The Best Bathroom Lighting

The Best Bathroom Lighting

bathroom lighting
Photo credit: Marjan Lazarevski
Flickr Creative Commons
Ever applied your makeup perfectly, left the house with a spring in your step, and strutted into the office – only to catch a glimpse of yourself later and realize you accidentally used a scary amount of bronzer?

Your makeup applying skills may not be at fault. It could be the lighting in your bathroom that led you astray.

So, what’s the best lighting for applying makeup, so you never end up looking like you’re heading for a circus audition?

The Best Bathroom Lighting For Your Beauty Routine Is Cross Illumination

For ideal makeup application lighting, light your bathroom mirror from both sides, a setup known as cross illumination. The pair of fixtures – which can be sconces or pendants – should be about 36 inches apart, or 18 inches from the mirror’s center line. You can also make use of mirrors with backlit sections of frosted glass.

Your side lighting fixtures should be at eye level, or about 5’6” inches off the ground. If there is a significant height difference between several people who use the mirror, you should make use of two long lighting fixtures to keep everyone happy.

Two very bad makeup lighting setups are recessed lighting from above and – this is the absolute worst – a recessed fixture over the sink.

Recessed lighting from above will not only fail to illuminate anything but your forehead, but will force you to crane your neck and look up in order to see your face properly.

The recessed fixture from below is a little like putting a flashlight under your chin while sitting around a campfire: It casts scary shadows and ages you ten years! You’ll slather on the foundation to make up for the haggard look.

On the contrary, cross illumination sheds an even supply of light on your face so you can apply your makeup without worrying about mistakes.

The Best Bulb Colors and Brightness Levels

When you go to set up your side lighting, you should use incandescent bulbs that are 75 to 100 watts. While energy-efficient lighting should be sought in most other cases, this is one scenario in which warm, steady incandescent lighting pays off.

Keep in mind that your bulbs’ hues will affect the way you apply your makeup. If you do decide to go fluorescent, the stark glow will probably lead you to go heavy on the bronzer and blush to make up for your apparent lack of color.

Rose-colored bulbs are more flattering, making any complexion vibrant and healthy looking, but this could have the opposite effect as fluorescent lighting: You may go easy on the concealer and miss problem areas.

Ideally, you should try to match your bathroom brightness and hue with the lighting of wherever you’re headed.

What To Do When Shopping

If you’ve ever brought home a new shade of eye shadow only to realize it was all wrong for you, it could be the fault of the store’s halogen-based lighting.

Most makeup stores make use of mirrors lit with halogen bulbs, which don’t match the color of natural light OR incandescent light. As a result, it’s common for makeup to look completely different in the store.

To combat this effect, you should bring a hand mirror with you to the makeup store, then find a source of natural light for testing out shades of blush, eye shadow, and concealer.

Enlist Our Interior Lighting Design Services!

If you want the help of a professional in creating the perfect makeup lighting, call Wes Carver! We offer excellent interior lighting design from experienced professionals, and our technicians install only the best.

Learn more about us! Or check out our client reviews to see what our clients have to say.