Makeup Lighting for a Picture Perfect Face

Makeup LightingIt happens to the best of us: you put on your makeup, check yourself out in the mirror one more time before leaving the house, and then the second you step outside you look as if you’ve just come out of a drag show audition. How could makeup that looked so perfect ten seconds ago look so horrific? The problem isn’t you, it’s the lighting you’re using. Artificial lighting doesn’t do a great job at mimicking natural light, so what you look like in the comfort of your bathroom isn’t necessarily what you’re going to look like when you go outdoors.

How can you solve this problem? The trick is knowing what type of makeup lighting will work best for you. The more you learn, the more seamless your transition from indoors to outdoors will be. If you’re interested in learning more tips and tricks about properly applying makeup, Udemy has the perfect course for you!

Natural Light

It goes without saying that the most ideal light for applying makeup is natural light. After all, you’re going to be leaving your house and going out into natural light anyway, so why not start there? Unfortunately, there are a handful of factors that can make this impossible. Is it a stormy day? Has the sun already set? Maybe your bathroom doesn’t even have a window! Whatever the case, you’ll need to know how to work around not having natural light.

  • When buying lightbulbs for your bathroom, try to look for ones that claim to be “daylight” or “natural light”. These bulbs tend to have less of a yellowish hue, making them more equivalent to real daylight. If all else fails, a halogen light bulb is a great choice.
  • Think about where your light source is located. If it’s located behind you, you’ll hardly be able to see any of your features, let alone accurately apply makeup. If the light source is directly above you, it’ll cast a lot of unwanted shadows on your face. The best way to apply makeup is by using a light source that is directly in front of you. If you aren’t able to install one in your bathroom, look into buying an inexpensive vanity mirror that includes a light.
  • Although it may seem helpful, try to avoid using vanity mirrors that over-magnify your face. You’ll end up seeing pores that you never knew existed, and you’ll try to overcompensate by using too much makeup. A mirror with a normal amount of magnification is all you need!
  • Make sure you have even light on both the right and left sides of your face. If the light is hitting the left side of your face directly but the right side of your face is in shadow, it can be difficult to make both sides even. You’ll end up leaving the house with one eye much darker than the other!
  • If possible, try to install lights that you can dim. It’s important to apply makeup in bright light so that you can see what you’re doing and easily fix any mistakes, but it’s important to see what your makeup looks like under a variety of different lighting conditions.
  • Maybe your bathroom isn’t the right place for applying makeup anyway! You’d be surprised how much of a difference simply setting up a simple mirror on a desk can make, especially if that desk is in front of a window.

Day or Night?

Although natural light is your best bet, sometimes it’s not necessary. If you’re getting ready in your bathroom and are about to head out to the club or a dimly lit restaurant, you can afford to be a bit more heavy handed with your makeup. After all, would you go out to breakfast with smokey eyes or would you save that makeup for the nightlife? Natural light can easily help you notice if your makeup is too dark or too heavy, but sometimes you’re looking for that dramatic flair. This is where a light dimmer can come in. You can use the bright setting to ensure that you’re covering up any unwanted blemishes and properly blending your makeup, and then dim it down to see how you’ll look under the dim lights of the night.

Learn the Techniques

The type of lighting used won’t be of any help if you don’t know how to properly apply makeup!

  • When finding a good foundation, make sure you test it on your jawline, not anywhere else! What looks good on your wrist may not look good on your face, so it’s important to test it where you’re actually going to apply it. And when you do apply it, make sure it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a mask! It’s important to properly blend your foundation into your jawline.
  • Don’t use pencils on your eyebrows – especially pointy ones! The pointier the brow pencil, the more you’ll look like you drew your eyebrows in. The best thing to do is to use an eye shadow (not a shimmery one) that’s the same color as your eyebrows. Lightly color in your brows using the eyeshadow and a small brush. It’s easier to apply, looks more natural, and can be touched up quickly.
  • Don’t forget to exfoliate! Trying to apply foundation to dry skin is a nightmare. Instead of covering up the dry skin, it simply sits on top of it and yells “LOOK AT ME!!!” to anyone around you. It’s important to exfoliate your skin twice a week in order to rid yourself of all of that dry skin – especially in the winter months. After exfoliating, make sure to apply a moisturizer that’s appropriate for your skin type.
  • The more neutral the better! Unless going to a costume party, try avoiding bright blue or purple eyeshadow. A simple tan, gold or brownish hue goes a long way. If you want to add a pop of color, use it on your eyes, lips or cheeks – not all three.

You’d be surprised how much of a difference lighting makes when applying makeup. Once leaving the house looking like a clown, you can now leave the house radiating natural beauty – all because of a simple bulb change! The more natural your lighting is, the more natural your makeup will look. If you ensure that the colors of your makeup blend well with your natural skin tones and don’t get too heavy handed, you won’t need to triple check your makeup in the car before getting to your destination. Proper lighting saves time and keeps you looking fresh all day long!