Why make-up lighting matters
If you’ve ever sat by a big window to do your make-up or wondered why those weak yellow bulbs in your bathroom make you look bleh, you know the difference make-up lighting makes.
Any beauty pro will swear by good lighting. In fact, beauty lighting is a big deal in the industry. Good make-up lighting is the difference between dramatic head-turning looks (or at least an even blend) and a blotchy make-up fail.
You’ll learn all the best make-up techniques from TrainSmart’s expert trainers in a Diploma of Screen and Media course. But for now, we’ll give you a crash course in lighting with tips you can take anywhere.
A quick guide to make-up lighting
Almost all make-up artists agree natural, even daylight is best. So if you’re lucky enough to have a window or sunny patch in your room, set up shop there for the best results (just make sure you don’t leave expensive products in the sun!).
Don’t have a natural glow? Here’s how you can get the same vibe in your bathroom.
Type of bulb
First things first – use LED bulbs. Fluoro washes you out, yellow makes you sallow (so you’ll overdo the make-up), and red or rose tints might look nice but you can’t really see what you’re doing.
LED gives an even white light, closest to natural daylight.
Lightbulb strength is expressed 1 of 2 ways:
Basically, you want as many lumens as possible in a standard LED bulb. Professional make-up lighting really dials up the lumens, but for at-home beauty lighting you want LED bulbs with around 70-80 watts and 800-1100 lumens.
Did you know every kind of light has a temperature? Here’s where things get a little technical. Lighting works on the Kelvin scale, with ‘warm’ (yellow-orange) lights like candlelight or sunset around 2000K, and ‘cool’ white lighting (with a blue tinge) like an LCD screen up around 7000K.
Daylight hovers around 5500K to 6500K (so cool-ish white). Try to find bulbs in that range when shopping for make-up lighting.
How many lights is right?
It’s not really how many lights that’s important, but where they are:
- Overhead lighting throws harsh shadows
- Too low and you’ll lose definition
- Direct, even lighting is best
The best make-up lighting is balanced on all sides and softened, either with a translucent coating on the bulb or a professional studio lighting kit.
Want to learn even more make-up industry secrets, or launch your beauty career? Enrol in a nationally recognised make-up course with TrainSmart Australia and lighting will be just one of the many tools in your professional make-up kit.