Beauty Clinic: Dark mornings are ruining my make-up!


Q. Since the clocks go back, I'm putting my make-up on in the dark – well, not literally, but by electric light. When I look at my face in the mirror at work, I don't like what I see! What can I do?

A. The answer is to switch the bulb in one of your lamps to a daylight bulb. As Kathryn Middleton (from Lighting Direct) tells us: 'Daylight bulbs will show up all of your imperfection; in terms of applying makeup, this is exactly what you need. Get your foundation right in this light and it is guaranteed to look flawless everywhere else.'

Kathryn continues: 'Very warm white lighting can be a bit like looking through a soft-focus camera lens and won’t help you with the finer details of your makeup application – for example, determining whether you’ve blended your foundation successfully or whether your summer lipstick now looks equally good without that suntan.'

It's not UNcomplicated to get the right daylight bulb, but here goes. When shopping for these, you need to look for a three digit reference number on the packaging beginning either 85, 86, 95 or 96 – this will ensure that it falls into the category of ‘daylight bulb’ and will emit a fairly neutral, blue-ish light that will give you the best indication of true colour.

Alternatively, when shopping online, make sure the ‘colour rendering’ (CRI) is 80 or above, and the colour is 5000k or higher.

'The other factor to consider,' continues Kathryn, 'is the lumens – ideally, a bulb of around 1200lm will give you the brightness you need in order to see the detail when applying your makeup. Much less than that and you’ll be back behind that soft-focus camera lens again.' Also think about the DIRECTION of the light. As Kathryn notes: 'It’s also worth paying some attention to the direction of your light source: side to side (or cross illumination) lighting is much more effective than up or down lighting, which can create more of a Halloween effect! Ideally, you should position your light sources each side of a mirror at eye height to ensure that the light diffuses evenly across your face.'

So in short, look for:

  • A three-digit reference number on the packaging beginning either 85, 86, 95 or 96
  • Colour rendering (CRI) is 80 or above
  • Colour is 5000k or higher
  • Brightness is 1200lm+

We say: let there be light...

Beauty Clinic, FeatureTania Smith