Good lighting is crucial for taking flattering photos. And as anyone who has ever walked out with half-blended foundation can attest, it’s also really important for applying your makeup. We assure you: There is no need to overhaul your entire bathroom to get the best lighting. These simple tweaks will do the trick.
Turn Off Any Overhead Lights
Have a light hanging above the mirror? Switch it off to prevent it from casting extra shadows on your face. Not only is this misleading for how much makeup you actually need, but it also makes you look misleadingly haggard (which isn’t exactly a confidence boost first thing in the morning).
Get Some Sconces
A pair of front-facing sconces on either side of the mirror will give you something called “cross-illumination.” Like those old-Hollywood vanity mirrors, this is the best placement for lighting, as you’ll get an even illumination free of any of those aforementioned unflattering shadows.
Choose the Right Bulbs
Look for the CRI (aka the color rendering index) on the packaging. You want a bulb that has a CRI of 90 or higher to replicate the look of natural light.
Avoid Colored Lights
On that note, steer clear of anything that has a yellow tint to it. (They can make you look sallow.) Skip any rosy lights as well. (They soften any imperfections when you look in the mirror—which is great until you walk outside and realize you missed a spot with your concealer.)
Try a Dimmer Switch
And if you want to play it really safe, try adding a dimmer switch. This way you can see what your makeup will look like throughout the day, in all conditions (from your bright office to the dimly lit restaurant you’re going to for dinner).