#LIGHTMATTERS

When it comes to lighting, the struggle is real. But don't stress! Smashbox Cosmetics was born in an L.A. photo studio. We work with lighting every day.

We're here to spill everything we know about applying makeup in different kinds of light.

#LIGHTMATTERS

When it comes to lighting, the struggle is real.
But don't stress! Smashbox Cosmetics was born in
an L.A. photo studio. We work with lighting every day.


We're here to spill everything we know about
applying makeup in different kinds of light.

LIGHT THEORY 101

Click through to get studio-tested makeup tips for specific lighting scenarios.

LIGHTING: EXPOSES ALL FLAWS MANTRA: LESS IS MORE

Outside

AVOID:

  • Ultra-shimmery products, overly defined contouring and unblended edges. Makeup is always more visible outdoors.
  • Heavy textures. That spot you covered so carefully at home may look like a wad of clay in daylight!

STUDIO SECRETS:

  • Try a colour-correcting primer under a lightweight foundation or BB cream instead of full-coverage foundation.
  • Add a pop of colour to your lips to naturally brighten your look.
Outside

LIGHTING: CAN MAKE YOU LOOK SICKLY MANTRA: WORK THE SHADES

Office

AVOID:

  • Gold highlighters. They can look greenish under fluorescent lights.

STUDIO SECRETS:

  • Neutralise fluorescence with blush or bronzer. Pink, peach and purple shades can bring your complexion back to life.
  • If you’re on camera at work, the light is most likely coming from above. Do a little contouring to emphasise the angles of your face.
Office

LIGHTING: SOFT & FLATTERING MANTRA: MIND THE SHINE

Magic Hour

AVOID:

  • Over-bronzing. The golden light does it all for you. Play up natural contours, bulk up brows or showcase lips instead.

STUDIO SECRETS:

  • If you can schedule pics during the hour before the sun rises or sets, do it!
  • There’s a lot of heat coming off your skin at this time of day. Mattify strategically so you won’t look greasy or shiny.
Magic Hour

LIGHTING: SHORT & EXTREME MANTRA: FIND YOUR FOCUS

Flash

AVOID:

  • Heavy black eye liner, unless that’s something you’re into. It can add major contrast in flash and wash your look out. Opt for brown or navy shades instead.
  • Over-strobing. It can lead to weird white streaks in pics. Go easy on high-points to avoid looking like a tabloid “Don’t.”

STUDIO SECRETS:

  • Choose a focal point and mattify the T-zone to anchor your makeup look.
  • When a flashbulb pops, redness might disappear, but blush can, too. Don’t overdo it, but do make sure you’re wearing enough cheek colour for your red carpet moment.
Flash

LIGHTING: DIM TO DARK MANTRA: HIGHLIGHT & SMOLDER

Night time

AVOID:

  • Leaving home unprepared. Use a primer so your makeup stays where you want it and maximises the light.

STUDIO SECRETS:

  • Use reflective products (like highlighters, shimmering shadows and more) to catch the light at the club.
  • Enhance your features in bars, restaurants and candlelight with strategic highlighting and contouring.
  • Prep for last call! Do a quick makeup check before the bar is flooded with light.
Night time
Studio Secrets From The Pros
GET LIGHTING TIPS FROM SMASHBOX INSIDERS.

LIGHT YOUR SELFIE RIGHT

BY SMASHBOX FOUNDER
AND PHOTOGRAPHER DAVIS FACTOR

#1
"The most flattering light is soft, natural daylight. If you're inside, shoot next to a window. If you're outdoors, a lightly shaded area is a good call to avoid looking too blown out."

#2
"Angle your face downwards & shoot from above. Not only does it help capture the best light, but it also highlights your cheekbones and makes your eyes look bigger."

LIGHT YOUR
SELFIE RIGHT
BY SMASHBOX FOUNDER
AND PHOTOGRAPHER DAVIS FACTOR

#1
"The most flattering light is soft, natural
daylight. If you're inside, shoot next to a
window. If you're outdoors, a lightly shaded
area is a good call to avoid looking
too blown out."

#2
"Angle your face downwards & shoot from above.
Not only does it help capture the best light,
but it also highlights your cheekbones
and makes your eyes look bigger."