The Underestimated Importance of Light on Color

The effect that different light sources have on color is significant. We are often confounded when a color that looked great on a paint swatch for example looks very different on our walls. In fact the same color painted on 4 walls can look different on each wall depending on the location of your windows and the time of day…..even the season of the year since the sun position is different at different times of the year. Most of us over 40 were brought up with only the very warm glow of incandescent lights peppered with the occasional ‘cool’ blue, green or sometimes even pinkish rays emitted from flourescent tubes in our family home’s kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and basements.
Today we have incandescent, flourescent, halogen, LED, CFL and other forms of artificial light all of which have different color temperatures with words like cool, warm, white, natural, soft, and full spectrum sometimes used to describe the color of the light to consumers in simplistic lighting jargon.

The light we use to apply makeup is critical. Most women apply their makeup in the bathroom with their faces lit by sconces beside or above a mirror. Then they walk outdoors and their makeup is seen in a much more powerful and even light unless it’s night.

If you are applying  makeup for day wear, the ideal situation is to apply makeup in a location where you are facing a window. You can install a mirror with an extention/swing arm on the wall next to the window and then pull it over in front of you when you use it or stick a makeup mirror that has suction cups on the back of it directly to the ideal height on your window. Now I know many of you wouldn’t think of doing either of these things and some of you don’t even have a window in your bathroom. So here is my recommendation #2. After you have applied your makeup always walk to a window with a hand mirror and check it for color and to see if you have applied it evenly and that it’s not too much.

A woman  recently visited me and I went outside to greet her as she got out of her car. I couldn’t believe my eyes. She had blue eyebrows. She had apparently picked up a dark blue eyeliner pencil instead of a brown one in her inadequately lit bathroom or bedroom makeup area. Makeup pencils for eyelining and for shading eyebrows can have the same color barrel. This is a true story and hopefully it supports my suggestion that we should all check our makeup at a window. Unless of course you’re applying makeup for evening wear. I might not have even noticed that her eyebrows were blue if we had instead met up for dinner in a dimmly lit restaurant.

Suction Cup Mirror
Extention Mirror


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.