Buying the right bulb is essential to creating the perfect atmosphere for makeup application. The GE Energy Efficient Reveal ($8) bulb in 75 or 100 watts is great. Installing dimmers in your bathroom is also a fantastic way to customize and tailor your lighting environment. But if you don’t want to commit to changing the lighting wherever you do your makeup, consider investing a quality makeup mirror instead, like Conair’s 7x Magnified Lighted Makeup Mirror ($50) or Simple Human’s 8” Sensor Mirror ($200), which contains LED lights.
Avoid using overhead lighting only. Have you ever been in a fitting room and noticed that harsh, overhead lighting accentuates every tiny flaw on your body? The same thing can happen when applying your makeup under a single overhead light. Using only one light source above you will cast accentuate shadows that are created under the eyes or other areas that won’t do your makeup application process any good. One pendant light or flush mount fixture won’t give you the smooth, even illumination you need in order to see all of your face in its best light.
It’s true: Natural light is best.
Nothing will give you a more accurate glimpse than light from the sun, but it needs to brighten your face evenly. “For makeup application, you need diffused, ambient light so that there are no shadows highlighted on the face,” explains Katie Anderson, Principal at Katie Anderson Interior Design Consultants. So if you’re near a window, look straight into the light instead of letting it hit one angle of your face, and use a handheld mirror if necessary.
Try a lighted makeup mirror.Back in the day, big, boxy makeup lights that flipped to settings like “daylight,” “office” and “evening” were an iconic part of the primping ritual, and the concept is still a solid one that has become more streamlined today. While incandescent makeup mirrors remain most flattering, modern options are rapidly closing the gap between ideal illumination and energy savings. “LED lighting has come a long way and has a much better color-rendering index that expresses a more complete spectrum similar to sunlight,” says Anderson. If you’re short on space, consider a lighted travel mirror that is easy to tote and move around. Shown here: Simple Human Sensor Mirror, $200, is cordless and the LED light won’t burn out for years. More at //bestledlamp.com.
OttLite Natural Makeup Mirror
Get the perfect lighting at your desk with this 5x magnification dual sided mirror. There are two light panels with natural illumination that will help you flawlessly dust on the rouge at any time of the day.
Glamcor Tec Multimedia Extreme with Selfie Function
It’s no surprise that celebrity makeup artists are obsessed with this game-changing light. Not only does it offer adjustable, flattering lighting, it’s also easy to pack up and travel with.
Out in the World, Where Lighting Is NOT in Your Control:
Recessed down lighting is the worst!
“Remember when you would hold a flashlight under your face at Halloween? It’s like holding that flashlight over the top of your head—it’s just as frightening!” says Whitehead. This lighting setup that is common in elevators seeks out wrinkles, pigmentation and shadows under the eyes, making you look 10 years older instantly. So the next time you look in an elevator mirror and gasp—it’s not you, it’s the lighting.
Bring your own light when makeup shopping.
It’s an age-old question: Why does department store makeup lighting suck so badly? Whitehead says the light in store mirrors is usually halogen, which isn’t the color of normal incandescent light nor the color of natural light, so when you get the makeup home, it looks totally different. The solution? Shop during the day and take a hand mirror with you. Try on the makeup shade and go take a look in natural light before you decide to buy, lest that lipgloss or shadow pot end up in the beauty product graveyard under your sink. Best Lamp For A Vanity Table.
Don’t overdo it on the wattage. When choosing bulbs to use for the area where you usually apply your makeup, remember that high wattage and lumen output does not equal quality makeup lighting. The best lighting for makeup is anything that produces a soft light that isn’t terribly bright. This effect is best produced by lamps that are diffused through shades or glass that you might find on wall sconcesor pendant lights.
Use multiple light sources. Even ifwe can’t all have mirrors surrounded by light bulbs like movie stars do in their dressing rooms, there are still ways to surround your face with light. Using a bathroom vanity fixture with more than one light is one way to achieve more even illumination. But an even better solution is to use light sources on either side of your face. Placing two fixtures on either side of your mirror at eye level will highlight all areas of your face and provide great task lighting.
Take advantage of natural light when shopping for makeup. Department store lighting doesn’t always provide you with the most accurate perception of your face, which is why the foundation that you thought was perfect in the store doesn’t match your skin color as perfectly when you put it on at home.
The fix? Shop during the day and take a mirror with you. When trying out a new foundation, bronzer, or any makeup, take out your mirror and walk over to a window with natural light. This will allow you to view the makeup in the right lighting before you buy, and prevent future purchases from ending up in the pile of mismatched makeup under your sink. More at //bestledlamp.com/how-to-go-about-choosing-the-best-lamp-for-a-vanity-table.