The 2022 Guide on the Best Lighting for Makeup and What Lights to Avoid

No matter how great your makeup skills are, you can’t outrun bad lighting.

Choosing the best lighting for makeup is vital to creating a flawless look. When armed with the right lighting style, nothing can stop you. However, with the wrong bulb or appliance, what looks like a flawless application in one mirror can look like you did your makeup in the dark in the next, and there is no way to predict how your makeup will translate when you move into daylight.

Whilst most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a perfectly lit makeup studio in our home, the good news is that this isn’t essential. Simple changes to your choice of makeup lighting can make a world of difference to your final look, as well as protect you from any makeup mishaps.

With this in mind, here at Dusk Lighting, we’ve created the 2022 guide on the best lighting for makeup to help you achieve the perfect look. Read on for our top lighting tips, which covers everything from what bulbs to avoid to what kind of lighting is best for applying makeup and more.

Table of Contents 

  1. What to consider when shopping for the best lighting for makeup
  2. The best bathroom lighting for applying makeup
  3. The worst bathroom lighting for applying makeup 
  4. Where to place bathroom lighting for applying makeup
  5. Shop the best lighting for makeup at Dusk Lighting today

What to consider when shopping for the best lighting for makeup

If you want to avoid falling victim to foundation frights and concealer catastrophes, then it’s important to consider a few things when looking for the best lighting for makeup. Below, we’ve covered the three most important factors.

The strength of light 

The right level of lighting is vital to a flawless makeup application. If you choose a light that’s too dim, you won’t have a full view of your appearance, leading to a patchy and uneven application. 

Similarly, you also should avoid light that is too bright. Makeup lights that are too bright will produce an unpleasant glare and won’t offer a true representation of the light you’ll have at your destination. You may also find that you’ve applied too much or too little because your lighting was poorly designed.

A dimmable light is an excellent way to combat such problems, as you can adjust the level and strength of your light to match the conditions that you’ll be working – or partying – in!

The colour of the light

The colour of your light for applying makeup is just as important as the strength.

Fluorescent bulbs are a popular choice due to their energy efficiency. However, they are not the best light bulbs for applying makeup: The colour-balanced versions tend to be overly bright and harsh, and many give off a cool, blue cast which can make you over-apply your foundation, bronzer, or blush as you try to give your skin a little colour. 

The best lighting for makeup application is natural light; however, you should choose a lighting style that replicates natural light as closely as possible when this isn’t available. LED lights are an excellent choice as they deliver a steady, consistent stream of light that isn’t too warm, cool, or dim, allowing for a perfectly lit makeup application. 

It’s important to note that some light fittings may be LED compatible but don’t have an LED bulb fitted. If this is the case, take a look at our selection of light bulbs to find an LED bulb that can be fitted to your existing lighting. Or, you can shop our complete lighting collection, which is filled with LED compatible lighting styles, perfect for your bathroom and makeup application. 

The direction of the light

The direction of your makeup lighting can greatly impact your finished look. If you rely on ceiling lighting for makeup application, you will be forced to tilt your head up and away from the mirror, making makeup application more challenging than it needs to be.

The best light for applying makeup will be positioned directly in front of your face. Light from any other direction runs the risk of casting shadows and hiding important areas, as well as hindering your ability to apply the product in the right amounts and to the right areas. 

The Best Bathroom Lighting For Applying Makeup

A purposefully lit home makeup studio is not a reality for the majority. However, you can still achieve optimum makeup application in your bathroom with the right lighting knowledge. 

Below, we’ve covered the best bathroom lighting for applying makeup to help you achieve a salon-quality finish in the comfort of your home.

Natural Light

When it comes to makeup application, natural light will always deliver the best results. It offers a clear, unhindered view that allows you to evenly distribute the product and is also a way to guarantee that your makeup will translate well into natural daylight. With this in mind, if you use a vanity mirror in your bathroom, then you should place it in an area that gives you direct natural light to your face. 

Of course, not every bathroom is designed to give you natural light; and those that do often do not deliver light in the desired direction for you to perfectly apply your makeup. Similarly, if you’re getting up early in the morning or you’re applying makeup later on in the day, you may not have any natural light available at all. So what’s the next best lighting solution? LED Lighting.

LED Lighting

When natural daylight is unavailable, the next best thing is a realistic imitator such as LED lighting, which emits a warm, white light perfect for applying makeup.

By surrounding your vanity mirror with LED lighting, you will be able to achieve a balanced makeup coverage that looks great in natural daylight once you leave the house. 

Most modern lighting is now designed as LED lighting, meaning that there’s a huge variety of LED lighting options available for you to choose from when designing your bathroom lighting.

The Worst Bathroom Lighting For Applying Makeup

If you don’t have the right bathroom lighting installed, your makeup look can suffer. With this in mind, it’s essential to know the worst offenders when it comes to light for applying makeup so that you can avoid fitting them in your bathroom in the first place. 

Below, we’ve listed the four worst lights for applying makeup and why you should avoid them at all costs.

Fluorescent Lighting

Fluorescent lighting is great for illuminating other areas of the home; however, you should avoid this style when choosing lighting for makeup. It gives off a cool, white light that’s extremely bright and unflattering and can obscure the true look of the products you apply.

What’s more, when applying makeup in fluorescent lighting, you’re likely to overcompensate for the lack of colour that shows in your face with too much blush or bronzer. This can result in a heavy-handed look when you head out into the daylight!

Yellow Based Lighting

Yellow based lighting highlights colouration differences in your skin that would normally go unnoticed, such as bluey tones under the eye area. This can lead you into a trap of trying to overcompensate or even out your complexion by applying too much powder or foundation when in actuality, you wouldn’t ordinarily see these darker areas.

Rose-Based Lighting

Ever heard of the phrase ‘through rose-tinted glasses? The same applies to rose-tinted lighting. Whilst rose coloured lighting might make your skin look glowing and healthy; it can also give you an unrealistic idea of how your skin will look in the cold light of day. It tends to make red areas and imperfections look less visible, meaning you might skimp on foundation or concealer in the areas that matter most.

Downlighting, or Spotlights

The position of your lighting is just as important as the tint. Downlighting is one of the most unflattering and impractical forms of lighting to apply makeup as it casts huge shadows over your face. Even if you manage to get an angle without too much shadow, any lines on your face or changes in skin pigmentation will be magnified, making it difficult to apply makeup without overcompensating for these highlighted flaws in your complexion.

Where To Place Bathroom Lighting For Applying Makeup

Even the best bathroom lighting for makeup application can struggle to deliver the desired results when placed in the wrong spot, so it’s important to get it right.

You should ideally position your bathroom makeup lighting at eye level, as this will ensure that your full face is lit up. Wall light fitting is a great way to achieve this and can be installed on either side of your mirror to offer a steady and even stream of light. It will also ensure that your face is cross-illuminated and prevent any shadows from above or below.

If your bathroom design doesn’t have sufficient space for wall lights, you can instead recreate their effect with LED strip lighting. LED strip lighting is a versatile lighting style that you can install in various ways to suit the unique design of your interior, making it a great choice for small areas in need of light.

Shop the best lighting for makeup at Dusk Lighting today

When applying makeup, the right lighting style can make or break your look, so it’s important to shop wisely when looking for new lights for your home studio, bathroom or vanity mirror.

Whilst natural lighting is always the best option; it’s not always available. However, with the right choice of lights, you can easily avoid the most common makeup mishaps and create a flawless look every time.

At Dusk Lighting, we offer a fabulous range of lighting styles for you to discover, so whether you’re looking to elevate your makeup routine, create an atmosphere or install task lighting, be sure to check out our complete range of bathroom lighting today! 

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