Light for makeup – How to choose vanity lights?

Whether it’s in your daily makeup routine or makeup for a special occasion, it’s not the eyeliner, eyeshadow or gloss that can give you that extra beauty boost, it’s the makeup lights you have.

Any beauty product can offer incredible results, from the glow of a soft tan to the most seductive eye look, but without the right lighting when we apply them, the glow and seduction can become Halloween-worthy as soon as we step out onto the street. That’s why it’s so important to know how to choose the right vanity lights.

What is the best lighting to apply makeup?

The ideal light for makeup is natural or neutral light. A natural light makes the result of the makeup the one that best suits any type of light that we are going to find. It is bright, uniform, avoids shadows and allows us to see if any of the products have not been blended or applied correctly. If there is one thing all makeup artists agree on, it is that sunlight is the best for applying makeup.

The temperature considered ideal for a vanity is approximately 3500-4000ºK. Another aspect to take into account is the orientation of the light source. These points will be discussed in detail later on.

Lights for makeup

If you can apply your makeup near a window or directly under the sun, take advantage of it. In this case, it would be best to use a hand mirror and position yourself so that the light illuminates your face.

But what if we don’t have natural light, what options do we have?

Here we are going to tell you the keys to have the best possible light when applying makeup.

Tips for choosing vanity lights

  • Go for neutral white light. It is the one that best represents natural light and will avoid surprises when we go outside. This is the temperature we should choose for bathroom lights, whether we do our make-up there or not.
  • Do not use too powerful light. In most cases we tend to use excessively bright lights and end up putting on too much makeup.
  • Use lamps or bulbs with an opal finish. As they are translucent, they diffuse the light, reducing reflections and making the light more uniform. They also prevent glare.
  • Avoid yellow light and especially fluorescent lights. Yellow light will give us a sallow appearance that will make us apply makeup in inadequate proportions. On the other hand, fluorescent light is considered the worst by experts, as it distorts colors too much.
  • Use more than one point of light. When applying makeup, it is interesting to have what is called cross lighting, that is, to have a light source on each side of the mirror.
  • Choose quality lights. The color rendering index or CRI is a vital characteristic in any light source, even more so if it is for makeup. A high CRI ensures that the light reproduces colors naturally, without distorting them. Any CRI value above 80 will suffice.
  • Avoid overhead light. We often make the mistake of having only one point of light shining down on us from above and this is something we should avoid at all costs.

A good trick is to use dimmable bulbs, which allow you to change the intensity of the light, so you can check how the makeup looks in all kinds of conditions.

Give a touch of light to your vanity mirror

It is not necessary to renovate the bathroom or change the vanity we have in the room. With a bit skill we can create a space with the right lighting for makeup without spending a lot of money.

If we normally apply makeup in the bathroom, the easiest way is to use three points of light that can be installed around the mirror: we will use a bathroom wall light to have a general light and two 220V LED strips, since they do not need a power supply, which we will place lengthwise on each side of the mirror and generating the cross lighting that we mentioned before. If we do not want to manipulate the mirror, we can place profiles for LED strips on the wall, which will also allow us to direct the light towards us.

If we want to place the lights around the vanity mirror and the mirror frame is made of wood, we can place a couple of bulbs on each side. In this case we will have to drill into the mirror frame to place the bulb holders and run the wiring behind the cabinet to the socket.

An alternative to strips or bulbs is to use LED neon, which can be perfectly adapted to the shape of the mirror.

It really worth it to have a specific light for makeup. This way we will avoid surprises thinking we look spectacular, only to get to the car and realize that we need several touch-ups.