The Best Lighting for Makeup


Make up application

Have you ever put just the right amount of makeup only to step out and realise your foundation is a completely different colour to your skin? It's probably your lighting. Below we've addressed the best lighting techniques for applying your makeup.

The most obvious thing to do is to check the Colour Rendering Index of a bulb. The CRI of the bulb needs to be high so that you can see colours better and can then match your makeup to your skintone.  The CRI is measured against sunlight which has a CRI of 100. Try to aim for a CRI of at least 80, LEDs usually have a CRI of 80 or above with some LEDs achieving up to 98 CRI.

Make up light

It is better to use a softer light for putting on makeup because it's more flattering and lets you put the right amount of makeup on. To have a softer light you should have something to diffuse it slightly such as a satin finish on the bulb or a thin lampshade. It is also a good idea to use a lower wattage bulb as too high a wattage will give you a washed out appearance leaving you to overcompensate with more makeup or could even result in you using the wrong colour for your skintone.

It's best to avoid CFLs or Fluorescent lighting for your makeup application areas. While you may prefer those lights elsewhere in the home, the light they will cast on your skin will be harsh and unflattering. This could lead again to far too much makeup as the light can adjust your colour perception.

Natural light is best for putting on makeup but this is not always possible as you could be getting ready when it's dark out, your makeup area could be out of the way of natural light. The Daylight coloured bulb is the closest shade to natural daylight you can get from artificial lighting and is best used at a low wattage to provide the best lighting for your makeup application.

These are good rules to apply when buying makeup too. When testing makeup on your hand take it to the nearest source of natural light and compare it to your skin there to get a true colour comparison.

Make Up Light

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