Seeing your face; best lighting and mirrors

DSC05452Do you ever struggle seeing to put on your make-up? Do your friends delicately point out the “granny hair” protruding from your chin that you did not notice?  If so, chances are your mirrors and lighting are not optimal.

ShadowsAs any portrait photographer will tell you, side lighting is best to see AND flatter the face.  Given the natural curvatures and bone structure of the face, top lighting – which most bathrooms feature – is the worst.  The light hitting the brow bones cast a shadow under the eye making one look tired, the nose looks long & disproportionate and for pete’s sake, you can’t see anything.  Lighting the face from the side or straight-on makes lines disappear and lets you see your face as other people see you.

no shadowsIn my various bathrooms through the years I have replaced top fixtures with side lights.  This is a quick job for any electrician.  You will have to deal with patching wall board however, unless you enlarge your mirror or cabinet to cover, or simply leave the top light fixture with dead bulbs.  Currently, I have my make-up area in the dormer outset facing directly into the sunlight.  I have added a table top lamp for side lighting and it is perfect.  See the picture above.

Are you familiar with the old adage “How do you know if you don’t know that you don’t know?”….  It might be possible those granny hairs are there and no one is telling you but, because you are only using single magnification with quadruple aged eyes, everything looks fine.  Rule of thumb; for every decade of age over 50 you need that rate of magnification to see what you saw when you were 20.  At age 59 now, my 50-year-old 5x magnification is not quite enough so I am moving up to 6x.

So what did cave women do without mirrors?

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