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Colour of Lighting and Make Up - The Facts

By Nikki Lalor For Spectrum
PUBLISHED: December 21, 2017

Colour of Lighting and Make Up - The Facts

Have you ever checked the car mirror and realised your make up is just not right? It's most likely the lighting colour in the bathroom could be too yellow or red. Creating the right lighting environment is achievable and you don’t need to be an expert in lighting or makeup. If you're a beauty blogger/vlogger, a make up artist or a photographer it is a good idea to understand the scientific aspects of lighting to achieve the result you need from film or photography. 

A hue that is too warm or cool will result in applying the wrong shades of colour.
  1. Yellow Light: will make you look tired causing to over apply concealer
  2. Red Light: will cause a pseudo healthy glow and therefore you could be under applying concealer
  3. Fluorescent lighting: It will cause your skin tone to look washed out and over application of bronzers or blush will result


    The left image is lit under 6500K (Kelvin) which is a whitish/blueish light whereas the right image is lit under 4200K which is a more yellow light. The higher the Kelvin the whiter the light is and therefore the better the conditions for make up application. 



    Kelvin is a unit of measurement to describe the hue/colour of a light source. This cannot be confused with temperature measurement . The higher the Kelvin value the whiter the light source is i.e sun light. For makeup application, 4800K-5000K is recommended as it is not too warm or too cool.


    Kelvin (K) is a unit to describe the colour temperature of the light. 2700-3000K is a soft warm light and suitable if you would like a healthy glow for photography and not make up application. 3500K-4100K is a neutral white light and its good for photography. 4800K-5000K is recommended for make up application and photography as it is not too warm or too cool. 


    1. Less than 2000K: dim glow similar to a candle light
    2. 2000K - 3000K: soft white glow, suitable for living rooms and outdoor
    3. 3100K - 4500K: a bright white light; suitable for kitchen, bathroom or work places
    4. 4600K - 6500K: a bright blue-white light, similar to daylight; suitable for working conditions such as doing brows or lashes
    5. 6500K and up: a bright white hue of light, suitable for museums, retail spaces



    Lumens is the total output of light in other words the brightness output of the light.  The more lumens, the brighter the light and the lower the lumens the dimmer the light. Lumens are to light as:

    1. Kilograms is to apples
    2. Litres is to water


    So what are the best lighting sources if natural light is not available. Below listed is 3 lighting products best for make up application and photography. 


    1. Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe Ring Light

    spectrum aurora make up ring light

    The Spectrum Aurora ring light has an adjustable colour temperature of 3000k to 5500K, you can choose if you want a warmer light or to mimic daylight. It features 240 individual LED light bulbs. The ring light emits 3850 lumens per metre and CRI (colour rendering index) of 95+. If you would like to learn more about Colour Rendering Index visit this link)

    2. Glamcor Light


    The Glamcor light is HD Adjustable colour temperature from 2,700K to 5,600K. 


    3. The Make Up Light

    the make up light

    The Make Up Light has a CRI of 96+.