What Kind of Lighting Is Best for Applying Makeup?

Hello and welcome to our article about the best kind of lighting for applying makeup. Putting makeup on can be a struggle if you don’t have the right lighting. Bad lighting can also result in poorly applied makeup, so if you want your face to be as flawless as possible, it’s crucial to consider your makeup lighting.

What kind of lighting is best for applying makeup? Natural daylight, or the light you get from the sun, is the best to have when you’re applying makeup. Natural light is clear and diffused evenly, so it’s easier to see the right colors and your actual skin tone. If you don’t have access to natural daylight or if you’re putting makeup on at night, the next best thing is warm white light or artificial daylight, which you can get from LEDs.

Interesting, isn’t it? We’ll talk more about natural light and why it’s best for makeup. We’ll also discuss why LED lighting is considered the best choice if you don’t have access to natural sunlight.

We will also be taking a look at the other kinds of lighting used for makeup and their effects on the face. As a send-off, we’ll be giving you some fantastic tips on getting the best makeup lighting using natural light and LEDs. Let’s get started!

What Kind of Lighting Is Best for Applying Makeup
Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

What Is the Best Lighting for Applying Makeup?

Makeup artists, lighting professionals, and beauty enthusiasts all agree that natural daylight is the best lighting for makeup applications. Natural daylight, or the light that comes from the sun, is clear and evenly diffused. It also gives the most accurate rendering of your face.

If you stand in front of a mirror with natural light from a window, what you see in your reflection is basically what others get to see in natural light.

And because it’s clear and diffused, natural daylight allows you to easily see if you have blended your makeup properly. It also lets you see whether the makeup you put on matches your skin tone, and if you have chosen the right shades for the look you’re going for. This is especially important when you’re matching your makeup with your outfit! You can also check out this article that talks about LED mirrors and if they are good for makeup. We have talked about the benefits of using LEDs for applying makeup.

What Is the Next Best Lighting for Makeup Application?

If natural sunlight isn’t available, LED lighting is considered the next best option for makeup lighting. Warm white LED light has a color spectrum that closely resembles that of natural light. And, like the light from the morning sun, it also distributes light evenly across your face. LEDs also do not emit as much heat like other light sources.

Here’s a closer look at what makes LED lighting the best choice for makeup lighting next to natural light.

Color Rendering

LED lights also score high on the Color Rendering Index or CRI. The CRI is a scale used to measure the ability of a light source to show colors realistically compared with natural light.

For the CRI, 100 is the perfect score, which means the higher a light source’s CRI, the more like natural light it is. And the closer it is to natural light, the better it shows the actual colors of objects it illuminates.

A light source with a CRI of 80 or higher is considered to have a good color rendering, while one with a CRI of 90 or more is considered excellent in rendering colors accurately.

Many LED lights in LED mirrors and ring lights have a CRI of at least 80. If you want to have the best lighting and the most satisfying makeup session, it’s recommended to use an LED mirror with a CRI of 90 or higher, because this range is closest to the color spectrum of natural light.

Balanced Lighting

LED lighting for makeup often comes in the form of ring light or a lighted makeup mirror. Both are great tools for helping you apply makeup properly. Not only do they give off-balanced lighting, but they also light up the face from all angles.

What’s more, this soft, even lighting doesn’t produce shadows, which can be unflattering and cause you to put on more makeup than you need.

Less Heat

LED lights are energy-efficient and do not give off as much heat like other light sources such as incandescent bulbs. LED lights, such as those on ring lights and illuminated mirrors, feel cool to the touch. This helps a lot when you’re putting on makeup because it means you won’t have to deal with a sweaty face and makeup that melts before you can set it.

✅ Video – Why Lighted Makeup Mirrors are Essential

This video features a lighted makeup mirror and explains why lighted mirrors are important when putting on makeup. LED mirrors are particularly useful as they give off illumination that is as close to natural lighting as possible.

What Are the Other Kinds of Lighting Used for Makeup?

Before LED lighting came along, people used whatever light was available when putting on makeup. This includes fluorescent light, yellow light, and pink light. These kinds of lighting are still in use today, but the effects they have on the face make them unsuitable for proper makeup application. Here’s why.

Fluorescent Light

Fluorescent lighting is often described as having a cool white color and overly bright. While it’s used for lighting up spaces such as kitchens and offices, it’s unflattering for makeup. Its brightness makes imperfections stand out, especially those that one rarely sees in natural light. It also makes your face look pale and dull.

When you put makeup on in fluorescent light, you may end up overdoing your foundation, blush, or bronzer because the lighting makes you think your face is lacking in color, which is not the case when you see yourself in natural lighting. You can also check out this article that talks about what are those mirrors with lights are called. Read the article to find out more about those kinds of mirrors.

Incandescent Light

Incandescent lighting is also common in makeup applications because it’s a warm white light that is similar to sunlight. Traditional vanity mirrors with protruding bulbs, also called Hollywood mirrors, have incandescents. However, what’s bad about incandescent bulbs is that they emit heat.

If you’re heat-sensitive or if you sweat easily, incandescent light can make putting on makeup very uncomfortable, not to mention annoying because you’d probably have to deal with melted makeup too.

Yellow Light

Yellow-toned lighting can make your face look sallow like you’re sick or exhausted. Yellow light can highlight dark spots by making them look darker than they are. This can make you compensate by putting extra concealer and powder, which can make your makeup look uneven and cakey.

Pink Light

Pink or rose-colored lighting may give you a healthy-looking skin tone with a rosy glow, but it’s bad for makeup because you won’t be able to see how you look in natural light.

Putting makeup on with pink light can make you under-apply your concealer, which means you may miss covering up blemishes and dark spots. In addition, with a pink-hued light, you won’t be able to see your makeup pigments in their actual colors.

Tips for Getting the Best Lighting for Makeup

Perfect makeup depends heavily on having the best lighting. The right lighting helps you see the right shades and blend your makeup properly. Follow these tips to achieve the most ideal makeup lighting.

  • Do your makeup near a window, skylight, or any place where you can get natural light.
  • If you are using artificial light such as LED, stand directly in front of it. Better yet, use an LED mirror.
  • Choose an LED fixture with a high CRI for the most accurate rendering of makeup colors.
  • Avoid overhead lighting because it puts parts of your face in shadow, which can cause you to put a lot of makeup in areas that don’t need it. Overhead lighting can also make you tilt your head just so you can see your entire face in the light, which can make it difficult to put on makeup.
  • Avoid unnaturally bright or hued light, such as fluorescent light, yellow light, and pink light, which renders skin tones and makeup shades inaccurate.

Related Questions

Is LED or fluorescent better for makeup?

LED is the better choice for makeup. LEDs give off a soft light, even and are closest to natural light, so it renders your skin tone and the colors of your makeup accurately. This allows you to choose the right mix of colors and blend your makeup properly. Fluorescent lighting tends to be overly bright and unflattering and may cause you to put on too much makeup to hide imperfections that are not that noticeable in natural light.

What is the most flattering lighting?

The most flattering lighting is the natural light that is soft and evenly dispersed. This kind of lighting makes imperfections imperceptible and makes you look younger and healthier. This light can be had from LED bulbs, which also distributes light evenly and gives off a warm white light that resembles natural light.

How many lumens do you need for makeup?

According to lighting experts, it’s recommended to have as many lumens as possible when doing makeup. Lumens, or the amount of light given off by a bulb, varies according to the type of bulb or fixture. LED mirrors deliver from 1100-5800 lumens depending on the size of the mirrors. This is already a good range of brightness for LED lighting for makeup. You can also check out this article that discusses if LED mirrors need electricity. We have shared useful information that you can use when buying LED-powered mirrors.


We’ve reached the end of our article that discusses the best kind of lighting for makeup. To reiterate, natural light is the most ideal lighting for applying makeup because it is even and shows the true colors of makeup pigments.

If there is no natural light available, the most recommended alternative is to use light from LED bulbs because when compared to other kinds of lighting, they give off light that is closest to natural light.

We also gave a few tips on getting the lighting right for flawless makeup application. We hope those tips and the rest of the information presented in the article help you find the best lighting for applying makeup.

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