The Best Lighting for Makeup Application

A common problem with makeup application is that you achieve the look you want when at home but then catch a glimpse of yourself when out and about and realise how different you look to what you expected. That even skin tone that looked so natural at home now looks a totally different colour and there are patches everywhere!

A lot of people start to blame the makeup itself or the application process. However, the first, and often overlooked, thing to consider is the lighting that you are using when applying your makeup.

Our lighting experts have been considering this problem and have put together the following handy tips.

The Best Lighting for Makeup Application

Lighting to Avoid When Applying Makeup?

Fluorescent lights – Cool bright fluorescent lighting can be misleading as it can make our skin tones look horrendous. This bright light is unforgiving and your reflection looks washed out and a lot worse that you actually do. The result is that you end up applying too much foundation, bronzer or blusher to try and add more colour to you face. When you then step into an environment with a different type of lighting your makeup will look completely overdone.

Rosy light – This warm pink light can work in the opposite way to fluorescent lighting as it can make your skin look glowing and healthy when in reality it may not be. Under this rosy lighting we are more likely to use less concealer and could miss patches of skin and blemishes which in other lights we’d want covered up.

Yellow light – This light can make you skin tone appear yellow which gives you an appearance of looking tired and sick. As with fluorescent lighting, if you’re made to appear worse than you actually do you’ll end up over applying concealer and blusher. In yellow light you may also think you foundation or powder is the wrong colour and then pick a shade that isn’t right for you.

Downlighting – This type of lighting is often used above bathroom mirrors but, when it comes to applying makeup, should be avoided. Lighting above your head creates misleading shadows and shows up wrinkles and pigmentation in an unrealistic way. 

The Best Lighting for Makeup Application

Natural sunlight is the best source of illumination when applying makeup. However, this is rarely an option in the UK with cloudy days and dark mornings being all too common. The best alternative to natural light are warm white LEDs. This light closely replicates the glow of natural sunlight and has an even distribution to illuminate the whole face.

The bathroom is the most common room used when applying makeup but which ever room you choose there are some best practices when it comes to illuminating the space.

When installing lighting for makeup application you need to aim for fixing heights at face level. Side lighting on walls or lighting around a mirror are perfect solutions. Wall lighting like the Tube LED Wall Light positioned on either side of your mirror at eye level would give an ideal lighting level to achieve a makeup finish that looks great in all circumstances.

Other alternatives to consider are mirrors which are illuminated around the edge of the reflective  surface such as the Mascali vanity mirror. This type of lighting distributes an even glow so your whole face is well lit with natural form of light.