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Three out of four women apply makeup in poor lighting - are you one of them?

Author: Richard Bevan
Published: May 25, 2017

We recently carried out some research amongst our customers to find out more about their makeup habits, and how lighting affects their daily routines. Below is an overview of the key findings, and some top tips for utilising light to help ensure that your makeup looks great, and doesn’t end in disaster, like it has done for many of our customers.

Before carrying out this research we knew that makeup was a big deal for the majority of the country’s women, as previous studies have shown the lengths that we’ll go to in order to achieve facial perfection. Research undertaken by Hairtrade.com earlier this year found that the average woman will spend almost £22k on makeup products in their lifetime, and, according to a study by Makeupbrushes.com, they’ll spend almost two years of their lifetime applying it - the equivalent of nine days per year!

These statistics considered, we were very surprised to discover how few women have adequate lighting in the room where they most regularly apply their makeup. In fact, three quarters of the women we surveyed said that they do not have the ideal lighting set-up for applying their makeup, and the majority (77%) said they would like a better solution.

Bedroom or bathroom?

The bedroom is the most popular room for applying makeup (45%), closely followed by the bathroom at 42%. Whilst the bedroom was somewhat expected, we were surprised to find that so many women do their makeup in the bathroom; aside from the obvious issue of having to contend with steamy mirrors, heat, and humidity, most bathrooms tend to have very harsh lighting that is not good for makeup application.

How do I look?

Our survey revealed that 86% of women consider getting their makeup right important, which won’t come as a huge shock considering the statistics above. What we weren't anticipating however, was just how many women check their makeup in another room or mirror to ensure they’ve achieved the perfect result (71%). Additionally, one in ten respondents confess to asking someone else to check their makeup for them, and an interesting trend amongst younger makeup wearers is to take a selfie to check their makeup.

When disaster strikes

When asked about makeup disasters, the most common occurrence was poorly applied foundation - either being too orange, over applied, or badly blended - and all due to being applied in rooms with poor lighting.

Getting lighting right

So what can be done to get the most out of your makeup, and avoid a potential disaster? Here are our five tips for achieving the ideal makeup lighting in your home. You may wish to try one or all of these methods, but collectively they will help you to achieve a flawless finish.

  1. Lumens, lumens, lumens - you need bright lighting to see the detail when applying makeup. Choose a lightbulb with around 1350lm (lumens) to provide enough brightness.
  2. Step into the daylight - natural light is the best light for applying makeup, so choose bulbs that closely mimic daylight.
  3. Use dimmers - if you’re applying makeup for a night out, then using a dimmer helps to ensure that your makeup will look great in a range of different lights.
  4. Avoid downlights - downwards directional lights highlight wrinkles, bags, and skin issues making you look - and feel - instantly older, leading to inevitable makeup overcompensation.
  5. Side to side - installing lights either side of where you apply your makeup, 90-100cm away from each other, with the radiance focused at eye level, will maximise the absence of shadows.

You don’t have to spend big to achieve better lighting. Whilst we’d all love to change our fixtures and fittings to suit our specific makeup needs, even replacing a bulb can make a huge difference. If you need some help choosing a lighting solution, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Further details of the survey results can be seen in the infographic below. Please feel free to download and share!

Click to enlarge