Nothing’s worse than taking a bathroom break at a garishly lit restaurant only to realize that the makeup you applied in your dim bedroom “lighting” looks nothing like you thought it did. For instance, sometimes, I think I’ve blended my foundation imperceptibly (in pursuit of the no-makeup makeup look, of course) only to find a mismatched streak right down my cheek.
To troubleshoot this situation, I ask makeup artists Katie Jane Hughes and Min Min Ma for some pointers on how to better light my at-home applications. “Natural lighting is best, especially overcast light,” Ma tells me; however, she also realizes it’s not always possible to put yourself together before sundown. In this case, she recommends daylight LEDs, which “can mimic natural light,” she says.
According to the pair, it’s not just the bulb you use that affects how your face is lit when sweeping on foundation, but where the light actually comes from. “Lighting should hit the face evenly—top, bottom and two sides,” she explains. “If you don’t have that option, at least go with lighting that can hit your face from both sides.”
She recommends a vanity mirror with built-in LED lights as the easiest at-home lighting solution, but you can also install LED lights along the rim of your bathroom mirror if you’re looking for a larger, more permanent canvas (Hughes had Flashpoint panels installed at her home to make her makeup application a breeze).
As for on-the-go lighting? Hughes opts for a mini Dracast panel. “It’s light and compact and can push warm or cool light, or a mix,” she tells me. Ma, meanwhile, finds pro options to be bulky and uses a selfie ring LED light. “I attach it on my phone when there’s no adequate lighting,” she says. “It hits the face evenly and it’s not blinding or uncomfortable for the client.” In other words, your phone’s flashlight function has met its match.
Somedays, you just don’t feel like wearing makeup, flawlessly applied or otherwise. Here’s the inspiring reason Drew Barrymore opts out on Instagram. Plus, if you’re going for a minimalist look, Alessandra Ambrosia’s go-to product is a must.
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