Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > Makeup Station Question


DarkMoon Studios

Posts: 49

Sacramento, California, US

Hello All. My name is Jason. I am a photographer from Sacramento, CA. I had a couple questions for all the H/MUAs here on Model Mayhem.

I am currently putting together my studio. Part of this is a hair & makeup station with a large mirror lit on three sides (see photo below). I need to replace the bulbs as many are burned out or missing. I was wondering:

What colour tempeture of bulbs would work best for this?
Does it matter whether the bulbs are frosted or not & what sort of wattage range should I be looking at?

Here are some of my personal thoughts:

I am considering purchasing daylight balanced florescent or LED bulbs; the creent bulbs being tungston. My reasoning is that they will have a similar colour temperature (around 5400 K) to my strobes. Thus the makeup will appear similar under these lights to how it would in the photos straight from the camera. If I was to use bulbs with a lower colour temperature (thus warmer in tone) the makeup would appear differently in the photos than it would in the mirror. Better things are balanced to begin with. Not being a H/MUA, however, I am unsure how sound my thinking along these lines is.

I would imagine that frosted bulbs would work best as they would likely provide smoother, & softer, illumination. That said as you can see from the photo below the mirror has bulbs on all three sides, so don't know if it matters all that much.

In regards to wattage. I never really gave it much thought until a model mentioned to me that you don't want the lights to be too bright or it may result in the makeup being applied to heavy & thus appearing "off" in the final photographs. That said I do know you want to apply the makeup slightly heavier for still photography than what you would tyically apply/wear normally as the strobes can wash it out some.

Again the above are just my thoughts & I've no idea really how on target they are or not. Additionally if there is anything I've not concidered, that I should be, I appreciate you letting me know. Also if you have any suggestions as to how to set things up (type of chair, best type of table, etc.) they are more than welcome. I'm already thinking I might buy a set of plastic drawers for under the table to hold sponges, a blow dyer, etc.

One final thing. I know many photographers out there will have opinions on this. While their input is appreciated, & welcome, I truely want to hear from the various H/MUAs out there. They are the ones who have had the training & experience in this feild. That is why I am posting this in the Hair & Makeup forum rather than the Photographers forum.

Thanks in advance to all the help, suggestions, etc. Thank you too for allowing me to post in your forum even though I'm not a H/MUA.

Nov 22 19 07:16 pm Link


G Reese

Posts: 822

Marion, Indiana, US

Seeing you haven't got a response from the MUAS, I'll throw in my 2 cents.
The setup would be ok for the models doing their own maybe. Though I'd move the lights out a bit cause of the glare. If you can shave with that setup, the models can do makeup with it.
The MUAS I've watched and/or worked with do it normal-ish room light. No mirrors around. The photographer the job was for booked about $125k a year.That was good enough for me.

Nov 25 19 10:55 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Jackie McClay

Posts: 206

Brick, New Jersey, US

I have worked in a studio with a beautiful set up for the dressing room (google the Photocoop little falls NJ) anyway they actually had great natural light and I used to turn the bulbs off and use the natural light I also never had the girls facing the mirror anyway for some reason lol.... but you'll definitely need bulbs for night shoots or not so sunny days or for the girls who do their own makeup... id get the daylight bulbs. I have them in my bathroom and bedroom for makeup purposes

Jan 10 20 07:29 am Link

Makeup Artist


Posts: 3799

Los Angeles, California, US

I'm not using the fluorescent bulbs as they are T-8 and are too bright for my clients. They are also bad color. So 4 TML key light 2.0. 2 on the new EZ clamp and 2 suctioned.
check out "the makeup light " or TML

In general, TML LED panels have these similar specifications: Daylight Balanced at 5000 Kelvin LEDs with “CRI” of 96+ (includes R9 – R15 values) Color Quality Scale “CQS” value of 93 International “dual” Voltage Power Supply (100 – 240 VAC) LED life expectancy, 50,000+ hours

hope that helps ........did all the makeup peeps leave ?

Mar 09 22 12:50 pm Link


Ken Marcus Studios

Posts: 9353

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I have always tried to keep the light in the makeup room the same color temperature as the lighting on my set.

Generally, the makeup light in my dressing room was a 3200 K quartz light on a C-Stand bouncing out of an umbrella. Bright White LED lights are way too bright to be comfortable to work in, and don't provide a warm pleasing skin tone for glamour and boudoir shooting.

Mar 09 22 02:00 pm Link