Ring Lights Beauty’s Best Bet
Any professional makeup artist or hairstylist worth their salt agrees that good and quality lighting is the best bet when it comes to beauty and hair care.
Before heading out to your best friend’s engagement party or leaving the house for work, every woman should consider make up application lighting as a key tool in their make up 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.
Luckily we have heaps of ring light options ready to suit any style or handy to keep in your bedroom or bathroom without taking up the whole room.
A ring light is a simple lighting tool that is commonly used for make up applications, beauty shots and even wedding photos. It is usually made up of a number of small bulbs forming a circle or just one circular fluorescent bulb. When used in photography, it creates an attractive catch light on a subject’s eyes while emitting even, diffused lighting that helps eliminate shadows.
Virtually every serious makeup artist on YouTube uses a ring light for makeup tutorials as it instantly enhances facial features and helps show the true colours of the skin as well as their products. They simply place their makeup ring light in front of their cameras (or camera phone) and record away.
You want your make up to be looking natural, you want your make up to pop, colours to burst and shimmers to shine. Large windows on sunny days are any woman’s dream, but alas, we’re not all blessed with 365 days of summer sunshine. So here’s the solution – continuous lighting, ring lights to be specific!
Before we delve into the science of good lighting, we have a list of do’s when it comes to applying your make up correctly using quality lighting.
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.
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.
• Touch Up
So what is the science behind good lighting? How does it make your make up and skin look superb for those nights out and date nights. Well 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 realise you should have invested in a ring light.
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.
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.
What happens if natural light is not available? The alternative is to use a white light produced via LED (light-emitting diode). These lights provide a steady stream of light, but they can get quite hot when not managed properly.
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.
Most ring lights 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 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 ring light.
So lets delve into our list of make up lighting dos and don’ts.
Lighting Position Matters
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.
Avoid Yellow Lighting
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 realise it until you step outside into the natural light.
Avoid Rose Coloured Lighting
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.
Fluorescent Lighting is a Big No!
This type of lighting is unflattering and overly bright. It results in over applying your foundation, bronzer, powder or blush.
Above we’ve covered a few of the reasons why decent lighting can take your makeup game from so-so to star quality. Let’s take a look at some other ways you can use your ring light.
For Emphasising Details
Due to its design and structure, ring lights are perfect for emphasising details on photographs and videos. The ring lights circular design allows users to use their cameras in between the hole of the ring light enabling them to focus on specific details of the shoot.
Using a ring light when taking pictures produces a perfectly balanced lighting that is evenly distributed on every side of the model or object that the users want to focus on.
Ring lights allow the users to create high-quality photos and videos without the burden of spending a lot of money for the shoot.
Generating Colour Effects
Ring lights can be easily used to generate colour effects by simply switching the regular white bulbs with different coloured lights or by applying coloured gels on various parts of the ring light.
Using ring lights to generate the colour effect technique allows the user to create colour washes that flow through various directions of the object of the shoot or video.
When using ring lights as the only source of lighting for a photo shoot or commercial, the ring lights produce an attractive halo shadow that brilliantly outlines the subject of the photograph or video. This provides a dramatic and professional look for filming.
Since most ring lights can produce a day light colour rating of 54000k, this source of light is perfect for make up application especially on an overcast day or when natural light is not available.
So what is the right way to shop for a ring light? If you are planning to purchase a ring light for your personal or business needs then you might have a little difficulty in choosing which type of ring light to buy.
Using a camera? Tablet? Smartphone?
To be able to properly choose the perfect ring light for your needs, you must take into consideration how you are going to use it. If you need a ring light to use for taking selfies on your DSLR camera or iPad then it is advisable that you purchase a ring light that is big enough to fit inside it.
DIY ring lights. Worth it?
You will find that there is a lot of “Do It Yourself” ring lights on Youtube videos that can be made on a budget however you will find it will be a tricky task to shop the right materials and put it together. Also you will need to make sure it is safe to use and that the lighting is consistent and can be use for long periods of time.
Power and Ring Light Size
The other thing to consider when shopping for a ring light is the size and power of the ring light. The higher the lumens (lm) and colour rending index (CRI) the better the lighting output and colour representation of the object being lit. This makes a big difference especially those depending on colour accuracy such as: make up artists, tattoo artists or hair colourists. It is ideal to find a ring light that offers a dimmer knob to control the brightness. This will make your life easier as you find yourself moving the light stand to adjust the brightness.
Double check warranties offered as they vary from retailer to retailer. As a rule of thumb, you would need at least 10 months for a purchase warranty.
Need the ring light to cast towards the floor?
This is especially important for anyone needing to do flat lay photography, filming artwork or crafts on a table, brow or lash specialists or tattoo artists. For this to function properly the ring light needs a part called a “gooseneck” to allow the ring light to flex as much as you need.
Colour Temperature of the Ring Light
A warm colour temperature is typically used during photography or filming when a warm and healthy glow is required on the subject. Most ring lights have the option of changing the colour with snap on orange filters however a more convenient option is a dimmer for colour temperature.
Does it come with a carry bag? A mirror? A goose neck? A stand? Phone bracket? Camera bracket? AC Power adaptor compatible to your country to plug? These are the standard accessories that a ring light should come with.
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.
Check out some of our amazing ring light options here!