best light for taking makeup pictures - Raphael Oliver
best light for taking makeup pictures - Raphael Oliver

Makeup Artist

Makeup Artist and Makeup Educator. Teach courses globally.

Which is the best light for taking makeup pictures: Transform your instagram profile.

Do you want to improve your photos and don't know what is the best light for taking makeup pictures? See our tips and make a better investment.

Makeup Artist

Makeup Artist and Makeup Educator. Teach courses globally.


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I’m sure you have already asked yourself what is the best light for taking makeup pictures after having done an incredible make up that just disappeared in the photo, the colors were faded, the eyeliner could barely be noticed and you were very sad.

This has a very simple solution, light. The correct lighting highlights the colors of the makeup when shooting and allows you to expose your work in a much more valued way, that is, it is extremely important.

Check now how to photograph your makeup in a professional way, highlighting your makeup to publicize your work very well on social networks.

1 – The types of lighting

When it comes to shooting and makeup, just the traditional ceiling light is not enough.

First because it tends to be very weak, and because it is above, it causes shade, especially below the eyes. Ideally, the light should come from the front, both when applying makeup and when photographing.

Find out more about the types of lighting most used for photographing makeup:

1.1 – Ring Light

The Ring Light, is a type of lighting that was very famous among makeup artists for providing a very beautiful diffused light and that greatly values ​​makeup. It provides that circle effect around the iris and has several intensity and temperature adjustments so that you can adjust according to the desired effect.


  • Soft, diffused light
  • Values ​​makeup
  • Do not overexpose the photo
  • Good performance in both photos and videos
  • Can be used with both power supply and battery

Negative points:

  • It may not be as portable, due to its size
  • The light may not be so bright
  • It does not enhance the shine of the glitters and pigments so much

1.2 – Led

The led boards already provide a very different effect from the Ring Light. They have a harder, more direct and more intense light as well. They are smaller and easier to carry than Ring Light and are great for both photography and video. Only with a Led sign it is possible to make great photos using the cell phone, however if you want a photo with less shadows you can use two signs, one on each side of the model.


  • It is a relatively small lighting and easy to carry
  • Can be used with both power supply and battery
  • Because it is a harsh light, it greatly enhances pigments and glitters

Negative points:

  • Just as all hard light tends to greatly enhance the texture of the skin, often leaving pores very apparent in the photograph.
  • It is necessary to be very careful with the temperature and intensity adjustments so that the photo does not become too yellow or too “burst”.

1.3 – Soft Box

The soft box of continuous light, usually lighting for video, provides a super soft and super diffused light, even more than the Ring Light. This type of lighting is usually super interesting for beauty photographs, as they provide very soft light, even similar to light from a window.


  • Soft light and very natural effect
  • Rarely bursts in photography

Negative points:

  • It is usually large and not so easy to carry
  • It is necessary to assemble
  • It is not as intense as a Led board for example

1.4 – Natural Light

Natural light is a more diffused light, and can be used to make makeup clicks too, although it is not my favorite option, it can be an excellent alternative for those just starting out. Take advantage of the morning or late afternoon light to capture clicks of your makeup. The effect is super smooth and natural.


It’s free and accessible to anyone
Does not require technical concern with equipment assembly and configuration

Negative points

You have no control over intensity and temperature

2 – The temperature of the light

You may have noticed in dressing room dressing tables, for example, that the lamps are interspersed between yellow and white. This mixture is just to balance the warm and cold tone of the lights.

The best light temperature for shooting makeup is white / neutral.

You can use the same amount of cold and warm light to create the neutral result that does not yellow or pale the skin.

3 – Assembling your lighting set up

You can start your lighting set up with just a Led Video Light sign or a Ring Light and you will still get great photos. However, if you have a larger budget, you can purchase two led plates and a ring light, so your kit will be complete, both for photography and video.

4 – Extra tips when taking pictures

4.1 – The makeup

For makeup photography to look beautiful, it’s not just the light that needs to be appropriate. The way the makeup is done also directly influences the result. Knowing how to make a makeup that will enhance in photography is essential for you to be able to make clicks that really hold the attention of your audience. At that time, a whole set of skills in finishing, light and shadow effects, glow among others, that will make all the difference in clicks comes into play. Make sure to check this post 07 Secrets On How To Apply Makeup Like A Professional

4.2 – The light settings

Be aware of the lighting settings so that they are all with the same adjustments, avoiding that one side of the face is more yellow than the other, etc. Always make sure to leave all your lighting at the same settings.

4.3 – The details

Well, finally, take care of the details of your photo so that the final result is as professional and attractive as possible. I count here in this post 6 Tips on How to Take Photos of Professional Makeup.

Well, I hope this content has helped you,

If so, leave your comment and share it with friends!

A hug,

Raphael Oliver

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Helina Dereje
Helina Dereje
5 months ago

I learn so much about the picture light thank you dear

Pooja Golani
Pooja Golani
5 months ago

Really appreciate for such an Informative blog. Can’t thank you enough for everything xoxo

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