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Light Temperature for Makeup; Does It Really Matter?

Ever wondered why you look a certain way in your bathroom vanity and appear completely different everywhere else? Why do you always use the handheld mirror for your makeup application rather than any other mirrors of your house?

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Even if you might not know, the answer to these questions is “the lighting”. When the lighting of your mirror is done wrong, it can seriously affect the way your makeup looks. From the color temperatures of the light to the lumen and color rendering index, there are many factors that affect your makeup routine greatly.

However, in this article, we will only talk about the light temperature for makeup so that you know in detail about this aspect of lightening and choose the most perfect temperature settings for your makeup application.

But before that, let’s first understand the concept of light temperature.

Light temperature (or more popularly known as the color temperature of the lights) is the temperature of an ideal black-body radiator that radiates light of a color comparable to that of the light source. Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light.

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In simple words, color temperature is a way to describe the color of the light a bulb illuminates. It is the warmth or coolness of a light source that you see when you turn the light on. From soft white to cool white, warm yellow, and natural daylight, all these colors are represented by the color temperature of the lights and are measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000.

A bulb’s color temperature determines the look and feel of the light it will produce to brighten up the area.

Understanding Different Light Temperature

We have said earlier that the color temperature of lights is measured on a scale of 1,000 to 10,000, which means that there are quite a few varieties of temperature to choose from to find the most perfect one for your flawless makeup application.

But, before jumping into the discussion about which one is the most suitable temperature for a perfect reflection of your face, let’s first talk a bit about the different types of lightening colors for better understanding.

Different Types of Light Temperature

  • Less than 2000K: The bulbs produce a dim glow similar to candlelight.
  • 2000K – 3000K: Soft, warm white illumination; it is the exact yellow color produced by a standard incandescent bulb.
  • 3100K – 4500K: A bright white or cool white light; this light color is also known as neutral white.
  • 4600K – 6500K: A natural daylight color; it illuminates the most natural lighting.

The Most Suitable Light Temperature for Makeup

In most of the cases, in which light our face looks the most appealing, we consider that particular light to be the most perfect for our makeup application. However, it’s not true always. According to beauty experts and renowned makeup artists, different light colors have a different effect on your skin tone which in turn affects your makeup application greatly.

While a yellow light (like this SYLVANIA General Lighting Soft White LED Light Bulb) will make your face look tired causing overload on concealer, red color lighting will result in a pseudo healthy glow and therefore, would persuade you to apply less concealer than actually needed. On the other hand, fluorescent lighting will cause your skin tone to look washed out and convince you to apply more bronzers or blusher; this would cause over-application of makeup and make you look “not so beautiful”.

It is important to remember that a lighting hue that is too warm or too cool will misguide you to apply the wrong shades of color and look horrible afterward.

5000k Temperature Lighted Makeup Mirror

So, What is the Right Light Color to Apply Your Makeup With?

To apply your makeup flawlessly, we would suggest you opt for LED lights of at least 5000k (try out these Waneway 6500K Vanity Lights for Mirror). The reason for recommending such higher kelvin is that the higher the color temperature of the lights, the more closely it will replicate the natural daylight effect. And natural light is known to reflect the most “true to life” reflection of your face on the mirror so that you can apply makeup without any false impressions or deceive.

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To enjoy the true to life view of yourself on the mirror for professional-quality makeup application, you can either install high-temperature lights on your already existing vanity mirror and turn it into a Hollywood mirror or you can buy a new mirror altogether. For your bathroom, you can try out this HAUSCHEN LED Bathroom Wall Mounted Mirror and for your vanity area, the Wonstart Hollywood Makeup Vanity Mirror would be an ideal choice. Both these mirrors have a higher light temperature and are capable of producing the most natural reflection of your face for gorgeous makeup application.

Important Things to Keep in Mind

Even when you have the right color light, it still might not guarantee a flawless makeup application if there is any form of a shadow. When you are installing new bulbs or a new mirror, always keep in mind about the “shadow” factor and install them accordingly.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know everything about the light temperature of makeup, we are sure that you would be able to pick the right one for your makeup application and look flawless all day, every day.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Hello there,

    There is no way to ignore the fact that this piece of writing is incredible. From choosing the right topic to the way you described each section, everything about this article is excellent. I think it’s been a while since I read such well-conducted writing. Very good guys.

    Now I have a question. You have stated a different range of color temperatures in this article. I want to know that is there any mirror available in the market that comes with all these temperatures incorporated? I am all set to buy a bathroom mirror, but before making my purchase I want to know everything possible.

    I would be very grateful if you answer my queries.

    • Dear Blake,

      First of all, thank you very much for your kind and sweet words. We are ecstatic with your response. Our readers’ feedback inspires us to think and write better.

      Secondly, aside from the mirrors that we have mentioned in the article, there are several other mirrors available in the market that comes with several color temperatures incorporated in one. Just find the one that suits your budget and needs the most.

      • Thank you very much for replying and giving your suggestion. I never thought I would get a reply. You people are awesome.

  2. Hello good people,

    In one word, this piece of informative writing is amazing. It has all the necessary information one should know about different light temperature and their impacts on the reflection of your face. I enjoyed reading it thoroughly- from the starting to the ending.

    However, as much as I loved reading this article, I found some really inconsistency here. You have stated that yellow light makes people look tired and not so beautiful, but, I have experienced the complete opposite. I think I look the most beautiful and attractive under this particular light color. What’s your say on this?

    Then again, this is my personal opinion. You people are experts, you know better than me.

    • Dear Edna,

      Thank you very much for your kind words. We appreciate our readers’ response.

      Well, you are right. In the yellow light, we look amazing and the pictures come out great. But this particular temperature makes you look tired and drained in the mirror. And for perfect makeup application, you must always keep this in mind.

      We hope that this would help you.

  3. Hi,

    I have a question. I hope you would answer it. As per your article, at least 5000k light temperature is needed for flawless makeup application. If that’s true (according to you it’s true) then why many mirrors in the market come with different color temperatures? What’s the need for it?

    Nevertheless, it’s an excellent piece of writing. I loved reading it thoroughly.

    • Dear Elizabeth,

      First of all, thank you very much for appreciating our work. We are overwhelmed with your response.

      Secondly, mirrors com with different color temperatures to provide you with various options to choose from. Even though natural daylight is perfect for makeup application, the other lights are incorporated to provide you with different reflections.


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