HOW TO USE THE MAKEUP LIGHT. NO, REALLY!
I remember the first time I met Vivian and Michael, owners of The Makeup Light. They came to my studio after Vivian wrapped up one of her movies in New York.
Once I saw this light, I was so excited by it. I knew this was game changing.
Going into hotel rooms with ZERO light made it difficult to do my job as a professional makeup artist. I always was "chasing" the light on long wedding days.
If I had a large bridal party that started by 8am, by 3pm, I was moving my entire makeup station to a room where there was enough light to finish the job. It was frustrating to say the least and a lot of times caused time delays that no one wanted.
SOCIAL MEDIA & TML
While surfing Instagram, I see all the lovely posts of TML in action. I am so happy to see so many people love their lights!
When I look at their set ups, I scratch my head and wonder what their thought process was....then it hit me....
I asked my makeup artist, Ashley to be my artist today while I shoot the photos for you. She brought her lovely friend, Reilly, to be our model.
THE SET UP
Anyone who has been to my Chicago Makeup studio, knows how beautiful and light filled it is.
Here is my studio on a sunny day. God's light in full view.....a lot of times you can't replace God's light but God's light isn't always available...
For this post, I wanted to show off this makeup light in one of the darkest spots in my studio. The back corner.
Because a lot of time we have to make real life things work as professional makeup artists.
So in true workspace form, I threw a blanket over the back of a RADIATOR and above it, a mirror.
I used trays to make a little "work station" to put product on. While this is for demonstration purposes only, you get the idea.
HOW FAR CAN YOU GO?
This is another place where TML kicks Glamcor's ass? Projection.
When shopping for a light, people don't take into consideration how far the light will THROW the light and fill the subject. With TML it's pretty amazing.
When I'm working, I don't want someone hovering over, much less a hot light.
When I see photos of The Makeup Light in action, I find people have the light too close to the subject, or too far. (Or God forbid, on the side OR behind them.)
FILL & FLOOD THE LIGHT
The best way to gauge a good light (in addition to good color temperature) is to see how far the light projects....
In this photo, we have the model about 5 feet away from the light. As you can see, it still fills her face and you can see the high points of her cheek "strobing" (HA! Sorry I couldn't resist)
I really don't want to overwhelm you in the nitty gritty technical jargon , but I hope this photo illustrates the point on how a MAKEUP ARTIST should do it.
For a makeup artist, you want the lights slightly high and slightly pointed downwards to "flood" your subject.
When setting up your lights, if your lights are high, you don't want the lights straight ahead. This will project light above your subject's head, causing shadows.
Your ultimate goal is to "wrap" the light around the FRONT of the face, with the lights. This is why I personally prefer to work with two lights....I love to create a "wrapping & flooding" effect.
"Wrapping and flooding" fills the face so I can see everything in perfect light.
As you see here, Ashley is in front of her subject. Her subject's face still has light and she is not creating a shadow on her the face. The light is slightly higher than the model and slightly higher than Ashley as she stands. The main goal is to always have the face lit from the front.
USE A MIRROR. NOT A WINDOW.
I'm a self confessed "messy" makeup artist. There. I said it.
My client's usually look crazy before they look good. Not to mention the fact I hate when client says "Are you going to do xyz to my face?" Uh.
That was what I hated about client's watching me work. They didn't trust me, and they controlled my every move because they judged me throughout the process. Now I don't care.
For many years, I stopped using a mirror because of that. But I was doing myself an injustice.
Our eyes see 3 dimensionally. A camera only sees two dimensionally...just like a mirror.
So what you see in a mirror, will be exactly what the camera will see.
So the next time you find yourself in a place with a mirror, use it and skip the window. It will save you so much time in the long run for last minute touch ups.
It's hard to retrain your brain, but it truly will save you a lot of time in the process.
LICK IT & STICK IT
The Makeup Light comes with "suction" cups in the kits and they are the business! I don't carry the tripod stands anymore.
I will either work in the bathroom or over a mirror in a hotel room. Then I suction cup The Makeup Lights to the mirror. I just lickem' and stickem'. HA! I always seem to find a place. They are SUPER strong.
>>Tip: If you find they don't want to stick, spray with alcohol , then mist with a little water and stick. Be sure the surface you are sticking on is clean too, if possible.
WORKING WITH 1 LIGHT
Many artists on a budget have asked if they should get one light or two. You can absolutely use one light, but I personally love two.
If budget doesn't allow you two lights, the photo above shows you how to get the most from your light.
Now that we have told you how to set up your lights, here is what NOT to do. (And why!)
1. DON'T LIGHT FROM BEHIND
Never use the lights behind you. This causes a "silhouette effect" causing darkness on the face.
When you have the light in front of you, it causes your pupil to become smaller, making it harder to see what is in front of you. What you really need to see is the color of the skin in full, bright, white light.
2. DON'T LIGHT FROM THE SIDE
The light panels are called "The Key Light" for a reason. It is designed to be your "KEY" light. Not a secondary light source.
Lighting is like parallel parking. Hard and a pain in the ass, but when you get a great parking spot, it makes your life easier...
When you light from the side, this causes you to put makeup on unevenly, and there is nothing easy about that when your client looks in the mirror and judges your work. Then who looks like an dumb dumb? :P
Now do you see why TML is my choice for lighting?
Not only is it a perfect color temperature, the way it's designed really gives me way more options as a professional makeup artist on how I need to set up my light.
So I ask you, why do you want this:
When you can have THIS?
I hope you found these tips & tricks useful when using The Makeup Light.
Leave me a comment below and let me knowif this has helped you!