What Light Bulbs to Use for Makeup?

Makeup Mirror Advice

What Light Bulbs to Use for Makeup?
Spread the love

Until you fix your lighting where you apply your makeup, you'll continue to experience the same frustration... 

You apply your makeup in your bathroom mirror and look great, but then look so different once you step outside … and sometimes the result can be rather disappointing.

And yes the issue is most likely not how you applied your makeup but rather the lighting in which you did.

In this article, we look at what light bulbs you should use in the space and with the mirror where you apply your makeup.

This post contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made through these links. This is at no additional cost to you and helps me to create this content.

Fluorescent lights can make you overuse your makeup whereas yellow or rosy lights may mean you miss spots and apply the makeup unevenly.

Your makeup studio (aka the place you do your makeup) deserves to be properly lit and so does your face.

But what bulbs are the best to use for makeup?

After many hours of research and chatting to professional makeup artists, we managed to find the answers you are looking for.

In fact, with just a couple of tweaks and changes, your bathroom lighting will allow you to do the most flattering makeup.

Keep reading to find out which lights to go for and which to run from!

Avoid Fluorescent lights


Fluorescent lights

This is for obvious reasons. Let’s be honest … no one looks great in fluorescent lights. Cool white fluorescents are overly bright and unforgiving.

This may cause you to add WAY too much foundation, blush, and bronzer in an attempt to compensate for your colorless face which is actually caused by the light.

Rosy lights

This type of lighting makes your complexion look vibrant and healthy, which is great, right?

Unfortunately not, because once you step out of the rosy light, you lose the glow.

Because of this lighting giving you a vibrant look, you typically under apply concealer only to later find that you have missed dark spots and blatant blemishes.

Yellow lights

This kind of lighting makes you look sick, tired, and worn out.

This may cause you to go over the top with your concealer and powder in an effort to hide your dark spots and neutralize your face’s color.


We all remember that as children we would hold flashlights under our chins to look scary?

Sadly, down lighting works in the same way, just in reverse.

Downlighting shines down on your pigmentation and wrinkles, causes shadows under your eyes, and makes you instantly look older.

Want to know more about the different light bulbs that makes most sense for the different rooms in your home then, you'll want to check out this article at Lifehacker.

Invest In

The best lighting conditions to use to apply your makeup is warm, natural light.

Of course, natural sunlight is the best, but most of us can’t apply our makeup outside every day.

So, when fresh sun rays aren’t available, the best light bulbs to use for makeup are warm white bulbs like LEDs.

These bulbs closely resemble the natural light color spectrum while distributing the light evenly across your whole face.

When you install lights into your bathroom, you need to create side lighting or cross illumination to make sure that the lighting is evenly diffused over your entire face.

A simple trick to set up your lights is to look at your mirror. The section with the most illumination must be at eye level.

Also take note that you shouldn’t set up lights, LED or other, solely at the top of the mirror.

This will light up your forehead, causing you to tilt your head up to see properly. This will make it tough for you to apply your makeup with accuracy.

Purchasing the correct bulbs is vital to create the ideal environment to apply your makeup evenly.

You can also install dimmers for your lights in your bathroom to further tailor and customize your lighting atmosphere.

However, if you don’t want to change the lighting in your bathroom, you can also invest in a makeup mirror that contains LED lights around the entire frame.

This gives you even, consistent lighting that you can take anywhere.

Invest In

What About in Stores?

When shopping for your makeup, you should always take advantage of any natural light.

The lighting in department stores is often very unflattering and doesn’t give you the most accurate interpretation of your face.

This is why the foundation that you tried on in the store that looked so great now doesn’t match your skin tone when you use it at home.

Luckily there is an easy solution. Shop for your makeup during the daytime and always bring a mirror along.

When you try out new makeup, walk to a window with your mirror and look at the makeup in natural light.

This lets you see the makeup accurately before you buy it.


The best bulbs to use for makeup are warm white LED lights that bathe your skin in as close to natural light as possible.

(3) comments

Add Your Reply