If you’re like us, you probably feel most attractive in the rosy glow of candlelight. But in the harsh glare of unforgiving fluorescent light, not so much.
Whether natural or artificial, lighting affects your looks —for good or otherwise. If you plan ahead and learn how to use a few key shades to your advantage, you’ll never be caught unprepared for the day ahead.
Let’s shed a little light on the subject, shall we?
Natural light changes according to season and time of day.
Sunny days = white light
Morning sun = yellow light
Sunrise, sunset, candlelight = orange light
Winter = blue light
Makeup artists always recommend applying makeup facing natural daylight. That’s because the sun gives off white light, which we can recall from science class, reflects all the other colors on the color wheel, showing makeup hues in their truest form. So if you are running around outside all day, feel free to wear any colors you like, but keep them sheer and well blended. If your foundation suddenly stops at your jawline, it shows! (And don’t forget that SPF to avoid sun damage.)
Yellow light contains a lot of bright white, but it’s warmer and softer, making skin look more even toned. It can reduce the appearance of blemishes and allow you to wear less foundation and concealer.
Nothing beats the healthy radiance you get from orange light, which adds warmth and hides dark spots. But it also, reflects red tones, which emphasizes acne, rosacea and too much blush. This light absorbs blues and greens, so choose flattering bronze, brown and orange shades for maximum impact.
Winter is no wonderland for your complexion, with cloud cover between the Earth and Sun, producing a blue light that makes skin appear dull and pasty while accentuating redness, dark circles, and blemishes — not a good look. This light also makes orange/peachy shades look brown (where’d that dirt on my nose come from?) To counteract this, apply dewy, light-reflective foundation and highlighter sparingly, and be sure to use enough concealer to cover dark areas. Use a light hand with your blush, and give bronzer the day off. Avoid shimmer products, which can make you look washed out, and opt for creamy lipstick or gloss instead of a matte mouth.
Fluorescent light knows no season, lurks around every office corner, and is unflattering to everyone (yay!). Usually shining directly overhead, it accents wrinkles, shadows, and under-eye bags, making you look older and more tired. To compensate for these negative effects, choose makeup in liquid or cream formulas instead of powder — in warm tones with yellow, not pink, undertones. Go subtle. Play up eyes with neutral rather than dark or bright shades, and get glowing by applying an HD foundation with a damp sponge, golden bronzer, then a pop of fresh cheek color. Avoid shimmer! Add luster to lips with creamy color.
After dark, forget rules. Nighttime is prime time to get creative, dial up the drama, and go glam with metallics, glitter, vampy colors, the smokiest eyes, and flirty falsies.
When you know how to fight bad light, you’ll always be ready for your close-up!
XO, Team Z