The Best Lighting for Flawless Makeup Application
Hey, hey Beautiful!
Makeup faux pas. Most of us will experience at least one during our lifetime, whether it is wearing the wrong shade of foundation, getting lipstick on our teeth or poorly blended blush. Do your makeup skills suck? Probably not. Sometimes these things happen because we are in a rush and sometimes it is because we can’t properly see what the heck we are doing. Avoid these and other mistakes with proper lighting.
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Bad Lighting Equals Bad Results.
The two pictures above are a perfect example of what can happen if you don’t have proper lighting. Nicole Kidman is beautiful and it is really a shame that this happened. But she is not alone and it just proves that it can happen to any one of us whether we are famous or not. Now I think we can all agree that natural light is best, but it is not always an option. If it is very overcast outside or nighttime what can you do? The best thing you can do is have a really good mirror on hand with lights that mimic natural daylight.
While applying makeup in your bathroom may sound like a great idea, most bathroom lights are not a good choice because they often are poorly placed and give off a very yellow, blue or even green light that can distort the colors of your makeup, resulting in too much blush or the wrong shade of lipstick being applied, or poorly blended eye makeup. Don’t let this happen to you!
Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I think you get my point. I just like to keep it fun around here. Nothing too serious. Ha ha.
Start with Buying the Right Bulbs –
When shopping for light bulbs for your home makeup studio you will want to check the color rating index or color rendering index (CRI) on the box. CRI’s range from 0-100, 100 being identical to natural daylight. You want one as close to 100 as you can find. Some bulbs are labeled “Vita-Lite” or something similar. These bulbs will provide the clearest most natural lighting you can achieve indoors.
If there is no indication of the CRI on the box or in the product description online then just make sure that it is a Daylight bulb that measures 5,000 on the Kelvin Scale. Anything under 5,000K will be too warm and anything above it will be too cool. The goal is to mimic natural daylight as much as possible.
The wattage you choose also depends on how many bulbs your lighting fixture or makeup mirror takes. For example, if you have a lighted vanity mirror that requires 10 bulbs then each bulb should be no more than 25W each.
Incandescent, Fluorescent or LED?
I don’t want to get too technical here, so let’s just quickly go over lighting quality and efficiency.
Incandescent Lighting – Commonly known as the screw-in “A”-type lamp bulb that uses a medium Edison (E-26) base, standard incandescent lights are the least efficient light source commonly found in homes.
An okay choice as long as you choose the correct CRI and hue (look for warm white or natural on the box) these bulbs are a perfectly fine option. One downside is that really tend to heat up.
Fluorescent Lighting – Also known as a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) or energy-saving light, is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent lamp; some types fit into light fixtures normally used for incandescent lamps. The base size is different so you will have to make sure it is the correct size before you buy.
These bulbs are inexpensive making them a decent choice and again it all comes down to choosing the correct strength and hue of light. However, they do contain toxic mercury and require special disposal once they burn out. They can also produce a bit of heat. Not as much as an incandescent bulb, but it is still something to keep in mind.
LED Lighting – LED’s produce light that renders a color very similar (but not identical) to natural daylight. They last much longer than most bulbs and do not heat up. They are however quite pricey.
Efficiency – On average, an incandescent bulb may last around 1000 hours, which is not bad, while a fluorescent (CFL) bulb producing the same amount of light (in Lumens) may last around 8,000 hours, and an equivalent LED bulb may last around 25,000 hours, which is even better. Because of their efficiency, LED’s are generally more expensive, but the energy saved on your electric bill pays off when compared to incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.
Also known as side lighting, try mounting lights 36 inches apart and 18 inches from the centerline of the sink. Look for adjustable sconces, pendants or mirrors with backlit sections of frosted glass. The most luminous part should be mounted at eye level or about 5’6” off the floor. Adding a center ceiling piece can complement the vanity lighting. Beware of lights fixed only above the mirror though which illuminate your forehead and cause you tilt your head back too far to apply makeup with precision. You want to be able to just look straight ahead while applying your makeup.
Try a Lighted Makeup Mirror –
If switching out your bathroom mirror or light fixtures is not an option then a lighted makeup mirror is the next best thing. There are many different options available –
Lighted Travel Compacts –
Jetting off to the theater, catching a movie or meeting a friend for drinks after work? These lighted travel compacts fit conveniently into your handbag for easy touch-ups while you are on the go.
- Compact size for your purse, cosmetic bag or travel bag.
- Folding design allows you to set mirror down and adjust it to the perfect angle, leaving your hands free.
- 8 Adjustable bright LED lights help you apply makeup under dark or poor light conditions.
- Lighted Makeup Mirror and Magnification all in one, 1X & 2X Magnification on both sides.
- Touch switch and light adjustable, easy and convenient to use.
- Weight: 5.3 Ounce/150g.
- Includes CR2032 Button cells.
- Distortion free glass w/ crisp reflections
- Smooth, compact shape folds away to save space
- Versatile: regular mirror plus 5x magnifying mirror for close details
- Perfect for travel and doing makeup on the go
- Battery operated and cord free
- Perfect for places without enough light
- Conveniently fits in your purse, handbag or glove box
- Requires 4 AAA batteries (included)
- Closed size: approx 4.6″ x 4.9 x 1.25 inches
- Full open size: approx 4.6″ x 4.9 x 8.5 inches
- Fashion forward design
- compact size fits perfectly in your briefcase, cosmetics bag, handbag, travel bag, carry it anywhere.
- The folding action allows you to set mirror down and adjust it to the perfect angle leaving your hands free when applying makeup.
- LED Bulbs Never Need Replacing in This Handheld Mirror, Even After Years of Use Made of Eco-Friendly Plastic with a Luxe, Glossy Feel.
- Personal Lighted Makeup Mirror Magnifies to 10x on One Side, with Normal Magnification on the Other – Ideal fo
- Provides exceptional detail for flawless makeup application, tweezing, or other beauty maintenance.
- Closed size: approx 4.5″ x 4.5 x 1.5 inches
- Full open size: approx 4.6″ x 4.5 x 11.4 inches
- Mirror size:3 1/2 inches
- Perfect Gift for Family/Friends, Bridesmaids, Grads, Skin Care Addicts or Makeup Gurus
Mounted and Freestanding –
These smaller mirrors are budget friendly and versatile and are often double-sided (i.e. regular on one side with magnification on the other). Mount them on a sidewall in your bathroom or bedroom. Portable mirrors can be placed on your dresser, dressing table or bathroom counter.
- Fog free
- Wall mount mirror
- 8-inches by 10-inches
- Smooth 360-degree swivel design that provides 1x and 10x magnification options and a 15x magnification spot mirror.
- On/off rotary switch on the round base will activate the halo lighting around the perimeter of the mirror when you need it.
- The extension arm and smooth rotation adjust to all angles.
- Extends up to 14″
- Nickel finish
- Comes complete with mounting hardware and 25-watt replacement light bulb (Jerdon model JPT25W).
- 1-year limited warranty that protects against any defects due to faulty material or workmanship.
- Fluorescent lighting is 30% brighter and provides more than 60% energy savings
- 1x / 10x Magnification
- 8.5-Inch round diameter, thin profile head with stylish brushed nickel finish
- 360 Rotating head
- 1 Light Setting
- Daylight-spectrum fluorescent bulb simulates natural sunlight
- Dual-sided mirror with 10X/1X magnification
- Optical quality for distortion-free image
- Low-heat, 100-watt output that uses only 22 watts of energy
- Extends to 18.25″ with 360-degree swivel for the best viewing angle
- Measures 12.4 x 5.9 x 15.6 inches ; 6.4 pounds
- Dual sided mirror: 5x/1x magnification. perfect for up-close tweezing and nail polish application
- Blend foundation, eye shadows, blush and more with mistake proof lighting – see true makeup shades, skin tones and much more!
- Match clothing and accessories perfectly – even colors like black, brown and blue
- Gentle on the eyes – no harsh shadows, reduces glare.
- Includes two Ottlite 13-watt type e bulbs
- Dimensions: 5 x 11 x 13 inches ; 5.7 pounds
Vanity Mirrors –
These aren’t just for your vanity/dressing table – they can be placed on any solid surface where you are applying your beauty products. Professional quality mirrors usually come with a dimmer switch, a stand, and some are able to be wall mounted or adjusted to the right angle so you can always get the best view. Since these mirrors are quite pricey they usually come with a decent warranty.
- Front on/off rotary dimmer switch, US standard plug
- FREE 12 Dimmable LED bulbs
- Elegantly tabletop design
- Metal hook for easy hanging if you decided you want it mounted on the wall.
- Package: 1x White Hollywood makeup lighted mirror, 12x 110V dimmable LED bulbs
- Mirror size: 24″x16.5″
- Frame size: 25.6” x 19.7” x 2.4”
- Includes 10 frosted 25-watt g25 globe bulbs for a classic Hollywood look
- Convenient power and dimmer switch mounted on the side for subtlety
- High-quality wood construction with a glossy finish
- High-gloss lacquer finish
- Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service.
- Dimensions: 24.5 L x 32.5 H x 8 w
- TOP QUALITY MIRROR: Ultra-high quality polished mirror with reflective surface and durable frame made in the USA
- CONVENIENT FEATURES: Side dimmer to customize the brightness with just a touch of your finger
- BEAUTIFUL DESIGN: Decorative frame with laser etched logo
- PERFECT LIGHTING: 6 bulb set of Vanity Light Bulbs included
- DIMENSIONS: Optic mirror (25” W x 18” H) and Overall frame (34” W x 13.5” D x 23” H)
- Please contact the seller directly for warranty information for this product. You may also be able to find warranty information on the manufacturer’s website.
- Gorgeous and superior reflective mirror built to last with top quality material made in the USA
- Adjustable lighting with side dimmer and two 110-volt power outlets to plug in your flat iron, hair dryer or to charge your phone
- 13 generous 25-watt globed bulbs included for perfect lighting
- Dimensions: Optic mirror (18” W x 25” H) and Overall frame (28” W x 13.5” D x 34” H)
- Available accessories: Wall Mount Kit available upon request
- Warranty – Please contact the seller directly for warranty information for this product.
- 13 x 3w golf ball Warm White LED lamps, Dimmer switch (right-hand side), Attach to stand only
- Beautiful handmade construction, The Ultimate make up mirror!
- Mirror finish Hollywood mirror, 3-meter cable with a UK three pin top.
- Includes a UK-US adapter plug to use this mirror in the US.
- RoHS certified 10-year warranty & manufacturers guarantee
- Net weight 21Kg, Size: H:27.56Inch x W:39.37Inch x D:2.36Inch
As you can see there are many different options for you to choose from. Don’t be a beauty victim of bad lighting. Do yourself a favor and invest in a good mirror with correct lighting.
Hi, there and welcome! I am a professional makeup artist in training, natural cosmetics and healthy lifestyle enthusiast. I started this website as a way to spread the word on the amazing benefits of non-toxic cosmetics, and skin care, and to give suggestions on which products to try. I hope you enjoy!