What type of lighting do you use for makeup application?

In my new place, I replaced the recessed light bulbs with daylight bulbs, so it is a whiter light (it was quite yellow before, like 2600K). The room gets some natural light, and I use a simplehuman magnifying mirror, which also gives off what’s supposed to be daylight, so I wanted to get fairly consistent color temperature throughout the room.

— Christine
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Natural light. I have a mirror in front of the window in my bathroom, and the window is facing North so I never get direct sunlight.

As archaic as it seems, I still to this day use that ancient device called Conair something-or-other, the one with the two folding side mirrors! But I “doctored” mine by putting all bluish-white daylight bulbs in it. So between doing that and having a bathroom window in back of me, as well as the regular BR lighting, I have plenty of light. I will always need my makeup mirror to have magnification because I’m blind as a bat and overly detail OCD!

I use the Simple Human (5x magnification) sensor mirror, which simulates natural sunlight. It’s fantastic for up-close, detailed makeup application (especially for eye looks). It’s also extremely reliable when I need to check if my makeup is properly blended. I occasionally use my bathroom’s cabinet mirror because it has bright vanity lights, and I can get a really good look at my makeup application from a distance.

Mostly a Conair ring light mirror at the moment. I don’t have much natural light in my room, and there aren’t any overhead lights so I just have a floor lamp nearby. I tend to wander back and forth between my bathroom, which has no windows but better lights, for the larger-picture, and use the mirror/light for makeup application. When there is a rare sunny day here in Portland I will steal my dad’s room for a bit as he has one of those closets that are mirrored and the light from the window hits it perfectly.

I usually just use my natural light coming in through the bathroom window with the overhead lights by the vanity area. But as I get older I’m looking into getting a proper makeup mirror that lights up so I can see what I’m doing even better with more dramatic lighting. That would look so amazing on a new makeup vanity table just for me. lol Oh the possibilities.

I also have installed a magnifying mirror and can position it so it’s in front of my regular mirror. It makes seeing what I’m doing so much easier, I wonder how my makeup used to look and how many smears and smudges I used to leave without knowing it!

Exactly – as I’m getting older, I want to keep the precision and flawlessness. I am researching simplehuman mirrors right now, and that of course means I have to get a vanity! YAY!!!! 😀

I have the worst lighting ever! Because I’m usually doing my makeup at 5:30 in the morning, I don’t really get any natural light. I have a light up magnifying makeup mirror that’s supposedly got daylight bulbs but I don’t really like it to be honest. I usually just put the main light on and hope for the best haha! If I’m doing my makeup later in the day then I always try to get natural light because I think it’s the best.

I use natural light from the windows in my bathroom which is perfect. Otherwise, if it is still dark out, I’m scroooooed. I showed up one blizzardy wintery morning to my hairdressers looking rather clownish. I’m very subtle with blush, but this particular day I got it soooo wrong. I’m exaggerating a bit here, but we did laugh our butts off at my noticeably rosier than normal cheeks.. The lighting in my bathroom is particularly bad and it’s been something I’ve been meaning to address for ages. I’ve wanted a proper makeup ‘station’ for ages, but like many things, it hasn’t made it to the top of the list.

Great minds! I had looked at getting a new lighted mirror or setting up a vanity somewhere in my bedroom. Ultimately I replaced all my bathroom lighting with daylight bulbs. It was cheaper and that way whether I stand or sit to apply makeup, I get consistent lighting that lets me see how my makeup will look when I leave the house.

Natural lighting all the way. Where possible anyway. I hate using indoor lighting as it makes me look so yellow/dark. Makeup might look OK in that light but guaranteed it will look so off in daylight! It makes me look like an Oompa Loompa. 😀

So yeah, it has to be daylight!

Might I inquire as to which model and brand name of bulbs you get, if you remember? I have terrible yellow lights in my new bathroom and was looking for a change.

I got EcoSmart 65W CFLs – they’re for recessed lighting, so they are triangular in shape (I got these, but these might be a more typical bulb for household applications.) The key was really 5000K temperature reading, as it gives white, but not stark white, light. Philips is good for daylight bulbs, too, but we struggled to find the right length/type of bulb to match for the cans!

Thanks Kira for asking this question and thank you Christine for answering with such great detail! I just ordered a pack of the bulbs you linked to! Hopefully this helps out with my dark bedroom dilemma! I get really confused with all the different light bulbs out there these days, lol!

Oh I’m so glad u brought this question u. I have a great VANITY My hub by found me a desk that’s glad top and has a nice sturdy metal base. Good size. My oldest is manager of apt in te town we live in. It’s a BIG college town stage university. I might have heard if it. Recently I the news where the girl literally ran over ppl at the Homecoming parade and killed four and injured many. Anyway my hubby found it at one if the dumpsters when classes ended last May. Ppl don’t want or can take things home or move them. Perfect condition. Then for my bday my son made me a lighted Vanith Mirror. That sits in the back of the desk but also has a very wide to support it in the middle down to the floor. Keeps it steady also. He has access to a lot of great tools. Looks completely pro. It has 16 bulbs around it. Looks like Aliens have landed if I have it on at nite. We had extra bedroom that isn’t too big and became my makeup room. But trying so hard to learn about what bulbs i really need and should be using instead if the ones I have now which r clear round bulbs but out off too much yellow light. I had someone on a bulb website trying to help me. I just wanted them to tell exactly what to buy. I do know what the K means. Mine now r at 26-2800. Can’t remember exactly. I think I need the white colored bulbs instead of clear ones and now can’t remember the watts u said in the above post. But could u please tell me exactly the bulb size, kelvins, and whatever info I need so I can find them to order some or find them somewhere. I thought someone told me if I went with 5000k I wouldn’t be able to handle to the heat or stay in the room? But that’s what size I thought I needed according to the chart on my existing bulbs. Please please help me.? I need the exact stats on how to get them? It’s hard to understand but tried. Thanks u so much.

Home Depot has a good chart: http://ext.homedepot.com/shopping-tools/light-bulbs/bulbbasics-colortemperature.html

The K is really signifying the color temperature of the bulb. The higher the number, the whiter the light. You’ll often see “Daylight” on bulbs that are 5000K or higher, but I find anything that is TOO high looks cooler white to me (like the opposite problem of yellower light). LEDS give off less heat than most bulbs I believe, so that might be the route to go on if you have a lot of bulbs near your face 🙂

Best advice I have is to take one of your existing bulbs with you to your local hardware store, so you can get the right base and size. Tell the associate that you’re looking for daylight bulbs/lighting, and you can check out the boxes for the K reading – look for something 5000-6000K!

Thanks so so much. I have a cpl ladies I’m on the Glamlifeguru app looking also. It’s a great thing to know about I think for everyone that doesn’t have the window to use or doing makeup before the light of day. God bless them so much. I’m not a morning person. Lol. Just have to say I really appreciate all u do for so many ppl. I’m sure it’s a great job but can’t be easy all te time and so much and so many products to keep up with. U do a Great job. Thank You so so much. I recommend u to everyone I come across if they wonder how a product is and performs.

Thank you so much, Joyce! I think natural light is great if you can get it (the real deal), but I actually really like knowing I have the right bulbs/lighting that I can turn on and off so I never worry about whether the sun is out or not, lol! Plus, night time, day time, I’m covered 😀

At home I use the natural light from the bathroom window where I set my magnified mirror on the window sill. With both the light and the mirror, I see every little pore, every little hair that needs to be plucked LOL. When I’m away from home, it’s a little harder to get natural light so I just do the best I can. I need to get a lighted mirror but they are too big for travel.

I have my vanity set up next to (but not directly in front of) large windows, so there is some daylight. But my tiny little makeup mirror is pretty yellow-toned and days when I can’t turn on the overhead lights (when my boyfriend gets up after I leave), it’s always a surprise when I get to work as to how my foundation or blush looks! Lol

My bedroom has really bad lighting. I have my stash table set up there in like an alcove part of my room. There is a nice opportunity for natural light with windows. BUT, I noticed after I moved here that the neighbors across the street (in front of the big window) are nutso! People busting out of the house at all hours, loud, sit on the stoop,etc. So, I felt like I had an audience while I was getting dressed if I opened my blinds. I looked into the cost to run wiring for lighting as my house is very old. Outrageous! So, I actually was gifted the Simple human mirror that Christine has last Mother’s day. I love it! It really does magnify though! so I need to figure out something with lamps I guess because now, I get up and down and walk to a hanging mirror on the wall, lol!

I got one of the simplehuman mirrors as a gift and it is the greatest thing ever. It makes doing my makeup SO much more fun. Takes longer now too because I enjoy it so much, but… 🙂

I just asked for (and received!) the SimpleHuman mirror for my birthday based on your recommendation and love it. It’s the first lighted makeup mirror I’ve owned where I’ve actually been happy with the brightness and temperature of the light. Love the light intensity, and love the neutral color of the light. My last lighted mirror (some Conair model) produced a really warm/yellow light that I didn’t care for. My makeup setup isn’t great in terms of lighting (my vanity faces the wall, away from the light fixtures in my room so its always in shadow) so the light from the mirror is really important. Makes the SimpleHuman mirror worth the expense.

I do my makeup in our ensuite bathroom that has an LED light above the basin and a makeup mirror. The issue isn’t always the light, but the fact I am putting on my eye shadows without my glasses!.

A magnifying mirror does the trick! I couldn’t ever put on my eye makeup with out it but getting the right one is key. Most make you look ‘wavy’ and that’s just wrong. : )

I live in the suburbs of Portland, OR, so I don’t get much natural light for most of the year. I have a vanity strip over my mirror, with six GE Reveal bulbs. Also there are two lamps flanking my vanity, each with two GE Reveal bulbs. I need good, bright light for application, as I have a particularly odd and every-changing astigmatism in my left eye. It needs lots of light to see detail. In general, my low-light vision is getting worse and worse as I age. I have glasses, but my astigmatism changes too frequently and is too distorted for contacts.

The walls are painted a very pale, neutral blue in a satin finish. I didn’t want any really bright, shiny, super-warm, or super-cool colors absorbing or reflecting my lighting, or altering how my makeup appears. I have a large wall mirror and with a magnifying mirror attached with suction cups, so I can do my eyes without wearing my glasses.

I also have a decorative chandelier overhead. It has several smaller candle-flame shaped bulbs, but they’re regular incandescent bulbs. I have the Reveal lighting on a separate switch by my vanity. So I can switch them all off and get a better sense from the overhead lights as to how my highlighter and shimmery/glittery/metallic eyeshadows look, and how my makeup appears in regular indoor lighting.

I have a 4-bulb fixture over my bathroom mirror. I’ve installed 4 100-watt bulbs of different types – halogen, daylight fluorescent, clear and incandescent, to get a mixture of bright light.

Feeling like such an amateur right now. I do my makeup in my sitting room, while watching TV. The löight is warm. In the summer I get enough daylight in the morning, but in the winter I have to rely on electric light. I do check everything in my bathroom mirror, the light there is cooler more like daylight.
If I ever get an extra room, I’ll have a vanity in front of a window, with good shading curtains for really bright days, but so far that extra room is just in my dreams.

The lighting in both my bathroom and bedroom is way too harsh and yellow so I’m now going to look into the white light bulbs Christine suggested and a magnifying makeup mirror because the mirror in the car on the way out is not getting it right now.

I actually just bought a new bulb just for that reason. The bulb i got is a CREE 8000k 1050LTI 4-filament LED Lihgtbulb with a CRI of 83.
although that sounds super fancy, its actually only a 9$ lightbulb. In fact out of all those details the only 2 things that matter are, the fact that its pretty close to daylight brightness, and its CRI. CRI stands for color rendering index. This represents the rating that indicates how “true-to-color” something will appear near this lighting. The lightbulbs you see being used in the makeup application of pofessional models for example, usually have a CRI of somewhere close to 100. However anything above the CRI of 80 is excellent for makeup application, and thats why eventhough its not necessarily what a pro would use, its still a great bulb. On top of that, this light bulb is dimmable! so if its ever too bright, i can simply dim it. its amazing! i actually find this question ironic mainlys because today was my first day using it!

My vanity setup is in my living room, which like the rest of my house, gets very little light. Wooden blinds + heavy drapes and minimal windows! I have a desklamp with a daylight bulb and a 10x mirror in the center of the vanity. A few warm bulbs are scattered around the room, but unless I turn on the makeup lamp, it’s very low lit.

Verilux Full Spectrum light bulbs – not fluorescents, not compact light bulbs (or whatever they’re called). These are good, old-fashioned full-spectrum light bulbs that mimic natural light. Hard to find and a bit pricey, but they last a long time and you cannot beat the light.

I really struggle with lighting. I have tried several different rooms and lighting. I need glasses all the time, so I have to use a magnifying mirror. I use the simplehuman one. But that dosent help when I need to check the over all look of my makeup. So i am still looking for a relatively cheap solution. Any ideas anyone? does any one else find problems putting on makeup with poor eye sight?

I use the crappy yellow lights in my bathroom, which of course also happens to be windowless. Sigh. The lighting usually tends to be pretty truthful, but sometimes I’ll go into my room to check my makeup only to find DISASTER. In my cousins’ house in Panama there were windows in the bathroom so I got the perk of doing my makeup in natural light every day – it always looked so good! I miss that haha

Hi lady I left a reply on a comment u gave to Kira about bulbs sizes for lighting on my vanity mirror. I digit to mention I so have a smaller makeup mirror that flips from regular to magnification. That I use in my vanity most of the time right now. Because age is brought me to bifocals in late 40s. Lol. I thinks it’s a Conair that is silver and the lighting is all around the mirror and u just spin it over to get either side. But I’m need to know what size to put in my Vanith mirror my son made me for my bday. The ones I have now r round and clear and look way too warm and not right. I have 16 bulbs for it. I have tried to research the the meaning of the kelvins mine now r like 26-28 and someone told me that 5000 wasn’t really possible to handle. I just need to know all the exact stats on a bulb I assume needs to be white and clear. And any suggestions where to order them? I really want to use my big mirror. But the lighting is so yellow and looks off I can really see well with it. I hope this makes sense. Just so excited u asked this question and might have a chance if someone to tell exactly what and where? It confuses me easily because I have been thru 13 yrs if Cancer treatments off and mostly on. Beat sx times so far. And just got a great report in remission. It’s treatable non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. But they say not curable. So whatever time will tell. As long as I keep beating it I will do whatever chemo and radiation or any other I need. Because I’m a fighter and survivor and love life and my three sons and marriage of 29yrs.

Congrats on kicking cancer’s butt not once but SIX times! Keep fighting the good fight, and I replied to you on the comment you left previously, but let me know if you didn’t get a notification for it!

Hey ladies. Just a tip from a pro artist who’s worked in different media settings for 15 years. I have a pro lighting system called Glamcor which cancels yellow based light and offers true daylight lighting when I do professional work. At home I’ve duplicated this lighting by buying an “Ott” light which is the light that crafters use for fine close up work. It is a small rectangular light that you can put on your makeup table and open and close to face you…I set it behind my round mirror. It cancels out yellow light typical of our homes and creates a daylight atmosphere for the most close up work. You can buy Ott lights in most craft stores. I bought mine in a hardware store in the lighting department where they have floor and table lamps. It’s pretty compact….LED lights that do not get hot.

I do my makeup in my bedroom but my vanity is far from the window, so I don’t have natural light.

I have a lighted makeup mirror but the lights are too warm that I don’t see the shades true to color. I need to rearrange the lightning as soon as posible.

In front of the window and or daylight lightbulbs in the evening, my husband has great lighting in his art studio! There are the industrial big lights that he covers with wax paper and that diffuses a lot of the brightness for when he does YouTube videos and such I haven’t use that yet but I plan to!! Especially for future videos and tutorials!

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