Make-up application, like photography, has a lot to do with controlling light. For example, the fundamental purpose of eye shadow is to create a…uh… shadow that makes your eyes look bigger and/or makes your eye color stand out (I will not say “pop” – I will not say it.). But one can only control light so much with make-up, because the former changes with every step you take.
This is why the light in which you apply your make-up is so bloody important. Some of you put make-up on in the car – if so, go stand in the corner because you’re naughty. But most of you put make-up on in a bathroom, with the light coming from overhead. So, for example, no matter how much concealer you put on, you’ll still see a dark circle underneath the eye, because the light is hitting your brow and lashes and casting a shadow. I am reminded of a certain Seinfeld episode….
Wisdom: most of what we see in the mirror that we don’t like is just bad lighting.
Celebrities are almost always seen under optimum lighting conditions in retouched photographs – no pressure. Imagine they’re caught lingering in unflattering shadows – those photos could very well end up in a supermarket rag, tagline: “The beauty is really a beast!!” When I hit the lotto, I’m going to hire a personal lighting technician to make sure I’m perfectly lit at all times.
Mix bad lighting with failing eye sight and you have a beauty problem, which can be solved in most cases with the purchase of a good lighted make-up mirror. They can range in price from $30 to over $1,000 dollars, and can be on pedestals, or wall mounted like the sort you might find in upscale and apparently sympathetic hotels. Don’t be afraid to spend – a mirror that offers a good view of your bad self is priceless.
Whichever you choose, the reflection should be clear and undistorted. Speaking of which, three to five times magnification should be sufficient – no one sees you 10 times larger than you actually are. Nor is it helpful to see only a giant EYE in the mirror – maybe for over-scrutinizing your laugh lines, but not for successful make-up application. You need to be able to see most of your face without distortion.
I just replaced the high end mirror I bought on eBay years ago with a product I’m rather giddy about – the cordless LED make-up mirror by simplehuman®. The 8” version, which is ideal, comes in both pedestal and wall-mount style, has a perfect five times magnification, great glass quality, and the light is daylight temperature, the best for applying make-up. It also has this somewhat creepy but useful habit of coming on when you get in front of it and then turning off automatically. Strange at first but now I kind of dig it.
The simplehuman® 5X Sensor Vanity Mirror ($200) can be purchased at Bed, Bath& Beyond, so head over there ASAP with a 20% off coupon in your hot little hand, and you will be literally, and figuratively, illuminated. You’re welcome!