See the makeup light …

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®bt1080_mainThe 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!

5 thoughts on “See the makeup light …

  1. Thanks for the info on lighting Beké. And I love that seinfeld episode. It had me laughing again at the same episode I’ve seen at least 5 other times. I am getting that simplehuman mirror. I saw if at bed, bath and beyond and wondered if i should spend that much. you’ve convinced me. love your blog.

    1. I appreciate that you read the blog, Albina, but not sure about the cramps….. I mean, cramps are not hilarious. But okay….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.