You know how when you decide to go with an all black outfit and how you get dressed inside the house and it all looks, you know, black … and then you step outside into broad daylight and realize that your black top is not as black as your black skirt and your black socks aren’t even truly black anymore? Yeah. That. See … lighting counts.

When it comes to makeup, proper lighting double counts. Maybe even triple counts. This means bright lighting in your bathroom, or better yet, bright natural lighting from a good ol’ window when applying your makeup.

Case in point, see photo above.  In my downstairs bathroom, which is all over my Instagram feed selfies, it is slightly yellow lighting. I have to be extremely careful when applying makeup in this bathroom. Sure, Instagram can work with this … but you don’t live life in a series of filters, do you …?

Sidenote: The product I am testing in this photo is Maybelline Age Rewind The Lifter foundation. I knew that the shade was already slightly lighter than my summer skintone, but for the most part, I was testing it on blendability and wear. That review will come later down the road, but FYI – it’s not bad.

Normally, after doing a full face of makeup in the bathroom mirror, I can tell if my application is even, and if the colours are right … but to truly gauge the overall look, I have to travel upstairs to my big front window and just make sure. When positioned properly in natural lighting I can see my makeup in its true colours and avoid key makeup application mistakes like unblended patches of foundation or mismatched colour.

In the above photo, all I am wearing is the swatch of foundation in each picture. On the left, the swatch blended in, downstairs bathroom. On the right, swatch blended in, front window with plenty of natural light. Granted, no major difference since the swatch is just a swatch, but look at the lighting.  Two totally different effects right? But remember, while I look glowy and warm … and slightly orange … in the left picture, it’s best to bet that everyone in the world sees me like the picture on the right. Makes sense, no?

So, the lesson? Well, the general rule is to always try to set up your vanity table nearby or in front of a beautifully big and open window. When applying, throw back your drapes and let that natural light come in and illuminate the face.

But truth is, if you live in a basement apartment, a dorm, or under a rock, you might not have access to the best lighting. AND, second to that, we seem to use the bathroom vanity automatically as our makeup station (big mirrors, counter space – it’s inviting!!). If that’s the case, here are some tips on bringing in the best lighting into your bathroom:

  • choose “natural light” bulbs – your Canadian Tire, Home Depot, or Lowes all carry them – as these cast less of a yellow or dim hue;
  • change the lighting fixture in your bathroom so that the lighting hits you directly and evenly (think of lighting around the mirror – like at professional makeup stations*), not overhead; and
  • invest in a table top makeup mirror with lighting,* this way you can apply your makeup using your nice big bathroom mirror, and then double check your application using the makeup mirror

… see, lighting counts!**

* I do not endorse the items/products/brands/companies linked above, they are just for reference.
** The above photos were taken with an iPod 5 … the same pictures taken from my actual camera are less grainy but very similar … but I’ve been too lazy to download and organize them. Truth!