If you've ever left the house deeply overblushed, you know that the wrong lighting can sabotage your makeup application. To get it just right, consider three elements, says lighting designer Christopher Thompson. Placement
Light from above creates unflattering shadows. For the most shadow-free reflection, install bulbs on either side of your mirror, about five feet six inches from the floor and three feet apart. Or put a table lamp on a counter or dresser next to your mirror.
Cold, white light is harsh and can lead you to overcompensate with makeup. Look for bulbs with a warmer "color temperature" of about 3,000 kelvin (a unit of measure listed on the packaging).
A bright but not too powerful glow most closely mimics the intensity of natural light. An incandescent bulb should be 75 watts; in an LED bulb, go for 14 to 16 watts.
Get the Perfect Lighting When Traveling
"When I travel, I always pack a magnifying mirror with suction cups in my carry-on. Because in my experience, even at the nicest hotels there's never a makeup mirror with
enough magnification. I like to apply makeup in daylight, since that gives the most natural-looking results. So once I'm settled in, I stick my little suction-cup mirror on a window at eye level, and presto—a trustworthy reflection!"—Val Monroe, O's Beauty Director