We all love a bit of natural daylight, but it isn’t always possible to get it for makeup application. If you want to create a great portfolio of your work, you need consistently good lighting – and ring lights are fantastic for this. Here's how to get the best ring light headshots to show off your makeup.
Simple. It’s the best light for the job. The circular design provides an even, soft light that minimizes shadows and shows colours as they should be. It’s the go-to tool of beauty bloggers and vloggers for a reason.
The Spectrum Aurora 13” Mini Pearl Complete Studio Ring Light Softbox Kit is a great compact kit for ring light headshots, ideal for travelling to client’s homes with or moving around a studio or salon. It comes with two softboxes so you can achieve complete three-point lighting.
It’s daylight balanced which is great for applying makeup, but the kit also contains an orange filter for giving a warm tone to skin. The dimmable switch means you can adjust the brightness according to your surroundings or needs.
The collapsible softboxes fold away easily, and because the lights don’t heat up you can just pack up and go when you’re finished – no waiting around!
For larger areas needing to be lit, the 240 LED light Spectrum Aurora 19” Diamond Luxe Complete Make Up and Beauty Studio Ring Light Softbox Lighting Kit, features a larger light with a fully adjustable gooseneck, which is great for positioning your light at just the right angle. It comes complete with an adjustable 2 metre heavy-duty light stand for added stability and versatility, and two softboxes.
Again, this lighting kit comes with a dimmer switch and orange filter, and both feature a 12 month Australian warranty.
It doesn’t matter if you use a phone camera or a professional DSLR for your portfolio shots, but there are a few things you can do to create a dramatic improvement in your images.
It’s vital to position your ring light correctly for makeup shots or videos. Position your light so that it is directly in front of your (or your subject’s) face. If you have it above or slightly below, you’ll end up with shadows that can ruin your makeup application.
If you are using softboxes, position one to each side of your subject, with the ring light in the middle, like in the diagram below:
This is called three-point lighting, and defines all of the face. Watch this handy tutorial video for professional tips and advice on lighting for beauty images or videos.
Different lights have different “colour temperatures”. Think about how the yellow-orange glow of a tungsten light is different from daylight. The type of lighting you use has a dramatic effect on your finished images. The daylight-balanced Spectrum Aurora ring lights mentioned above are great for showing the true colours of your makeup.
Fluorescent lighting is perhaps the worst type of lighting to apply makeup in, as it shows up all blemishes and imperfections. This can lead to you over-applying makeup to compensate for what the light shows.
Even phone cameras have settings you can adjust to get the best photo for your ring light headshots. One of the most important things to do is to set your camera’s white balance to the correct type of light. This ensures you won’t get photos with weird looking colours on them.
For daylight-balanced lights such as the ones mentioned above, set the white balance to “daylight”. You can usually find the white balance (WB) settings in your camera/phone menu.
Because ring lights are made to wrap light around, you don’t want it to be too far away from your subject, or you will lose the advantage of this. Keep your lights fairly close, and experiment with different distances to find the ideal range. If the light is too far away, you also won’t get those cool circular catchlights in your subject’s eyes.
To achieve the best lighting for your ring light headshots, try to keep the subject’s face in the centre of the ring light. This will give even lighting over both sides of the face, and they won’t be too close to or too far from one of the softboxes.
Cameras can sometimes “mute” colours, so they don’t look as bright in a photo as they do in real life. Because of this, don’t be afraid to apply bolder colours. Even when you are after a natural look, you can go brighter with the lips and eyeshadows and still look natural.
Great photos don’t just happen in camera. Most images can do with a little adjustment in image editing software. All you need to do is adjust the saturation/vibrance of the colours, adjust contrast, tweak the exposure and perhaps crop the image to bring out its full beauty.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money or sign up for monthly subscriptions to find decent, basic editing software. Check out this article by Tech Radar, which lists the best free image editing software you can get for 2019.
A softbox is a rectangular, square or octagonal box covered in white diffusion material, and it fits over a light source, such as a flash head or continuous light on a stand. It’s one of the simplest of light modifiers, but one of the most used in professional photo studios. The reason? It’s amazingly versatile and gives a beautiful, soft light.
A professional softbox studio lighting kit, such as The Spectrum Aurora 13” Mini Pearl Complete Studio Ring Light Softbox Kit, or the Spectrum Aurora 19” Diamond Luxe Complete Makeup and Beauty Studio Ring Light Softbox Lighting Kit contain all the equipment you need to set up and create professional-looking shots or videos.
The Spectrum Aurora 19” Diamond Luxe Softbox Lighting Kit also has a bendable gooseneck on the ring light, so you can adjust it to any angle you need.
Product photos need to be clear and bright, and you can use just one softbox to light your product and the background at the same time.
The 23" Product & Food Photography Lighting 'Work Hustle' Table Kit includes all you need for high-quality product photos. The kit comes with:
Simply place your two softboxes adjacent and tilted towards the product on either side of the photo table for even light distribution.
With three softboxes like the Triple "Illuminate Mate" Kit and a backdrop of your choice, you can take a variety of portrait images. For a typical beauty shot, you need your main light high up, directly in line with the model’s nose. This will stop any shadows that may appear on either side of the subject’s nose.
Have one softbox underneath the model's chin to reduce shadows underneath, the main light on their side, and one above to ensure even lighting around their face for a flattering look.
You may be surprised that your white background comes out grey in your images – this is because the softbox is lighting your subject, not the background. The grey background look is an effective one, and popular for corporate and other types of headshots.
A professional softbox studio lighting kit is a must for producing high-quality videos for your vlog, YouTube video, website marketing video or tutorial.
Ring light and softbox lighting like the Spectrum 'Illuminate Mate' kit are perfect for videos as they have a ring light to use as your key light, and the two softboxes provide even fill light from both sides.
Your softboxes should be positioned slightly above and to the side of the subject, unless you want a “surreal” effect, then you would angle the lights toward your subject. If you're using a ring light kit, the ring light should be straight in front of your subject’s face, and not too far away. You can shoot directly through the centre of the ring light.
Lighting is a big issue with many makeup photos. You spend a lot of time on your work, and you want it to look amazing in photographs.
A professional softbox studio lighting kit is ideal for make-up artists, hair stylists and eyelash/brow technicians. The Spectrum Aurora lighting kits mentioned above contain a ring light and two softboxes for perfect, shadowless light.
It is advised to not have the ring light too far away from your subject’s face – within a few feet is ideal. Both the Spectrum Aurora 13” Mini Pearl and the Diamond Luxe 19” kits have dimmable lights so you can adjust to whatever lighting conditions you are in. They also come with snap-on orange filters to give a warmer glow to skin.
Softboxes are very versatile, so you can create moody lighting as well as clean, clear lighting. Why not experiment with “monster lighting”? This is a popular choice for movie posters, but it has to be photographed at the right angle to bring out the beautiful angles of the face.
You need just one light, and it should be placed down in front of your model. To get the best effect, get the model to lean forward a little over the light. Watch how the shadows change as the model shifts position, and look for the most eye-catching play of light and shadows.
You can also create striking silhouettes by having your main light as a background, and your model standing in front of it!
You can even use your softbox as part of the design element if you are shooting something reflective, such as a bottle. Simply by putting strips of black tape over your softbox, you can make its reflection in the glass look like a window instead of a softbox.
Lighting a group of people (or pets) can be hard, as you want the light to be exposed evenly across them all.
It’s not really possible to shoot them all with only one light, but you could use two softboxes – one to the front on each side of the group if it’s not too large.
You can also use a bit of trickery if you’re proficient in Photoshop and compositing images. All you have to do is pivot your light so that it lights one person at a time. Take a photo of that person, then turn the light to the next one in line and take another image, and so on. You can then composite them to make a perfectly lit group image in post-production.
The Spectrum professional softbox studio lighting kits are also great for using in photo-booths at parties or weddings etc.
Although a couple of softboxes won’t light a huge room properly, you can use them to effectively light small spaces or part of a room to create beautiful interior photographs.
You can experiment with having the softboxes at different heights and angles to accentuate certain features and to play with shadows.
This diagram is just one example of how you can light small spaces with a professional softbox studio lighting kit:
You can create amazing social media content with a professional softbox studio lighting kit, especially by using the skin-enhancing light that the circular shape of the ring light gives you for amazing selfies. Use the ring light alone, directly in front of your face, or add the two softboxes to each side to give a lighter, brighter feel.
You can shoot flat lays with just two softboxes alone such as the 'Illuminate Mate' kit, by tilting both of them downwards on the stand so the light is coming down from above, and using a fun coloured backdrop as the background.
If you want to create great live streaming for Instagram or Facebook Live, you really need a professional softbox studio lighting kit.
67% of viewers say that quality is the most important factor when it comes to live video (according to Livestream Learn), so you need professional lighting to attract more engagement.
The Spectrum Aurora 18" Diamond Luxe and Softbox Lighting Kit mentioned earlier is ideal for this, as is three-point lighting.
Softboxes are awesome!
The Spectrum Aurora professional softbox studio lighting kits are fully portable, and the softboxes fold down easily for transport. The lights are also designed to run cool, so there’s no waiting around at the end of a shoot for the lights to cool down before packing up.
This means you can take your lighting kits anywhere there is a power source – client’s homes, studios, salons or even on a trip away.
I hope you found some inspiration from this article and are keen to try out a professional softbox studio lighting kit for yourself.
If you can only afford one softbox, make it the biggest one you can afford. You can always block part of it off with black fabric, but you can’t make a small softbox larger!
If you need more diffusion, or you want to experiment with putting your softbox behind a diffusing sheet, a plain white bed sheet stretched out a few feet in front of your softbox will do the trick.
Don’t have a reflector? Use white card or fabric, scrunched up tinfoil or even a mirror – anything white or with a reflective surface will work.
The lighting you use in any style of photography or videography dramatically affects the overall feeling of the final product. For a more brilliant final product, it’s important to understand how a fill light works, and why you should always be using it.
Hang on, what is a fill light anyway?
A fill light does exactly what you’d expect it to based on its name. Its purpose is to literally fill in the shadows.
If you use a main light source, also known as a key light, alone, you will inevitably create very dark shadows on the side of the subject that is not directly lit up by the main light. These dark shadows lack detail and lead to images or videos that appear unpolished, dull, and lacklustre. That even applies when the main light is placed right in front and centred on your subject.
Even if the exposure on your main light source is excellent, content creators that forget about the importance of fill light end up selling themselves short. Fill light adds so much depth and character to the final product.
Since harsh shadows happen when you only use a key light, many people go for one of the oldest lighting techniques in the book. You may have heard of it—it’s called three-point lighting. This tried-and-true technique involves your main light (or key light), of course, a backlight, and a fill light. The approach is simple, yet the results it yields are impressive.
In a three point lighting set up, fill light creates a more even light distribution. A general rule is to set up the fill light opposite the main light. By illuminating your subject with fill light on the opposite side that they’re illuminated by the main light, you’re filling in the shadows on the side that the main light doesn’t touch.
For example, if your main light is the sun, and you’re shooting at high noon, your subject will have shadows under their eyebrows, nose, and chin. Even natural light needs to be manipulated to create stunning portraits. By using the opposite-of-the-main-light rule at midday, you’ll want to place your fill light below your subject, to counter the harsh light that’s coming from above. While the fill light will be significantly weaker, the shadows on the face will no longer be so severe.
On the other hand, in beauty photography, it’s common to place the main light directly in front of the subject. This lighting position creates symmetry in the shadows on the face while accentuating the cheekbones, giving the face a much slimmer look. But, as we mentioned earlier, when lighting the subject from the front without a fill light, there are still going to be shadows coming in from every other direction.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that your fill light should never be as strong as your main light. The three-to-one classic lighting ratio is the most popular—meaning the main light source should be three times as powerful as the fill light.
Using a ratio in which the fill light is less strong than the main light, you will still have some shadows. However, there will be much more detail within those shadows. To play around with more or less detail in the shadows, just adjust the exposure of the fill light to achieve your desired results. With the perfect ratio, fill lights aren’t going to have a negative impact on the main light source.
There are several options to choose from to create the perfect fill light for your photos and videos. Let’s take a look at a few here:
You can create proper fill light with side lights such as the Yongnuo YN300 Double Colour Adjustable LED side lights from Spectrum. These side lights come in twos and are the perfect accessory to go along with your main light source. You can place both of the Crytal Luxe LED Side Lights opposite your main light, and they’re easily adjustable both vertically and horizontally so you can get the perfect angle. Try placing them close to your subject, and then far away to see the differences in the shadows in your photographs.
Using a softbox to create fill light is a very popular choice for photographers, bloggers, YouTubers, and videographers alike. Softbox lighting creates beautifully diffused brilliance, without glare that’s perfect for placing opposite the main light source to counter the dark shadows. The Spectrum Double Rectangle Softbox Lighting Kit also comes in a pair and is popular among portrait, fashion, and even product photographers. No photography studio is complete without a softbox or two.
YouTubers, this one is for you. To not only look better on camera, but also create high-quality footage, you really ought to be using fill light in addition to your main light source. Using a product such as a Spectrum Aurora Platinum Pro Side Fill Photo Video LED Light will soften the harsh shadows your key light plays on your face.
YouTubers, influencers, and vloggers live for this light, but it’s also great for photography. With this Spectrum Aurora Platinum Pro Side Fill LED Light, you can really get creative and play around with the soft white and orange colour filters. The nifty barn door feature is great for controlling the amount of light you let out.
In both photography and videography, fill lights plays a super important role in the overall lighting setup, and of course, the final product. It creates depth and detail on your subject where there would otherwise be very dark, even severe, harsh shadows. Not to mention, employing fill light gives you a much wider range of options and more room to play in the shadows.
Make your subject, whether that’s you or a model, really pop with the right tools and a proper technique. You’ll find it’s actually quite easy, even an amateur can create gorgeous content!
The traditional three-point lighting technique is considered to be one of the most reliable lighting arrangements in photography and video.
The approach and configuration are both relatively simple. By adding layers of light to your primary source at the right ratio and at the right angles, your subject (perhaps that’s you) will have much more depth, dimension, and clarity.
The three-point lighting technique is essential and dependable, having its debut in the theatre, which is why it’s one of the foundations of studio lighting.
Such a lighting scheme isn’t necessary for real life where natural sunlight and other artificial light sources around us adequately light up our lives. However, in photography and film, a single light source can only illuminate your subject from one side—whichever side it’s shining on.
With three-point lighting, you add life to your photos and videos with dynamic shadows. These shadows can be heavy or light, but your final product is guaranteed to have dimension and depth.
The key light is the most crucial element in any lighting configuration. This light is often the strongest light of the setup; it’s your exposure.
Depending on the desired style of the final product, it’s common to see the key light set just to the side of the subject, shining at an angle of about 45 degrees. On the other hand, vloggers and YouTubers will pretty much want the key light to be placed right in front and centred on the star of the show. The Spectrum Aurora 19" Gold Luxe ring light's high intensity LED lighting makes it a great key light to have under your toolbelt.
A backlight’s purpose is to boost the dynamic depth of an image. By creating a kind of separation between your subject and your backdrop, you create dimension. Without a backlight, your subject can seem to almost blend into the background, and you don’t want your photographs or videos to appear dull and two-dimensional.
It’s good to play around with the positioning of the backlight to eliminate shadow. We recommend using one light to light up your background to make it clean and crisp. You can use side lights such as our Yongnuo Double Colour Adjustable LED Light Kit to light up your background to reduce harsh shadows. This creates a total separation between your subject and the backdrop or background.
The other option is to shine your backlight directly on your subject from behind. This position can create a sort of halo effect behind your subject.
When using your backlight, make sure it’s not too bright and that it’s not bulldozing your key light. The magic point is just dark enough not to be overpowering and just bright enough to add separation between your backdrop and your subject.
Your fill light is there to lessen the harsh shadows that your key light creates. You see, the key light will shine a beautiful, bright glow on your subject, but only coming from one direction. All the other parts of your subject that don’t get hit with your key light will have heavy shadows. With the fill light, you can control these shadows.
The fill light illuminates the parts of your subject that the key light misses. The most common placement of the fill light is directly opposite the main light, and it’s important to get this lighting ratio correct. Many photographers swear by the 3-to-1 ratio, which means that your key light should be approximately three times stronger than your fill light.
You can choose from a variety of lights to use for fill. It can be a softbox or side lights. The fill light does not necessarily need to be a light, actually, it can also be a reflector.
Ready to get lit? These kits have everything you need for your three-point lighting configuration and your online presence is going to start shining much brighter. Shine on; you’re a star.
Popular among beauty and fashion influencers, as well as YouTubers, the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe 3-Point YouTube Kit comes complete with everything you need to get started with a three-point lighting arrangement. This professional lighting kit is useful for both photography and filming in half-body frames. The set includes a mirror, which comes in handy when you’re both the subject and the cameraman/camerawoman.
There’s also the Spectrum Aurora 19” Diamond Luxe Complete Makeup and Beauty Studio Ring Light Softbox Lighting Kit which is perfect for entry-level vlogging, helping to create high-quality content for those just starting. The key light in this kit is a gorgeous ring light, particularly useful for makeup and beauty shoots. It creates an even spread of bright light that never flickers.
Amateurs and professionals alike will see a significant improvement in the overall look of their content with these lighting schemes. Your Instagram followers are going to love it!
The three-point lighting set up is not a rigid rule, there’s plenty of room for artistic freedom and creativity. You can adjust the ratios and brightness of all three lights, and play around with the distance between them and your subject. You can also move your camera closer and further away as well, and test out different lenses.
Of course, there are also light filters and colour gels that you can incorporate too, which will undoubtedly add even more variation to the classic three-point lighting configuration. You’ll find that tweaking one or more settings on each light and their positions will render you entirely different results each time.
Remember that three-point lighting is a foundation, where you take it from there is up to you. Stay true to your style—or if you don’t quite know what it is yet, we hope these tips will help you find your groove!
Are you keen to make the close-up pictures you capture on your smartphone better and brighter? We’re talking about your selfies, shots of others, and videos, here. Just because they are taken on a smartphone doesn’t mean they have to be poor quality.
The Spectrum Aurora LED Selfie Phone Ring Lights are perfect for exactly this kind of job. Being one of the best selfie lights in the market, they give your smartphone photos and videos that 'studio-quality' look.
These small ring lights are literally a miniature version of the larger Spectrum Aurora Pro ring lights that you can clip on and off your smartphone and take anywhere you go. While these are the mini-me version, when it comes to this light’s uses, being small is just one advantage!
So, what is a ring light for a phone and what does it do? You may be wondering why you even need one. Many phones these days have excellent cameras with high-res lenses, right? This is true to an extent, but even the best phone camera can struggle in low or dim lighting conditions, especially the front-facing camera which you usually use for selfies.
Ring lights for smartphones add light. This helps to improve the already outstanding images you can take with your phone.
Never mind getting a bang for your buck – with the way we look at things, you are adding and getting a bit of extra brightness for your buck. This product is a relatively cheap, affordable mini ring light to use in conjunction with the camera on a smartphone or other electronic device. The Spectrum Aurora Selfie Phone Ring Lights definitely do not lack in quality in any way.
These selfie lights are portable and easy to carry. Ring lights are ideal if you are out and about and want to take a sneaky selfie; are mobile and always working on the go; are short on space, or travelling. They are also great to have on hand if you want to add to the ambience and lighting effects when you are taking pics on a night out.
The Spectrum Selfie Phone Ring Light in both the Gold Luxe and Diamond Luxe is fitted with a universal clip that will attach to all the major smartphone brands. This includes iPhone, Samsung, LG, Moto, Huawei, HTC, Sony, and more. The clip fitting will also mount the ring light nicely around the lens of the camera on a laptop or tablet.
For the fashionista that likes to colour coordinate their accessories, the Spectrum Aurora Selfie Phone Ring Light range is available in a diamond luxe, gold luxe, or white finish. These ring lights are compact, and lightweight - not much bigger than your phone. The light itself weighs just 60 grams and is 8.5 centimetres in diameter. This means when not attached to your phone, the ring light will easily fit into a pocket or your handbag.
Ring lights can also be attached to laptops and tablets, meaning that the media you capture with your larger devices is going to be of a much higher quality. Late night Skype call with another country? Clip on your ring light and show that you mean business. Digital nomads and remote workers swear by our ring lights.
Once you have clipped them on to your device, Spectrum Selfie Phone Ring Lights are simple and easy to use. There is just one button at the back to power these flicker-free continuous lights on and off. You tap the same button to select from three different brightness settings.
These mini ring lights are made up of 36 individual LED light bulbs. The design and circular shape of ring lights spreads and disperses light from the individual bulbs evenly, making them ideal for a range of situations.
The colour temperature is adjustable to suit the mood and/or set the tone of the image you want. At one end of the scale is a natural daylight setting of 5400K. This brightness level will help you capture images true and accurate to their natural colours. At the other, is a mellower and more subdued softer golden candlelight glow of 3000K.
Spectrum Aurora selfie phone ring lights are 40 lumens and have a luminance of up to one metre. This makes them the perfect tool for adding illumination for your selfies, portrait, and even product shots.
There are plenty of uses for a Spectrum LED mini ring light related to both professional and play pursuits. These little baby ring lights can help you to bring out the best of a person, product, and place. Situations to use a mini ring light with your phone include:
- Products and people: Beauty professionals such as hairstylists and makeup artists find the Aurora Spectrum Firefly ring lights perfect for capturing images of their clients and their creative work. They are not just great for portfolio shots, though. These lights also work pretty well attached to your phone as an aid for makeup application in general! Eating a dish that is way too good not to share? The addition of a ring light will make your food photography even more appetising and Insta-fab – instantly.
- Live streaming: Whether you’re uploading a feed to Instagram Live, Facebook Live, Twitch, or blogging for vlogging to another platform – attach a small light to your phone and you’re good to go, anywhere, anytime. Adding just the right balance of light can make your content more enjoyable to view, and add that touch of polish and professionalism.
- Video chats and calls: Are you lucky enough to enjoy the flexibility of remote working? Or do you regularly speak face to face via your phone with family, friends, or colleagues in other locations? Attaching this little LED ring light to your phone or laptop will help you put your best face forward to clinch that deal or assure folk back home that you are well. These lights make excellent lighting for Skype calls, and that all important interview, meeting, tutorial, or catch up with family and friends.
- Night time selfies: Ever been taking a nighttime selfie and found yourself in the shadows because of low or no lighting? It doesn’t matter whether you’re clubbing, camping, or cozied up in bed - you can be faced with low light. Add a Firefly ring light to your phone for your nighttime selfies, or any other low-light conditions and you will never look like you are lurking in the dark again!
There are two models of Spectrum Aurora Selfie Phone Ring Lights. The first is the Diamond Luxe model that provides daylight white light in three different intensity settings. The other is the Gold Luxe model that provides three different colour temperature settings in daylight white, warm orange and daylight white and orange together in three different light intensities each. Both models are fitted with an internal rechargeable battery and come with a USB charging cable. Just plug the USB cable into your laptop or other USB charger adaptor into a power socket to keep your ring light charged and ready to go.
The addition of a Spectrum Aurora mini ring light for your phone is a win-win. You’ll find you enhance the camera features on your phone – not to mention promoting your own best features in your selfies!
Attaching one of these lights to your phone also opens up possibilities for getting great pro-like shots in lower light conditions – all at an affordable price.
All beauty gurus, whether they are makeup artists or hairstylists, agree that good lighting is at the forefront of their operation. As such, a lot of their business budget is invested in quality lighting.
You should consider makeup application lighting as a key tool in your makeup skill set. Without proper lighting, your makeup will eventually be blotted out by shadows and the colours will lose their intensity. Having the right lighting can dramatically improve your makeup application skills.
As Mariah Carey once said, “Bad lighting is toxic”. She wasn’t wrong. Here, we go over some of the ins-and-outs to choosing the best lighting for makeup application.
The best way to put on makeup is to first follow the proper prep procedures. These preparation steps involve cleansing, moisturising and priming. Applying perfect face makeup can take a bit of practice but in time, things become easier. Lighting featuring the Spectrum Aurora Gold Luxe Ring Light.
First, you want to make sure your face is cleared of any impurities, dirt and residues To do this, simply wash your face with water and be sure to moisturise. Priming is optional, but it is highly recommended if you want your makeup to last for an extended period. Applying a primer to your face before makeup application can prevent runoff from sweating or heat.
After the initial cleansing and preparation, you can start layering your makeup step by step.
Quality lighting is crucial when applying makeup. Believe it or not, the best way to apply makeup is to make sure you see the makeup!
Good lighting means that you're able to apply the perfect face makeup without having to worry about those pesky shadows. You will be able to select the best lipstick and the ideal eyeshadow. Also, makeup tutorials often involve a complex combination of different shades and foundations, to the untrained eye poison ivy green can easily look like forest green.
Unfortunately, finding the right lighting for makeup application isn't as easy as it seems. Fiddling with too much light can cause heat and excessive sweating, while not using enough light can blot out the true beauty of your makeup. Mirror wise, you might score a 10 but step outside and you’ll be lucky to score a 6.
So, what is the best type of light? Firstly, we need to view light as a spectrum of colours and not just as “light”. Focusing on the even distribution between red, green, and blue, will dramatically improve your judgement on shades and foundations.
Visible light (also known as white light), when passed through a triangular prism, refracts into 6 main colours i.e red, blue, orange, green, violet and yellow. The separation of the white light into different colours is called dispersion.
Let’s be honest, nothing really beats natural light. It’s clear, soft and delicate – all the things you want in your makeup arsenal. Always be sure to look for the nearest window to take full advantage of natural lighting. Your makeup will end up looking vibrant and perfectly matched to your skin tone.
Natural light through a window is commonly used in fashion and lifestyle photography as it is evenly diffused, just like a studio softbox light.
What happens if natural light is not available? The alternative is to use a white light produced via LED (light-emitting diode) like the Spectrum Aurora ring light or if you are not fan of ring lights then the Spectrum Crystal Luxe LED Slay Lights are perfect for hair and make up application. These lights provide a steady stream of light, but they can get quite hot when not managed properly.
This lighting solution has been popular amongst bloggers or vloggers, influencers and small businesses. It can also be used for product photography for ecommerce sites. Featuring the Spectrum Crystal Luxe LED Light Panel.
Try using a set of reflectors to evenly spread the light while reducing the emitted heat. When shopping for a light, find one with a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of 90 or higher, the closer to the index of natural light, the better.
Compact, lightweight, bright and portable - it's perfect for any creative professional on the go! Featuring the Featuring the Spectrum Crystal Luxe LED Light Panel.
Spectrum ring lights and all Spectrum Crystal Luxe LED panels have a CRI of 95. Because of this, they are often used by top-end professional makeup artists. The ring lights have an adjustable colour temperature and brightness setting. And if you leave a Spectrum ring light on for a long time, the light doesn’t get too hot.
Ring lights are ideal for both applying your makeup and taking photos of the finished product. If you’re a beauty blogger to vlogger, a ring light is worth its weight in gold.
Because they evenly spread light, ring lights get rid of sneaky shadows and highlight your features perfectly. You might have noticed a sparking, halo-like reflection in a beauty guru’s eyes before - that’s a ring right.
These lights come in a variety of models, including a selfie ring light. These lights are small and compact in nature, designed to clip on to smartphones. Although these lights are smaller, they still produce the same effect as a full-sized Spectrum Aurora ring light.
The Spectrum Aurora ring light is an LED light perfect for makeup artists, hair salons, brow specialists, lash specialists and tattooists. It is used during studio or salon work and photography, too. It creates a wrap-around effect eliminating any unwanted shadows for full glow.
If you are interested in a makeup mirror with bulbs, a 75-100-watt bulb is recommended. It illuminates a golden colour which will prevent the over-application of powder, bronzer, and foundation.
The CRI (Colour Rendering Index) is a scale from 1 to 100 that measures the ability of a light source to accurately show the true colours of an object compared to a natural light. The higher the CRI number the better the representation of colours of the object being lit.
Lighting should be placed directly in front of your face. If the light is placed above you it will cast a shadow. Shadows are your enemy, you may end up applying much more makeup than you intended.
The best way to light up your face for makeup application is positioning the light right in front of the face (not above or below). A white light, like the Spectrum Aurora ring light with a CRI of >95, is best. This is shown in the right image.
Yellow light simply lacks the clarity and brightness needed for a beauty video or photograph. Since yellow lighting tends to be duller it can make you look tired or ill. Applying makeup in this kind of light is bound to backfire, the worst part is that you won’t realize it until you step outside into the natural light.
Rose light tends to give off a bit of heat which will warm up your skin and appear vibrant and healthy. While this sounds like a good trade-off, there is such a thing as “too flawless”.
Due to this healthy glow you get in this lighting, you may miss some spots and blemishes and forget to apply concealer to those areas. Your final result may seem fine at first but if you look over your makeup once more, you may find some uneven patches.
As quoted by lighting expert, Sarah Knight “I would say the fluorescent lighting is the worst. The imperfections on your face all show up”. This type of lighting is unflattering and overly bright. It results in over applying your foundation, bronzer, powder or blush.
Cher (Alicia Silverstone) from the 1995 cult film, Clueless, quotes bad lighting as the reason for her misfortune.
Above we’ve covered a few of the reasons why decent lighting can take your makeup game from so-so to star quality.
Ideally, we would all have perfect natural light to work in at all times. The sun doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. And if applying a full face of makeup in the middle of the street doesn’t sound like something you want to do, a ring light is definitely your next best bet.
Great photographs and video are well-lit. You’ll never find grainy shots in a portrait photographer’s portfolio. Nor would you find dark shadows lingering in the foreground (or background, for that matter) of a successful beauty vlogger’s latest haul-unboxing video. This is not all thanks to fancy, expensive cameras. More important is the proper use of good lighting. Great lighting can change the entire dynamic of a photograph or video. More specifically, learning how to use a ring light to its fullest potential will have you creating content that’s vivid, bright, and professional looking—even if you’re an amateur. With any of the Spectrum Aurora Ring Lights, you’ll find that creating the proper luminescence for your media is incredibly easy. It’s a must-have tool for content creators, bloggers, vloggers, Instagram influencers, portrait photographers, designers, artists, and so many more.
The standard set up for a ring light involves mounting the light in such a way that the camera is right in the middle of the ring. This creates an even halo of light around your subject. This technique will help you to achieve optimal results in both photo and video. For a tutorial on how to set up the Spectrum Aurora Ring Light, check out the video above to see how set up our Gold Luxe Ring Light. While using the ring light in the way it was intended is always recommended, we know that an artist’s job is to get creative.
Do you film makeup and beauty tutorials for Youtube or the ‘gram? Are you using a Spectrum Aurora ring light yet? If not, let us tell you why you should be: The competition for online content is steep in Australia, with so many influencers and beauty vloggers and bloggers generating high-quality photos and video to be viewed and shared. To compete, you need to up your lighting game.
Ring lights are particularly useful for beauty vloggers because of the way the light wraps around its subject—in this case, you. This effect casts a soft halo of light around the face, subsequently boosting your skin’s natural glow while reducing the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles. In fact, it’s kind of like becoming instantly youthful!
Portrait photographers are aiming to capture their subject in the best light possible. With just one ring light, the face of your subject will be perfectly illuminated; making it easy for you to get that money shot. The diffused, warm light will make your subject really pop. And since a ring light enhances the look of the skin and features, much less editing will need to be done.
Do: Position ring light directly in front of subject. Don't: Positioning the ring light at an angle will cause shadows (however if this is the effect you're after then play around with angles).
Depending on the size of the subject and the surrounding environment, it's best to take a test photo first with your phone or camera and then adjust the brightness accordingly. When it is overexposed or underexposed, a lot of fine detail is lost and it is more difficult to edit the image too.
3. COLOUR TEMPERATURE
6000 Kelvin mimics natural daylight and therefore allows for a natural glow whereas 3000 Kelvin provides an orange sunlight glow which gives a bronzy and healthy skin glow perfect for a summer inspired look.
We recommend an arm's length from the face to the ring light for the subject to receive an even output of light.
5. AMBIENT LIGHTING
To achieve the best results from the Spectrum Aurora ring light, all ambient light will need to be eliminated by turning off all lights and blocking the light from the window.
To create the perfect glow around your face with a ring light during a makeup tutorial, set up your camera—be it a mobile phone, tablet, or digital camera—using the mounts that come with your ring light. The mount will hold your camera firmly in place in the centre of the ring light. This keeps the light distributed ever so evenly and beautifully around your face.
Pair the Spectrum Aurora ring light with a half paper backdrop to add extra impact to your video. These paper roll backdrops come in 24 gorgeous colours and are high-quality, studio-grade backdrops that are perfect for any indoor ring-lit videography session. The paper roll backdrop is easy to set up with the Spectrum Backdrop Stand.
Ring lights are also helpful for brightening up a Twitch live stream. Professional gamers might be able to relate to the allure of gaming in the dark, which certainly helps to block out all other visual distractions in order to focus on the game properly. However, a darkened live stream on Twitch won’t garner as many viewers as a well-lit live stream will. With the adjustable brightness on the Spectrum Aurora ring lights, your eyes won’t have to suffer, and your live stream will be bright for your followers to enjoy.
The LED continuous lighting provided by the professional ring light never flickers and it stays cool. You won’t be adding unnecessary heat to your gaming station. The ring light and your camera will have to be set up behind your gaming station, facing you. Your background should be plain and non-distracting. A solid-colour wall or paper backdrop behind you is ideal.
Makeup artists, brow and lash technicians, nail technicians, visual artists. and even tattoo artists should always photograph their work to add to their portfolio. Using a professional ring light will create studio quality lighting anywhere. Plus, the handy gooseneck that comes with the Spectrum Aurora ring light allows you to bend and adjust your light to photograph images at different angles.
For example, a nail technician can photograph their work with the model’s hands on a table by bending the gooseneck into a horizontal position. Tattoo artists will also find this feature quite convenient for capturing their ink work done on even the most obscure and hard-to-photograph places of the body.
Whether you’re a portrait photographer, influencer, vlogger, blogger, or a gamer, you’ll find that adding a ring light to your treasure chest of content-creation tools incredibly useful.
You love video games. You play video games every spare moment that you have, and when you’re not playing them you’re thinking about them. You start watching a gaming video and fall down a YouTube rabbit hole. All of a sudden, it’s 3 am and you realize that you’ve watched every single video on a YouTube gamer’s channel.
If this sounds like you, It might be time for you to start your own gaming channel. Maybe you’re entertaining like pewdiepie or funny like markiplier. Or maybe you’re the kind of gamer who can nail every tricky bit in just about every game.
It’s exciting to think about all of the possibilities. So, where do you start and what are the tools you’ll need to have a successful and entertaining channel?
If you are thinking of starting a Youtube gaming channel (or Twitch, if that's what you prefer), you are in good hands! Here, we’ll go over 6 tips that can help you get your new gaming channel up and running.
It isn’t very exciting, but the first thing you need to do when starting a gaming channel is to think about it. Take out a pen, or open a document, and start brainstorming about what you want your channel to be like. Some key questions to ask yourself include:
Will I be funny or informative?
What will make my channel unique?
Am I creating this channel as a hobby, or do I want to make money from it?
After you’ve figured out your main goals, start breaking those goals down into actionable steps. Think of your channel like it’s a business. You want it to be successful, you have to have a plan in place. It is also a good idea to make a budget so that you have an idea of what you’ll need to spend.
Branding yourself is incredibly important. If you’ve branded yourself right, people will know what your channel is about. They’ll also be able to find it easily.
Figure out what type of content you’re going to be creating. Will you be doing live Fortnite videos or specialising in reviews of indie games? Do you prefer playing combat games or peaceful farming simulations?
Whatever your chosen niche is, you’ll want a proper username, logo and graphics for your channel. It’s up to you if you want to create these things yourself or hire a graphic designer to help you out.
Your username and icon are the first impressions potential subscribers see, so make sure they explain your channel and help you stand out. A great, eye-catching image for your icon will make more people click on your page.
On your videos, spend a little time creating a good thumbnail and really focus on the first three lines of your video description. Often, that’s the only part that a potential viewer will see before (hopefully) clicking on it.
It’s a good idea to do a little research into search engine optimization (SEO) and figure out which keywords are best to tag your videos with. That way, search engines, and therefore people, can find you.
Once you’ve figured out the plan for starting a Youtube gaming channel, you need to make sure that you have the equipment required for the ultimate live-streaming set-up.
Of course, you’ll need all the regular items such as a microphone, camera, editing software, and a powerful graphics card. To really look professional and stand out from the crowd, you’re going to need to invest in some of the equipment which pro photographers and videographers use.
To compete with the popular gaming channels you’ll need to have a green screen and decent lighting. You can’t just turn on some lights and hope for the best, otherwise, you’ll end up looking like one of those 13-year-old gamers recording their first ever video.
We recommend the Twitch Kit. This kit makes it easy to reproduce a professional video studio in your home, and it’s been designed with Twitch and Youtube gamers in mind. It includes a green screen background and clamps, an Aurora ring light, and a big backdrop stand.
Once you have your channel set up and your equipment ready to go, it’s time to start creating content. This is the fun part! You finally get to record yourself playing video games. It can feel a bit awkward at first but feel free to try new things and do some practice videos before you dive into it fully. Once you’ve got it down, great!
Now you have to edit the video, create a thumbnail and a description, and post it. With all of that work, it can be easy to start to lose motivation. That is why you should create an upload schedule and tell your audience about it.
cribers that you will upload a new video every Wednesday, for example. That way you’ll be sure to keep creating content and people will know when to come back to your channel to find more videos.
If you want people to watch the kind of videos that you make, search for similar videos and leave comments. That way you can start getting your channel seen by the kinds of people who share your interests.
It’s important to leave comments that are encouraging and kind, you don’t want to create issues before you even have a strong viewership. Leave a compliment about something that you liked in their videos, maybe a character customisation you admired, or something they did in the video that you thought was funny.
Remember that you should view other YouTubers and Twitch gamers as a community and not as competition. The only person you should compete against is yourself, to try and make your videos better each week.
If you are positive and focus on building a community of like-minded people, you will see many benefits and may even be able to set up collaborative videos with other gamers to reach even bigger audiences.
At the end of your videos, it’s important that you inspire your viewers to interact with you. Ask your audience a question and encourage them to leave a comment with their response. Remind people to like, comment, and subscribe. This is called a ‘call to action’.
The more people interact on your channel, the more traffic you’ll have on your videos, and you’ll be more successful. If someone leaves a comment be sure to respond to them. If that comment is hateful or just ridiculous, ignore it. Don’t feed trolls.
Use the power of social media. Get people to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram so you can let them know when new videos are up.
Gaming channels are super popular right now. While not everyone can be pewdiepie or markiplier, with some hard work and the right equipment you can still create a successful youtube gamer channel.
Make sure to get yourself set up with a green screen and proper lighting. Practice your videos. Come across as genuine and interact with your viewers. Oh, and have fun and be creative. You’ll be counting hits in no time.
If you’re a beauty vlogger and you find yourself constantly swallowed by shadows, then you know just how frustrating it can be to create the perfect make-up tutorial. So, put on your eyeshadow, and grab your contour kit because we’ve got some fabulous lighting and filming tips for all you MUAs that’ll leave you feeling like the queens and kings you are.
FIND NATURAL LIGHT
Bringing your best to the table doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. You know that big bright ball of light in the sky? Well, that is your best friend when it comes to your lighting set up. Find a window that the sun is shining through and use that light to your advantage. Just make sure the light isn't too intense, it should be soft and natural.
Credit to Zoella Sugg
LEDS & REFLECTORS
If you don’t have a lighting set up that people can see from the street, then we suggest buying some LEDs. You can't be messing around as an MUA when you're flexing 25 ranges of foundation. By surrounding yourself with LED lights you’ll be sure to make those colours pop, but don't forget your reflectors. Reflectors disperse the light evenly throughout the room so that you won't feel hot, or be overwhelmed by the brightness.
Have you ever seen that small white ring in a beauty Youtuber’s eye while they are applying make-up or styling their hair and you think to yourself "How in the world?!..." Well, this is thanks to this godsend of an invention called ring lights. This light provides a soft, radial glow and with a temperature of 5400K, it’s even capable of mimicking natural daylight. Better yet, you won’t have to worry about flickers or distorts when filming, as the ring provides a continuous stream of light.
A rule of thumb is that your voice should be as loud as your makeup. Some cameras have mics, but its best to upgrade if you can to assure quality audio. We recommend finding reliable audio software to amplify your voice or even attaching a mic to one your front facing lights.
The Aputure DSLR Shotgun mic picks up high-quality sound, which makes your content 100% more engaging.
Credit to Desi Perkins
POSITION YOUR LIGHTING
Your lighting set up should arranged in a way that captures not just your face, but ALL your beauty. You can easily copy three-point lighting by forming a triangle with your lights, and making sure you're in the middle. You'll instantly notice the difference when the lights hit all your best features, and overall, you'll keep a delicate appearance while filming.
Ever seen your favourite makeup guru's backdrop and noticed it has an ombré effect? They're using a backlight to create that effect. You can use an LED continuous light such as the Aputure AL-198 and place it at the centre behind you when you film to achieve that.
REMEMBER YOUR AUDIENCE
You can't just put makeup on your face, style your hair and end the video. As an MUA and beauty vlogger, you’re an entertainer, so open dialogue is essential when filming. Ask your audience what they want to see, more importantly always remember to ask for feedback. Everybody isn't going to agree with how you used that nightshade when you should've used a jet black.
If you've just started this inspiring journey of becoming a beauty Youtuber then hopefully these tips on how to film a makeup tutorial helped. Be sure to keep your audience posted for that next upload, we’ll be waiting.
Anyone can make content for their social media. The tough part? Creating content that gets your followers liking, commenting and sharing. Follow these three key points and you’re on your way to putting your small business ahead of the social media curve.
Composition involves directing the viewer to the main star of the image, whether that’s a selfie, client photo, product flat lay or lifestyle post. Composing for selfies can be a little different.
Taking a photo has never been so easy with new smartphones having high quality lenses and cameras built in. The best camera is the one in your pocket.
• Find the right angle and ensure that the image is centered
• Leave some negative space in the photo. A zoomed up photo can sometimes be unflattering.
• If you’re taking a shot on the iPhone, you can tap to focus then slide up and down to adjust exposure
• Mix things up with your posts – lifestyle shots, flat lays, use different background settings, etc.
Lighting helps greatly with good composition. Our Spectrum Aurora Ring Lights are continuous lights are really popular in the beauty industry but they're also used by professional photographers and videographers.
Influencers like Pia Muehlenbeck, Lily May Mac, Keira Maguire, celebrities and major beauty labels use our ring light. Several have them in-store like MAC USA where they use the ring light to capture the results of their work.
Here’s an example of a selfie before using a ring light, and after using a ring light.
• Shadows underneath eyes and chin
• The quality of the photo is dull
• Overall, too dark to see the results of the makeup
• Even lighting, shadows are filled in
• Picture quality is high
• Features are defined
• Colour of the work is justified - what you see is what you get!
Additionally, you can use the Spectrum Aurora lights as application lights – portable and easy to take with you on-location wherever there’s less that ideal lighting. Whether if that’s at a client’s house or at a busy fashion show.
If you have a Youtube channel, host Facebook Lives regularly, or take heaps of Instagram stories, then a ring light can upgrade your content game there as well.
Maintaining visual consistency in your images and social feed helps with engagement for your posts. It also helps make your brand look good and aesthetically pleasing to potential customers. For your business to stay fresh in people’s minds, you also need to be consistent in sharing your content.
• Dedicate 30mins to 1 hour a day for social media
• Make sharing high-quality content your point of difference
• Provide transparency and build a personal profile
• If you’re not going to be on social media, your competitor will be.
There you have it. Three points to remember when creating content for your brand’s social media. Check out our range of Spectrum Aurora Ring Lights to see what suits your content.
Unbeknownst to some, there is an art form involved in taking the perfect selfie for Instagram. Whether you’re an up-and-coming influencer or like doing stuff for the ‘gram, aim high with your selfie game.
We’re here to help you keep your snaps on-point and Instagram-ready with our list of handy tips covering selfie do's and don’ts.
Ready to get snap happy?
LET YOUR NATURAL BEAUTY SHOW
We’ve all seem them, selfies by otherwise beautiful women who have caked on so much make-up that it’s hard to see what’s underneath it all.
Don’t be that girl. Instead, let your natural beauty shine through. Keep your makeup natural and minimal. This is particularly important for beach shots. After all, no one really wears a full face of makeup to splash about in the waves – we hope!
LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE WITH THE PERFECT LIGHTING
You are beautiful and radiant, and your photos should be too. Choose to take your selfies in naturally well-lit areas. But do pay attention to shadows, heavy dark and light areas might make you look older or drawn.
To really take your selfies up a level, harness the power professional photographers have by using a ring light. Our Firefly ring light fits over your mobile phone and gives you the kind of professional-looking results your followers will be jealous of.
PICK YOUR ANGLES
You know your face and body better than anyone. If you’ve got a definite good side, do play to your strengths.
Remember to angle the camera carefully; you don’t want to give yourself a double chin when you don’t actually have one.
MIX THINGS UP WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR BACKGROUNDS
Choose interesting colours, textures, and patterns for your next selfie. Take a look around you; inspiration can be anywhere. See that wall of funky graffiti? Perfect for an exciting and edgy shot. Those palm fronds by the beach? Ideal for a nature-inspired selfie.
Set yourself apart from the pack on Instagram by avoiding these serious selfie crimes.
THE DUCK FACE
Kissy face, pouty face, duck face, or whatever you prefer to call it, this pose is out. This look had its very brief heyday in the early noughties, and we’ve evolved since then.
Trying too hard to be sexy is never sexy. Try smiling instead, or keep your lips natural.
We’re not referring to light levels here, although overexposed selfies are also a no-go zone. What we mean is try not to show off every single inch of skin you have in every selfie.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional bikini-clad shot. And we encourage you to celebrate your body, we know you’ve got it, so by all means, work it.
But, there’s a fine line between sexy and attention-grabbing validation tactics. Hit the right balance by posting some selfies of yourself clothed, and some with a bit of skin showing every now and again.
There’s no real need to post 15 versions of the same selfie within the space of 10 minutes. At best you’ll bore your followers, at worst you’ll lose them.
Instead, keep each selfie you post unique and exciting. Your followers will love you for it.
BATHROOM MIRROR SELFIES
It’s rare that a mirror is perfectly clean and makes for the ideal selfie backdrop. And it’s rarer still that a mirror selfie looks good.
These snaps have also become a bit of a cliché. Yes, we know Kim K did it, a few times. But you can do better. Head outside instead and find something prettier than a splattered mirror to work with!
The Sydney Beauty Expo 2018 – an event that’s a “must” save on your calendar if you’re in any way interested or involved in this sector. Why? Not only is the expo huge and a lot of fun, but it’s also the best place to see everything related to the beauty industry under one roof.
Your time and your ticket will be well worth it for many reasons, including these:
SEE WHAT'S OUT THERE
Are you looking for new products or services? Do you want to check you are on track with how to run your own business? Do you need some inspiration or new ideas?
There will be around 250 exhibitors at this year’s expo with everything needed to bring out the best of people from top to toe. It’s all there - products, equipment, accessories, furniture, lighting and backdrops (and yes, that’s us!)
LEARN NEW SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES
Workshops and education sessions are on offer throughout the two days. You can learn new skills or upskill, or get a head start on specific new beauty industry techniques and trends.
If you want to increase your sales and promotions, there are speakers and seminars focused on how to give your brand and your business a boost. Do you love the creative side, but the corporate stuff not so much? You’ll also find people with advice on strategies to maximise people, time and money management.
EXPAND YOUR NETWORKS
With a full range of big and small businesses under one roof, the opportunities for developing new contacts are huge. If you’re looking for new suppliers, manufacturers, or people to connect with, you’ll find representatives from both Australian and global brands. You never know what future collaborations may eventuate down the line.
SHOW WHAT YOU CAN DO
Are you just starting out or looking for some exposure for your own particular brand of creativity? Get some exposure yourself! There are two competitions running over the expo weekend – one is for nail art, and the other one is for makeup artists. Each competition has a range of categories in each craft to cater for different levels of expertise, themes, and specialities. Entries in both competitions are professionally judged, and visible to all other attendees of the expo.
GET GOOD DEALS
No expo experience is ever complete without the inclusion of a few expo-only exclusive offers. You’ll be able to save on a range of products and equipment and try out services on offer. Exhibitors not only give onsite demos to understand how items are developed for use; many will sometimes launch new product samples at expos.
As for us, Spectrum Aurora products offer lighting solutions for hair and makeup artists, background effects, photography, and video creation. We will have a team on hand to help you over the two days - Alyssa, Patrick, Heloise, Roberto and Christine.
SO, WHERE & WHEN?
The Sydney Beauty Expo 2018 is on the weekend of 8-9 September 2018 from 9.00am-5.00pm each day at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney, Darling Harbour. We’ve got a fantastic spot near the centre of the venue – stand I137.
See you there!