What the right and wrong lighting does to your looks?


Beauty is all about light. We are constantly in search of glowing skin, sparkling eyes, and shiny hair. In fact, as any movie star will tell you, much of what passes for glamour and beauty is a carefully controlled mixture of reflection, absorption and shadow. People with shiny, oily skin try to make it matte, absorbing light so pores also appear smaller. Powder is the most frequent remedy for shiny skin, and the finer the powder, the more likely your chances of applying it effectively. Cheap powders, in fact, can cake, or may contain talc that irritates skin. As women age, their skin tends to dry out, so older women are often concerned with achieving a slightly shiny finish, which can be done with powders or foundations containing mica. Unfortunately, mica can also irritate skin or create sparkle (not glow), which is all right in the evening, by candlelight, but looks garish in broad daylight. The best way to achieve glow without sparkle or grease is finding the right moisturizer. A good moisturizer combines water with some sort of lipid, which helps skin absorb the water and hold onto it.

Watch the Lighting. Aside from using the right cosmetic, there are a few things you can do to tap light in your effort to look good. First of all, pay attention to the light in your house.  Your bathroom, or the room where you do your makeup, should have strong natural light. The unflattering light plays hell with your ego, but you’re more likely to catch stray hairs or makeup mistakes before leaving the house – not after. Replace anything fluorescent with halogen track lights, use bright but soft-white bulbs in common areas, and make sure your reading lamp is bright, but without glare, to prevent eyestrain. If you’re going out for lunch and want to look your best, sit with the light behind you, and let the other person get the light in his or her face. You’ll get a halo, and your lunch partner will be temporarily blinded. Also, choose a shadowed spot over a bright window – it’ll keep the UV rays off your epidermis, defray crow’s feet for another month and soften the focus.

Let There Be Light. The human brain needs light coming through the eyes in order to create and release optimal amounts of serotonin, an important chemical for brain functioning. Without enough serotonin, we become sleepy, slow and depressed. Our bodies don’t metabolize the way they should, resulting in weight gain. As research becomes more sophisticated, we begin to understand the importance of daily amounts of bright light for our mental and physical health.

For instance, outdoor light, even on a rainy day, it approximately twenty times the amount of normal indoor light. Since most of us spend our days inside, the available light is drastically cut, resulting in depression, lethargy, and a craving for sweets that hits hard once or twice a day. It is possible to neutralize the effects of inadequate light by purchasing a full-spectrum light, or by making an extra effort to get outside for an hour during the day.

Vance Madrid

Freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, social media manager, events coordinator, scriptwriter, film buff, wanderlust and certified foodie. Zealous for a keyboard and new experiences, I wish to live and learn through my writing.