I was excited to receive delivery of a pair of continuous lighting boxes the other day. Unlike a flash, continuous light boxes are lamps with light-diffusing material in front of them. These lights push out a bright, clean white light over a subject (or a face). Light like this can remove shadows and highlight any makeup sins that may be hidden by low lighting indoor lighting. When applying makeup, a clean, bright, neutral light allows a makeup artist to see and work on all the details of your face that poor lighting could hide. For a bride, the last thing they want is to have their makeup applied (in the low light), thinking that they are looking their best, only to have features and flaws highlighted by the flash of a camera or the cold light of day. So, when light is used correctly, it can be a makeup artist’s best friend. But if you don’t make use of light correctly, it can be a makeup artist’s arch enemy!

My freshly delivered continuous light-boxes

Proving the point with harsh but fair lighting

To show how unforgiving light can be, I have taken a before and after photo with nothing but the lights, the camera, my face (and the makeup in the after shot!) – No fancy filters, no flattering angles or poses, no photoshopping, just a simple head-on shot. It is under these conditions that you can really see successes and failures in the makeup’s application.

An unforgiving Before and After


The softer side of lighting

Now that before and after is out of the way I can show you some of the ways light can highlight the work of a makeup artist.

Below I have taken a few more shots, again with no need for filters or touch-ups; Just the makeup, a camera and two lamps. These are close-ups, under lighting. When I apply makeup I am careful to make sure the makeup looks right at any angle, near or far, in bright light or low-light.