn’t a stand-alone solution, it’s an enormous help and sets the perfect structure that allows the other points that we’ll cover below to shine through.
Having a potent room light will not only give you a larger amount of visibility when applying makeup but it also shines, reflects and illuminates every surface in a way that a single focused light can’t, creating a well-lit ambiance all around.
The reason it isn’t a one-stop-shop is because it will always create shadows on your face due to it shining from above and as you know, downlighting is terrible for makeup.
So while it is an important step, you’ve also gotta make sure to tie it in with the ones below.
3. Go for an All Angles Lighting Strategy
The more light sources the better as each one will help to remove any shadows or dimly lit spots on your face. Going for a fully lit ambiance is then extremely important but thankfully it’s easily achievable in a number of ways.
You can get a few table lamps, some trendy LED cables (make sure they’re potent!), or even a ring light like the pros (which is super effective although a bit expensive) but there’s one way that’s extremely popular and beloved by many, and with good reason — the lighted makeup mirror!
From small portable ones to the big Hollywood style beauties, they’re absolutely vital to ensure that you get perfect lighting at all times. Let’s go more in-depth in the next step.
4. Use a Lighted Makeup Mirror
Potent, versatile and gorgeous decorative pieces too, lighted makeup mirrors are the must-have pillar of great makeup lighting. While in the past they were good but not great due to using olden-style bulbs that don’t accurately mimic natural sunlight, these days due to their modern light bulbs and technology, they are the next best thing to having direct sunlight shining on your face.
They vary wildly in features, design, size, potency and even price but one thing they all have in common is that they’re indispensable to achieve the perfect makeup look.
Most of them also have magnified sides — from 2x all the way up to 10x and even 15x — which is stunningly useful to ace the finer details of your routine and their features can adapt to your room and personal style — from choosing if you want them to be wall mounted or tabletop to other useful details such as dimmable lighting and double-sided mirror faces.
If you want to combine their usefulness with a potent decorative flair, you can always get a Hollywood vanity mirror.
As a bonus, Hollywood styled ones give off an incredible amount of light due to having several bulbs all around the frame, making them a truly top-notch choice.
One thing you have to remember when getting one though is their light as you need to make sure that it’s not only powerful and durable but also color-correct in order to mimic sunlight and deliver awesome results. Let’s dive in a little deeper on this aspect below.
5. Get the Right Type of Artificial Lighting
Measured in Kelvins (K), color temperature is what changes the color of the light source and how well it represents sunlight. While a 2500K to 3000K light will be warm and close to the old incandescent lights, 4000K all the way up to 6500K will give off a bright white light that’s extremely close to natural sunlight – perfect for makeup. Always keep an eye out for color temperatures before buying any light or lighted mirror.
Closely associated with the previous point, bulb types also dictate the limits of their color temperature range. A 100W incandescent bulb will deliver around 2800K, a 100W halogen bulb will be closer to 3000K and LEDs can deliver a very wide range of temperatures, from 3200K (warm white) to the popular 4800K (direct sunlight) and even 7500K (blue white).
Due to this, LED lights are nearly always a great choice, especially due to how much power they save and how incredibly durable they are (most last around 30,000 to 50,000 hours of use).
Another obvious point to consider, the light’s potency is very important to achieve good results. Many things change the perceived strength and performance such as the bulb’s size, their amount, color and even the material that surrounds them (what they’re inside of).
Their true potency is best measured in Lumens and not Watts as a 25W LED light can produce the same amount of Lumens as a 150W incandescent bulb, for example. To give you an idea of what the numbers represent, 450 Lumens makes for weak bulb brightness while 800 is quite potent and 1600 lumens is very bright.
And there you have it, by following these simple steps you’re ensured to absolutely nail your makeup lighting and achieve the perfect results. Always remember to use direct sunlight if possible and if not, aim for the color-correct and true-to-life light temperatures we’ve seen above to get the next best thing. Now go on, ace the lighting and rock your makeup!